'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. …

Artist Spotlight: Switchfoot



Rock ‘n’ roll has long glorified the idea that “it’s better to burn out than to fade away,” as Neil Young sang. Switchfoot aren’t buying it. These San Diego-based alt rockers seem more interested in a long, slow burn. On their ninth studio project, Fading West, they continue to smolder like the abandoned embers of a beach campfire. They’re not impulsive kids screaming for attention. Instead, they’re veteran musicians content to get their message across without resorting to maximum volume.

They’re even taking their time introducing the band’s new music, starting slowly with a new EP — a three-song teaser meant to whet fans’ appetites — followed by a movie premiere and a two-month fall tour (all are titled Fading West, by the way). For those who can’t catch the indie feature in theaters, a digital release slated for early December should make a nice Christmas gift and can tide you over until January 14, 2014, when the full-length Fading West hits.

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