'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. …

23rd Season of ‘DWTS’ Includes a Former Taxi Driver, Ryan Lochte and Marcia-Marcia-Marcia

Marilu Henner, Rick Perry and Maureen McCormick  will be a part of the 23rd season of "Dancing With the Stars."
Marilu Henner, Rick Perry and Maureen McCormick will compete in the 23rd season of Dancing With the Stars. (ABC)
Every season of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars there seems to be at least one star who is either controversial or a head-scratching choice. This year that person believes to the bad boy of swimming, Ryan Lochte who is desperately trying to change him image after his false robbery report in Rio. He’ll be joined up with dancer Cheryl Burke who has been away from DWTS for awhile now, so it will be nice to see her back. Lochte is not the only Olympian to make it to the dance floor this season as gymnast Laurie Hernandez will be joining the cast.

Cheryl Burke, Ryan Lochte, GMA's Ginger Zee, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Laurie Hernandez
Cheryl Burke, Ryan Lochte, GMA's Ginger Zee, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Laurie Hernandez (ABC)

This season’s cast also includes two former sit-com stars, Marilu Henner from Taxi and Maureen McCormick from The Brady Bunch. Both seem like natural fits for the show and come with a fan base of their own. Though I sort of cringe thinking that the show will want to recreate both the Taxi and Brady Bunch sets and work them into some kind of dance, I think I might be disappointed if they didn’t.

Finally, this season also features former governor of Texas Rick Perry. I’m so curious to know why he thought appearing on Dancing With The Stars would be a good idea.

As per usual, this season’s cast of Dancing With The Stars was announced during Tuesday’s edition of Good Morning America.This season’s dancing couples are:
  • Talk show host Amber Rose with Maksim Chmerkovskiy
  • Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson Jr. with Lindsay Arnold
  • Former Wizards of Waverly Place actor Jake T. Austin with Jenna Johnson
  • Indy Car Driver James Hinchcliffe with Sharna Burgess
  • Country music star Jana Kramer with Gleb Savchenko
  • Pop/Urban music star Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds with Allison Holker
  • American Gymnast Laurie Hernandez with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
  • Former Taxi star Marilu Henner with Derek Hough
  • Former Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick with Artem Chigvintsev
  • Former governor of Texas Rick Perry with Emma Slater
  • Olympian Swimmer Ryan Lochte with Cheryl Burke
  • Actress Terra Jolé with Sasha Farber
  • Former rap singer and current home improvement show host Vanilla Ice with Witney Carson
While everyone will have their favorites to root for, I am looking forward to learning more about Calvin Johnson Jr.’s faith as he has said that his parents have always told him to put God first. In addition to being an outstanding athlete, Johnson also has his own non-profit organization dedicated to educating, training and social developing of at-risk youth.

Jake T. Austin also has my vote. Just 21-years-old, has appeared in numerous TV series and movies as well as voiceover work for cartoons. But what makes this guy stand out is his involvement with McDonald’s Ronald McDonald House charity. Though he’s not a kid anymore, he was the first youth spokesperson for the charity.

How can I not root for Maureen McCormick? Best known for her work on The Brady Bunch and all of it’s various spin-off projects, there is a lot more to this actress who dealt with her own demons over the years. I’m sure that we’ll learn more about them this season as well.

Dancing With the Stars will once again be hosted by Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews with Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba serving as judges. The season premiere will be presented on Monday, September 12 from 8:00-11:00 p.m. on ABC.


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