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 […]
May 02, 2010 | 12:08 a.m.
The Los Angeles Times review of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” was written by Robert Abele, here’s an excerpt… Now comes the return of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” thanks in part to producer Michael Bay, who, when he’s not frightening movie snobs as a director, has made something of a profitable side job resurrecting scare brands — “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Amityville Horror,” “Friday the 13th” — from the pop-culture graveyard. This time around he’s coaxed back the estimably creepy Freddy Krueger from our bloody memories, but it’s hardly what you’d call a dream reunion. The first “Nightmare” was the brainchild of horrormeister Wes Craven, who looked to embolden the slasher era with a child killer let loose during sleepy time: Reality-bending imagery added to the usual rip-and-bleed gore craft. Although the fedora-sporting, finger-knived Freddy (iconically rendered […]
Jan. 15, 2010 | 2:08 a.m.
AWARDS SEASON Hero Complex robot expert Yvonne Villarreal gives a listen to “Transformers” director Michael Bay and his sound team as they wave the flag for trophy time in Hollywood. Imagine Demolisher and Optimus Prime wreaking havoc on the Earth as they battle — but doing it in complete silence. Not very thrilling, huh? The hunky pieces of metal in the “Transformers” films lose a lot of their thunderous power without all that sound. It’s the clinks and whooshes and BOOMS caused by the massive appliances that complete the larger-than-life experience of the films. Director Michael Bay recently joined sound re-recording mixers Greg P. Russell and Gary Summers, and supervising sound editors Ethan Van Der Ryn and Erik Aadahl to discuss the sound art (and science) of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” at the Cary Grant Theatre on the Sony Pictures lot. “I have like 2,000 […]
Dec. 02, 2009 | 2:27 a.m.
“AVATAR” COUNTDOWN: 18 DAYS Moviegoers will finally reach the moon called Pandora on Dec. 18 when writer-director James Cameron’s “Avatar” completes its long journey to the screen. The most expensive movie ever made will make history — but what will its legacy be? Today we continue our 30-day countdown with Part 2 of our interview with Oscar-winning composer James Horner. (You can read PART 1 right here) GB: Do you think moviegoers will have a hard time wrapping their heads around the sci-fi elements of “Avatar”? Are you concerned that the film won’t be as accessible as, say, “Titanic,” which you worked on with James Cameron so memorably? JH: Within this movie, of course, importantly to me, there’s a love story. To me a love story works as a counter to all the fanboy stuff. Without it, the film is just […]
Oct. 26, 2009 | 4:47 p.m.
The U2 show at the Rose Bowl may have been billed as the concert of the century but this is also the “decade of the fanboy” and I couldn’t help but notice some overlap between the massive music event and the universe we cover here at the Hero Complex. I was only inside the venue for 10 minutes when I saw a familiar face in the churning crowd of the stadium’s outer ring. I called out to J.J. Abrams and he smiled, waved and paused but really there was no way to stop and talk amid the crowd current. “See you inside,” he said. My son, Ben, who is 8, was attending his very first concert and he recognized Abrams but not as the creative brand behind “Lost,” “Star Trek” and “Fringe“: “Hey, he’s the guy who played keyboards in that video ‘Cool Guys Don’t Look at Explosions,’ […]
June 30, 2009 | 1:37 p.m.
How big will ”Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” get? The movie was closing in on $400 million on Monday, a number that surprised even some of the people at Paramount Pictures. We’ve had tons of coverage on the film, which is breaking records at the box office, and we’re not done yet. Here’s a longer version of the Los Angeles Times Calendar story I have in today’s paper on one of the new faces in Hollywood, Ramon Rodriguez, who plays Leo Spitz in the No. 1 movie in America right now. A lot of people are expecting big things from Ramon in the future, including Michael Bay, who hinted to me that the third film in the franchise will have a meatier role for the new cast member. It turns out that filmmaker Michael Bay runs an audition a lot like he makes movies. Last year, Ramon […]
June 29, 2009 | 12:29 p.m.
Wow, what a weekend for “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” It’s north of $360 million worldwide and counting. We’ve had tons of coverage on the film that is breaking records at the box office and we’re not done yet. Today, on the front page of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section, John Horn takes a look at the staggering disconnect between the critical reception and commercial fortunes of Michael Bay’s summer juggernaut. – G.B. Director Michael Bay has never been a critics’ favorite, but the thrashing he received for “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was the worst of his eight-film career. Reviewers ridiculed the new sequel about battling robots as “beyond bad” (Rolling Stone), “bewildering” and “sloppy” (the Village Voice) and “a great grinding garbage disposal of a movie” (the Detroit News). The early notices were so uniformly disapproving that after Bay’s traditional […]
June 24, 2009 | 5:17 p.m.
I remember a few years back when I first heard that Michael Bay was going to launch a “Transformers” franchise. My first reaction? That has to be the worst movie idea I’ve ever heard. I thought that the premise was flimsy at best and that, in a live-action film on a big screen, any giant, shape-shifting alien robot would simply look silly. And the notion of handing the project to the director of “Pearl Harbor“? Hah! A disaster in the making, clearly! Ahem. Once again, I’m clearly baffled by Hollywood, the American moviegoer and, well, life in general. The first film, released in 2007, merely pulled in $708 million worldwide. And now its sequel looks even more robust: ”Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” premiered Monday night in Hollywood (that’s Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox at the red-carpet event in the photo above) and as it opens wide today it […]
June 10, 2009 | 2:19 p.m.
When I interviewed Michael Bay last month, he certainly seemed unfazed by all of his many critics. Now I know one of the reasons — or maybe even 75 million of them. Claudia Eller and Ben Fritz, who delve into the money matters of Hollywood, have a report in today’s Los Angeles Times about the bombastic filmmaker’s sweet payday on the first “Transformers” movie and the windfall he has coming with its sequel. –G.B. Paramount Pictures’ upcoming film doesn’t hit theaters until June 24, but Hollywood is already buzzing that “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” could be the biggest movie of the summer and net one of the richest paydays ever for a director. Director Michael Bay agreed to forgo his normal percentage of ticket sales and a portion of his upfront fee in exchange for an even bigger piece of total profits […]