MIchael Bay

This movie goes for Big Dumb Fun, and is certainly big and dumb

             Sir Anthony Hopkins about to chew some scenery in Transformers: The Last Knight

A few years back, I wrote a “live blog” of Transformers 4: I Can’t Remember the Subtitle, the first in the Michael Bay x Hasbro series of films to star Mark Wahlberg. It was a pretty silly movie, but looked amazing in IMAX 3-D, as many scenes were shot natively with IMAX 3-D cameras. This time around, nearly every shot in the final film comes from IMAX 3-D cameras, so of course I had to head out to the theater to provide another Transformers live blog!

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Film Review: 13 Hours

by Chad Liffmann on January 15, 2016

A loud, intense disappointment from director Michael Bay-nghazi

I have a feeling we're not in Scranton anymore.

I have a feeling we’re not in Scranton anymore.

I’ll start with what impressed me about Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. First (yes there is more than one thing), the story follows the real life sequence of events, at least based on what is publicly known about the attack. Second, Bay still knows how to capture intensive explosive action on screen. The firefights are, indeed, very effective. Despite knowing how the events played out, the chaotic gunfire and threat of technicals kept me on the edge of my seat. But those moments come and go, and the remaining minutes of the film completely misfire on all cylinders. The dialogue, comprised of 95% stupid one-liners, is an embarrassment. The stereotyped supporting characters are cringe-worthy. And the message Bay is trying to get across is confusing. 13 Hours shows some directorial maturation from Bay, but the film fails to properly honor the real life heroes due to the same annoyances that we’ve come to expect from Bay’s everlasting churn of slightly entertaining blockbuster garbage.

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None of this makes any sense, but damn it looks fantastic!

 

Did he say "you're entering a world of pain?" He should have.

Did he say “you’re entering a world of pain?” He should have.

Transformers Age of Extinction, aka Transformers 4, is basically a tech demo for the IMAX 3D format. Only seconds into the nearly 3-hour movie, many in the audience were gasping with awe. Are movies supposed to look this amazing? And when they do, can we forgive basically everything else about them? Follow along as I “live blog” Transformers 4: Age of Extinction. (I’ve left out spoilers, and made up most of the times since I didn’t actually write this in the movie.) [read the whole post]

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Anthony Mackie, Mark Wahlberg and Duane Johnson in Pain & Gain

Anthony Mackie, Mark Wahlberg and Duane Johnson in Pain & Gain

When you hear the phrase “Directed by Michael Bay,” you probably think of some if not all of the following things: giant robots, massive explosions, military hardware, unnecessarily scantily clad and impossibly thin women and an insane amount of quick edits. You probably don’t think “passion project.” But that’s what we get here. In order to say yes to directing Transformers 4 for Paramount, Bay insisted that he be given the opportunity to make this “small budget” film ($25 million) based on a series of articles from the Miami New Times that document the exploits of the so-called Sun Gym Gang. The real story is brutal, full of twists and turns, and more than a little weird. So how would this translate into a Michael Bay picture? [read the whole post]

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