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

MOVIE REVIEW
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. …

An Interview with AJ Michalka

AJ Michalka

FROM BELIEFNET

Recently, I sat at a round table with other press people for the upcoming faith-based film, “Grace Unplugged which will be arriving in theaters on October 4th. In walked AJ Michalka with her hair braided like Heidi from the Alps, a little shorter than I imagined and very poised. If you unaware of who Ms. Michalka is, go ask your kids.

For years, AJ has partnered with her sister Aly, singing songs for Disney and even appearing in a few Disney movies for TV. In 2006, the duo was nominated for their first American Music Award. Previously known as Aly & AJ, the pair have rebranded themselves as 78violet and have produced their first single, “Hothouse,” under their own production company label. Now 22, the accomplished musician and business woman is becoming known as an accomplished actress as well.

AJ Michalka and James Denton star as father-daughter 
worship duo Grace and Johnny Trey, who are torn apart
 when she runs away to Los Angeles to pursue pop stardom.
AJ was given the chance to play the role of Grace Trey and star alongside James Denton, Kevin Pollak, Michael Welch and Shawnee Smith. Grace is a talented young girl who wants her turn in the spotlight despite her father’s wishes. One of the other reporters made a comment that she thought that the role of Grace seemed to be tailor made for AJ and AJ agreed.


“Yeah, I felt like that. Her moment of vulnerability is so beautiful to me,” she says about the character. “She kind of escapes who she is and at a certain point. She will kind of do anything to make it into the business, no matter if it risks her relationship with her family or her friends. I think that her transition of trying to get back to who she is, is really solid. So, I wanted to play this role because I had respect for her. I think I can relate as [my sister and I] have blossomed into a new band and we’ve changed our writing and just how we perceive life. In a way, I feel like Grace trying to blossom out of the church. I think that she feels like she’s stifled.” Read more>
Related: 5 Faith-Based Movies Worth Seeing

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