Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Michael Bay!
Welcome to Movie Jail, a facility like any other, only its inmates are Hollywood writers, directors, actors and producers. This column will serve as a Movie Jail trial. We will put one defendant on trial; lay out arguments for the Prosecution and Defense. And we leave it up to YOU, the reader, to decide whether the defendant is guilty of his or her crime. What crime? The crime of consistently being a stinking shithouse.
The Prosecution: Pearl Harbor, The Island, the Transformers trilogy, producer of many awful projects*
Ladies and gentleman of the jury, just look at that smug face. Is that not one of the most slappable faces in history? This is only icing on the cake for a man who's polluted cinemas around the world for the past five years or so. Let the record show, the prosecution is not saying that these movies aren't hugely successful at the box office and massive with audiences, but they do lack integrity. The prosecution makes no apology for having a standard of what makes an acceptable action movie, and that doesn't include swiss cheese style plot holes and sequences so loud Felix Baumgartner could hear it from 128,000 ft in space. Sure, we grew up in the era of Arnold and Sly where blowing shit up was not only a stylistic choice, but mandatory. Mr. Bay has not only taken that style to the extreme, but he's crammed so much visual and audio stimuli into his films, he's forgotten the ingredient that makes a movie what it is: story. Not to mention his producing credits include the lackluster remakes of The Amityville Horror, The Hitcher, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Accept mediocrity, don't complain when the quality of movies that follow is less than that. Plus, look at his dumb hair.
The Defense: The Rock, Bad Boys I & II, Armaggedon, the Transformers trilogy*Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, is the prosecution seriously complaining that something is "too loud"? If the criteria for a prosecution's charge is that something is "too loud", perhaps the prosecution should retire and watch silent movies with the rest of the old cacklin hens. It's not often that the we use the prosecution's charge for our own defense (the Transformers Trilogy), but in this case, we absolutely have to. What better director in Hollywood could've pulled off the epic scale and action of these movies than Mr. Bay? He took a property that millions of fans grew up with and made a mostly faithful, entertaining trilogy of films that were successful, both financially and in the fan community. These movies weren't made for critics, they were made for fans and the fans ate it up. Yeah, if you look at Mr. Bay's Rotten Tomatoes page, you'd see his movies don't bode well with critics, (his only "fresh" rating being The Rock), but every movie he's directed has a positive audience rating on that site. He's not a critics darling, and from what we can tell, he has no interest in being one. He directs movies that will make fat paper (his only financial "bomb" was 2005's The Island [source here]) and they always end up as audience favorites. What more could you ask for? Great f*cking hair? DONE.
So, what’s to be done with Mr. Michael Bay? Should we not accept, as the prosecution states, "mediocrity" when it comes to our action movies, and set our standards a bit higher? Is making movies for the fans such a big crime, even if they aren't critically praised but loved by audiences and financially successful? And the most important question to be asked, once all evidence is taken into consideration, we ask you The Jury, is Michael Bay GUILTY or NOT GUILTY? Let’s hear YOUR arguments, either side, by STRIKING BACK BELOW.
*The court recognizes that all movies are subjective, so relax.
WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?
LAST WEEK'S VERDICT
It is the jury's decision that after reviewing last week's evidence, the court finds Mr. Wes NOT GUILTY of all charges. The consensus is that Mr. Craven's output is not only good or great, but legendary for the genre. The jury can forgive his recent slumps as the majority of horror films owe a great deal of gratitude to the man for his vision and originality.
The Farrelly Brothers
|Extra Tidbit:||Who Should Take the Stand Next? Strike Back Below!|