Yes, let’s start with the predictable jokes. Mr. Bay’s movies are full of explosions. He casts the female leads on the looks department – or bikini models – instead of real actors. He somehow makes millions of still of dollars at the box office despite being hated on and having shallow movies that don’t rest well with movie goers. All of this is the polar opposite of good film-making. This what every “critic” would have you think …… however there are reasons it might be otherwise, but I will get to that later.
My own opinion on him? Eh! I do not really love or despise him so much, as a movie goer he does not cross my mind that much. From the films I have seen of his:
- I cannot remember much of Bad Boys.
- Armageddon was rubbish.
- There were a few things done right with the first Transformers, but a lot done oh-so wrong.
Many directors have distinct aspects about them, and amongst Bay’s films there are big action scenes and constant rabid cuts. Opinions will be opinions and if you think he is a hack, I will not convince you otherwise. However, quite a number of significant people have given him deference.
For instance, Armageddon and the Rock are both part of the Criterion Collection – yes, that Criterion Collection. Just when you think that it is reserved for forgotten 1940s Hollywood classics, arty foreign films (bonus points for being black & white) and some more obscure titles in comes multi-million dollar blockbusters that were not particularly well lauded. Maybe one thought could be that art is not always so concrete. It could just as well suck, but maybe it has to suck interestingly ….. I will get to that later.
Director James Cameron himself has used some of Bay’s film as study for his own film-making, going even further than watching the film and writing down aspects as is. Instead it was by studying and reverse-engineering all those techniques. Mr. Bay has also won directing awards, that is in such works as commercials. There is this review from the Criterion Collection itself. Within the review, it mentions the idea for Armageddon came from attending Wesleyan University – a film-art student campus if there ever was any.
He is a visual director by and by. Just not one who goes for the silent shots. If you watch his films, suspension of disbelief is probably required; same goes for the major majority of musicals (even if the singers interact with the scenery). There seems to be a fair bit of method to the mayhem, from this magnificent bastard. I will give him credit, this guy is one director in Hollywood who seems to work CGI well into his films. They do not look fake or groan worthy and do their job, for a brief period of time it is exhilarating and leaves an impression on you. Go hard or go home, even if hard looks completely brainless.
The first Transformers had very good special effects. Just…… just look at the detail!
Whether or not you grew up with the Transformers cartoon, does that not look like everything you hope it would on the big screen? While this was an amazing feat, I still think that constantly having the shaky cam technique constantly kind of spoiled it as it prevented you from being able to marvel at a job well done.
Well, there are so many kinds of movies nowadays it is hard to be objective. Whether a film is trying to be thought provoking, wanting to tell a good story, around to be a big gagy or just to be entertaining, what is one man’s idea of crap is another one’s creme ala creme. This man is still being talked about and still earning a lot of cash from what he does, so there must be something being done right. It is not just the people spilling into the cinema to see it, Mr. Bay is also a stakeholder. I quite like to watch and arty movie every then and now; therefore the Criterion Collection is an easy shortlist for what to choose to watch for me. Since Michael Bay is included, does that mean I will watch them? I have not seen the Rock, so that is likely. I hated Armageddon when I watched it, but it is in here so will I give it a second chance? Maybe.
All this is just some more fodder for movie watchers to discuss. Shoot!
Edit: The original post had a tangent talking about “art” and film which looking back was just aimless. It has been removed.