'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 October 18

"The Jungle Book" opened in theaters on October 18, 1967

‘The Jungle Book’ Opens in Theaters

Walt Disney created his 19th animated feature film inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s book, The Jungle Book. Directed by the appropriately named Wolfgang Reitherman, the movie tells the story about Mowgli, an orphan boy who is raised in the jungle by wolves and then later by Bagheera a black panther and Baloo the bear. The movie featured the voices of Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, George Sanders, Louis Prima, Sterling Holloway, J. Pat O'Malley and Verna Felton. Mowgli was voiced by Bruce Reitherman, the director’s son. Disney passed away before the film made it to theaters on this day in 1967, but the film was a big success becoming the fourth highest-grossing movie of that year. The film was re-released in 1978, 1984 and 1990. In 1994, Disney came up with a live-action make of the story as well as an animated sequel, The Jungle Book 2, in 2003. In 2016, Disney created yet another live-action version of the original film which was directed by Jon Favreau. A sequel to that production is currently in the works.

Gospel singer Al Green was attacked in his home on October 18, 1974.

Singer Al Green Attacked in Bathtub

A truly bizarre event happened on this day in 1974. Soul singer Al Green, who had become a born-again Christian a year earlier, was attacked in his own bathtub.  Ex-girlfriend, Mary Woodson, burst into the room and poured scalding-hot grits on his back and then shot herself in a bedroom with his own gun. He was left with severe burns and a resolve to step away from pop fame. In 1976, Green became an ordained minister in Memphis, TN and still preaches there. For years he would refuse to perform his old R&B hits and recorded only gospel music, but became more open to it in the late 1980’s.

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