One Last Bit Of Perspective: The Michael Bay Principle

So here we are, at the end of another one of my soapbox arcs. We’ve visited maligned films and questionable food choices. But I want to bring it to a close to look at the work of someone who is unquestionably one of the most fun–to–hate directors in modern cinema.

The Giant of Giant Films himself, Michael Bay.

Whatever Do You Mean, Kessel?

What I mean is that for everyone’s debates about whether Spielberg’s lost it, Lucas has lost it, de Palma ever had it or if Scorsese is the one who invented it, there is one thing that seems to bring them into agreement.

Hatred of Michael Bay. And this is where it gets tricky, because I don’t even go to Michael Bay movies. I see no point in spending my money on something that has at best a 70-30 shot of me disliking it.

The Michael Bay Principle

Go Ahead and Laugh. He has enough money to have your family killed and leave no traces.
Go Ahead and Laugh. He has enough money to have your family killed and leave no traces.

But this does not mean I always hated Michael Bay movies. I used to like them. Then I changed and I don’t like them anymore. They’re too thoughtless for me, and I don’t find that engaging at all.

I’ve never actually gone back and tried to re–watch the ones I did enjoy. I even admit I kinda liked a lot of Armageddon, despite its excessive use of Affleck. Would I like them still? I don’t know. I might have a project on my hands here to rent them and see what I think now.

But someone likes Michael Bay movies. A lot of someones, in fact, otherwise he wouldn’t still be making such high–profile ones. I talked about my experience with the first of his Transformers movies on Words With Nerds already, but so as not to spoil that story: I didn’t like it.

In fact, unlike most geeks, I disliked it enough that I didn’t watch the next two in the series. Much like I demonstrated after The Matrix Reloaded, there is no compelling reason for me to watch another in a series if I really disliked the previous. As an aside, this is what has always puzzled me about prequel detractors: they trashed each film in the series but then went to the next. I do not understand that. If you don’t like something, don’t go to its sequel. Simple as that.

But back on topic, I know plenty of people who did, in fact, like Michael Bay’s Transformers series. Does that make them somehow flawed? Not at all. The flawed ones are the ones who went to the second one after complaining about the first, and the third after complaining about the second.

And someone explained to me once why they liked them. While I couldn’t come around to their opinion, I could understand what they were saying. They wanted mindless entertainment, to simply disconnect their brains for two hours. And these movies did it for them. I can’t begrudge that fact.

In Closing

So I think I’ve beaten this perspective series to death. But let me say one last brief thing.

Someone doesn’t have to be have a blind spot to themselves in order to like or dislike something. Some people have tried to convince me that the pretentious piece of trash book The Road by Cormac McCarthy was anything but a pretentious piece of trash. They went so far as to intimate that I didn’t understand allegory or literature in general because I didn’t like it.

I’m not making that up.

Now, The Road was a great script treatment, and that’s why the movie was so good (seriously, rent it and see). But to try to convince me that the book wasn’t a waste of my gosh–darn time is just a losing proposition. But I’ll gladly argue my point and let them argue theirs…so long as they’re not demeaning about it.

So again, I implore you to understand. I want debate. I just want everyone to understand that at the end of it all, we’re simply arguing about…

…entertainment.

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3 thoughts on “One Last Bit Of Perspective: The Michael Bay Principle

  1. I enjoyed the first Transformers film. I wasn’t that keen on the second because of the fact that the robotic fight scenes were too close. You couldn’t see much of what was going on, or they were too far away. In my opinion, they fixed that with the third one. I wouldn’t say that the Transformers films are the best ever, I wouldn’t sit down and have a TF fest like I would a Star Wars fest. I think it’s because I enjoy special effects.

    As for the Matrix films, I watched the third one because I hoped that it would be better than the second. I was disappointed. The idea of those films was to play with our reality – running up buildings, jumping through hoops made of phosphorous, dodging bullets faster than a bullet dodger dodging bullets. It should not have been all about Zion.

    My opinions

  2. No one should like the Transformers films because Optimus Prime has lips. It is bothersome to the nth degree, and for that Michael Bay committed an egregious sin.

    I will say that although Michael Bay films are not good films they get the job done. No one is going to a Michael Bay film expecting that it will be the most cinematic masterpiece of all time. Look at Michael Bay films like Miller Lite. It does not taste that great, no one ever really craves more, but it is there and can get the job done when you need it. Michael Bay doesn’t even hide the fact that his movies are like that. Mindless entertainment with hot chicks cast as the female lead. (exception Liv Tyler, her crossed eyes throw me off every time they do a close up). And we all know Michael Bay movies could be worse; they could be Avatar.

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