Aug 262009
Authors: Laura James

Notoriously, the summer features a large helping of high-budget, loud, action-packed, colorful cinema adventures for the movie-going public.

With the sequel “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, the “Star Trek” remake and the two hour Hasbro-commercial, AKA “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” the summer of 2009 was no different.

As a welcome break from the usual offerings of summer fanfare, I present to you the three best movies of the summer that you never saw.


Here is an instant cult classic that will likely get Oscar buzz (or snub, depending on the mood of the academy).

“Moon,” a science fiction thriller/mystery directed by Duncan Jones, stars the indie-star Sam Rockwell, who’s better known for his portrayal of famous TV host and professed CIA assassin Chuck Barris, in 2003’s “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”

In “Moon,” Rockwell acts solo in this powerhouse performance, playing Lunar Industries worker Sam Bell.

While working to harvest the newest energy resource on the surface of the moon, Sam makes a shocking discovery.

“Moon” takes the audience on a roller coaster of emotions and asks a lot of questions: What would we really be willing to do for a virtually endless supply of clean energy and what are our moral obligations in the quest to make a better world?

Rockwell is absolutely stunning in the film. His ability to fluctuate from fear and confusion to rage and hopelessness is profound.

The academy would be silly not to consider this performance among the best of the year.

‘The Hurt Locker’

Director Kathryn Bigelow’s previous works, “Strange Days,” “Point Break,” etc., pale in comparison to this film, knocking it out of the park with “The Hurt Locker.”

This absolutely electrifying story takes place in 2004 in Baghdad. The modern war story differs from other war films and makes a powerful statement about the effects of war on the soldiers who fight them.

“The Hurt Locker” follows the lives of three American soldiers burdened with the task of dismantling improvised explosive devices.

This elite bomb squad has four days left in their rotation before returning home, and their new and uncontrollable sergeant seems to like the rush of near-death experiences.

The audience travels with the soldiers on several nail-biting, beat-the-clock, bomb destroying expeditions, learning exactly how steep the consequences are for mistakes.

“The Hurt Locker” provides plenty of action coupled with brilliant modern cinematography.

‘500 Days of


Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn’t. So starts the story of Tom and Summer.

“500 Days of Summer” looks like your average romantic comedy, but the flick exceeds expectations.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel star in this unusual romantic comedy that chronicles the 500 days that Tom Hansen spends in the light of Summer Finn’s affection.

Like any good comedy, the protagonist, in this case Tom, is surrounded by the advice of his colorful friends. Despite the best efforts of his friends, it is the voice of Tom’s teenage sister Rachel that resonates most.

Although the movie doesn’t end up the way the audience might expect, the film is still heartily satisfying.

“500 Days of Summer” is the perfect film to round out your summer movie-going experience.

Movie reviewer Laura James can be reached at

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