'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. …

‘The New Celebrity Apprentice’: Comparing Arnold to Donald

"The New Celebrity Apprentice" review
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Laila Ali. (Photo by: Luis Trinh/NBC)


Donald Trump has always been a controversial character which is one of the reasons why The Celebrity Apprentice reality show worked. Unlike the political world, on The Apprentice, NBC could edit any remarks that would be too offensive, but that never stopped Trump from speaking his mind. Anyone who challenged Trump was most often “fired” and sent packing. He had a presence about him that most everyone respected, at least while in the same room. But that was then and this is now. Arnold Schwarzenegger is now the boss, one of the major changes to the show. The other major change is that The New Celebrity Apprentice was filmed in Hollywood instead of New York and the boardroom and war rooms are located in the Schwarzenegger’s own building, not Trump Tower.

For the most part, the show’s format is the same. Male celebrities are teamed up to go against a team of female celebrities, and while most were on their best behavior during the season’s first two episodes which aired last night back-to-back, you can already see some cracks forming in each team’s perfect facades. But the biggest noticeable difference in the show is how Arnold presents himself. Sure, he’s played many tough guys in the movies, but he still comes across as a nice guy and it doesn’t appear that any of the celebrities are really intimidated by him. At one point he appears to be joking with John Lovitz stating how the two have been friends for a long time but then suddenly turns on him and says, In here, you call me governor. The scene looked like it was filmed for effect. In another better scene, Schwarzenegger is talking but some of the women continue their conversation. He stops and glares at them and they quickly stop and apologize for their actions.

"The New Celebrity Apprentice" review
Vince Neil, Boy George. (Photo by: Luis Trinh/NBC)
Another difference comparing Donald to Arnold is that Arnold doesn’t appear to be comfortable drilling down why a team failed to win over the other whereas Donald would be relentless. Instead, Arnold tends to ask the teammates, “Who do you think should come back to the boardroom?” which is something that Trump did too, but sparingly. The boardroom scenes in general seem shorter which suggests to me that NBC has noticed that they have a lack of bite to them as well.

Overall though, this new season of The Celebrity Apprentice is still worth watching. The antics between the celebrities is always fascinating to watch and knowing that they are all in it to raise money for their favorite charities is honorable. Granted, some of these celebrities are looking for ways to restart their career. Oftentimes I find that I am surprised by the actions of the celebrities. The ones that I would think would be the nicest are not and the ones that I’m expecting to see a lot of attitude from, I don’t.

"The New Celebrity Apprentice" review
Carnie Wilson, Brooke Burke-Charvet, Porsha Williams, Laila Ali, 
Nicole "Snooki"Polizzi. (Photo by: Luis Trinh/NBC)
In the first of the two episodes that aired, teams were faced with a challenge that appeared to be unfair to the men’s team as they were tasked with providing a demonstration promoting Tyra Banks’ cosmetics brand, TYRA Beauty. The second was more balanced challenge creating a TV commercial with an original song for Trident gum. In both challenges, the end results were surprising but the celebrities being sent home weren’t. Instead of Donald’s “You’re fired” tagline, Arnold tells those who are going home, “You’re terminated” which seems appropriate.

Review of "The New Celebrity Apprentice"
Carson Kressley, Matt Iseman, Vince Neil, Chael Sonnen, 
Boy George. (Photo by: Luis Trinh/NBC)
The men’s team consists of: Eric Dickerson, Boy George, Matt Iseman, Carson Kressley, Jon Lovitz, Vince Neil, Chael Sonnen and Ricky Williams.

The women’s team consists of: Laila Ali, Brooke Burke Charvet, Carrie Keagan, Lisa Leslie, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Kyle Richards, Porsha Williams and Carnie Wilson.

The New Celebrity Apprentice airs on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. on NBC.

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