Modern movies in November

About Time (2013) – I love this film. LOOOOVED it. It mixes romantic comedy with touching family drama and explores the theme of appreciating every day you’re given in life. The romance never gets too sappy or overtakes the film’s larger themes about the human experience. The film is funny, touching, heartfelt. Authentic characters are portrayed by a solid cast. This is one of the best “chick flicks” (and I hate calling it that, because it’s so much better than the average “chick flick”) that I’ve seen at the cinema in a long time. (And yes, I did see it at the matinee twice haha.) I’ll definitely be buying it on DVD. The score: 5/5

Cowboy del Amor (2005) – This documentary follows Ivan Thompson, a man who once bred horses for a living but now runs a matchmaking service, “The Cowboy Cupid,” which sets up American men with Mexican women. Ivan visits small towns of Mexico and trolls the personal ad sections of newspapers looking for women who are willing to marry his “gringos.” Cowboy del Amor is fascinating, funny and also a little bit horrifying since Ivan’s clients are kiiiind of despicable. (They all come to Ivan because they want submissive wives, and they think Mexican women will be this for them.) What a bunch of characters make up this story. My only complaint is that the ending is a bit abrupt. The score: 4/5

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) – I’m a big fan of Suzanne Collins’ book series and loved the first film in this series. This second installment is just as good. The actors chosen for the new characters (including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Sam Claflin and Lynn Cohen) all do such a great job in those characters, adding to what was already a very talented cast. I left the theater eager to watch the next film in the series, and then got sad because we have to wait a whole year for it, haha. Mockingjay is my favorite of the books, so I’m really looking forward to the two-part finale of the film series. The score: 4.5/5

Free Birds (2013) – Didn’t love this one, but I did find myself amused by it. I don’t watch animated films often, with the exception of classic animated shorts. I did enjoy it more than I’ve enjoyed most of the family/animated films I’ve seen in the past couple of years. It’s a little bit campy, what with the time-traveling and “El Solo Lobo” and all, which I (of course) appreciated. The score: 3/5

The Sweetest Sound (2001) – Another great documentary about names, similar to last month’s The Grace Lee Project. I enjoyed this one even more than Grace Lee’s film, thanks in no small part to its use of vintage film footage and exploration of name origins rather than just the living people who share the name. Alan Berliner, the maker of this film, invites a group of people who share his name to have dinner together. This also gives the film a leg up over last month’s name doc, because it’s fascinating to see their interactions and their reactions to each other. This is a good watch, and only runs for just under an hour, so check it out of if you have access to Netflix Instant! The score: 4/5

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