Sunday, April 27, 2008

Why Micheal Bay Now Owes Me 12 And A Half Hours Of My Life

So I rented Transformers this weekend. Why, because I am an idiot. Yet again, I rent a movie directed by Michael Bay, yet again I hate it.

The title of this blog entry is that Michael Bay owes me 12 and a half hours of my life because he still hasn't paid me back for Armageddon, Pearl Harbour, Bad Boys II and The Island. But Transformers just put me over the edge. It is boring, silly, ridiculous and features a career embarrasing performance by John Turturro.

I used to compare all bad movies to Independance Day. "Hey faithful narrator, did you see Saw III? Oh yeah, I'd reply, it's bad but its not Independance Day bad". Or, hey faithful narrator did you see that lame comedy with Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck? Yes, it is like the Independance Day of comedies."

I will know change that to Transformers-bad.

Admittedly, I was not in on the Transformers-wave. I think I was a touch too old when they were popular. Just sort of at the cusp of my teenage-hood. The biggest problem with the film is the same problem as was with the Alien versus Predator movies and The X-Men franchise (especially the first one). You have these alien life forms...and there are good ones and there are bad ones. And they are fighting each other. And regular humans are caught in the middle. This does not allow any empathy to be given to our human heroes by the audience. It just amps up the level of ridiculousness so that you just don't care about the people and who wins and who loses.

And why Jon Voight decided to do another Michael Bay film after he was already in the god-awful Pearl Harbour is beyond me. Actually, I just answered my own question. Jon Voight stopped caring years ago. He was in the sequel, THE SEQUEL to Baby Geniuses called Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2. A film so bad that it actually received a 0% from film critics on the website Rotten Tomatoes. And he was in the film version of Bratz. No need to say more about that.

Top 5 Jon Voight films
1. Midnight Cowboy
2. Deliverence
3. Mission: Impossible
4. Runaway Train
5. Rosewood

I get that Michael Bay really doesn't care what I think about his movies. His first film, Bad Boys, I love. I own the DVD. It's funny, it has cool action scenes and a top notch bad guy. His second film, The Rock, has a lot of what prevents Bay from making a good film. Stupid, silly, over-the-top action scenes. However, Nicolas Cage saves the movie with a really bizarre performance that seems out of place in an action movie but actually works. But everything after is just loud, noisy, vain and trite.

About the best thing Michael Bay has been involved with in the last 10 years is this Verizon commercial from last year.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Death of an Icon

So with the recent death of Charlton Heston, where does he deserve to belong among the list of the great Hollywood stars?

This is an actor who in the 50s and 60s, worked with every great director from William Wyler to Orson Welles. An actor who became the go-to guy for dozens of epic films from Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments to El Cid and 55 Days At Peking.

I am going to go ahead and say it, Charlton Heston was one of the greatest actors of the 50s and 60s. Simple as that. He wasn't the most talented, he wasn't the most skilled but he knew how to choose quality films and even if he was miscast...he could still pull it off and make you believe he was British, American or Mexican. He was a gutsy actor who knew how to use his limited talents to their utmost.

Sure, as he got older, he became less picky. The Planet Of The Apes works only because of the script and the Apes films that followed but Soylent Green may be one of the worst sci-fi films ever made and The Omega Man is almost laughable.

It is just too bad that his work in the latter part of his career along with his affiliation with the NRA had really reduced his importance in Hollywood. Hopefully after his death, people will revisit the early part of his career.

5 Great Charlton Heston Scenes

1. Ben-Hur (the chariot scene)

2. Touch Of Evil (the great opening crane shot all done in one take)

3. The Planet Of The Apes (have to include that famous final scene)

4. The Ten Commandments (the parting of the Red Sea)

5. Wayne's World 2 (no, I am not kidding-this is a fitting tribute)