'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. …

Disney Announces 2015 Movie Lineup

This week, Disney announced their 2015 movie lineup including Pixar and Marvel movies. Here’s what you can look forward to:

McFarland opens February 20, 2015
McFarland, USA – February 20
Sports drama based on the true story of a Latino high school track team from…McFarland, California. The movie stars Kevin Costner as the coach who helps the troupe wade through the social issues of the 80’s and to – guess what – win the championship!

Cinderella opens March 13, 2015Cinderella – March 13
An unnecessary re-telling of the Disney animated classic which appears to be changed just enough to make it worth seeing. It stars Lily James as Ella, Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother, Richard Madden as the prince and Helena Bonham-Carter in a nice role for a change – a kind beggar woman (i.e. Fairy Godmother).

Monkey Kingdom Opens April 17, 2015
Monkey Kingdom – April 17
DisneyNature’s latest Earth Day release (and 8th True Life Adventure) will share the story of a newborn monkey and its mother who struggle to survive the socials issues of the Temple Troop, a group of monkeys who live in ancient ruins.

Avengers Age of Ultron Opens May 1, 2015Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1
When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry as they often do in the Marvel universe. The rest of the Avengers (Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye) are brought together once again to fix things. At the same time, the villainous Ultron rises and has terrible plans for the group as well.

Tomorrowland Opens May 22, 2015Tomorrowland – May 22
The long speculated Tomorrowland finally arrives in theaters where George Clooney and Britt Robertson “travel to a place somewhere in time and space only known as Tomorrowland where their actions directly affect the world and themselves .” Whatever that means.

Inside Out Opens June 19, 2015
Inside Out – June 19
Pixar is changing things up again with this new animation story about Riley and here emotions in her including Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. As Riley struggles to adjust in their new home in San Francisco, her emotions have their own troubles in her head!

Anit-Man Opens July 17, 2015Ant-Man – July 17
The latest Marvel franchise begins with Scott Lang, a man you can shrink in scale but also increase in strength.  He and his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, are on guard to protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit and against “seemingly insurmountable obstacles,” (Marvel’s words, not mine) Pym and Lang must pull off a heist that will save the world.

The Jungle Book – October 9
Another favorite Disney animated film gets a live-action/CGI treatment – again – with Neel Sethi as Mowgli, Bill Murray as Baloo (why they didn’t pick John Goodman who voiced the role for the animated Jungle Book 2 is beyond me), Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa and Christopher Walken as King Louie believe it or not.

Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller – October 16
So, no official name has been attached to this new Joel and Ethan Coen film, but it will be based o the true story of James Donovan, an attorney who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. It stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan and Alan Alda.

The Good Dinosaur Opens November 25, 2015
The Good Dinosaur – November 25
Pixar’s other film for the year will pose the question, “What if dinosaurs lived during modern times?” Arlo, a 70-foot-tall teenage Apatosaurus, befriends a young human boy named Spot. Voice talents include Frances McDormand, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, John Lithgow and Lucas Neff.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Opens December 18, 2015Star Wars: The Force Awakens – December 18
Finally, Star Wars fans will be able to mock or celebrate Episode VII (The Force Awakens) which takes place 30 years after The Return of the Jedi. J. J. Abrams is at the helm and the film stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong'o, and Gwendoline Christie, with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker reprising their roles from previous films. Hang on, it could be bumpy ride.

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