New Divide

By skepticlawyer

Michael Bay has become notorious for taking good ideas and shitting on them: this is how you get a whole sequence in Team America: World Police dedicated to how shit his take on Pearl Harbour really was.

Perhaps it’s in all our interests that the Transformers franchise is proving harder to kill. This is in part because the original series was so impressive, but also because Transformers nuts Linkin Park did the soundtrack to both of Bay’s efforts. I’ve excerpted Linkin Park’s efforts for the second film below. It’s excellent, as you’d expect, and I’ve already written Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington a bit part (based on his role in Crank) in the novel I’m working on now. He works very well as the utterly dissolute apothecary who sells drugs in his pharmacy all the while explaining Friedmanite drug laws (taxed and profitable) to the provincials…


  1. Posted June 26, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    You’re a Linkin Park fan?

    I believe the correct response, put politely, is ROFLMAO!


  2. Posted June 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    *ahem* Sorry, actually I got a compilation and there are at least 3 or 4 songs with, at least, anthemic nu metal qualities. And it’s not fair when people call them the NKOTB of metal. Actually it’s not fair when people use the word metal in any proximity to them, for both sides, but I digress.

    Clearly you need to break up your Oxbridge truffling with some early 90s stuff from the Earache Records Catalogue…

  3. Posted June 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Michael Bay has become notorious for taking good ideas and shitting on them

    The authoritative career biography.

  4. Posted June 26, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Armagny, I hadn’t pegged you for a music nazi (‘my taste is so much better than yours because I listen to x‘). Stop it.

    Re Michael Bay: how does he continue to get funding? I mean, the films he does are seriously expensive to make… or maybe I’m missing something.

  5. Posted June 26, 2009 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, that music clip is a lot better than the second Transformers movie. Went to see it on Tuesday and was VERY disappointed as I loved the first one.

    Bay’s gone all “boys and their toys” this time and from the dorm full of scantily clad FHM honeys it’s all downhill from there as far as female fans go. Josh Duhamel barely appears and there’s none of that great under pressure banter you had with Tyrese “left cheek! left cheek! left cheek!” Gibson. Instead there’s a self righteous pain in the arse throwing his weight around with a presidential warrant and painting Obama as a d*ckhead by association (in the first movie, the Bush presidency was implied “can you rustle up a couple of ding dongs darlin’?” but not stated).

    Clarifies why the Chagos Islanders aren’t being allowed back onto Diego Garcia despite continuous success in the High Court though.

    The highlight of the first movie was the emphasis on the one-on-one droid death matches which were spectacular but this time Bay’s taking a more “never mind the quality, feel the width” approach of bigger military vs. decepticon operations, which quite frankly are just not as interesting. Hand to hand combat vs. ‘lets drop bombs on it until it stops moving’? I know which I prefer.

    The effects are just as good, but the story is nowhere near as well written or plotted and dropping the comic relief parents into the middle of the action was an error. Maybe Speilberg sat on him last time, because this slack effort just smacks of self indulgence.

    Bay keeps getting hired because you can make a lot of money churning out visual spectaculars for 12 year old boys. You can make a lot more with visual spectaculars that appeal to a wider audience as the first Transformers demonstrated, but not as reliably and the studios don’t like risk when they’re so expensive to make.

  6. Jacques Chester
    Posted June 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Re Michael Bay: how does he continue to get funding? I mean, the films he does are seriously expensive to make… or maybe I’m missing something.

    Most of his movies are wildly profitable.

  7. Posted June 27, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I agree with SL about SOAD- I’ve got all their albums. But not Linkin Park, who resemble saccharine dough stamped by a cooky cutter IMO 🙂

  8. Posey
    Posted June 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Never heard of Michael Bay, Transformers or Linkin Park.

    Gather I’m not missing much either from the commentary.

  9. Posted June 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    As DEM says, the first Transformers movie is very good. I trust her cinematic judgment, so I won’t be watching the second one.

    WRT to musical taste, the reason I chipped Armagny and not Mel for disagreements over musical taste is that I have come (through many years both at the centre and on the fringes of the arts crowd) to believe that passing judgment on the cultural tastes of other people is pretty much illegitimate as discourse. Mel said what he liked — agree to disagree, fine and dandy. I think I’ve proven my metal chops over the years sufficiently in order not to have to justify my tastes.

    It’s also been my experience that this kind of ‘but your tastes aren’t authentic’ (or variations thereof) is commoner among a certain sort of leftie. It was rampant when I had my time in the literary sun, and was made worse by state funding of the arts, which — like all patronage — made its recipients feel free to attack market preferences (ie, the things that Joe Average wanted to buy).

    I don’t like Michael Bay when he gets all over the top, but if I run into someone who’s a total Michael Bay nut, then I’m not going to engage in some sort of attempt to ‘morally improve’ their taste. That’s unpleasantly like the those religious charities (which shall remain nameless) when they insist that homeless people have to listen to half an hour of funk about Jesus before they get their free meal.

    /rant over, this one presses my buttons.

  10. Posted June 28, 2009 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Haven’t seen the Transformers but I did see Ironman on DVD recently which is a little similar I guess. Robert Downey Jr was brilliant as Ironman and the script was interesting.

    As to musical taste I agree with SL. I’ve got extremely wide musical tastes ranging from country music to heavy metal. It peeves me when folk say country music is only for rustic yokels or metal is for boneheads. There’s something of value in all musical genres I reckon.

  11. su
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    There is an amusing interview with Bay, Megan Fox and some of the other actors on Screencrave in which Bay outs himself as a total twat. You wouldn’t call Fox the most eloquent of speakers but she manages to convey her weary contempt for Bay pretty well. Among other things he turned her costume tryout into a private ogling session for himself and a couple of guests. Classy.

  12. Posted June 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Michael Bay: how does he continue to get funding? I mean, the films he does are seriously expensive to make… or maybe I’m missing something.

    He’s the 11th most profitable director globally. People in general – taste: arse.

    Probably who so many great artists were highly enthusiastic about autocracy.

  13. Posey
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mind bad taste, as long as its defenders can make an interesting story out of it. If not, if all there is to tell is how shite and/or expensive it is, well, then, forgive me, but what is the point?

  14. AJ
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s definitely the most poorly named squillion dollar blockbuster movie in a while. I know it’s based on a 80s kids cartoon but “Revenge of the Fallen”. Ugh.

  15. Posted June 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    That’s “The Fallen” AJ, with caps. “The Fallen” is the name of a super-duper (read: larger) Decepticon who was never mentioned the entire first movie and who suddenly appears as Megatron’s boss, complete with an unforgiveable Emperor/Vader rip off to make sure you haven’t missed the Star Wars reference.

    My musical tastes are reasonably varied and linger mostly around opera and classical music, but last year SL took me to see Linkin Park perform live in London for my birthday and I loved it. Have been listening to them ever since. This was actually revenge on her part because I’d dragged her to see Andreas Scholl (the german baroque countertenor) performing at the Edinburgh International Festival the previous summer.

    Some people are such great musicians that you can enjoy them regardless of the style in which they perform. Excellent musicianship will out (as will really freaky vocal work like that of Scholl and Bennington). I think adding a filter of ‘authenticity’ to decide whether we are allowed to enjoy something or not is utterly bogus.

    (Just don’t start me on the idiots who insist on opera being performed in its original language, regardless of the language of the audience – this is just an excuse for selling subtitling systems. Opera has plot and dialogue, if the audience can’t follow it their appreciation of the work is diminished rather than improved. You may as well sing the whole thing to ‘la’).

  16. Posted June 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    if all there is to tell is how shite and/or expensive it is, well, then, forgive me, but what is the point?
    Had an editor once who wrote a review of Tom Twyker’s Run Lola Run, said the reason to see it was ’cause Twyker got a $10 million, three picture deal outta Miramax. Nothing at all about the film itself.

    It’s the way he thought.

    Michael Bay’s just learned that the really basic, totally corny stuff works. Steven taught him everything he knows. Spielberg, the only director who ever lived who could make a film about the Holocaust and end it with a group hug.

  17. Posted July 1, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    “/rant over, this one presses my buttons.”

    Hmmm, I do think there’s been a slight failure to note obvious signposts to tongue-in-cheek tone and lightheartedness in my comments.

    And given Mel said:

    “But not Linkin Park, who resemble saccharine dough stamped by a cooky cutter IMO ”

    it’s simply not the case that he stuck to positives, so geese and ganders for the same treatment please.

    Remember this conversation the next time some lefties are getting lampooned for not having a sense of humour- what’s sensitive to one person is innocuous and fair game to another. Anyway, sorry if I caused offence!

  18. Posted July 1, 2009 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Just to clarify, as I was a bit defensive in my prev comment- I am genuinely saying sorry for any offence and I won’t bag your music tastes, even in an upbeat tone, in future. Well at least not on your site, anyway =p

  19. Posted July 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I guess one of the problems with blogs and e-mail is that tone doesn’t always come across – so sometimes people take things in a different way to which they were intended.

    Yet writers — good ones — can convey tone merely by the application of black words to the white. Maybe we’re all just horribly unpracticed in the craft.

    I suspect this was a case of missing ‘tone’, although — to be fair — I’ve always drawn a sharp distinction between expressing dislike for something per se and casting aspersions on others because they like that thing one dislikes. It’s the latter I object to.

  20. Posted July 9, 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    SL, you are one of the few bloggers I have communicated with off the ‘sphere. I cast no aspertions over you, I was just taking the piss… very lightly… not intending harm…. have a collection of LP myself… and warrant…van halen…. we had a darkness song played at our wedding (!!)… kthxby!

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