Pillbox

Looking back at summer films

The summer of 2009 was a season that gave audiences some memorable blockbusters. There were billion-dollar action scenes, a journey into the criminal mind, and the never-ending exploration of the complexities of relationships. Following is a roundup of the highly anticipated favorites and an indie film that graced the silver screen.

Transformation

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg, is the action-packed sequel to this dynamic duo’s 2007 blockbuster.

This comedic, heart-pounding film continues the story of Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) and his robotic yellow Camaro as they fight to save the world again. The frequent action sequences in Bay’s film are both easy to follow and visually stimulating.

With two hours and 30 minutes of college parties, pushy roommates, transforming cars, and Barack Obama references, it is no wonder that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was one of the most successful movies at the box office this summer.

Trigger happy

Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the notorious bank robber and outlaw John Dillinger in the summer smash hit Public Enemies was nothing less than astounding. Not only did Depp embody the criminal nature of Dillinger, but he also captured the romance and thrill that this story offers. Public Enemies — which revolves around crime in the Midwest during the 1930s — was filmed in high-definition digital, which allowed the detail in director Michael Mann’s shots to jump off the screen. Don’t be surprised if you see this technique in films to come.

But… I love you!

After riveting films like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Public Enemies, what could be much better? A romance, of course! Well, it wasn’t really a romance. 500 Days of Summer, directed by Marc Webb, is more like a love-me or love-me-not film. This film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel and explores the reason why Summer (Deschanel) dumps Tom (Gordon-Levitt).

Though this may seem a bit melodramatic — with heart-fluttering moments and greeting cards — 500 Days of Summer is full of comedic relief. Webb’s film, which was featured in the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, was an undoubtedly remarkable tale of a relationship that led to self-discovery.

Same ol’ love story

While director Judd Apatow’s Funny People did not provide many laughs — just pity giggles — The Ugly Truth, directed by Robert Luketic, was a romantic comedy that actually evoked a genuine reaction.

Though this film wasn’t exactly original, it is always interesting to see the story of two people — Abby (Katherine Heigl) and Mike (Gerard Butler) — who start off hating each other and fall in love by the end of the film.