'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. …

USA Sweeps Japan in 1st ANW event

USA Sweeps Japan in 1st ANW event
TEAM USA (l-r) Travis Rosen, James McGrath, Paul Kasemir,
 Brent Steffensen Photo by: David Becker/NBC
Nobody saw this coming. As much as every American wanted to see Team USA beat out Team Japan in last night’s American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. Japan event (aired on NBC), very few actually thought that they could. I mean, come on – playing against the country who invented the game? Playing against Japanese elite in the sport? But, there we were. Japan making rookie mistake after rookie mistake (and really beating themselves up for it too) while USA stayed on top throughout the night. Some USA members even beat records.

Held in Las Vegas, the Warrior special was performed in three stages with one player from one team battling it out against one from the other. Whoever completed the stage with the better time, received a mark. The first team to win three marks wins the round. Round One was worth one point, Round Two is worth two points and you guessed it – the winner of Round Three received three points. Final score was USA=6, Japan=0.

Perhaps the Japan team could have benefited from a fellow Ninja Warrior’s book. Physical therapist Ben Musholt from Portland, Oregon has competed on the NBC hit show and got as far as the regional semi-finals. He has written a brand new book titled “Mad Skills” and it is the world’s largest illustrated exercise encyclopedia featuring 700 different exercises.

Those living in the Seattle area will want to know that Musholt will be on town on Friday, January 31st at Parkour Visions, located at 1210 W. Nickerson Street to teach some “mad skills” on Creative Calisthenics and will be on hand to sign copies of his book as well. What is even better is he has given Writer of Pop of a copy of this book to be given away to one lucky reader. Just fill out the form below by midnight January 31st. Receive a bonus entry when you sign up to receive daily email updates from Writer of Pop. Sign up now!


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