'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. …

NBC’s ‘World of Dance’ is a Nice Change

World of Dance
Keone and Mari are just one of the acts performing tonight. (NBC)


Competition talent shows are bigger than ever on TV these days, so it is understandable if you’re leery of the idea of one more added to the mix, but I think you might be pleasantly surprised with NBC’s newest, World of Dance. The show is similar in tone to America’s Got Talent, so it makes sense that it airs tonight right after AGT at 10:00 p.m.

World of Dance is similar to other shows but unlike FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance or NBC’s The Voice, the judges are not crazy nor are they full of themselves. There are no “you remind me of me” type speeches and other than the occasional annoying “I’ve got goosies” from Jennifer Lopez, the three keep the focus on the competing dancers rather than on themselves.

World of Dance is hosted by Jenna Dewan Tatum and Jennifer Lopez is joined at the judges table by NE-YO and Dancing with the Star’s Derek Hough. Together, the three will be judging various dancing acts based on five main criteria all worth 20 points each: performance, technique, choreography, creativity and presentation. For the initial round, each group of performers must receive an average overall score of at least 80 to go to the next round. Those who make it to the end of the 10-episode show will win a grand prize of $1 million dollars.

The judges of "World of Dance."
NE-YO, Jennifer Lopez and Derek Hough (NBC)
World of Dance is unique in that anyone who is good enough, can perform any type of dance at any age. The three categories to compete in are Junior (those under the age of 18), Upper (groups that have up to 4 members 18-year-old or older) and Team (groups of five or move age 18 or older). Tonight’s premiere features modern, urban, clogging, ballroom and breakdancing. At first, everyone appears to be so excited and each of the acts are so good, you have to wonder if they will all be going through to the next round. But rest assured, at least one group performing tonight will not get another week.

The competition consists of five rounds: Qualifiers, Duels, The Cut, Divisional Final and the World Final. In the first four rounds, dancers only compete within their division, but in the World Final - the winner from each division will compete against each other for the grand prize.
While some moments in tonight’s pilot episode felt a little forced, overall this is a pretty decent and even family-friendly show. Too bad that it airs 10:00 p.m.


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