Does Michael Bay get too much hate?

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Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
He keeps being credited by people as one of the worst directors in the business. Mostly cause his movies are all about explosions and cleavage. However, there are other directors who's movies are all about that as well, that do not get near as much hate, like Justin Lin for example.

So why is it that Bay does not get a pass in comparison? Does he actually do it worse, or something? Is the Transformers series actually at a lower level, than The Fast and the Furious series?



You can't win an argument just by being right!
I'm pretty sure you've had a similar thread



IMDB rating:

Transformers - 7.1
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - 6.0
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 6.3
Transformers: Age of Extinction - 5.7
Transformers: The Last Knight - 5.2

The Fast and the Furious - 6.7
2 Fast 2 Furious - 5.9
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - 6.0
Fast & Furious - 6.6
Fast Five - 7.3
Fast & Furious 6 - 7.1
Furious 7 - 7.2
The Fate of the Furious - 6.8

You get the idea, to compare Transformers series with FF series is pretty invalid.

And for god sake, I am not even a FF fan.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Are you saying that one series is rated higher than the other? Both fans rank both series from 5s to 7s. So how is it invalid to compare to two when the ratings are close?



Unpopular opinion: I think Bay does get too much hate.

I say this even thought the only two films of his I like are The Rock (1996) and Pain and Gain (2013). From a technical perspective, I think Bay is a master of his craft. I believe that Bay could make "good" artsy movies if he wanted to, but the guy enjoys blowing **** up.

His big dumb movies provide the budget to make Oscar caliber films (admittedly, I think the age of Blockbuster movies automatically raking in money seems to be coming to an end), so at worst Bay is (was) a necessary evil.

Jeanine Basinger's essay on Armageddon (1998) is definitely worth a read.



Are you saying that one series is rated higher than the other? Both fans rank both series from 5s to 7s. So how is it invalid to compare to two when the ratings are close?
FF has 3 more movies, and a better average score.
If Transformers has that 3 more episode, how much lower would it even reach based on its own trend?



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
But does a series have to have as many movies in it as The Fast and the Furious to be considered good?

I haven't seen Pain and Gain, but my two ones of his I like are The Rock and The Island.



FF has more years in its longevity, and has been becoming much better along the years.
Transformers had a mediocre peak in its debut, then quality dropped in free fall speed.

Which is better? Not that hard to me.



Unpopular opinion: I think Bay does get too much hate.

I say this even thought the only two films of his I like are The Rock (1996) and Pain and Gain (2013). From a technical perspective, I think Bay is a master of his craft. I believe that Bay could make "good" artsy movies if he wanted to, but the guy enjoys blowing **** up.

His big dumb movies provide the budget to make Oscar caliber films (admittedly, I think the age of Blockbuster movies automatically raking in money seems to be coming to an end), so at worst Bay is (was) a necessary evil.

Jeanine Basinger's essay on Armageddon (1998) is definitely worth a read.
I highly highly doubt he has the talent to make a quality movie.

Bay is a cancer to cinema. Blockbusters don't have to be crap. Spielberg is living proof that you can make blockbusters that are also great movies, if you have the talent and desire. Bay has neither.



I highly highly doubt he has the talent to make a quality movie.

Bay is a cancer to cinema. Blockbusters don't have to be crap. Speilberg is living proof that you can make blockbusters that are also great movies, if you have the talent and desire. Bay has neither.
I agree with you that just because it's a blockbuster doesn't mean it has to be stupid. But, I don't think Bay's problem is aesthetics/composition, but source material/script. I think if he had a decent script in front of him, he would make a decent movie (see Pain and Gain). I'm not calling him an auteur (or a genius like Anthony Hopkins did), but the man definitely knows his way around a camera. He's good at what he does, even though what he does isn't that good.



I agree with you that just because it's a blockbuster doesn't mean it has to be stupid. But, I don't think Bay's problem is aesthetics/composition, but source material/script. I think if he had a decent script in front of him, he would make a decent movie (see Pain and Gain). I'm not calling him an auteur (or a genius like Anthony Hopkins did), but the man definitely knows his way around a camera. He's good at what he does, even though what he does isn't that good.
Pain and Gain isn't decent, more like average.



I highly highly doubt he has the talent to make a quality movie.

Bay is a cancer to cinema. Blockbusters don't have to be crap. Speilberg is living proof that you can make blockbusters that are also great movies, if you have the talent and desire. Bay has neither.



He keeps being credited by people as one of the worst directors in the business. Mostly cause his movies are all about explosions and cleavage...
People tend to like or hate directors, based on the subject matter of the movies they make. Michael Bay might be very skilled at making the kind of movies he does, but the subject matter doesn't get critical acclaim, so he gets the blame.

Would Martin Scorsese be such a beloved director if instead of gritty crime/mob movies all his movies were about elderly ladies and their lives? Think about it....Scorsese is an excellent director but if he had chosen different movie subjects to make, how many people would still think he's one of the greats.



Justin Lin is actually a very talented, accomplished director. Fast 5 and Furious 6 are very well-crafted, have well conveyed senses of space and movement, expert timing and pacing and structure to their set pieces. Lin knows how to choreograph, film, and edit action so that itís exciting and always coherent. Heís no Bergman with his actors (though gets suitably fine performances out of them), but he has as classical an understanding of directing action as Ford or Keaton or Spielberg. His F&F movies are very, very smart about being very dumb. One need only look at the last two Fast movies made by directors who donít know how to direct action - not how to stage it, where to put the camera, or when to cut for maximum effect - to see Linís impressive contributions. He also made a name for himself with the very good indie drama Better Luck Tomorrow about a group of Asian high school students in California so hell-bent on succeeding and getting into the Ivy Leagues that they start with some light cheating and end up murderers. It did well at Sundance, Toronto, the Independent Spirit Awards, etc. Lin is a real director.

Michael Bay on the other hand has seemingly no sense of where to put the camera, how to stage and film action, when to cut for maximum effect, etc. He is a maximalist who avoids making decisions (which is the heart of directing) by placing cameras ****ing everywhere and cutting between them seemingly at random. He has no respect for spatial geography, no understanding of something as basic as how to convey movement, and is miserable at maintaining or juggling tones and usually gets abysmal work out of even very talented actors. His work is visually, spatially, temporally incoherent. Armageddon and Transformers 2 are some of the most incompetently directed studio films in Hollywood history. Heís a genuine and repeat failure as a narrative filmmaker and would be best suited to commercials where his empty flashiness is well suited and all thatís typically needed. Pain & Gain is something of an exception where I think his idiocy was the perfect match for the material, a movie about Michael Bayís biggest fans essentially (or Burn After Reading as written and directed by Brad Pittís character) and his mindless excess worked for the material, but that movie is more set apart by its increased quality in writing and acting compared to the rest of his ouevre than by a grand leap forward in Bayís direction. I think heís genuinely an idiot manchild blessed with an endless budget, hard to distinguish from simply inviting a 9-year-old boy obsessed with fire trucks and explosions to take over a movie set and bark orders. He deserves the **** he gets and the small contingent of cinephiles who think heís a vulgar auteur genius, like Paul W.S. Anderson and Uwe Boll, I think are just being contrary or seeing something that simply isnít there in the work.



I just want to hug (your FACE)!
I think I agree with Gangland.

He is talented, clearly, to do what he does. But if I'm being honest, Bay is a whore. He knows where the money is, and he's all too happy to blow-up on whatever is necessary to make it rain.

Personally, I just get bored with the recycled shots, pans, over-saturated colors, and Aerosmith.
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Justin Lin is actually a very talented, accomplished director. Fast 5 and Furious 6 are very well-crafted, have well conveyed senses of space and movement, expert timing and pacing and structure to their set pieces. Lin knows how to choreograph, film, and edit action so that itís exciting and always coherent. Heís no Bergman with his actors (though gets suitably fine performances out of them), but he has as classical an understanding of directing action as Ford or Keaton or Spielberg. His F&F movies are very, very smart about being very dumb. One need only look at the last two Fast movies made by directors who donít know how to direct action - not how to stage it, where to put the camera, or when to cut for maximum effect - to see Linís impressive contributions. He also made a name for himself with the very good indie drama Better Luck Tomorrow about a group of Asian high school students in California so hell-bent on succeeding and getting into the Ivy Leagues that they start with some light cheating and end up murderers. It did well at Sundance, Toronto, the Independent Spirit Awards, etc. Lin is a real director.

Michael Bay on the other hand has seemingly no sense of where to put the camera, how to stage and film action, when to cut for maximum effect, etc. He is a maximalist who avoids making decisions (which is the heart of directing) by placing cameras ****ing everywhere and cutting between them seemingly at random. He has no respect for spatial geography, no understanding of something as basic as how to convey movement, and is miserable at maintaining or juggling tones and usually gets abysmal work out of even very talented actors. His work is visually, spatially, temporally incoherent. Armageddon and Transformers 2 are some of the most incompetently directed studio films in Hollywood history. Heís a genuine and repeat failure as a narrative filmmaker and would be best suited to commercials where his empty flashiness is well suited and all thatís typically needed. Pain & Gain is something of an exception where I think his idiocy was the perfect match for the material, a movie about Michael Bayís biggest fans essentially (or Burn After Reading as written and directed by Brad Pittís character) and his mindless excess worked for the material, but that movie is more set apart by its increased quality in writing and acting compared to the rest of his ouevre than by a grand leap forward in Bayís direction. I think heís genuinely an idiot manchild blessed with an endless budget, hard to distinguish from simply inviting a 9-year-old boy obsessed with fire trucks and explosions to take over a movie set and bark orders. He deserves the **** he gets and the small contingent of cinephiles who think heís a vulgar auteur genius, like Paul W.S. Anderson and Uwe Boll, I think are just being contrary or seeing something that simply isnít there in the work.
Fantastic post.