Some controversy, if you want to call it that, popped up this weekend over Michael Bay's apparent use of old footage from The Island in his latest release, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which grossed a staggering $400 million over the July 4th weekend. We can infer two things from this revelation: 1) Bay figured so few people saw The Island he could probably get away with it, and 2) nobody cares.
A viral video has been doing the rounds in the last couple of days that suggests that the freeway chase in the latest "Transformers" borrows a couple of shots from the similar scene in Bay's 2005 sci-fi flop "The Island," with at least two shots of cars being destroyed or flipping over being duplicated. It's pretty clear from the video that Bay has indeed been doubling up (although YouTube detective Jermain Odreman is a video pirate, so deserves no credit whatsoever), leaving only one question: who, in the entire world, gives a shit?
I confess, I have a hard time telling one movie about giant robots beating the crap out of another from another, and it's probably doubly hard for the guy who actually directs them. What's needed, therefore, are even more people making Michael Bay movies, that way the guy won't be so hard-pressed to copy himself. I'm even providing a few pointers to get you started.
Practice Your Slo-Mo If movies like Armageddon have taught us anything, it's that life slows down during key moments, even if they don't seem important at the time. You can let your audience know it is important by dialing back the speed and slowly panning over the characters, the better to see the grim determination set in their chiseled faces.
Stock Up On Explosives Everything in a Michael Bay film is capable of bursting into impressive flame at any given moment. Cars, buildings, dogs, babies...all could, and should be detonated in such a way as to temporarily induce hearing loss and stimulate the release of enough dopamine to cause spontaneous orgasm in adolescent males.
Renew Your He-Man Woman Hater's Club Membership It isn't like girls are unimportant in Bay's movies - somebody always needs to be rescued or handed off to Ben Affleck (Armageddon *and* Pearl Harbor) - they're just obviously physically incapable of handling the day-to-day rigors of asteroid navigation and firing large caliber weapons. But hey, as long as they can jiggle appreciably while running and perspire seductively, women will always have a crucial tertiary place in Bay's movies.
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Here Comes There Goes The Sun Some cinematic occurrences are important enough to require slow-mo, others are significant enough to necessitate a setting sun backdrop (sunsets in the Bay-verse can also occur simultaneously all over the world). And if you happen to see slow motion taking place during a sunset? Oh baby, you just know someone's about to die heroically and/or perspire in an especially seductive fashion.
Reconnect With Your Friends At The Pentagon Finally, remember that no crisis - be it Japanese invasion, rogue asteroid, or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's confounding bra strap - is so grave that it can't potentially be solved by America's military, almost all of whom are square-jawed pillars of virtue that could've stepped out of a P90X ad. And if they occasionally find themselves on the wrong side, well, at least General Hummel's heart was in the right place.