'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. …

"Golden Shoes' Movie is 'Just Okay for Kids'

Review of the movie, "Golden Shoes"
(Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Perhaps it is my own opinion, but I think that there is a difference between family movies and children’s movies. Disney is a master for producing movies that literally every member of the family can watch and enjoy. Some moviemakers tend to think that any juvenile movie can be considered a movie for the whole family, but that just isn’t true. It’s sloppy filmmaking. Two good examples: 101 Dalmatians = family movie, Air Buddies = children’s movie. (Even Disney gets it wrong occasionally).

Now available on DVD today, Golden Shoes has good intentions and has been endorsed by Dove.org. This is due to the film's positive storylines about family, working together as a team and is altogether wholesome fare. But while film may be wholesome, that doesn’t mean that the movie is great. That might sound harsh and no one was intending for this movie to be nominated for an Oscar, but overall, the film is subpar.

Golden Shoes may appeal to children under the age of ten, but for those older, like their parents, they will have a tough time sticking through with it. At just 89 minutes in length, it feels like a half hour too long. The film’s biggest flaw? The acting ability of the children involved. Christian Koza is weak in the starring role, but he’s not alone. It appears that every child actor in this film had their lines down, but not the emotions or facial expressions. Some may think children audiences can’t tell the difference between a good child actor and a poor one, but they can. The movie intends to have some heartstring-pulling moments, but they are lost with the lack of emotion. It also tries to make up for it by turning the soundtrack music up higher in some scenes. It doesn’t work.


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