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UPDATED: Michael Bay apologizes for Armageddon, saying he would "redo the entire third act" if he could

04.23.2013

UPDATE: As expected, Bay has responded to his "apology" for ARMAGEDDON via his website, saying:

I'm proud of Armageddon: One press writer has gone too far in reporting false information. He has printed the bare minimum of my statement which in effect have twisted my words and meaning. I'm not in the slightest going to apologize for the third movie in my movie career, a film called Armageddon. On the red carpet for Pain & Gain some reporters asked me what are you apologizing for, and I said what on earth are you talking about?

What I clearly said to the reporter, is I wish I had more time to edit the film, specifcally the the third act. He asked me in effect what would you change if you could in your movies if you could go back. I said, I wish we had a few more weeks in the edit room on Armageddon. And still today Armageddon, is still one of the most shown movies on cable TV. And yes, I'm proud of the movie. Enough said.

What do you think? Journo misquote or back peddling?

Original story:

Yesterday, Michael Bay's ARMAGEDDON was on TV and I ended up leaving it on for a bit, just to see if I could be convinced that it had aged well over time. As expected, it had not. I remember being through the roof excited for ARMAGEDDON in the summer of 1998, as I'd grown to be a big fan of Michael Bay after BAD BOYS and THE ROCK. Plus, throwing in Bruce Willis as the lead made it all the sweeter. Until I saw the movie (which I mustered two viewings back-to-back) and realized it was bloated nonsense that was cut like an editor with ADHD and a crack habbit. There is hardly a scene that stands still or lets you appreciate a single moment, even if it still jerks a tear or two at the end.

In an interview with The Miami Herald, Bay admits to both the hyperkinetic editing that defines his films and offers a straight up apology for how ARMAGEDDON turned out:

“It’s really funny, people have always given me a hard time on my editing. But if you could do a graph on my movies, you would see how my editing has slowed down over the years. Bad Boys was my first movie, and we cut that quite fast. Back then it was very new for action. Now you see a lot of that imitated. Call it what you will. Yes, critics have given me s--t about it. But when you watch the Bourne Identity movies, they are cut way faster."

And, as for that apology:

“I will apologize for Armageddon, because we had to do the whole movie in 16 weeks. It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could. But the studio literally took the movie away from us. It was terrible. My visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown, so I had to be in charge of that. I called James Cameron and asked ‘What do you do when you’re doing all the effects yourself?’ But the movie did fine"

For the record, I'm not a Bay-hater at all. If you take out the TRANSFORMERS sequels and maybe PEARL HARBOR, I think he has some great, fun, and stylish flicks to his credit. With PAIN AND GAIN coming out, of which I've heard mixed reviews, it feels like the director may be attempting to find a niche that allows both the bloated popcorn flicks and the bloated "indie" flicks to exist peacefully on the same resume. Hopefully, Bay will someday return to the straight action film genre, where I feel he excels best. PAIN AND GAIN looks like a step in the right direction.

PAIN AND GAIN opens this Friday, April 26, 2013, followed by TRANSFORMERS 4 next year on June 27, 2014.

Extra Tidbit: The commentary track on Armageddon is pure magic. Ben Affleck talking about how he tried to make sense of the plot to Michael Bay only to be told to "Shut the f*ck up" is behind-the-scenes gold. Give it a listen someday. It's well worth it.

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