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'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

MOVIE REVIEW
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. …

Can You Beat Shazam?

Beat Shazam TV game show
Beat Shazam premieres on FOX tonight. (Michael Becker/FOX)

TV

Jamie Foxx is back on FOX for the summer beginning tonight for a whole new game show, Beat Shazam. FOX describes the program as a “interactive game show that pits teams of two against the clock and each other as they attempt to identify the biggest hit songs of all time. In the end, the team with the most money banked will outlast the competition and go against Shazam, the world’s most popular song identification app, for the chance to win a million dollars.” The show is sort of a Name That Tune with the best contestants playing against a machine.

Jamie Foxx and Mariah Carey (FOX)
If you are unfamiliar with Shazam, it works something like this. Say, you are at the mall and you hear a catchy tune playing in your favorite shop and you want to know what it is. You simply use Shazam, a music identification app, and … SHAZAM! You’ll get the name and who (most likely) is singing that version of the song. The app has been downloaded more than 1 billion times, and has exceeded 30 billion total Shazams since its launch, while users Shazam more than 20 million times each day. And the new show is bound to serve as an hour-long commercial for the app every week, but we’ll see. Since one of the show’s producers is Mark Burnett (who created Survivor and The Amazing Race reality competition shows), it will hopefully be a fun ride.

During each episode of the series, the teams will go ear-to-ear for the chance to Beat Shazam. In each round, Foxx will present a choice of two music categories, ranging from “’80s Favorites” to “BeyoncĂ© Hits.” Teams will hear a song and try to identify its correct title before all the other teams. As the rounds progress, quicker pairs will continue building their banks, while players with the lowest dollar amount will be eliminated until only one team remains. That team will play man-versus-machine and attempt to Beat Shazam.

Tonight's premiere begins at 8:00 p.m. on FOX and features guest star Mariah Carey.

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