Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Director Essentials: Michael Bay

by Patrick Bromley
F Heads! Today marks the first entry in our new Director Essentials series, in which we pick the essential movies in a single director's filmography. What better way to kick this feature off than with Michael Bay, who is the worst. Thanks to F Head Steve I. for the nomination. We call your bluff, sir.

If you've got a director you want to nominate for Director Essentials, nominate him or her (because women can do anything boys can do if they put their minds to it) on our Facebook page or in the comments below.

1. The Rock (1996) - Michael Bay has never actually made a "good" movie, but this one comes closest. Once upon a time, Nicolas Cage was a surprising and exciting choice to play an action hero.

2. Armageddon (1998) -Still Bay's most commercial movie, and (incredibly, amazingly, barfingly) one of his best. It's funny to go back and watch Armageddon now and realize that for a Michael Bay movie, it's actually kind of classy.

3. Bad Boys II (2003) - This is who Michael Bay really is: bloated, cocky, misogynistic, homophobic, kind of racist, violent, vulgar and self-satisfied. It's hard to imagine Bad Boys II as a "personal" film, but this represents Bay the same way that Vertigo represents Hitchcock.

4. The Island (2005) - Not a good movie, but the only entry in Bay's filmography that's at all interesting if only because he's actually attempting to stretch and do something different. He was punished for it, of course, with bad reviews and tepid box office (for a Bay movie, at least). The sting of The Island's failure led directly to Transformers, so fuck us.

5. Transformers (2007) - The Transformers series are the movies for which Michael Bay will be probably be remembered. He deserves that. So do we. People that love these movies are the worst.


  1. Let's not forget Pearl Harbor, a movie so irredeemably bad that it inspired a song in Team America: World Police: "The End of an Act,"
    with a chorus featuring, "Pearl Harbor sucked, and I miss you. . ."

  2. Pearl Harbor is terrible, and I might have included it if we hadn't already spent an hour tearing it apart on the Pearl Harbor podcast. And then all this happened.

  3. And yet...I really enjoyed his "Got Milk?" ad. "Aaron Burr!" I still laugh.

  4. Yes, but as we all know, Satan will be VERY attractive, and he will do a VERY enjoyable "Got Milk?" ad, but that should not distract us from the fact that Michael Bay is SATAN, come to earth to lower the standards of God's perfect and holy children.

    Get thee behind me, Transformers!

  5. I bought the Criterion Collection "The Rock" on laserdisc and it feels like one of those purchases I have to justify for the rest of my life. It was the '90s.

  6. I do not like Michael Bay. We still have to watch The Rock every time it's on because J's programmed to flip to any station that is playing it (see also The Fifth Element, but I actually like that one).

    4. The thing about The Island is it's somebody else's work, almost shot for shot. :p