'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. …

Guess Who's Coming Over for Thanksgiving?

Kermit the Frog and Lady Gaga together again. Only this time
she's not wearing him. (Photo: ABC)
I’m not sure if ABC is trying to make Lady Gaga more “family friendly” or the Muppets more risqué or maybe a little bit of both. Certainly, the Muppets stand for family values, but this Thanksgiving special airs at 9:30 p.m. when most of the little tykes will have already gone to bed. Lady Gaga is not known for being subtle, but perhaps she will tone it down a bit for the special. However, one of the guests is drag queen RuPaul, so we'll just have to wait and see.

This will be Lady Gaga’s second Thanksgiving special for the network. “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving” aired in 2011 which featured appearances from Katie Couric, Art Smith, and Tony Bennett. Surprisingly, the special received good reviews and ratings.

This year’s special will be a bit different. ABC describes the special as an “avant-garde twist on the classic holiday variety show as Lady Gaga goes backstage with The Muppets, making a performance dream come true for the multi-platinum singer songwriter when they combine forces to sing holiday favorites and Lady Gaga hits.” It could even end up being a large infomercial for Gaga and Disney, the network’s parent company.

Other guests for the special include Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kristen Bell. Bell “just happens” to be featured in the new “Frozen” animated film that comes out Wednesday. A special “sneak peek” of the Muppets new movie, “Muppets Most Wanted,” will be shown as well and Gaga’s most recent album, “Art Pop,” just came out a couple of weeks ago.

Performance highlights include a duet between Lady Gaga and Kermit the Frog (of course), a "dazzling rendition” of Gaga’s hit “Applause” with special Muppet guests, and Bell appears in a special sketch alongside the Muppets and Lady Gaga. However, I’m looking forward to the Muppet versions of “Deck the Halls” and “jingle Bells” by the Swedish Chef, Beaker and Animal.


promote my blog