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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. …

‘Guardians’: Fanboys get Their Movie

Review of "Guardians of the Galaxy"
Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper),
Drax ( Dave Bautista) and Groot (Vin Diesel). 
Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios took a risk in 2008 with a big budget project called Ironman. At the time, the comic book character was considered a lesser-known or a second stringer unlike Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four or The Hulk. It was debatable if audiences outside of the traditional comic book fan would bother to see such a movie. Well, we know how that story ended. Since then, Marvel has been spitting out new movie versions of their comic characters left and right and most have succeeded with the general population.

This weekend, the studio is taking another risk by bringing a fairly obscure franchise to the big screen: Guardians of the Galaxy.  Many have never even heard of these characters until just recently, except for the diehard fans. It will be interesting to see how the masses will respond this time around. I too am unfamiliar with the Guardians, so I can only judge the movie based on what I saw on the big screen. I have no idea if the film is faithful to the printed material or not.

Though technically a comic book movie, Guardians has its own look and feel that is unlike any other Marvel franchise, except for maybe Thor.  The humor is ramped up a bit, though not as campy as you would find in the 1960’s version of Batman and it is not even close to the seriousness of the latest Superman flick, Man of Steel. And for being a brand new story for most people, Guardians is sort of an anti-origin story.

The movie opens with Peter Quill, a little boy who witnesses his mother’s death due to an illness at a hospital. So distraught by the incident, he runs out of the hospital and immediately gets abducted by aliens. The film then fast-forwards about 30 years and Peter is all grown up looking like Chris Pratt scavenging through rubble while listening to his Sony Walkman that he had while he was on earth. (How that device held up all these years is also a mystery.) Like the missing years of Jesus in the Bible, we don’t know what happened to Peter or how he ended up where he is.


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