'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. …

This Day in Pop Culture for September 15

USA Today Prints its First Edition

The development of the USA Today newspaper began back in February 1980 when a secret task force began working on “Project NN” with Gannett Company. The first prototypes of the paper were printed on June 11, 1981 mailing two different proposed layout to various news-makers. One of the goals of the paper was to create a shorter form, concise and easy-to-read publication. It wasn’t until this day in 1982 that the first edition was printed, the start of a series of milestones. The paper was first distributed in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and gradually expanded nationwide. By the end of 1982, the circulation of the newspaper was over 362,800. On July 2, 1984, USA Today switched from a partially color publication to a full-color one. On April 8, 1985, the paper published its first special bonus section called “Baseball ’85.” Near the end of that year, the paper had become the second largest newspaper in the U.S. with a circulation of 1.4 million. It reached 5.5 million by 1987. On May 6, 1986, an international version of the publication began to be printed. On January 29, 1988, the largest edition of USA Today was printed previewing Super Bowl XXII. By July 1991, the circulation had grown to 6.6 million. On April 17, 1995, the first online version of USA Today appeared. When that wasn’t enough, USA Today Live appeared on TV sets on February 8, 2000. On September 12, 2001, the paper set a single-day sales record of 3,638,600 copies focusing on the Word Trade Center attack. By August 2010, readership of all newspapers began to decline and USA Today announced the layoffs of 130 staffers and in January 2011, the front cover was tweaked and then went through a major redesign in September 2012. On September 3, 2014, the paper announced that it would lay off roughly 70 more employees. Today, the national newspaper has a weekly circulation of over 1,000,600.

Marilyn Monroe's skirt scene in "The Seven Year Itch" was filmed on September 15, 1954.

Marilyn Monroe’s Famous Skirt Stunt is Filmed

Sadly, when people think of Marilyn Monroe, the image that usually comes to mind is the scene from The Seven Year Itch where the actress stands over the subway vent and her skirt is blown up due to a blast from underneath. The scene, which only appears briefly in the movie, infuriated her husband Joe DiMaggio, who thought that it was an exhibitionist stunt and divorced her soon after. It was shot on this day at 1 a.m. on Manhattan’s Lexington Avenue. Monroe only had a couple of lines, but managed to flub them numerous times in front of some 5,000 onlookers who made their presence known with hoots and hollers. The scene was re-shot on the studio lot which still took about 40 takes. Ironically, the iconic image was only partially shown in the actual movie, focusing on her Monroe’s legs.

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