Tag Archives: Michael Bay

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009, Michael Bay)

I thought I could watch Transformers 2, or whatever it’s called, but I can’t. I made it through the first one, maybe because it followed some kind of traditional narrative structure, but the second one is unbearable. It’s just incompetently told. I’ll read plot details and they seem interesting, but there’s no way I’d ever make it to see them.

Bay’s got to be the most worthless director working today. His composition is so spectacular, his editing, while frantic, at least has a rhythm his imitators don’t have, but he apparently likes the dumbest scripts and has the dumbest ideas (his director’s cut to Pearl Harbor being a testament to his needing a firm producer).

The CG is great, but who cares? As such a long-time opponent of CG, it’s interesting I’ve gotten to the point where I can respect it, but it’s gotten so blasé it’s ineffective. Sure, the Transformers transforming is lifelike and all, but there’s no wonderment to it. Bay shoots the thing like the Transformers are the scale the viewer is supposed to be accustomed to, not the people affected by the action. It makes it silly and cartoonish.

The writing is particularly awful, whether the dialogue or the plotting.

The voice acting is bad. Peter Cullen apparently hasn’t done any real acting in thirty years–sorry, cartoons don’t count–and it sounds idiotic. The trailer guy would have been better. It doesn’t help the audio mix of the voice acting is crap.

It sucks.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Michael Bay; written by Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman; director of photography, Ben Seresin; edited by Roger Barton, Tom Muldoon, Joel Negron and Paul Rubell; music by Steve Jablonsky; production designer, Nigel Phelps; produced by Ian Bryce, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Don Murphy; released by Dreamworks Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

Starring Shia LaBeouf (Sam Witwicky), Megan Fox (Mikaela Banes), Josh Duhamel (Major Lennox), Tyrese Gibson (USAF Master Sergeant Epps), John Turturro (Agent Simmons), Ramon Rodriguez (Leo Spitz), Kevin Dunn (Ron Witwicky), Julie White (Judy Witwicky), Isabel Lucas (Alice), John Benjamin Hickey (Galloway), Matthew Marsden (Graham), Rainn Wilson (Professor Colan), Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Hugo Weaving (Megatron).


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The Island (2005, Michael Bay)

I know The Island bombed but I can’t believe anyone thought it wouldn’t. It’s incredible such a large budget was given essentially to a future movie–it takes place in 2015 or something, it’s never clear, but there’s a lot of future stuff–and I had no idea it was a future movie. Bay’s got future cars and future trains and future motorcycles and he’s the worst person to do a future movie, because he’s incapable of wonderment. The Island plays out like Freejack on overdrive.

The plot is ripe for all sorts of metaphors–this island paradise, whatever–and the film ignores all of them. Instead it’s a wholly competent, completely unexciting summer action movie. Scarlett Johansson plays a twit well and Ewan McGregor’s a solid lead in a vapid role–it’d have been really funny if the pair had been cloned from their actors, who they then had to duke it out with.

Djimon Hounsou is wasted, as he always is, cast as the tough black guy with the accent. Sean Bean’s good as the villain, even if his dialogue is crappy. Steve Buscemi’s awesome in a small role; he really has fun, maybe more than anyone else, just because he’s not pretending about what kind of movie he’s making.

It’s really cool looking–the future designs and all–and Bay does a decent job. But when the music (a good score from Steve Jablonsky) comes up, it doesn’t matter what the movie is–Bay’s directing another commercial.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Michael Bay; screenplay by Caspian Tredwell-Owen, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, based on a story by Tredwell-Owen; director of photography, Mauro Fiore; edited by Paul Rubell and Christian Wagner; music by Steve Jablonsky; production designer, Nigel Phelps; produced by Walter F. Parkes, Bay and Ian Bryce; released by DreamWorks Pictures.

Starring Ewan McGregor (Lincoln Six Echo), Scarlett Johansson (Jordan Two Delta), Djimon Hounsou (Albert Laurent), Sean Bean (Merrick), Steve Buscemi (McCord), Michael Clarke Duncan (Starkweather) and Ethan Phillips (Jones Echo Three).


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Friday the 13th (2009, Marcus Nispel), the extended version

I don’t know what I was expecting from Friday the 13th, but whatever it was, I didn’t get it. It’s not particularly gory, it’s not at all scary, it’s not stupid enough to be funny; I do understand why producer Michael Bay walked on it due to the level of sex. It’s like they traded violence for nudity in terms of pushing the limits.

I was expecting gore, just because it was supposed to be more “realistic” and scarier. Marcus Nispel can compose a Panavision shot. It’s one of the better looking Friday the 13th movies I’ve seen. They’re crappier movies (the fourth one is somewhat well-made). But this one, it’s well-photographed. Daniel Pearl does a good job shooting it. Does it look any better than the direct-to-Sci-Fi Man-Thing movie from a few years ago? No. Is it scarier? No. Is it less scary? Probably.

There’s an absence of any quality to Friday the 13th, which might be admirable. Jared Padalecki is not as amusing a leading man as any of the previous ones. Danielle Panabaker is the love interest. She’s lame, but not as bad as some of the other female performers.

Ryan Hansen from “Veronica Mars” is in it. In some ways, he’s the most respectable actor in it. He’s not in it for long.

Amanda Righetti from “The Mentalist” is one of the leads. She’s not very good but better than anybody else.

Richard Burgi is wasted in a small role.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Marcus Nispel; screenplay by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, based on a story by Shannon, Swift and Mark Wheaton and characters created by Victor Miller; director of photography, Daniel Pearl; edited by Ken Blackwell; music by Steve Jablonsky; production designer, Jeremy Conway; produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Bradley Fuller; released by New Line Cinema.

Starring Jared Padalecki (Clay Miller), Danielle Panabaker (Jenna), Amanda Righetti (Whitney Miller), Travis Van Winkle (Trent), Aaron Yoo (Chewie), Derek Mears (Jason Voorhees), Jonathan Sadowski (Wade), Julianna Guill (Bree), Ben Feldman (Richie), Arlen Escarpeta (Lawrence) and Ryan Hansen (Nolan).


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Horsemen (2009, Jonas Åkerlund)

Horsemen went direct-to-video with Dennis Quaid and Zhang Ziyi. It’s surprising because it’s a Platinum Dunes production–the guys who remade Friday the 13th; I thought Michael Bay would have a firmer distribution deal.

The director, Jonas Åkerlund, is fine. With a better script, he might have made a better movie.

Horsemen would have been more successful as a TV pilot. It’s decently paced at its ninety minutes. Things start to fall apart halfway through as the dynamic changes occur. Quaid and Zhang–with Zhang as Hannibal Lecter–facing off is a disaster. Zhang’s terrible once the character changes.

The script’s incompetent but it does pace the film with the scenes–almost–in vignettes. There’s a good, short sequence with Patrick Fugit. Fugit’s good. Paul Dooley shows up for a little while and he and Quaid have a Breaking Away reunion (though I can’t remember if they had any scenes together in that film).

Peter Stormare’s awful enough to make one forget he’s ever been good.

It’s a dumb family drama with Quaid and his two sons. Quaid’s not really good, but he’s not terrible. Clifton Collins Jr. is great. One of the more interesting things in the film are he and Quaid’s hairstyles. They both have these late seventies cop movie hairstyles.

A lot of the film relies on Lou Taylor Pucci, as Quaid’s older son. He’s not bad, just ineffectual. Fugit would have been a better choice.

I was expecting to turn it off but didn’t.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Jonas Åkerlund; written by Dave Callaham; director of photography, Eric Broms; edited by Jim May and Todd E. Miller; music by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek; production designer, Sandy Cochrane; produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Bradley Fuller; released by Lionsgate.

Starring Dennis Quaid (Aidan Breslin), Zhang Ziyi (Kristen), Lou Taylor Pucci (Alex Breslin), Clifton Collins Jr. (Stingray), Barry Shabaka Henley (Tuck), Patrick Fugit (Corey), Eric Balfour (Taylor), Paul Dooley (Father Whiteleather), Liam James (Sean Breslin), Chelcie Ross (Police Chief Krupa) and Peter Stormare (David Spitz).


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