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

Friday’s openings: An ‘Invisible Man’ for today

A number of movies are marked for release on Friday, but only one of them is scheduled to open widely. And that film is:

"The Invisible Man": In this new adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic novel, Elisabeth Moss plays a battered woman whose abusive ex takes his own life (supposedly) and leaves her his fortune. When strange things begin happening, though, she suspects that he never died at all.

It seems strange that Wells is mentioned in the credits for this film, since the only thing that seems anything remotely similar to Wells' 1897 novel — not to mention James Whale's 1933 film, starring Claude Rains — is the title.

Reviews of this new "Invisible Man," which was directed by "Saw" writer Leigh Whannell, have been embargoed, yet one critic has posted his commentary. And his reaction isn't particularly positive. Writing for the National Review, critic Armond White wrote, "This 'Invisible Man' is not entertainment; it’s merely a domestic-violence showcase for masochists." Ouch.

Then again, most movie fans familiar with White take his opinions for what they're worth. As fellow critic Owen Gleiberman once wrote in Entertainment Weekly, White "tosses out provocations like grenades and eats acclaimed films for breakfast."

Here, for example, is what White wrote about "Toy Story 3": "The 'Toy Story' franchise isn’t for children and adults, it’s for non-thinking children and adults. When a movie is this formulaic, it’s no longer a toy because it does all the work for you. It’s a sap’s story."

Double ouch. As usual, I'll update when area theater finalize their bookings.