April 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm #64263
I’m driving on this one! I talk about Star Wars and stuff. It’s not bad, I guess. So listen!
Direct Link: 20160416.mp3April 17, 2016 at 5:46 pm #64264
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.April 18, 2016 at 1:14 pm #64265
Good ep Robby. You have no idea how excited I was when you were saying, “Now I hate to do this but I’m going to admit I was wrong …” and me saying under my breath, “Please be about Transformers, please be about Transformers, please, please, pleeeeeeeease be about Transformers …”. You made my dream come true. I still have never seen any of those films except the first one, and even that one I haven’t seen for years, but to me it follows a very Spielbergian path. Like, Eliot is the main character of ET, not ET himself. Jaws isn’t about Jaws the Shark (Bruce was just a nickname, on his birth certificate was “Jaws”), it’s about Brody and Hooper. Private Ryan doesn’t even show up until about four hours into Saving Private Ryan. The Beard called his movie about Peter Pan “Hook”. Surely You can’t be mad at Spielberg and Bay for calling Transformers “Transformers” while having Sam Witwicky be the main character. You just can’t.
I’m with you on Disney’s casting policy for the new Star Wars films too. Just like Fisher was, Ridley and Jones are attractive without being distractingly so. They’re not so hot it’s stupid, but they are alluring. The only think I’ve seen Jones in was The Theory of Everything, and that’s a far different type of film of course, but she impressed me in that. I like pretty much everything about that Rogue One trailer too.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.April 18, 2016 at 5:22 pm #64266
But…but…you did hear that I was wrong to judge it on what came before, but it still sucks on its own? :p
I get what you’re saying, but the movie just does not hold up. All the movies you mentioned are pretty damn good movies, yes, I’m including Hook there. I just feel (and still feel) like the Transformers themselves get short-changed in their own movie. But to be honest – I’m trying to think of a Michael Bay movie I actually like – they’re just so dumb, all of them! They have entertaining sequences, but all of them would be even less if it weren’t for the casting. And hey, maybe if I actually liked Sam it would’ve been okay, but alas…
Yeah, it’s hard to just “talk about Star Wars”, because so much has been said that I really need to find something specific to talk about. I really do love doing these mini shows, and it felt like I didn’t miss a beat, which is good to know.April 18, 2016 at 8:45 pm #64267
True, Shia is a solid actor in that Tom Cruise, EVERYTHING IS INTENSE ALL THE TIME fashion but he doesn’t have the charm to go with it, so it just kind of becomes shrill at a certain point. Miles Teller seems like a much better version of that.
But then the dumb-but-with-great-casting thing you level at Bay is something I’d be tempted to level at JJ too. There is some flat-out thoughtless stuff in TFA, like Han being able to jump through the shields in a freighter but the highly-maneuverable-X-wings-lead-by-the-best-pilot-in-all-the-galaxies-ever not being able to do the same thing, or Chewy and Leia ridiculously blanking each other on the tarmac after Han dies when that makes ZERO sense for either character. Star Trek Into Darkness has some dumb as shit moments too, especially with the opening mission and the magic blood near the end. The way his first Star Trek movie handles Nero is also just flat out dumb.
JJ can be ace at crafting individual scenes, and super-ace at putting together compelling casts, but as a story-teller he falls down in moments like those, whereas while Bay’s stories may be silly as fuck, he at least told them coherently in films like The Rock and Armageddon. Like I say, I can’t speak to his more recent output since I haven’t seen his last five movies, but he was far from an unskilled filmmaker earlier in his career.
JJ is definitely easier to root for, since he’s a nerd while Bay is a total bro bro, but comparing them as filmmakers I’d have a hard time calling JJ the more talented. Funnily enough the two directors have a common bond in that Kurtzman and Orci wrote multiple pictures for each of them. Coincidence?
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.April 18, 2016 at 8:51 pm #64268
To be clear, I still enjoy TFA. That post might make it seem like I’m down on the whole film, but overall I do like it.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.April 19, 2016 at 6:33 am #64269
Oh, I’ll agree that there are less-than-stellar parts to TFA, but it’s the feel of it to me that’s so impressive.
JJ’s direction is something that appeals to me because it’s measured without being frantic. Bay’s direction feels like a 14 year old kid that can’t sit still long enough for a shot. I suppose that I like the Rock and Armageddon on that base level, but I don’t think that you can argue against the fact that they’re just dumb as hell.
The Leia/Chewie scene at the end: JJ agreed that he regrets framing it that way, and that his intention was to show how adamant Chewie was in making sure that Finn was okay, and that showing Leia and Chewie in the same shot that way was unfortunate. I’d thought the same thing when I first saw it, but I think for sure it’s a missed opportunity.
Some of the things you mention aren’t necessarily direction problems, but story problems. It’s hard to really separate for me sometimes. I will say that it’s really impossible to gauge their directing abilities fully without them directing the same thing, but I enjoy JJ’s sensibilities and choices more than I do Bay’s. But hey – that’s me. And I don’t have any problem admitting to anyone that I never noticed a single lens flare in JJ’s movies until it was pointed out to me, truthfully.April 19, 2016 at 7:43 am #64270
And I want to clarify something – I’m not saying anything about you here – our disagreements on Bay vs JJ by no means translates to you. To put it simply, I’m not calling you dumb as hell if you like The Rock or Armageddon.April 19, 2016 at 1:37 pm #64271
I just considered the lens flares part of JJ’s production design and I think they look cool anyway. He’s really pretty damn good at making things look cool, except when it comes to monster design.
And Bay definitely makes dumber movies, even if he’s a smarter filmmaker overall. I think JJ tries to make smarter movies, so I’m with you that his sensibilities and choices are more enjoyable, I just wish he had Bay’s intelligence and artistry when it comes to bringing scenes together to make the storytelling sing. With most of JJ’s films I’m left with the feeling at the end that the whole doesn’t really hold together, whereas with the Bay films I’ve seen, dumb as the stories are, at least they’ve been coherent.
As far as the writing side of it goes it’s notable that JJ is a writer. He started in Hollywood as a writer and was a significant part of the screenplay development on both Super 8 and TFA. Story is what he does. Funnily enough he also helped write Armageddon, which, along with the significant Kurtzman and Orci connection, suggests JJ and Bay are more closely connected than it may seem in some ways. Not only that, but editing is a major part of the writing process in cinema, so I tend to talk about and think of these guys as “filmmakers” rather than “directors” anyway, because the director has so much influence on cinematic storytelling it’s impossible for me to think of any one part of their skill set as being separate from the others. Which is also why it’s somewhat unfair to crucify the likes of your screenwriter pal Lindelhof when cinematic stories go bung.
I’m probably rambling now, and unless I’m mistaken your real beef with Bay is not so much that he’s a hack filmmaker anyway, it’s that you despise the vibe he uses his skills to create. I think the upshot is that we both like JJ as a dude better than we like Bay as a dude, you’re just more extreme in each direction – which is part of why I’ve always been a fan of you. I’m mostly pretty mellow but I’ve always liked hearing folks get fired up about stuff, and you’re really damn good at it. Your Mark Wahlberg hate is similar. I really don’t get where it comes from, he seems harmless to me, but it always brings a big grin to my mug to hear the way you rag on him.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Bucho.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Bucho.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.April 19, 2016 at 3:44 pm #64273
You know, I think that Bay has almost always made me feel like either he is dumbing things down on purpose because he thinks that moviegoers are dumb, or he actually thinks that some of the choices he’s made are good which makes me think he’s dumb. Either way, a large robot “peeing” on a man’s head or a huge robot having testicles isn’t funny, it’s just dumb!
Now you could totally argue (and you’d be right) that there are choices made in many of JJ’s movies that are pretty dumb, too. Two of my least favorite things in any of his movies is the laziness present in some of Into Darkness. Really, you can’t find a better way to show how hot Alice Eve is than doing such an awkward scene?! Really, you have to interrupt something very important (Kirk asking Khan for help) to point out that McCoy is fucking around with a dead tribble and Khan’s regenerative blood thereby assuring that someone will die and be brought back to life?! Yeah, that was sneaky.
If there’s one thing I hate it’s lazy storytelling and talking down to/dumbing down the audience. Well, that’s like three things, but yeah.April 20, 2016 at 10:04 am #64274
You guys are gonna make me get involved here, aren’t you?
And Bay definitely makes dumber movies, even if he’s a smarter filmmaker overall.
I had to look twice to see if you posted this on April 1st.April 20, 2016 at 3:01 pm #64275
Again, I haven’t seen any of his films from the last decade, but based on his early work Bay’s more skilled than Abrams as a cinematic storyteller. He spoke that language better, even if he was generally using it to say dumber things.
Stuff like JJ not even realizing what he was doing in having Chewie and Leia blank each other is a prime example of JJ’s blindspots when it comes to that language. Same with the stupidity of the gang at Maz’s looking up to see Starkiller destroying those five planets in real time. JJ had similar dumb shit in the Trek films, as if he has no idea how to communicate spaceography (it’s a real word, don’t bother checking) cinematically. Armageddon is dumb as hell, but even that appears scientifically sound in comparison to some of JJ’s bollocks.
Of course Bay’s far from perfect – the action scenes in Transformers are a mess for one thing – but for the most part he got it in ways that JJ doesn’t always seem to get it.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.April 20, 2016 at 3:48 pm #64276
I just can’t say that I agree there sir. Bay can make films… I really won’t disagree with this fundamentally, but he can’t save himself from himself either. It’s just worse now than ever.
Those comparisons aren’t good ones though. Comparing films where everything is fictional, including the forces (no pun intended it was just the best word) at work are fictional but need to be made familiar can’t at all compare to the ego-centric approach to including space as a remote location for the reality we already know (and don’t always love). I can kind of see what you are trying to say, but I think you are talking about comparing apples and lithium polymer batteries here.
I’m going to crush your your reference material into some frame of reality here… Armageddon is a crapbox movie with cool flame jobs, big spinny wheels and a big stereo. It’s still a shitbox of a movie. But even a shitbox like that can be fun if you are listening to great tunes on it’s stereo, or driving back and forth in front of the main mall entrance in the 90s (read: playing to it’s only, very limited strengths). That movie is so formulaic that it annoys me to even be talking about it.
Oh, and Liv Tyler has a horse-face. I get that it’s way off point, but it had to be said.
I really like JJ, but of course there are directors and or folks in the broader classification of filmmaker that I wouldn’t bother comparing him to. I’d rather debate each on their own merit, and Bay is just a big fake titty blonde that people will defend because they love big fake tits just as much as big real tits, and they are okay enough with blondes. Also, they once got a decent blowjob from said big fake-titted blonde before this discussion began, so it’s really hard not to like her. Even though everyone else knows she’s a dumbfuck, and would be nowhere without her big tits we can all agree we’ll watch her get undressed, but we can’t all agree we’d let her live with us. Some of us, just can’t here her talk, or breathe. Holy shit, I just made Michael Bay into Anna Nicole Smith!!!April 21, 2016 at 12:46 am #64277
I’m not sure the forces in the Star Wars Universe are as different as you suggest Captain. There’s no precedent in 6 previous films for bollocks like being able to see events occurring light years away instantaneously – in fact it’s established in the first film when Obi Wan feels the destruction of Alderaan rather than seeing it. Because he can’t see it instantaneously. Because in this universe light travels intergalactic distances at normal speeds.
The reason Force types can manipulate regular stuff with the Force isn’t that the physical rules are different, it’s that they’re creatures who’ve learned to manipulate the regular forces of that universe. Yoda doesn’t lift an X-Wing with his mind because gravity works differently, he lifts an X-wing with his mind because his mind works differently.
And as far as I can tell it doesn’t really even really seem really like you and I really disagree on Bay. I say Bay makes dumb movies from base intincts and so do you. You say Bay can make films and so did I. We both think he’s a cockfacesupreme but that he has chops. JJ is kind of lovable, because he’s much closer to our kind of nerd, but he’s frequently proved to be a sloppier cinematic storyteller than Bay, or at least than the Bay I know of a decade plus ago.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.April 21, 2016 at 10:27 am #64278
I’ll say this – I think if you saw the sequel to Transformers, you’d agree that Bay is more of a twatnipple than any of us could’ve imagined. Then the third one was WORSE. Then he made another, with Mark Fucking Wahlberg. At that point, I just quit watching them, because there’s only so much torture I’m willing to subject to myself.
The being-able-to-watch-destruction-from-light-years-away thing was just as “bad” as Han being able to come out of lightspeed on the planet, but I didn’t care because I was on the ride.
I will say that I did enjoy Armageddon…at the time. To me, Bay is sort of like the Robin Williams of directors. A lot of people still enjoy his movies, but the guy never really grew out of what made him famous originally. Of course, now Robin’s dead, but hopefully you see my point – that he never changed with the times. Maybe he didn’t care. Maybe Bay doesn’t either. I think his shtick is tired. But what I think pisses me off is that he’s capable of more. The Island was actually pretty smart AND coherent, still a bit on the forgettable side, but yeah, pretty entertaining.
It’s funny, though, too – the seeing destruction and lightspeed things – that probably would stick with me and piss me off more when I was younger. I still think I’m getting soft on movies in that way.
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