'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 27

'The Tonight Show' began airing on September 27, 1954.

A Brief History of 'The Tonight Show'

Though a regular staple now, The Tonight Show was originally a 40-minute local TV show that aired from 11:20 p.m. to midnight on WNBT in New York. On this day in 1954, Tonight Starring Steve Allen took flight on NBC with Gene Rayburn serving as his announcer. This led to Allen receiving his own primetime Sunday night show which then led him to give up the Monday and Tuesday night slots to Ernie Kovacs. In January of 1957, both Allen and Kovac were dropped from the show and it became Tonight! America After Dark which became a news and features show. That format didn’t do so well and so on July 29, 1957, Jack Paar began being the host of The Tonight Show. Parr left the show in March of 1962 and it wasn’t until October before the show became The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson with Ed McMahon serving as the announcer. Carson kept the job until May 22, 1992 when Jay Leno took the reins. That lasted until June 1, 2009 when Conan O’Brien took over the main desk and Leno moved to a 10:00 p.m. timeslot. However, the new Jay Leno Show didn’t work out all that well, so NBC bumped Conan O’Brien out of the Tonight Show on Friday, January 22, 2010 and Leno jumped back in on March 1, 2010. Leno continued on through February 6, 2014. Jimmy Fallon took over on February 17, 2014 and has been in the captain’s chair ever since. Whew.

Captain Milburn G. Apt became the first human to reach Mach 3.

First Man to Exceed Mach 3

Flying an X-2 rocket-powered plane on this day in 1956, a bizarre set of events happened to Captain Milburn G. Apt. After being launched from a B-50 bomber over the Mojave Desert in California, Apt set a record speed of 3,377 km/h or Mach 3. Unfortunately, due to a loss of control from inertia, the aircraft broke up and caused his death as well. His death was recorded by a stop-frame camera that was mounted behind him in the cockpit. While he did not survive, his video did. 

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