'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. …

‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 19 Cast is Announced

The new cast of "Dancing with the Stars" made a group appearance on ABC’s "Good Morning America"
 September 4, 2014. (L-R) Erin Andrews, Emma Slater, Michael Waltrip, Jonathan Bennett, Allison Holker, 
Antonio Sabato Jr., Cheryl Burke, Witney Carson, Val Chmerkovskiy, Janel Parrish, Alfonso Ribeiro, Tony Dovolani, 
Betsey Johnson, Derek Hough, Bethany Mota, Tom Bergeron, Tommy Chong, Petra Murgatroyd, Karina Smirnoff, 
Randy Couture, Lea Thompson, Artem Chigvintsev, Lolo Jones, Keo Motsepe, Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas.
(ABC/Ida Mae Astute)
Dancing with the Stars long established the idea of finding celebrities outside of TV or movie stardom to create a variety of “stars” including sports icons, models, comedians, etc. This is no doubt due to the fact that many big name movie stars are either too busy or not interested in doing the show. For the most part, this works out fine, but not everyone will be on board calling every celebrity on the show a “star.”

For instance, this season they bring on a Duck Dynasty family member - Sadie Robertson. Don’t know who that is? She’s the 17-year old daughter who usually doesn’t get much screen time on the show. It is as if the producers of DWTS started asking the top stars of DD and worked their way down to Sadie. Sadie is a delightful young woman and will probably do very well on the show (her partner is Mark Ballas), but is Sadie really a ‘star’? 

This season also includes the YouTube “beauty expert” Bethany Mota. She is one of the most popular celebrities on social media. But is she a star? Perhaps this season’s biggest stars are known for their previous works: Lea Thompson (Caroline in the City), Alfonso Ribeiro (Fresh Prince of Bel Air) and Tommy Chong, (the “Chong” in “Cheech and Chong” comedy duo).

However you choose to spell celebrity, each season of DWTS is always a huge ratings hit despite the fact that the creators keep messing with the formula. Last year the show went from two nights a week to just one, which was a welcome change from the “results show” which was filled with more fluff than substance. However, for this season, ABC has brought the one hour episode back and for this, I am holding a paddle with the number “2” on it.

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