You thought it was over. You thought we’d said all we could about Michael (hack) Bay and his over-the-top, abysmally directed sequel to his over-the-top, abysmal but somewhat entertaining(ish) first transforming robots movie.
You were wrong.
Because as I sat down today and perused the front page of the site, I thought of something. We’ve been giving Avatar a lot of shit. Even I, the defender of all things Cameron, have conceded that the movie (which I still argue is entertaining and well put together) is getting way too much attention and awards buzz.
But being the optimist that I am, I thought I’d look at this whole Avatar thing from a different perspective. The movie is making billions of dollars, it’s garnering the respect and acclaim of audiences and critics alike, and it’s gearing up to become the first Jim Cameron trilogy. More than that, though, it’s doing something much much greater in the grand scheme of cinema.
It’s telling Michael Bay to suck it.
You see, there was a time that the Bay man was sitting pretty. His (crappy) transforming robots movie had broken the bank and made a gazillion dollars. He was snorting coke off strippers’ asses, lighting cigars with 100 dollar bills and screaming “I am a golden god” from his rooftop in the Hollywood hills.
Now? Well, he’s still doing all those things, but with a tear in his eye. Even Megan Fox’s offers to wash his car can’t cheer him up anymore. Why? Because, regardless of what you think of Avatar, the movie has proven that James Cameron is the King of the World when it comes to box-office.
And you, Michael Bay, are no James Cameron.
Michael Bay has always argued that he makes his movies for the fans, and his goal is to create a flick that makes as much money as possible and entertains as many people as it can. He’s achieved adequate success in the pursuit of said goal, but he is far from the master he thinks he is. Just ask the man who directed Terminator 2, Titanic, AND Avatar.
Not only that, but Cameron actually wins awards and gets good reviews with his films, proving that Michael Bay’s “fuck the critics, let’s make it marketable” mentality is not just flawed; it’s downright silly.
Not to mention the fact that Avatar‘s 3D success might actually hurt Bay’s career. From this moment on, studios are going to ride the 3D wave as long as they can, and they’ll want every blockbuster to be released in the format. Bay, though, doesn’t like or understand 3D–because he’s not a very good director, and he can’t compose or hold a shot for longer than 17 frames. Can you imagine a Transformers movie in 3D? I’m getting motion sick just thinking about it.
So when that huge project needs a director, the studios will have to choose between a helmsman (or woman) who understands and embraces 3D and the standard and hackneyed style of Michael Bay. Which direction will they choose?
Of all the blockbusters that came out this year, I think that Star Trek is by far both the best and most entertaining movie, so it saddens me that Avatar has made the proletariat masses forget how much of a good time they had following the voyages of Kirk, Spock, and that guy from “Heroes” pretending to be Spock.
Once again, though, there is a silver lining. No, Star Trek won’t win the visual effects or technical awards that it deserves. But neither will Transformers 2. Sorry J.J. and Michael, those accolades are reserved for Avatar.
So in the end my comrades here at MovieChopShop will whine and complain that Avatar is an overrated hunk of mediocrity, but I will rest easy in the knowledge that when the world looks back at 2009, nobody will be able to say that Transformers 2 was the biggest box-office success of the year.
Yes, Michael Bay, your evil scheming has failed you. Just face facts: Transforming robots are so 2008. These days moviegoers yearn for something different. Blue people. Having sex. In 3D.