'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. …

'Spy' is More Fun than it Should be

Review of the the Melissa McCarthy movie, "Spy."
Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy star in Spy. (20th Century Fox)
The beloved Melissa McCarthy seems to have as many hits as she does misses when it comes to her choices of movies that she appears in. She is a very funny lady with a talent that Hollywood hasn't pin-pointed how best to use. She has been praised for her raunchy performance in Bridesmaids (2011), was just “so-so” in the Sandra Bullock buddy comedy The Heat (2013) and was panned equally for both Identity Thief (2013) and Tammy (2014). But in Spy, she shines.

Spy is one of the best comedies I have seen in years, but it was a harder “R” than I was expecting due to the large amount of profanity, violence and tasteless jokes. The thing is, the film didn't need any of that to be funny. Those were not the things that this film great and unfortunately, tarnish it. As a Christian, there is much to be offended with here, but darn it, it's is still very well done.

Set up like a James Bond knock-off, complete with it's own Bond-like theme song and beginning titles, Spy is fun from the very beginning. McCarthy is absolutely adorable as Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst who works behind the scenes with special agent and partner Bradley Fine (Jude Law). She acts as his eyes and ears in the basement of a CIA office while he takes his life in his hands out on the field. However, when Fine “falls off the grid,” is it up to Cooper to go undercover to take over where he left off with her very first case out of the office.


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