'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. …

'Wayward Pines' is a Nice Place to Visit but...

Review of "Wayward Pines."
Beverly (Juliette Lewis) and Ethan (Matt Dillon) finalize their plans in the
 "Don't Discuss Your Life Before" episode of WAYWARD PINES (FOX)
I'm a sucker for anything that M. Night Shyamalan is involved in. Not that I have liked everything that he produced, but he fascinates me. The Sixth Sense was brilliant and even though many did not appreciate his film, The Village, I liked it. I love his Twilight Zone-ish storytelling. So when I heard that FOX was going to present the limited series, Wayward Pines with him at the helm, I was all in and after last night's premiere, count me in for all ten episodes.

As others are, I'm really liking the newer “limited series” concept where a show has a beginning, middle and end. Unlike series like Resurrection where I spent two years following a mystery only to see the show canceled. Now I'll never know what happens!

For Wayward Pines, comparisons will be made to both The Village and Twin Peaks and for good reason. However, unlike The Village, where the twist was that a small community was living in a time warp was revealed in the end, here, we know almost immediately that the Pines community is its own universe. As for Twin Peaks, the residents of Pines are almost as quirky, but probably more sinister.

Matt Dillon stars as secret service agent, Ethan Burke, who accidentally winds up in the town while searching for his partner Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino) and another agent who have been missing for a few weeks. He also is still getting over the devastation of the “Easter Bombing Attack” awhile back where he was racked with guilt for not saving people and turned to Hewson for comfort which led to a short-term affair. He also has a history of mental illness. Oh goody.


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