'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

Based on the film Rompecabezas, Puzzle is one of those little-known independent films that sneaks into theaters with little to no fanfare, although the fact that it is being promoted “from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine” should help it get noticed somewhat. Puzzle is a quiet, little film about a woman who discovers that jigsaw puzzles are the key to changing her life. While the subject matter doesn’t sound all that exciting, the film really isn’t about puzzles but instead about one finding their voice, or so it appears. It’s also a message film that has its own agenda expecting the audience to agree with the choices of the main character and applaud her “brave” behavior. Frankly, it just feels manipulative.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub, Puzzle’s most impactful scene comes within the first few minutes. We see Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) cleaning up the house and they decorating it for a birthday party. Then we see her serving appetizers while being ignored by the guests. …

TobyMac Doesn’t Disappoint with Latest Release



Opening up a new CD from TobyMac is like opening a surprise Christmas present from your favorite aunt or uncle. You never know what you’re going to get, but you are pretty sure that it is going to be great. For those who open up Eye On It, his latest album, you won’t be disappointed.

With 11 million albums sold and five Grammy® Awards to his credit, TobyMac is one of the most respected Christian musicians among fans and singers alike with good reason. The singer /songwriter does not settle for one style of music, he keeps evolving. Perhaps what is most impressive about TobyMac in recent years is the depth of his spiritual walk which ironically, is actually expressed in simple lyrics. Though the marketing machine still tends to show the singer as a tough or sullen character, gone is the cocky attitude of his younger years. Today he comes across more genuine in his public appearances.

“What is it like to live a life of faith? It doesn’t look perfect, I can promise you that,” Toby admits. “We’re all struggling. We’re struggling to mend relationships, to love people well, and to love God. But the gift of walking this life of faith is that you can make it right each day. You can turn and start over, determined, with your eye on it.”

No two songs song alike on “Eye on It” with some sounding surprisingly different. The album’s first single, “Me Without You” is getting a lot of air play. It looks at the importance of God in one’s life. It is said that Toby wrote the song from the perspective of who he might be without his faith. “I’d be a mess,” he says with a self-depreciating laugh. “I’d be insecure, self-indulgent and probably doing all the wrong things.” A similar theme is spoken in the thumping party song, “Lose Myself.” The chorus includes:

“I wanna lose myself, lose myself to find you. I don’t care how it sounds. Burn it all to the ground. Your kingdom, my desire. I wanna lose myself, lose myself to find you. I need to find you.”

“Eye on It” also features the love song “Made for Me” about the opposite personalities of his wife Amanda and himself. “We’re opposites in a way and see things very differently. She’s from a third-world country and I grew up just outside of Washington, D.C., in Virginia. She’s a morning person; I’m a night person,” he says. “But we are committed to laying down our minor differences and holding on to what brings us together.” In the song he celebrates his life with his family:

“Next chapter we got hitched and thought we’d have some kids. Looked up and now we got five little Jamericans. I thank God every day. I’m blessed in a crazy way. My Godsend to the end this thing we got, is cool like shade.”

The song “Family” is also inspired by his marriage and the breaking of families around him. There are many times my wife and I are sitting there, with a wall between us, trying to figure out how we can get back to being unified. Inevitably, what penetrates the wall is that we both want the same thing: preserving our love, our family and our faith in God. We are on the same side,” Toby says. The truly beautiful song is highlighted by the sounds of a piano, strings, viola and cello.

 While light and full of lively tunes, the album isn’t all serious. His song, “Mac Daddy” (sung with Tru’s Reality) is about his on-going struggle with his children wanting the latest Apple computer and “Favorite Song” (featuring Jamie Grace) is almost too “cute” for Toby, but boy is it a catchy tune.

This is one of those albums where there is something for everyone with messages that are relevant from child to grandma.


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