Michael Bay and TRANSFORMERS Producer on Movie Critic Hate
I am pretty easy to please when it comes to movies. I tend to enjoy them for what they are. I usually know what I've getting myself into, and I have my expectations set. Sometimes they are high expectations, sometimes they're low. Not all movies can be good, though! Even if I go in with low expectations, there's a chance the movie could be worse than I thought it would be. That's exactly how I felt about Transformers: Age of Extinction. I enjoyed the first movie and I enjoyed the third one, but I didn't care for the second or fourth movies at all. Sure, they had some fun moments, but as a whole they were crap because of their incredibly messy story structures and terrible scripts.
I personally believe that the heart and soul of a movie starts with the script. If that sucks, then the movie will suck. It doesn't take rocket science to figure that out, more like common sense, which some of Hollywood is lacking these days. Apparently producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura doesn't agree. In a recent interview with Mike Ryan at Screen Crush, the producer discusses how he feels about film critics today, and apparently, he's not a big believer in story structure. Here's a couple parts from the interview:
Ryan: ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ is going to make a ton of money. Are these movies critic-proof? Do you care about reviews?
Lorenzo: Well, first of all, I think every filmmaker cares what critics think because, you know, you’re being judged. I think if someone says they don’t care, baloney. Does it affect the gross of the movie? Probably a little bit. But, I think the problem with critics and the big movies in general is they don’t understand the format. So, they’re judging it against the kind of movie experience that it is not trying to do, nor should it. … What I mean is it’s like they’re locked into like, “OK, let’s compare this to a Marty Scorsese movie or a two-hour drama.”
What's funny about that is that I think the critics understand the format better than he does. You can still make a kick-ass Transformers movie with a decent script! The interview goes on!
I don’t know about that. Critics liked the latest Captain America movie a lot.
But, my experience with the critics is that when they like a big movie, it’s because they’re afraid they’re going to so go against the tide that they act like they liked it. That’s my opinion. I think it’s baloney. I don’t think they understand the form of entertainment and I don’t think they appreciate the form of the entertainment. So, I think in that respect, the reason critics don’t hurt a lot of the big movies is because the audience is smart enough to go, “I don’t care what he’s talking about or she’s talking about. What I care about is did I have a great experience? Was I wowed? Did I laugh? Did I feel like I was transported to a different place?” And they’re judging it on story elements and things that… I’m frustrated that they don’t get moviemaking today. They don’t get it. I don’t understand why they can’t evaluate movies on different experiences. My experience when I was first in the business, I really valued critics. Because even when they didn’t like something, they talked about what was good in it. So now it’s like these feasts of criticism — they just love killing the whole thing.
Basically what the producer is saying there is that the audience doesn't care that they are watching a shitty movie. I beg to differ, I think the audience does care! The fact of the matter is people appreciate good movies! I can't believe he actually believes this stuff! This is why my faith in Hollywood is waning. Because the people who are producing these movies don't care about the story or script quality.
In a separate interview with Michael Bay with MTV the director was asked about what he thinks about movie critics and this was his reply:
“They love to hate, and I don’t care; let them hate. They’re still going to see the movie! I think it’s good to get a little tension. Very good. … I used to get bothered by it, but I think it’s good to get the dialogue going. It makes me think, and it keeps me on my toes, so it’s good.”
I don't love to hate! I want a fun moviegoing expereince watching a film that I will enjoy! I want to write awesome positive reviews, but how can I do that if the movie sucks ass? Plus, I don't think that Bay does think about it! I don't think it does keep him on his toes, because he's still making mediocre to terrible Transformers movies! If he was listening to the criticism you'd think he'd actually make an effort to develop an amazing story and script.
Hollywood is blind, and it can be pretty funny.