Dan, the North, here.
Writing to you about . . . Michael Bay?
Be warned, expletives may follow:
He is getting excited for this thing, whereas I will go on record now with this prediction:
PAIN AND GAIN is going to be truly horrible. Even by Michael Bay's standards.
Basically meaning it could be A MILLION TO JUAN-caliber trash:
After talking up that heap, he threw out this list of his Favorite Michael Bay Films:
1. Bad Boys
4. The Rock
5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Transformers 3)
6. The Island
7. Pearl Harbor
8. Bad Boys II
9. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Transformers 2)
Now just like I did with the Kubrick List, I'm here to set the record straight.
You'll notice my list only contains 8 Bay films.
I've somehow avoided PEARL HARBOR my whole life.
I wanted to count PLAYBOY: Kerri Kendall September 1990 Video Centerfold .
Alas, I missed that Bay joint as well.
Here in reverse order, is the North's (correct) Michael Bay List:
8. Bad Boys II
As if there was any doubt, this is Bay's shit of shits. BAD BOYS II is one of the worst movies I have ever watched in it's entirety. Somehow Bay thought it was acceptable for it to be 147 minutes long? Martin Lawrence for 2.5 hours . . . that's 2 hours too long for anybody. It was an abomination. Rotten Tomatoes got it right (11%).
7. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Transformers 3)
The Bad Boys II of the Transformers world. How the hell Chris prefers this to #2 is incomprehensible. This movie had no Megan Fox, too much close-up fighting and they kept Shia LaBeouf in a humorless cage. Nobody puts Shia in a corner. Nobody except, Michael Bay.
6. The Island
It could have been good. I liked the concept, enjoyed the casting, but damn, did it blow. When I saw it in the theater, my date fell asleep. Normally I'd say that was my fault, but I'm giving Bay credit where credit is due. It tried to be a Sci-Fi Thriller and instead its 136 minutes long with 100 minutes of boring, needless dialogue.
5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Transformers 2)
Like I said this movie is far greater than #3. We still have some humor left over (Shia, his mother, Bumblebee), the action was fun and you could still make out what was happening on-screen. Was it a great movie? No. Was it a good movie? Probably not. Was it better than #3? No Doubt About It!
4. Bad Boys
Will Smith and stunningly, Martin Lawrence both do well in this movie. It's fun, it has a great look and this was before every movie went to Miami. It was Bay's first movie and he did a good job. He made 3 good films to begin his career. If Bay died in 1998, people would have said he was a genius.
I watched the Director's Cut the other night and it was great. It's got the story, the right cast, great ending and the often sought after, but rarely found, in-film hit song. In the summer of 1998 you couldn't go one foot in this country without hearing "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith. If you start typing in Aerosmith on Youtube, it's the first thing that comes up. All of that made for a summer popcorn flick for the ages. If you can get the Director's Cut it's worth another watch.
2. The Rock
Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery. That's all I would have needed, but this movie delivers much more. Ed Harris is great, Cage being Cage when you still were getting to know him, and funny, smart dialogue throughout. This was a serious action movie that made you laugh the whole time. It's like DIE HARD or SCREAM, people are dying, but you're chuckling along the way. Plus, the Ferrari/Humvee Chase Scene is one of the best ever:
So, we know that Bay had a great 3 film start (Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon), then basically could have taken off after 1998 and we wouldn't have missed anything. Except if he left, we really would have missed his greatest triumph. Sometime in 2006/007 (ahem deal with the devil!) he got it all back for one brief period. He shook off the critics, put away his over-directing ways and gave us:
Transformers is a 10 of 10 in my book. It's got everything you could want and audiences went absolutely crazy for it ($700 Million Worldwide). It saw it at a Midnight Opening and the experience was great. The only time I ever heard a theater yell louder, was when people booed Michael Bay's name in the above teaser trailer. He went from his name being booed to people standing up and cheering in the aisles. Like I said, it was truly a blessed year for Bay. Of course, he returned to his old self after this film, but he gave us (at least) one film that will hold up forever.
Well, looks like I won again. Maybe I'll let Chris win one day. Kind of like Cal Naughton Jr. :