June 21, 2012 | 3:07 p.m.
There was still an hour before the gates would open at Universal Studios Hollywood, so Michael Bay pretty much had the Autobot universe to himself on Tuesday morning. First he took two spins through Transformers: The Ride — 3D, the theme park’s just-opened, $100-million digital marvel. Then the 47-year-old filmmaker wandered through Transformers Supply Vault (a store designed to look like the world’s most cheerful military bunker) where even he seemed surprised by its inventory of merchandise that included T-shirts, masks, magnets, patches, coffee cups, books and (of course) plastic toys. It was all a bit much, but then Bay was presented with a frosty mango-colored energy drink from a Transformers-themed concession stand. “It’s called Energon,” one of the Universal employees chirped, “and it’s the preferred fuel of the Transformers.” Nearby, a Universal dancer wearing an elaborate Bumblebee costume began to […]
June 06, 2012 | 6:00 a.m.
This post has been corrected. See the note below for details. Film critics who put down Michael Bay’s “Transformers” movies by calling them theme-park rides in disguise won’t change their mind after hopping on Transformers: The Ride — 3D at Universal Studios, but they might have a dramatically improved opinion of theme-park rides. The $100-million ride, which officially opened May 24, is being hailed as a game-changer by the reviewers and bloggers who cover such things (yes, there is quite a bit of room on the Internet), and even rivals at Disney Imagineering have, in private, acknowledged that the shiny new kid on the block is pretty impressive and possibly, well, transformative. Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim, opening this month, has been the big theme park story this summer due to the scale of the project and […]
Feb. 02, 2012 | 6:42 p.m.
If you tune in to the Super Bowl on Sunday you’ll see a parade of commercials for Hollywood’s upcoming heavy-hitter hopefuls (“The Hunger Games,” “The Avengers,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “John Carter”) but two even bigger box-office brand names — “Transformers” and “Star Wars” — will be selling something beyond the silver screen. “Star Wars” is back in a Volkswagen ad (after last year’s super-popular tiny-tot Darth Vader spot) while the massive space robots from Michael Bay’s film franchise will be bringing their unique version of heavy-metal combat to a pre-game, 30-second ad for Transformers: The Ride 3-D, which opens in May at Universal Studios Hollywood. Here’s a snippet that, if you think about it, is a promotional teaser for a commercial about a ride based on a movie created around a toy line. The ad will also introduce the website PrepareForBattle.com, where fans can check out tie-in videos or […]
Dec. 03, 2011 | 8:03 a.m.
We’re still hearing a lot of response to our biggest article this week, “Terry Gilliam: The heir of Fellini and the enemy of God?,” but the story isn’t quite done yet. Gilliam, the director of “Brazil” and “Twelve Monkeys,” is a man of fiery opinions and during our two interviews (covering three hours and spread over two days) he lobbed a few Molotov cocktails in different directions. So, with quotes that didn’t make it into that first article, we bring you the World According to Gilliam: * On “Transformers: Dark of the Moon“: “The latest ‘Transformers’ movie was on the plane coming over to Los Angeles. It’s horrible and there’s all these phallic things going on. I just couldn’t even deal with it. C’mon, leave some room for me, as the audience. The audience is totally excluded, you just sit there and watch the explosions. […]
June 30, 2011 | 11:52 a.m.
‘Transformers’: Shia LaBeouf, Michael Bay and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on the premiere path [video]
First, the stars of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” turned out for the film’s grand world premiere in Russia, then this week, they walked the red carpet for the U.S. premiere in New York. Actors Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and director Michael Bay were among those who took a moment to answer a few questions, talking about the movie and their experiences on and off set. Shia LaBeouf: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Michael Bay: –Jevon Phillips RECENT AND RELATED: LaBeouf on Megan Fox’s absence (photos) Shia LaBeouf says he’s ready to grow up LaBeouf: New “Transformers” is best 3-D film ever Bay wants you to forget last “Transformers” Photos: The leading ladies of summer Bay: “There’s a lot of poison on the Internet … whatever” Bay talks about Shia LaBeouf’s dark moods Bay’s payday? $75 million … and counting
June 28, 2011 | 3:19 p.m.
Watch director Michael Bay and stars Shia LeBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and more “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” cast and crew make their way down the red carpet in New York City for the film’s U.S. premiere. RECENT AND RELATED: LaBeouf on Megan Fox’s absence (photos) Shia LaBeouf says he’s ready to grow up LaBeouf: New “Transformers” is best 3-D film ever Bay wants you to forget last “Transformers” Photos: The leading ladies of summer Bay: “There’s a lot of poison on the Internet … whatever” “Avatar” sequel will dive into the oceans of Pandora Bay talks about Shia LaBeouf’s dark moods Bay’s payday? $75 million … and counting
June 24, 2011 | 11:53 a.m.
Shia LaBeouf learned how to play with others on action-movie sets, which may help explain why he’s often ready for a fight. One scrape last October during the filming of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center pitted the young actor against director Michael Bay over a song. With military and NASA personnel watching, Bay and his leading man were shooting an emotional sequence from the script’s third act on a shuttle launchpad at Cape Canaveral. To put himself in a somber frame of mind, LaBeouf plugged his iPod into some speakers and started playing a wistful ballad, Feist’s “Brandy Alexander.” “Yeah, it’s a little feminine, but it touches me,” LaBeouf says, starting to pepper his recollection with more expletives than are allowed in the PG-13 film. “I feel something when I hear it. … But Mike […]
June 23, 2011 | 5:30 a.m.
Moviegoers will have to decide whether to pony up the extra cash to see director Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” in 3-D and Imax when the stereoscopic edition of the latest entry in the big-budget franchise opens at 9 p.m. June 28, three hours before it premieres on movie screens in 2-D. According to the franchise’s enthusiastic star, Shia LaBeouf, this is one summer movie worth seeing in its full depth. “We took the 3-D cameras out of the ‘Avatar‘ stages and put them on the head of a dude jumping out of a plane in Chicago while a building is exploding. For real. Four or five dudes actually,” LaBeouf said. “It’s the greatest 3-D film ever made. It’s an amalgamation of ideas from Jim Cameron, Steven [Spielberg] and Michael [Bay]. “ Bay, working for the first time […]
May 19, 2011 | 10:20 a.m.
Michael Bay and James Cameron have a lot in common — they both blow up shiny things with a particular élan, wrangle their massive film crews military-style and earn studios the kind of money that makes a guy walk with a swagger. But, as evidenced by a talk the two action directors gave Wednesday night on the Paramount Pictures studio lot, they’re not entirely on the same page on the subject of 3-D. Bay screened about 15 minutes of footage from this summer’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” much of which he shot using the Fusion 3D camera system Cameron designed for “Avatar.” In a technical and sometimes contentious conversation about shutter speeds, rigs and lenses that will probably be very informative for the half-dozen people about to direct a $200-million-plus movie in the next year, Bay and Cameron debated […]
Jan. 14, 2011 | 2:05 p.m.
Michael Bay is among the most driven filmmakers in all of Hollywood, and right now his biggest motivation is making people forget his last movie, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” “It was kind of a mess, wasn’t it?” an unsmiling Bay said of the 2009 film, which was far from a flop — it grossed a potent $836 million worldwide, finishing third for the year behind only “Avatar” and the sixth “Harry Potter” movie. But the director still talks about the blockbuster in tones of regret. “Look, the movie had some good things in it and it was entertaining and it did very well, but it also failed in some key ways. I learned from it. And now with this third movie we’re going back to basics and I absolutely believe this is going to be a much better film than the second one.” As […]