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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Friday’s openings redux: Karate and Quebecois crime

Along with the week's big opener, "The Lion King," movie fans will have a few other choices to pick from. They include:

"The Art of Self-Defense": Straight from the film-festival circuit, this offbeat film stars Jesse Eisenberg as a young man who responds to an attack by street toughs by signing up for karate lessons. And, no, his teacher is not Chuck Norris. (Note: The film played twice at the recent Seattle International Film Festival.)

"The Fall of the American Empire": French-Canadian filmmaker Denys Arcand ("The Barbarian Invasions") tells the story of a shy young man who happens upon a crime scene, picks up a couple of bags of cash and then has to evade both the cops and the gang leader who wants his money back. Classify this under the heading "crime comedy (ou peut-être "comédie policière"). In French with English subtitles.

That appears to be the lot. So go, see a movie — maybe even the Disney flick, which is playing everywhere and around the clock — and enjoy.