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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. …

This Day in Pop Culture for May 25

The movie "Alien" opened in theaters on May 25, 1979.

When 'Alien' Landed

It was on this day in 1979 when Ridley Scott’s original British-American science-fiction horror film, Alien, opened in theaters and we first learned that “in space no one can hear you scream." The film starred Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto who all played members of a spaceship that were each taken down one by one by an alien. Besides scaring audiences silly, the film received high praise from critics and received an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, three Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright,and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. In 2002, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. It was later followed by Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), Alien: Resurrection (1997), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) and two prequels: Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017).



Star Wars was released in theaters on May 25, 1977.

The Force Comes to Us

While hard to fathom now, Star Wars opened in only 32 theaters when it premiered on this day in 1977 and it was rumored that 20th Century Fox didn't have a lot of faith in the new film. After George Lucas scored a hit with American Graffiti, Fox allowed him to spend $9.5 million for the space epic. It took four years to create the cowboys and Indians tale told in space. By the end of the film’s first week, the movie had made $3 million and by the end of summer it had made over $100 million. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won in six. The movie alone resurrected the idea that science fiction movies could be profitable.


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