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The Curve?
January 6, 2014 3:52 PM   Subscribe

Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Bay has a meltdown at CES. That is all.
posted by phaedon (100 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Curved... HDTVS?
posted by entropicamericana at 3:54 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


They should have got Cameron.
posted by Artw at 3:54 PM on January 6


Sadly, the part where he jumped into a Testarossa and took off into the sunset got cut out.
posted by phaedon at 3:56 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Needs more explosions. And lens flares. Get on it.
posted by ardgedee at 3:56 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


That's not a meltdown, he was just nervous and the teleprompter stopped working. From the title, I thought Bay would shoot an AK47 into the air while the stage exploded behind him.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:59 PM on January 6 [33 favorites]


What a pro.
posted by davebush at 4:01 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


That's what they call a meltdown?

Christ, the hyperbole is really the only thing out of control.
posted by grubi at 4:01 PM on January 6 [17 favorites]


You can't blame Michael Bay for this.

If someone asked me to go on stage and talk about how great Samsung is, there's no way I could do it without a pre-written script. No one can come up with that much bullshit on the spot.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 4:02 PM on January 6 [31 favorites]


Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Bay has a meltdown at CES.

... that's all?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:02 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


We've no idea what might have precipitated this event and being part of the viral "point and laugh" crowd seems a bit cruel.

Glass houses and all......
posted by HuronBob at 4:02 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Kevin Street: "That's not a meltdown, he was just nervous and the teleprompter stopped working. From the title, I thought Bay would shoot an AK47 into the air while the stage exploded behind him"

They add that as CGI in post.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:02 PM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Curved... HDTVS?

I see someone missed the Cinerama FPP.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:03 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


"The prompter's broken. *sigh* Bye."

That ASSHOLE!
posted by grubi at 4:03 PM on January 6


I love the trends in modern technology, but there's some crazy irony in the fact that the teleprompter couldn't be arsed to work right.

I feel that we've entered the age of Star Trek (on some things), and yet whenever I see a powerpoint presentation somewhere, it is often the most unweildly and predictably unstable experience. I rarely see one that goes without a hitch these days.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:05 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]


He couldn't wing "the vision thing"? Seriously? Michael, I do media training, call me.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:07 PM on January 6


Michael Bay is a very bad film-maker, one of the worst ever, but this just looks like a nervous person encountering technical problems and not feeling able to carry on. He probably felt terrible and now I feel sorry for him.

I feel sorry for Michael Bay.

Thanks a bunch.
posted by howfar at 4:09 PM on January 6 [74 favorites]


"I feel that we've entered the age of Star Trek (on some things), and yet whenever I see a presentation somewhere, it is often the most unweildly and predictably unstable experience ever. I rarely see one that goes without a hitch these days."

People are still the X factor that can make anything go wrong. Somebody probably forgot to boot the computer that does the teleprompting, or they had it in power saving mode or something. If presentations were done by robots they'd be flawless, but they'd also be really boring.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:10 PM on January 6


How desperate is this guy if he has to do marketing for Samsung?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:11 PM on January 6


Maybe he had a rough day ruining our childhoods. It can't be easy finding ways to turn our dreams of yesteryear into abominations
posted by Twain Device at 4:13 PM on January 6


Yeah, I feel sorry for Michael Bay now too. I love awkward humor, but seeing people embarrassed or nervous on stage just kills me; I can't help but flash to my own traumatic episodes of stage fright, or just generally terror at being in front of a bunch of people. It totally sucks.
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:14 PM on January 6 [11 favorites]


How awful to have a bad day in front of hundreds of people and cameras. Usually I get to have them under my duvet.
posted by Thing at 4:14 PM on January 6


What was with the foot kick thing at the beginning?
posted by Big_B at 4:16 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Michael Bay demands things to be awesome, so of course he doesn't appreciate malfunctioning telepropters.
posted by ckape at 4:17 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


People use teleprompters in interviews?

That's hilarious.

You could tell by what few words he did get out that his answers were scripted bullshit about filmmakers creating dreams. If he had just been willing to answer the guy's questions like a normal person, he wouldn't have had a problem.
posted by jayder at 4:18 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]


This is why it's better to go out with a bang instead of a whimper.
posted by Catblack at 4:21 PM on January 6


I can't even count the number of times I've seen talent blame the prompter operator for their inability to read a script - as often as not, a script that they themselves wrote!

Don't jump on the technicians just because a crazy highly paid actor/politician/CEO/dancing monkey can't do the job they were hired to do.

If you're not comfortable being on stage, rethink the offer you accepted to get on stage in front of cameras and an audience. I certainly wouldn't do it.
posted by rock swoon has no past at 4:21 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


If he'd been a woman, we'd never have heard the end of it.
posted by gingerest at 4:23 PM on January 6 [8 favorites]


If someone asked me to go on stage and talk about how great Samsung is, there's no way I could do it without a pre-written script. No one can come up with that much bullshit on the spot.

Hey. Hey now. Whoa. Hold on.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:27 PM on January 6


From TFA:
Update: Michael Bay has written about the experience on his blog. Here's his take on the matter.
Wow! I just embarrassed myself at CES - I was about to speak for Samsung for this awesome Curved 105-inch UHD TV. I rarely lend my name to any products, but this one is just stellar. I got so excited to talk, that I skipped over the Exec VP's intro line and then the teleprompter got lost. Then the prompter went up and down - then I walked off. I guess live shows aren't my thing.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 4:29 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Here the problem is not freezing because you can't handle being live nor teleprompters, it's the useless banter that someone scripts. It creates brain freeze among the best actors - watch the Oscars. The banal, lowest common denominator, humorless, horseshit that some hack gives these people to say is the crime. It kills brain cells.

Think about it. You're huge. Rich. World kinda going your way. You get up on stage, which just isn't that unusual, really, to say something, and you've been prepared to rattle off uncomfortable lines that aren't in your voice. You're getting paid for this. You've convinced yourself it is important. This is your job for the next 3 minutes. You convince yourself you have to nail the script. Then you mess up reading off the teleprompter. Your mind circles between the panic, the lines you vaguely remember, and the script - that awful script you at heart hate and must now resurrect. Sure, you could wing it, if you're total RAM wasn't being used by the false impression that you have to utter the bile you were given or you're a failure. So you freeze solid.

There's no way that Bay, or anyone else, couldn't just stand there and say 90 or so seconds of awesome things about a 100+ inch 4K screen. The damn things are beautiful, and even more so for someone that pumps out terrible action flicks. He just died due to losing his place in that puking dialog, like Robbie the Robot being asked to harm a human...does not compute.

I'm so pissed I'm defending Bay. I fucking hate the air the Michael Bay breathes. What an asshat.
posted by Muddler at 4:31 PM on January 6 [15 favorites]


One year me and my friend Tim Ekeret signed up for the elementary school talent show. Tim was kind of the runty, funny class clown and I was his also-a-runt friend. We had cooked up some kind of skit. Well not really. It was a "hey-this-would-be-funny-if". Cats and mice maybe. Dogs? Something, I forget.

The rules were very explicit. If you signup you must perform. IF YOU SIGNUP YOU MUST PERFORM.

Days and weeks passed and Tim and I did nothing to advance our idea. With a few days to go I asked Tim if he had come up with anything yet and he said, "What? No. We'll just make it up. It'll be easy."

On the day of the big show all the classes gathered in the gym and the talented kids got up one by one (and occasionally in groups) and sang and juggled and told jokes. One kid did a magic show. Another kid tried to shoot baskets blindfolded with another kid telling him where to shoot ("more left" "higher").

Our names were called and Tim hopped up there and I dragged myself up behind. Tim made some faces and small animal noises and grinned. Apparently our act had become us doing animal impressions. Then he looked at me expectantly.

So did everyone else.

I froze, of course, my face burning, and without a word, turned and exited the stage and then the gym, and went back to my desk in the classroom and sat and waited for everyone to come back from the talent show.

Later on the bus ride home Tim told me he did another three or four animal expressions to decent applause and that was it. I shoulda just stayed up there and did anything. "Flap your arms and say yer a bird," he said. "That would have been funny."

The next year Tim and I were assigned to the same team for the 6th grade Movie project. The group chose my script (it was a drama about weightlifters trying to impress a girl). Tim was the lead and he didn't have much to work with, but everybody agreed our group had made the best comedy.
posted by notyou at 4:34 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]


This was the first time Bay has ever been upset over a missing script.
posted by brundlefly at 4:46 PM on January 6 [9 favorites]


I was going to offer up a bit of compassion for the guy, due to stage fright and nervousness... but that blog post is something else. I got just as uncomfortable reading the first three sentences of the post as I did watching his stage exit.
posted by avoision at 4:47 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Can someone with special effects skills please add a lot of explosions to this? Car crashes, bullets, mushroom clouds; I don't care, just explosions.
posted by ryoshu at 4:48 PM on January 6


A while back, I went to a big charity dinner in L.A. where some awards were given out and some people gave talks about the great work of the charity, etc. They had big teleprompters for the speakers, of course, and several A-list celebrities gave very nice speeches. Then Sylvester Stallone came out to give his speech. He squinted a bit at the teleprompters and tried to read his speech from them for a bit, but then asked them to just be turned off. And then he gave an eloquent, heartfelt 20-minute speech without notes - without ever saying "um" or "uh," without stumbling, and with a lot of detail, statistics, and meaningful anecdotes. Maybe he memorized it ahead of time or maybe it was extemporaneous. Either way, it was really impressive and not the sort of thing I would expect someone to be able to do if their job didn't involve a pretty heavy amount of public speaking.
posted by The World Famous at 4:52 PM on January 6 [27 favorites]


Oof. That's rough.

I've found that the best way to get out of being "stuck" on-stage is to bellow "IS NO PROBLEM: AM INFINITE-MICE!" and then to hold my arms and fingers outstretched as an infinity of mice stream from my fingertips. After a while, everyone in the venue, including myself, will be suffocated under an ever-growing ocean of screaming mice. Then, I am dead, and I no longer have to worry about anything. However, since the mice were, indeed, infinite, they keep on spewing out of my corpse, and so on and so forth until everything on the entire planet dies, and then the world ends and the mass of mice grow to fill the solar system, and then over untold eons the entire universe itself fills with mice, an infinity of mice, and when there is no more room in the universe for any more mice, the density of still-spewing mice simply increases until the universe becomes a supermassive singularity, which of course eventually becomes a new Big Bang, and upon exploding it becomes an entirely new universe.

So, basically, you're welcome, the future.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:53 PM on January 6 [34 favorites]


I feel sorry for Michael Bay. Thanks a bunch.

You never know, maybe Megan Fox went tits or GTFO on 4chan. That would explain the Hong Kong incident too! What would be totally epic is if the prompter didn't actually go out but just fed him a list of demands or else he'd get his ass kicked again.
posted by phaedon at 4:59 PM on January 6


Isn't there a compound German word for being unable to disengage yourself from feeling like you are in the place of someone being horribly embarrassed?

Because that was horrifying and will probably give me nightmares.

and i like public speaking.
posted by sparklemotion at 4:59 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


I am surprised I am not feeling very schadenfreudey about this. On one hand, it has entertained me more than anything he has been attached to in years; but on the other hand he was clearly out of his element the moment the gig went off script. If he weren't a big factor in 'why we can't have nice things' coming out of hollywood I would be in line to give him a hug.
posted by OHenryPacey at 5:01 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


"We know a remote factory in Yeongcheon, where Mrs. Kim lives. Every July, TVs grow there."
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:06 PM on January 6 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I'm definitely feeling empathetic embarrassment here. I would be terrified of doing the exact same thing.

Then Sylvester Stallone came out to give his speech. He squinted a bit at the teleprompters and tried to read his speech from them for a bit, but then asked them to just be turned off. And then he gave an eloquent, heartfelt 20-minute speech without notes - without ever saying "um" or "uh," without stumbling, and with a lot of detail, statistics, and meaningful anecdotes.

I read a Q&A he did at AiCN years ago and was very impressed with his thoughtful responses. Perhaps more thoughtful than those talkbackers deserved. Whatever you think of his acting, Stallone ain't dumb.
posted by brundlefly at 5:07 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Sylvester Stallone is not stupid in the least. It's easy to forget that he wrote Rocky, and he got an Oscar nom for that. His Bell's palsy may affect his public persona and speech patterns, but it's all part of a very conscious strategy - one that has been very profitable.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:13 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


Clint Eastwood could have managed.
posted by spitbull at 5:19 PM on January 6


One of my favorite movie reviews of all time is when David Denby called Michael Bay 'stunningly, almost viciously untalented.'

And yet, Bay's apology seemed pretty good-natured and classy. Well, dammit. Now I'll feel a brief smidge of respect for the guy.

I'm sure it will evaporate with the next Transformers movie and/or ridiculous explosion, though.
posted by TwoStride at 5:20 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]



Michael Bay is a very bad film-maker, one of the worst ever, but this just looks like a nervous person encountering technical problems and not feeling able to carry on. He probably felt terrible and now I feel sorry for him.

I feel sorry for Michael Bay.


Me too. I don't understand why the blog post was supposed to make us lose compassion for him, either. He basically was embarrassed all over again.
posted by sweetkid at 5:21 PM on January 6


He made like a Bay leave and.. I mean LEAF

Nevermind. I'm sorry. Bye
posted by Colonel Panic at 5:22 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


This reminds me a lot of a couple of times that I've almost walked off the stage because I perceived it not going well, for whatever reasons. I was this close one time when I suffered a bit of a panic attack over something not going right, and it felt hard to breathe. How Michael Bay looked was probably exactly how I felt. Nothing but empathy here.
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:24 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


He could have just tap danced the awkwardness away, but no, gotta be all suave TelePrompTer.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:27 PM on January 6


Transformers was awful but it mystifies me how someone could not just like but love Bad Boys or The Rock. Pain & Gain was one of the finest films this year.
posted by edeezy at 5:32 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


I feel sorry for Michael Bay.

I feel sorry for whoever got yelled at or fired because Michael Bay couldn't read the teleprompter.
posted by The World Famous at 5:34 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Michael Bay's movies are every Samsung product.
posted by humanfont at 5:55 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


He should have at least danced an awkward little jig before strolling off stage.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:58 PM on January 6


Agreed that this wasn't a meltdown at all. It was a huge letdown for Samsung, though. Really, that's the best you could do, Michael Bey? Too bad he didn't have the presence of mind to put aside his irritation, technical difficulties notwithstanding. Kudos to the Samsung Executive VP guy for handling it so well, though (there's someone who must have public speaking experience!).

I understand how flustered Bey was, but the Samsung VP was helpfully feeding him prompts to get him back on track and he just fled the stage, with no real attempt at a recovery. Which, in retrospect, makes Samsung dude look even smoother in contrast, especially at the end there when he graciously appeals to the audience for a little applause thanking Bey for showing up.

I wonder what Mr. Samsung's honest reaction after the fact was? I'm guessing it was not PG-rated.
posted by misha at 6:17 PM on January 6


He's no Christian Bale, Eric Christian Olsen or the bard himself, John McEnroe.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:33 PM on January 6


but the Samsung VP was helpfully feeding him prompts to get him back on track and he just fled the stage, with no real attempt at a recovery

A couple of people on my twitter feed who suffer from chronic anxiety have said "yep, he has a panic attack."

Ooohh. Let's point and laugh. Whatever you think of his movies, he's not really normally paid for standing up and speaking off the cuff. Yep, he's famous. Yep, he's rich. That doesn't mean he doesn't also get to be shy, or full of anxiety, or just nervous, or whatever.
posted by anastasiav at 6:35 PM on January 6 [6 favorites]


One of the articles about the incident linked to an earlier thing which actually did make me like the guy a little bit. Just a little.

Michael Bay strikes again, pulls out Samsung cellphone at LG promo event. (This is from 2009.)
posted by kmz at 6:54 PM on January 6


Yep, he's famous. Yep, he's rich.

Then there was the time Michael Bay had Megan Fox wash his Ferrari for her Transformers audition, the tape of which mysteriously went missing. But, you know, let's gloss over that, misogyny is definitely not a thing in Hollywood.

There's a lot to be said about Bay and his films, "rich and famous" doesn't quite cover it.
posted by phaedon at 7:00 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


That Michael Bay Verizon commercial is honestly one of my favorites. I can't decide if it's the tiger or the pool explosion that really makes it for me.
posted by maryr at 7:26 PM on January 6


Michael Bay is a very bad film-maker, one of the worst ever

Only because you've heard of him. There is a mountain of crap that his movies sail far above in terms of quality.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:51 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


Stay tuned tomorrow when Matt Haughey drips a tiny bit of mustard on his shirt.

Should be a thrilla!
posted by Ardiril at 7:51 PM on January 6


I would have just shouted something about Megatron sliding off your screen and right into your face in 201x. And to die hard or get hard trying. Christ, he should have been able to spew off tag lines from his movies for 90 seconds, just replace the title with The Curve. The Curve will change the history of in-home entertainment with its stunning and revolutionary visualization!
posted by Redfield at 7:52 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Pain and Gain was kind of amazing and now I want a 100" 4k TV.
posted by planetesimal at 8:11 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Ooohh. Let's point and laugh.

The headline was certainly sensationalist, but do you honestly not see the difference between what people are saying here and pointing and laughing? Because I don't get that vibe at all from this thread.

Michael Bay went on stage with the understanding that he was there to help promote Samsung's new curved HDTVs and he bailed. Most of us have experienced feeling awkward and flustered when things go wrong, but still make an effort to do what we've promised to do, because others are counting on us to do that.

Saying, basically, "Would have been nice if he had made more of an effort," is not the same as LOL AT TEH AWKWARDZ!
posted by misha at 8:18 PM on January 6


Only because you've heard of him. There is a mountain of crap that his movies sail far above in terms of quality.

But if you multiply crapness times production costs, Bay surely tops filmmakers in terms of crap-dollars.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:48 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


He could have done that better. Yeah he got flustered but that's the whole practice thing, so you're not so lost if things don't go to plan. On the other hand he could also have done way way worse. Like they are going to have a lot of work to do in post-production to make this interesting.
posted by From Bklyn at 9:04 PM on January 6


Agreed that this wasn't a meltdown at all. It was a huge letdown for Samsung, though. --Nanukthedog

Not really. This is unintentionally great marketing. Look at it. We're even talking about Samsung's curved televisions on Metafilter. This teleprompter accident turned a non-event into a major news story. I don't think even Samsung could have afforded this much publicity. Don't feel sorry for them. They're doing great.
posted by eye of newt at 9:43 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Only because you've heard of him. There is a mountain of crap that his movies sail far above in terms of quality.

No. I dispute this in the strongest terms. I've said it before and by god I'll stand right by it, I would rather watch The Room, Birdemic, Foodfight, or A Talking Cat?! again than any of his Transformers movies.
posted by JHarris at 9:48 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


No one can come up with that much bullshit on the spot.

I presume you've not seen a single documentary, news item, read a newspaper, watched any sort of reputable news program, have ever seen a Bill Moyers interview, have never seen a clip of the Daily Show or the Colbert Report in say the last 5 years.

Let me tell, you plenty of people can come up with plenty of bullshit on the spot about much more than electronics products these days. For real!
posted by juiceCake at 9:55 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


One of my co-workers and I flew down to Anaheim many, many years ago to present our company's new version of our Mac software to a Mac User Group (a group of Mac-enthusiasts who would get together every couple of weeks to share tips and shareware, back when the Mac had the market share of, say, Ham radios).

Anyway, for the whole week leading up to the event, I was calling Deb, our company's events person, who kept assuring me that she'd have our talking points outline ready way before we flew down. I mean, Bob and I wanted to go over it a couple of days beforehand. Well, day after day she's promising me that it's coming.

Saturday morning comes and Bob and I head to the airport with--of course--no documents, nothing. After we settle in to our rooms at the local Business Suites Hotel or whatever, we meet up in the attached restaurant and put together the points and cool things we'd like to tell the Mac User Group about our software (and we weren't talking out of our ass here, we both used and really liked the product). Anyway, finally we eat our dinner and Bob tells me he'll work on the paper a bit more in his room before going to bed.

The next morning we take a cab to the place where the Mac User Group had it's meetings--it was like this small band room or college classroom, the audience up on stepped levels, Bob and I down behind a lectern. Bob had told me in the taxi that he hadn't slept so great because he was up working on the text until about 2am.

We are introduced to the User Group and Bob starts reading from his pages. Now Bob is a great guy with a dry wit, but this probably wasn't the most rousing bit of text--no St Crispin's Day speech here. Our audience, to a man all in their 70s, grew more and more impatient with Bob's text and delivery when finally one of the men just shouted at him (and thank goodness he did) "Don't tell us, show us!"

Bob shuddered, looked up, and just stared. Maybe he even turned red from embarrassment/anger/shame.
Deb has screwed us, I thought. She lied to us every day for a week, and now she has sent us un-prepared to the slaughter. I looked at Bob, knowing that he had spent several hours on these papers in front of him for which he was now being yelled at.

I kind of gave a "Heh, heh, okay..." and tapped-out a frustrated but grateful Bob and just winged through some of the cool features, mousing along as I went so that they could see the software in action. It may have been a bit dis-jointed and from the hip, but it showed real-world scenarios and it was honest. It worked.

That said, if instead of talking about a product that I used myself and really liked--if I had been forced to stick to some sort of nauseating, pre-chewed, phony-baloney, knob-polishing fakey-fake-fake Oscars banter with the Samsung CEO, I think, like Bay (who I see as a maker of pretty brainless movies), my brain would've just said yeah, no, we're not doing that.
posted by blueberry at 10:09 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


I felt bad for him. When he said "I'm sorry" he sounded like he was near tears.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:32 PM on January 6


I give hundreds of presentations, and I have no sympathy for Michael Bay here. I am shocked by the amount of sympathy in the comments on the link. Here is my rule -- when you agree to give a presentation of any size on any topic for any reason, you are responsible for your bit going well. The teleprompter fails, you need something to say or a printed copy. The visuals go south, the client says "wait, this is the wrong topic" etc. It's on you. You have the choice to say yes or no to the talk. Even at funerals and memorial services, you have a choice yes or no. So, once you say yes, it's on you.
posted by Vcholerae at 10:48 PM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Michael Bay is a very bad film-maker, one of the worst ever

Only because you've heard of him. There is a mountain of crap that his movies sail far above in terms of quality.


This is kind of debatable, because of what the role of a director actually is. Sure, there are amateur films that are objectively worse than Michael Bay films. But a director is a manager. In the case of a Bay film he can quite literally hire the best in the world, or close to it, at every crew position. Of course his movies sound good and look good (insomuch as any modern CG epic can be said to look good). Of course they're cinematically competent at a basic level.

But that's the work of the crew. Some directors operate the camera, but that's the exception. Most directors don't actually *do* anything. They have one job- to manage the execution of the film- to use their taste to choose what should be done, and to help their crew do it. Taste is where Bay fails, and fails flamboyantly.*

*Obviously there's some skill involved in managing Hollywood-sized productions and egos, but it's also debatable that's he's any good at that.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:44 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


As someone who likes some of Bay's earlier work (Bad Boys & The Rock), I'd say that he has "developed" as a director to the point where "cinematically competent" is being pretty charitable. He's a big budget action director who seems to have forgotten how to direct action. I feel like he's kind of unique in that he has gotten steadily worse throughout his career. (I hear Pain & Gain is quite good, but I haven't seen it).
posted by brundlefly at 12:08 AM on January 7


Most directors don't actually *do* anything.

Quoted for "I can't believe how incredibly false this is."
posted by ShutterBun at 12:49 AM on January 7 [5 favorites]


Even amateur movies tend not to be quite so hateful as the Transformers films. When I think of the smarmy government worker in Transformers I, or the jive-talking robots, dog sexual innuendo, or the camera following that lady's ass for no reason except audience titillation in II, I am revulsed. The movies overflow with extraneous content that seem to exist just to infuriate me personally. He's a brorector.
posted by JHarris at 3:37 AM on January 7 [9 favorites]


For me, the meltdown came when he said he gets to dream for a living.

Christ, but I hate that bullshit self-aggrandizing fantasyland magical-candy-from-the-muses autoerotic line that mediocre creative types love to keep spewing as a puffed-up, wonder-filled description of what they do. Unsurprisingly, the least among them love the biggest, most florid and lyrical empowerment propaganda most of all, and believe it with all of their empty, mercantile hearts.

A curved TV? Big fucking whoop—our TV was curved in 1972.

It was convex, of course, but it's still a curve.
posted by sonascope at 5:20 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


I am only speculating but I would imagine that his presence at a promotional event was to do some promotion. Like most people, he probably doesn't have a lot of eloquent and quotable things at his disposal about the new Samsung, so he was relying on the TelePrompter to feed him some enthusiastic marketing talk which he would speak, in exchange for X number of dollars (where X is probably a figure in six digits). When that delivery process failed, I suspect he did the calculus: "Well, there are cameras on me and I have nothing to say. My fee of X dollars is likely forfeit if I cannot do the promotion I agreed to, so I can either stand here and babble crap or say 'sorry' and leave. Either way, it will be on Youtube to the end of my days. Hmmm... I am taillights."

I think his movies for the last decade and a half have been a painful pustule on Hollywood. In 2005 I was given free passes to a preview of The Island. I thought, "Michael Bay... yeah, the guy who made The Rock... that was a decent dumb action flick. Of course, that was ten years ago and Armageddon and Pearl Harbor were atrocious. Maybe he will be returning to form. Sure, I will go." The Island's preview was on a blazing hot July day, and my apartment had no air conditioning, so I figured at least I could get out of the terrible humidity for a couple of hours. Those of you who had the misfortune to be in Chicago in July 2005 might recall that 3000 people wound up in the hospital with heat-related illnesses.

The movie was what it was. Maybe forty minutes in the film broke and the houselights came up while the projectionist repaired it. Roughly a third of the audience got up and left, preferring to take their chances with heat stroke and possible death rather than watch any more of this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:39 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Michael Bay movies: heat stroke would be preferable.
posted by JHarris at 6:55 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Clint Eastwood could have managed.

Clint Eastwood would've started an argument with the HDTV.

The whole thing makes me sad. I came here to see Michael Bay GET BLOWED UP and my desire for loud explody things was not satiated.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:40 AM on January 7


I went to see Transformers 2 in a fit of idiocy, because I was in the mood to see a "big dumb action movie". I was ready to accept whatever it threw at me and just relax and eat my popcorn. But it was so bad, so so bad, that I felt like it was actively assaulting me with stupidity. I just couldn't even grasp how someone got paid money to do that ... or how someone could have created a script that my 6th grade English teacher would have given a D+ to. And all the misogyny and bodily function jokes ... just eww. I mean, really? I can't imagine the amount of cocaine-fueled circle-jerking that must happen in this subculture of Hollywood.

And I loved Pacific Rim, which was basically the same movie in a way (giant robots) but didn't go out of its way to actively blow.

So I can't really feel bad for Michael Bay.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:59 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Even amateur movies tend not to be quite so hateful as the Transformers films. When I think of the smarmy government worker in Transformers I, or the jive-talking robots, dog sexual innuendo, or the camera following that lady's ass for no reason except audience titillation in II, I am revulsed. The movies overflow with extraneous content that seem to exist just to infuriate me personally. He's a brorector.

Don't forget the brutal violence, which I suspect would have gotten the films NC-17s were the robots flesh and blood. The gangland-style execution where the "good guy" shoots the bad guy in the back of the head, destroying his skull? Multiple moments where someone's head is torn off and the "spine" dangles? And each time there's some sort of fluid spraying everywhere? Motor oil? Or maybe Bay doesn't have a firm grasp on what a robot is.

Or, hell, the destruction of Chicago in the last film, which the Autobots allow to happen in order to make a point?

I'm a fan of bloody horror and action films, but the Transformers movies made me feel uncomfortable. Bay doesn't understand the material at all. Between Bad Boys 2 and the Transformers films, I'm actually worried about his mental state. There's a lot of ghoulishness and misanthropy there, but I get the feeling Bay is totally unaware of it.
posted by brundlefly at 8:58 AM on January 7


To be fair, apparently Transformers 4 is going to center around the Dinobots, which is the only decision Bay could have possibly made to get me interested again.
posted by brundlefly at 9:03 AM on January 7


I have never watched a Transformers movie.

Now, normally people who are smug about such things are terrible people, I do feel a hint of pride in that.

Also it is possible to not go see every damn nerd movie, people. If you know it is going to be crap don't hand it your money.
posted by Artw at 9:20 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


lemme tell ya about Michael Bay...tlp (nsfw)
posted by j_curiouser at 9:55 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


He lifts his leg like a girl getting kissed in a '40s black and white movie. I did not expect that.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:38 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I have never watched a Transformers movie.

I watched the first and half the second with the aid of RiffTrax. The first one, the movie's badness overpowered the riffs, the second, it was so bad we couldn't make it further than halfway. That's happened with nothing else.
posted by JHarris at 10:54 AM on January 7


Most directors don't actually *do* anything. They have one job- to manage the execution of the film

Since we're sucking the creative influence of the director out of this discussion, I would say he is very successful at managing his films. The Transformer's movies have grossed over $1 billion.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:23 PM on January 7


I'll actually admit that I rather enjoyed the first Transformers. It wasn't amoral and fucked up in the way the others are, and you can generally follow the action scenes. I think that was Spielberg's influence.

It's not particularly good, mind you. But it's enjoyable in its own dumb, nearly plotless way. The second one, on the other hand, was the worst experience I've ever had in a theater.
posted by brundlefly at 12:37 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]




I have gone on long, long rants on how racist and sexist the Transformers movies are.

Yes, even the first one.
Y'know that early scene where you meet a white soldier, a black soldier, and a hispanic soldier?
I mean, it was so hard to figure out which one would be cannon fodder in the next 2 minutes - the black guy or the hispanic?

For every character, the further you were from a WASP-y white male, the more of a parody you were. Check it out.
You know there is something wrong when then only robot to die is the BLACK TRANSFORMER. Seriously? They're robots, one of them is coded-black. They still kill him.

Then they did everything worse in the later movies. Even as far as continuing the minstrilsty with whatever skids and mudflap are, and still the only ROBOT to die is the... girl robot?
And seriously, don't try and tell me a motorbike wouldn't have won on the twisty city track they had it losing against a car too. Annoying on so many levels.


Anyway, point being. Michael Bay. He made those choices. If he was just a bad film maker, I might have more sympathy.


Although, while we are on bad, what else is going on with him?
How I know I'm watching a Michael Bay movie: sudden senseless massacres of bystanders who the main characters don't even notice. Realised partway through The Island that I was watching a Michael Bay movie when someone just accidentally knocked over a crane or something, and whoosh, a whole bunch of office workers got taken out, for no apparent reason, which... just seemed like such a weird aside for the movie.
posted by Elysum at 6:13 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


When I have stage fright or meltdown or whatever in front of large groups of people, I find it helpful to simply remember scenes and dialog from the movie "Parts: The Clonus Horror."

Bay should have that movie memorized by now.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 10:21 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Marissa Mayer: Yahoo's CES keynote :P

i can't stop watching!
posted by kliuless at 3:33 PM on January 8


> i can't stop watching!

Do you mean that it's some sort of trainwreck? Besides it being boring and trying to revive a dead horse (Yahoo), there's nothing that is jumping out at me about it...
posted by planetesimal at 3:38 PM on January 8


IT'S FUNNY 'CAUSE IT'S HAPPENING TO MICHAEL BAY, WHO MAKES DUMB MOVIES!
posted by ShutterBun at 3:04 AM on January 9


It seems natural to me that he would try to outrun the shockwave of his own implosion.
posted by srboisvert at 7:55 AM on January 9


Do you mean that it's some sort of trainwreck? Besides it being boring and trying to revive a dead horse (Yahoo), there's nothing that is jumping out at me about it...

YES BUT the meta messages sent by the scripted awkwardness! not so much robotic as locutus representing the borg :P
posted by kliuless at 12:21 PM on January 9


Is she all like "fuck your work/life balance!" and shit?
posted by Artw at 12:41 PM on January 9


more like the you-will-be-assimilated vibe, and it's FOR REAL (or at least intended to be taken completely seriously, which is scary because it's actually happening;* resistance-is-futile!)

---
*in a sense you really are being turned into an 'advertising unit'; your metadata, demographic profile and consumer behavior are being monitored, collected and processed (for your make-benefit-glory); sensors are being placed everywhere and in every gadget (speaking to each other in 'machine language'); nothing is jumping out at anyone (wake up sheeple?) because it's all right here in front of us at CES :P
posted by kliuless at 3:33 PM on January 9


Aw, cute. They want to be like one of the big technology companies!
posted by Artw at 3:44 PM on January 9


well, combining the collective might of sony, intel and yahoo i guess (against rivaling apple, amazon and google ;)
posted by kliuless at 9:41 PM on January 9


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