Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An Open Letter to Michael Bay (Rant)

     Before I begin, let me apologize.  I created this blog for movie reviews and that was it, however, occasional, one must rant.  I do not  plan to do this too often and truly believe that this will be a rare occurrence, however, some things must not be allowed to stand unchallenged.

     This weekend, I saw a trailer for a Michael Bay produced remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street."  Just when I think Hollywood has hit rock bottom and can't go any lower, I see Michael Bay with a miner's helmet and a pick axe, digging deeper and deeper.  It's bad enough that Hollywood, as a collective, can't come up with one, original idea.  I wonder if they even try.  I mean, I understand, you can squeeze just a little more profit out of a movie if you didn't have to develop the idea yourself.  You just take an old movie or TV show or comic book or, I kid you not, board game, and make a new movie out of it.  It saves a step and saves money if some of the work is done for you.  You can even save on writing if you just get a few comedians who think they are brilliant improve artists and let them say idiotic things to the camera for a few hours.  Instant movie.  No writing, no development, quick two weeks at the box office, and some unrated DVD sales.  Mmmmmm...profit.  And, as I said, that is bad enough, but Michael Bay takes it to a new low.  First, let's make movies with no thought to dialogue, plot, or character development, but let's make sure there are tons of explosions and completely unrealistic special effects, all of which happen so quickly, no one can really see what's going on.  And, once again, that is bad enough.  No need to get any worse, but he does.  Let's take that same formula, and apply it to:
  • an old movie that could use a revision...nope
  • A comic book...naw
  • an old TV show...ahhhhh, no
  • A classic, genera creating movie that was the breakout work of a great director...YES!  Let's do that!!!
     Ok, some might argue that there is value in creating updated versions of these stories.  That they become accessible to new audiences and can benefit from modern techniques.  Ok, I'll grant you that if you grant me that Michael Bay is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, NOT the person we should entrust with the retelling of our cinematic legacy.  "But, Brian", you might say, "he's only producing this one, not directing and writing it.  Maybe it won't be so bad."  Ok, fair point.  Let's see who's directing it.  Samuel Bayer.  Who's he?  Well, according to the Internet Movie Database, he's directed nineteen music videos.  Well, that's a relief.  For a second there, I thought he might not be qualified to direct a major motion picture.  (Ah, sarcasm)  Don't sweat it, though.  Our writers are slightly more qualified.  Also according to the Internet Movie Database, Wesley Strick has written a music video, (you have to write those?) some TV and some screen plays, and Eric Heisserer wrote a single episode of a TV show.  First year film students know more about making movies than all four of them combined, and they want to remake "A Nightmare on Elm Street?"  Is it hubris or self delusion that drives men to such deeds?  Or is it huge piles of money? We may never know. 

     And once again, we find ourselves looking at a new low, but, just as before, as we look in anguish and horror at what Michael Bay had beget, what do I see just under this latest insult, well, it's Michael Bay with a miners helmet and a pick axe, sinking to an even greater low.  Once again, according to the Internet Movie Database, he's also in the process of remaking the Alfred Hitchcock classic, "The Birds!"  Alfred HitchcockMichael Baysplosions, the man who plans out the special effects first, then shoots the movie around them, thinks he can do a better job than the undisputed master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock?  A genius.  A legend.  A master of his craft.  And Michael Bay has the arrogance to remake one of his classics.

     Ok, I am now ready to start my open letter to Michael Bay.

Dear Michael Bay,

     STOP MAKING MOVIES!  For the love of whatever you find dear and holy, just stop.  Do movies a favor and limit yourself to doing special effects at the very most, but let qualified people direct and produce.  You know, you might actually get nominated for an Oscar if your passion for explosions was tempered, channeled, and directed by talented writers and directors.  I know, you have your own studio and you are the boss.  You can do whatever you want.  Well, that kind of freedom does nothing to challenge your creative talents and serves only to produce mediocrity.  Your name is rapidly becoming a joke and the novelty of purely special effects based movies is wearing thin rapidly.  While you still have a chance, stop.  Just stop.  Please.


     There.  I've had my say.  I'm truly sorry to have subjected all (one) of you to that ugly, little scene, but some things just should not be allowed to stand unchallenged.  I would also like to apologize to Samuel Bayer, Wesley Strick, and Eric Heisserer.  I am sure that they are all lovely people and are well liked by their friends, however, this is an open and shut case of guilt by association. 

     Now, maybe, I can get back to watching and reviewing movies without my head exploding. 

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