I participated in a thread on Twitter with C. Robert Cargill (co-writer of Sinister, Sinister 2 and Doctor Strange) where he was talking about The Equalizer 2 and it’s director, Antoine Fuqua (who also directed the first movie).
I described Fuqua as ‘the thinking man’s Michael Bay,’ and it’s an apt comparison because if you look at the trailer below you’ll see some very kinetic action set pieces, buoyed by quiet, introspective moments.
It’s a pretty impressive trailer that takes the movie more in the direction of the television series (starring Edward Woodward) that it’s based upon.
And apropos of nothing, does ‘EQ2’ vaguely remind you of the the name of a coleoneor perfume?
As usual, let me know what you think below.
And that’s not a sentiment I come by all too often because Bay’s movies are all about what’s on the surface, and typically lack anything approaching nuance (though to be fair he definitely knows his audience.)
Though that audience is generally not terribly discriminating, which is why it’s so maddening when the Transformers movies do so well (except for the last one), while Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim performed particularly weak domestically and would not have warranted a sequel if it hadn’t done so well in China.
As you can probably tell, I’m by no means a fan of Michael Bay as a director though if you’re looking for someone to handle big, brash spectacle, they’re few directors that can wrangle chaos as beautifully.
When he plays to his strengths–Transformers, Bad Boys, The Rock–he can be pretty amazing. though when he doesn’t (pretty much every other Transformers movie, Pain and Gain) it’s typically not too good because Bay typically has a tin ear as far as dialogue and the way humans actually interact with each other.
So when I heard that he’s considering directing a movie based on DC’s Lobo, I was okay with it because Bay is like the Main Man himself: shallow, all about bombast and climax not so much about anything approaching nuance and character development.
Michael Bay says that there’re 14 Transformers stories in development (most of which are probably intended to be made into movies) and on hearing the news something shriveled up inside me, like an organ that no longer served a practical purpose.
So, I guess I’m saying Transformers are the cocyxx of the movie ‘body.’
They have bothered me for various reasons. One being that you can tell they take serious money to produce, yet there’s surprisingly little to show for all the effort.
I have yet to see a Transformers movie that in any way resonated with me mentally, or provoked a discussion about anything (other than irritation about never getting the time spent viewing the movie back again).
And I also understand that the Transformers are vehicles–pardon the pun–to sell toys, but do they have to do so so blandly, as if the idea of an engaging story were enough to scare off the people who flock to see the movies to the tune of billions of dollars?
Disney does the same thing–in terms of producing movies with the intention of getting toys based on them on store shelves before whichever holiday season happens to be just around the corner–but their Pixar, Marvel Studios and other divisions typically tell interesting stories as well.
I hate to say this about any movie, but Transformers: The Last Knight needs to fail (or at the very least, do not so quite so well) at the box office.
And I want that to be the case for the best possible reasons, namely the movies have so far been terrible, and apparently nothing else will change that beyond one of them belly-flopping at the box office.
As long as they’re successful, Michael Bay will direct. As long as they’re successful we’ll be “treated” to multi-million dollar movies less involving–from a story standpoint–than the cartoons and toys that inspired them.
And I don’t necessarily blame Bay because while the success or failure of a movie rides on the director’s shoulders, in the end it’s the viewers–people like you and me–who really make that determination.
And I intend to do my part: I promise that I will not pay to see Transformers: The Last Knight–nor will I pirate it, because that’s doesn’t help the situation–even out of curiosity, to see if it’s as bad as I expect and the rest of the movies in the series has been.
So do your part to stop Hollywood from burying us in CGI-fests that are less interested in telling any sort of cohesive story than they are to get us to buy some piece of junk our children will abandon for the box it came in, and instead support movies that at least pretend to have some sort of narrative thrust.
Suppose someone that you though of as a friend slapped you upside the head, for no apparent reason, every time they saw you.
It’s less an issue of pain–it was never enough to cause physical harm–than one of blatant disrespect. Eventually you’ll come to the point that you have two options: Either resign yourself to this daily assault on your person or attempt to take control over what has become a pretty untenable situation.
That’s how I feel about the Transformers movies. Time after time I’m being hit upside the head by barely-there characterization, nonsensical plots and sexism.
To be honest, I’ve given up on the franchise every since Transformers: Dark of the Moon, where it became apparent that director Michael Bay accepted that logic and a half-decent plot were secondary to butt-loads of CGI tomfuckery.
But I don’t blame Bay (not entirely, anyway). Reason being, do you blame the drug addict when his so-called friends–knowing full well he has a problem–decide to party with him anyway?
No I blame ‘us,’ by which I mean everyone who keeps paying to see these damn movies in theaters.
If the producers for a moment thought that they would start losing money, they’d change it up in a heartbeat.
But that’s the problem: They know that they can turn out as much Transformers crap as they want, people–seemingly the bulk on them in China, so there’s that–will continue to pay to see it.
So how can I blame Michael Bay for making bad movies when really bad movies are apparently what we think we deserve?
Welcome to the first post of the New Year! I figured that I’d go back in time to rewatch Guillermo del Toro’s giant robots versus monsters epic, Pacific Rim
If you ask me the true test of whether or not a movie is a good one is that of time, namely if it can stand up well to repeated viewings.
And despite the fact that del Toro’s Pacific Rim underwhelmed domestically–the bulk of its $400 billion dollar box office was due to its popularity internationally–it’s damn enjoyable and stands up to revisiting very well.
Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. They also shouldn’t play with time machines. Project Almanac is a story about a bunch of teens that do just that (play with time machines, not dead things) and how they have to work to correct all that they have inevitably screwed up.
The movie hasn’t even premiered yet, and Michael Bay, who produced it, is already issuing apologies for its content.
Gotta be some sort of record.