Does Michael Bay get too much hate?

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Well as for the Transformers movies being worse than The Fast and the Furious, I have only seen the first Transformers so far. It was okay, right on the line for me. Hard to say if it's good or bad.

I've seen all of the Fast and the Furious movies accept for the last one. I would say about half of them are good, half not, hit and miss.

I've only seen five of Bay's movies. The Rock and The Island were both pretty good I thought. Transformers was okay, right on the line, and Bad Boys and Bad Boys 2 both sucked, I thought. So he seems hit and miss for me, but those five are all I have to go on.

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.
This is kind of what I think too. Like for example, he seems like a James Bond world like director, so if he was handed a script like Skyfall, it might be the kind of good script for him, and he can then make that kind of movie, but it would be a good script to back up his camera talent.



Bad Boys II is one of the worst movies I've ever had the displeasure of seeing. And no, not in a "so bad it's good" type of way. Just so bad that you're offended just watching it type bad.



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 appreciate your well worded response, but I disagree. I can't speak on Justin Lin, because I've never seen any of the Fast and Furious movies, but Bay certainly knows how to frame and construct a shot - though his shots are sometimes very complicated and that can sometimes work to his detriment. A perfect example of how Bay frames a shot would be Pearl Harbor (2001); though an atrocious film, there is a scene where Naval officers are running out of a building, looking at the oncoming Japanese zeroes in the sky. Now, if the officers were looking straight up or back at the planes passing them overhead, then what you said would be correct. But the Naval officers are looking up and forward, suggesting that more Japanese zeroes are incoming - making the frame more epic just by the direction the actors are staring. I do concede that Bay would be better (from an artistic standpoint) doing commercials, where his visual excess would probably be more appreciated. Again, I'm not calling him an auteur, genius, or a savant, but to say the man lacks any cinematic talent, I think would be unfair.



Welcome to the human race...
Hell, while we're posting videos, this one's as worth a look as any...



But yeah, I think Michael Bay is the kind of filmmaker where it's easier to appreciate the idea of him than the reality. I've seen all of his films except the most recent Transformers (which I'll undoubtedly get around to at some point), but I would say that the only one I out-and-out like is The Rock (surprise, surprise). I'm guessing that's because it's more recognisable as a Jerry Bruckheimer production than a Bay-directed film (though you can pick up certain directorial trademarks here and there).
__________________
Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, Iím thinking about you.



Pearl Harbor was offensive to a bunch of people, and was bad in a number of ways. I don't believe that Justin Lin has done anything of the sort in comparison.

While I agree that PH was a long time ago, the last movie I saw from Bay was part of Transformers 2. While I thought Transformers 1 was fun, the second contains a heaping pile of visual noise and offensive stereotypes (which many critics have pointed out).



Pearl Harbor was offensive to a bunch of people, and was bad in a number of ways. I don't believe that Justin Lin has done anything of the sort in comparison.

While I agree that PH was a long time ago, the last movie I saw from Bay was part of Transformers 2. While I thought Transformers 1 was fun, the second contains a heaping pile of visual noise and notably offensive stereotypes.
I didn't even know about the offensive stereotypes until watching the above Youtube vid, because, well... I've never viewed any Transformers movies beyond the first, nor do I have any desire to.

The man is a hack.



I appreciate your well worded response, but I disagree. I can't speak on Justin Lin, because I've never seen any of the Fast and Furious movies, but Bay certainly knows how to frame and construct a shot - though his shots are sometimes very complicated and that can sometimes work to his detriment. A perfect example of how Bay frames a shot would be Pearl Harbor (2001); though an atrocious film, there is a scene where Naval officers are running out of a building, looking at the oncoming Japanese zeroes in the sky. Now, if the officers were looking straight up or back at the planes passing them overhead, then what you said would be correct. But the Naval officers are looking up and forward, suggesting that more Japanese zeroes are incoming - making the frame more epic just by the direction the actors are staring. I do concede that Bay would be better (from an artistic standpoint) doing commercials, where his visual excess would probably be more appreciated. Again, I'm not calling him an auteur, genius, or a savant, but to say the man lacks any cinematic talent, I think would be unfair.
I do think the degree of their complication works to their detriment and that "complicated" is the perfect descriptor, rather than "complex." There are some nice shots in all of his films, because almost no one who has any practice is capable of making a movie entirely composed of bad shots and Bay's movies have such a dramatically higher total number of shots and lower average-shot-length than the vast majority of movies, you're almost talking about a stopped clock being right twice a day. Out of 2,500 shots, having even 50 that are positively noteworthy is a pretty tremendous failure. In the vast majority of his shots, there's so much business and visual noise going on at once, they're so compositionally cluttered, that your eye isn't directed to an intended specific area of interest, his shots rarely have a "point" and by trying to convey everything at once, they convey nothing.

More importantly, and key to why I think he's a simple-minded-to-the-point-of-idiocy director: all of his shots are undifferentiated and equally "epic" and "cool." Nothing is ever functional, nothing ever serves just its own narrative purpose. Storytelling involves operating in a number of different modes, having peaks and valleys, moments of build-up, tension, excitement, release, relief, etc. and your filmmaking should reflect that. Typically you stay wider and hold longer on the scene-setting at the top and move in closer and pick up the pace as things build and get more important, subconsciously signaling to the audience where their attention should be, how they should feel. Bay only operates in one mode: "This is ****ing awesome!" all of the time for everything. He doesn't understand the difference between how to direct a scene about character development or a couple quarreling or a sad, quiet death versus the climactic action set piece. A minor character going through their mundane routine just pulling their keys out of their pocket to unlock their front door prior to the inciting incident is directed with the same oppressively extreme style -- a jib up, rapid dolly in, extreme close-ups, 5 shots a second -- as a freeway chase at the end of the second act.

You should direct the audience's attention to what is most important but with Bay's one-size-fits-all style everything is given the same weight and meaning, which renders it all weightless and meaningless. It's relentless sensory overload that results in fatigue and exhaustion.

It's not that I think he lacks any cinematic talent, he has a fairly distinct style and I'd even call him an auteur, it's that I think he's atrocious as a narrative director and making feature films is not where he belongs. The talents he does certainly have which would make him the king of commercials and generic music videos are limited in their effect and not a good fit for movies.



Haven't seen a single Michael Bay movie that I've liked, so...........
I've only seen one of his movies, The Rock, which was pretty good. Not really interested in most of his work. I see he cut his teeth on making music videos so I'm sure that influenced his directorial style.



Bay is actually capable of making good movies. 13 Hours was a really great movie. But Bay seems to choose to make movies according to his brand of big explosions, gunfights, and his personal brand of humor. Sometimes it works with the Bad Boys movies, but mostly it sucks like Transformers and Armageddon.



i don t think that it bothers me if stuff got exploded, i didn t even notice this until people just want to rant about stuff which are not bad, i love his movies, especially bad boys and the rock, i don t get the hate towards him



Titanic by Michael Bay


Sorry, I couldn't resist...
sorry but that s not funny



Love the exploding chair.
i don t get what s funny about it, his films are solid action movies with tremendous rewatchability