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Old 2012-09-24, 04:32 PM   #1
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Smile The Pros and Cons of Modern Action Films and Directors.

Note: Moved from the thread on Michael Bay's return to Transformers.- Inflatable Dalek.

Heck yes.

Shall we start the random fandumb guessing now?

IT SHULD B LIKE KEY 2 VECOTR SIGMA WITH THE ARIALBOTS AND THE STUNTICONS BT WITH TEH DINOBOTS OFF ANIMATED IN IT!

I hope they hurry up with the tie-in game so some twat can check the source file names and find out the plot twists, there's no way I'm waiting until the film's out to find out what happens in the film.
 

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Old 2012-09-24, 08:03 PM   #2
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A twenty year time jump and Daniel as the lead?

As much as I enjoy the previous films, I'm not convinced keeping Bay on if they want to freshen them up is the right idea. It'll basically be more of the same won't it?
 
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Old 2012-09-24, 08:19 PM   #3
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I know quite a few here liked the Bay movies but I'm not in that camp. Yeah , he does spectacle but thats kind of a given when you have as much money as he did. And for every scene that was awesome (Blackouts base attack, starscream taking out the other planes, Primes last stand) there were also quite a few which were hard to follow or dull or just pointless. And the humour of the films sucks.

But then, I cant think of a Bay film that I like. Its all testosterone filled rubbish that sells well and all power to him for that. But for me, I dont think I'll bother with this.

Unless Galvatrons in it....
 
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Old 2012-09-24, 08:22 PM   #4
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Do they need freshening up? $1bn box office suggests someone's doing something right. DotM was also a big qualitative improvement on RotF

The problem with stick and twist is who to get in. There'll be people suggesting the likes of Nolan, Whedon and various other in vogue names who'd never touch a film advertising toys of course but this film's being made in the real world rather than some fevered fanboy dream. So you're basically looking at getting in someone who's a bit like Bay and may or may not be as good at being Bay. And what'd be the point in that?
 
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Old 2012-09-24, 08:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Do they need freshening up? $1bn box office suggests someone's doing something right. DotM was also a big qualitative improvement on RotF
Based on the quotes a fresh approach seems to be what Paramount/Bay want to do anyway, so if that is what they're aiming for a new director might have been the best bet.

Certainly director roullette haven't done the Bond films much harm over the last 15 years, and that's probably the ultimate franchise for the general public expecting the same thing every movie.

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So you're basically looking at getting in someone who's a bit like Bay and may or may not be as good at being Bay. And what'd be the point in that?
Well, equally they could turn out to be better. We won't know till they try.
 
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Old 2012-09-24, 08:47 PM   #6
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No, the quotes so far are the standard meaningless wiffle that comes out this far ahead of any big budget studio sequel while they see who's going to sign on and who's not.

Do Bond films have proper directors now then? Not seen anything this side of the one with Halle Berry but the ones before that were all directed by totally unremarkable professionals who could follow orders and had zero personal panache. So much of them depends on trope and tradition that the director is no more than part of a slick film-making machine rather than an artist steering the project.
 
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Old 2012-09-24, 09:15 PM   #7
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Well Sam Mendes is doing the Skyfall film but generally, Bond directors do tend to seem like a mis-match of journey men.

But thats not always a bad thing. One problem I have with Bay is that he imposes his personality on the film so much, even if it doesnt gel with the story. Big Bay explosions obviously fit the world of transformers but devastators testicals and little robots perving over meg fox? Nah.

I get that some, no, millions like the Bay style of blockbuster and tied to franchise like Transformers it should work. But personally I think his body of work is pretty poor and its a style of movie I just cant enjoy.

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Do they need freshening up? $1bn box office suggests someone's doing something right. DotM was also a big qualitative improvement on RotF
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So you're basically looking at getting in someone who's a bit like Bay and may or may not be as good at being Bay. And what'd be the point in that?
The last three Star Wars movies did pretty well at the box office too, but I wouldnt rate them highly either. A film doing well at the box office may justify Bay from a business point of view but with the last two movies having a metacritic rating of 43 and 35 I think its fair they say they arent going to be remembered as fondly as other big money makers.

(and before you say it, I know Metacritic isnt the be all and all of what defines a good movie, but neither is the box office)

For what its worth, the first movie got a 65 rating which I think is pretty bang on. Its by far the best movie of the three.

But if they were going to change director, they would have to go with someone with a different style, otherwise what would be the point? If Hasbro are happy with Bay (and seeing what they tried to do with Battleship is basically Bay-style) then so be it.
 
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Old 2012-09-24, 10:59 PM   #8
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An action film based on a toyline with heavy product placement from GM, Fiat, Mercedes et al is never, ever going to get good critical reviews. Transformers comics and animes are looked down on even within niche sites. Fair? Unfair? Doesn't matter. And neither do critics' opinions, TBH - most film critics have been doing their jobs for 40, 50 years now and have a near-total disconnect to their audience, especially most of the dried out old ****s on Metacritic. IIRC exit polling for all three films has been strong.

Transformers has always been about selling product. It seems daft to pull up Paramount for going to the box office just because they're selling tickets rather than plastic toys. It's the same with all Transformers, except mainly IDW - and IDW get away with it because they're selling an unpopular title within a largely unpopular medium; if there was any way to get sales around the level of Batman they'd do it. Fun fact: Swindon Town's home attendance is about the same as MTMTE's sales.

I can appreciate people not liking Bay's TF films - their loss, not mine (though many do seem to insist on going to see each one and voicing their dislike, presumably assuming the successful style is going to completely disappear in favour of computer games references and Saturday morning cold war morality tales, which is curious). But I'm not sure why anyone should be catering for a minority who 1) are largely giving them money anyway and 2) likely to just find something else to complain about.
 
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Old 2012-09-24, 11:32 PM   #9
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An action film based on a toyline with heavy product placement from GM, Fiat, Mercedes et al is never, ever going to get good critical reviews. Transformers comics and animes are looked down on even within niche sites. Fair? Unfair? Doesn't matter. And neither do critics' opinions, TBH - most film critics have been doing their jobs for 40, 50 years now and have a near-total disconnect to their audience, especially most of the dried out old ****s on Metacritic. IIRC exit polling for all three films has been strong.
Ok, forget the 40-50 year old pro critics. The user (non-pro) rating for Dark of the Moon & Revenge of the Fallen is 5.7. Compare that with Avengers (8.1), Dark Knight Rises (8.6) and the first Transformers (6.9). I dont think thats a particularly strong response.

Also, I dont get why it matters if the film is based on a toyline with heavy prodcut placement is an excuse to a film being good or bad. The first Pirates of the Caribbean is based on a Disney park ride but that didnt stop it being an alright film (and I'd wager the first one is more highly regarded than any of the Bay formers)

But like you say, what matters is whether you as an individual enjoy them and you clearly do so fair enough. But from my side of things, I'm a transformer fan who doesnt enjoy what Bay has done and I'd like to see someone else try something different with it. We've had 3 Bay films. Even as someone who has enjoyed them, what do you think hes going to bring to the fourth thats going to make it worthwhile. Hell, I like the lord of the rings movies but I find myself wondering how the hell I'm going to sit through another 3 episodes of Peter Jacksons Hobbit (Del Toro would have been much more interesting for a new trilogy) Forget the money aspect - Bar terrible reviews the Transformers 4 film would probably do good numbers no matter the director. But from an entertainment point of view do you think Bay can give us anything new?
 
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Old 2012-09-24, 11:54 PM   #10
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In terms of spectacle Bay's topped himself with each installment. I've no idea whether he'll do it again or how but I wouldn't bet against it.

Any internet ratings are skewed by the anti-Bay bandwagon just as they're unreliable for most things - too many people rate films they like as 10 and films they don't like as 1 (especially discontented fans of a franchise). The vast majority of cinemagoers don't feel the need to play critic on IMDB and the like. IIRC audience exit polling was strong. But very little of it tells you the only important thing - that box office has climbed. There is no better way of telling you the films must be going down okay. If they weren't people wouldn't buy tickets for the next one.

The Bay films have been popular and there's no persuasive case for Paramount to really want to change things.

(Besides which the ratings for Avengers and Rises will drop given time as people see them on DVD stripped of the big screen, the intial buzz dies down, they get re-evaluated alongside next summer's big films and so on.... well-received films always spend the first 6-12 months after their release rocketing around alongside longer-standing classics on IMDB before gradually dropping down to a more modest - and often fitting - place in the scheme of things)

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Also, I dont get why it matters if the film is based on a toyline with heavy prodcut placement is an excuse to a film being good or bad.
I didn't say anything about it making a film good or bad and it's quite disingenuous to suggest I did. I said it affects how critics view a film. Contemporary reviews for TF:TM were scathing and distainful for the same reason.

IIRC critical response to Pirates made minimal reference to its' origins and was generally ambushed by Depp doing a Keith Richards impression. It wasn't trying to sell a Disney ride, it just used it as a very loose starting point - it's just a pirate film done really well and arguably would have done just as well with the handful of trademarks used changed. With Transformers it's hardwired to the basic concept (where Hasbro are arguably a victim of their own success after obliterating the opposition).
 
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Old 2012-09-25, 12:16 AM   #11
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In terms of spectacle Bay's topped himself with each installment. I've no idea whether he'll do it again or how but I wouldn't bet against it.
I dont agree with that actually. While DOTM features bigger, more expensive set pieces I dont think he has topped the Airbase assault in the first movie. But thats personal preference.

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anti-Bay bandwagon
There's a reason many people dont like his stuff you know

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The Bay films have been popular and there's no persuasive case for Paramount to really want to change things.
I dont disagree with what your saying at all there. But as someone who didnt like the Bay-formers, and doesnt have shares in Paramount, I think I'm justified in expressing my disappointment in their decision. They will make a lot of money and I still wont have a Transformers movie that I really enjoy. Sucks to be me, but there you go.

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I didn't say anything about it making a film good or bad and it's quite disingenuous to suggest I did. I said it affects how critics view a film. Contemporary reviews for TF:TM were scathing and distainful for the same reason.
In fairness, I did mis-read you on that. As a counter-point the reviews for the first bay movie were mostly positive (total film, empire) and part of this was they werent expecting anything good, but got something that wasnt too bad. The wiki page would back this up. Its the second film that dragged things really down and while DOTM is better then ROTF, its still a pretty week film (imo) It was nominated for more razzies than the second one believe it or not.

For the record - I went to see the first movie in the cinema and enjoyed it enough to pick up the blue ray once it dropped in price. Saw the second movie in the cinema but was so put off that I didnt bother with DOTM. I finally got round to seeing that after picking it up using gift vouchers as part of a 2 for 25 (also, many of the people on here seemed to enjoy it which I took as a good sign. Yourself included). I regret that purchase. I wont be bothering with the fourth bar some amazing reviews.
 
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Old 2012-09-25, 12:33 AM   #12
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I dont agree with that actually. While DOTM features bigger, more expensive set pieces I dont think he has topped the Airbase assault in the first movie. But thats personal preference.
Yup, personal preference - I'd say the first phase of the Mission City battle (before the Autobots are all out of action) topped the Qatar assault (which worked largely on squeeee value; it's good, but mainly because it got basically everyone watching onside instantly by showing live action Transformers would work); ROTF topped that with the forest fight scene; DotM then managed to sustain things very well in Chicago. But personal preference.

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There's a reason many people dont like his stuff you know
Yup, lots of people like bandwagons - it's an easy meme for some. The general net-nerd reaction after RotF (where meme sites like ToplessRobot and io9 basically branded him the worst director of all time) illustrates it perfectly, though it's calmed down a lot since DotM proved that he just didn't give a shit. Of course a lot of other people have rational reservations and criticism but a lot of the anti-Bay voices are just posers going with the flow and spouting second-hand hyperbole. See also: Justin Bieber.

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Its the second film that dragged things really down and while DOTM is better then ROTF, its still a pretty week film (imo) It was nominated for more razzies than the second one believe it or not.
The Razzies are a crock of shit, though - it's vital for the profile of the awards that they target big-budget films rather than genuinely shocking stuff starring people that no-one's ever heard of that runs in five theatres and closes with a gross of $2000. Critics were surprised how good the first one was and got the knives out for the second; by the third the bloodlust had died down a bit. It's worth remembering that Phantom Menace opened to gushing reviews from critics (including a five-star review in Empire) and is now a cinematic punchline. This stuff's too caught up in trends and fads - moreso with new media than ever before - to draw any conclusions as to general critical and/or public appreciation until a few years down the line.

It's also amazing how little non-fans give a shit about stuff that makes fans' blood boil - things like the Devastator/scrotum joke. Fans are foaming as if we saw a big hairy pair of bollocks dangling away but for 99% of people watching it was a two-second gag that was over with as soon as it started. So while it might make the basis for a fatwah in some circles most people who watched the film in the cinema once and maybe on DVD a year later barely noticed it.
 
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Old 2012-09-25, 07:02 AM   #13
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Yup, lots of people like bandwagons - it's an easy meme for some. The general net-nerd reaction after RotF (where meme sites like ToplessRobot and io9 basically branded him the worst director of all time) illustrates it perfectly, though it's calmed down a lot since DotM proved that he just didn't give a shit. Of course a lot of other people have rational reservations and criticism but a lot of the anti-Bay voices are just posers going with the flow and spouting second-hand hyperbole. See also: Justin Bieber
Just saying there's no smoke without fire. Bay may be very good at managing big projects and he sure knows how to hit the big dumb block buster (and I dont mean that as a negative - big and dumb is sometimes exactly what you want) but I really dont think any of his films are much. I'm not a fan of the fast edit, MTV style approach. I think his films lack drama (ok maybe not the rock but for example Armagageddon had so many false finishes that it become comical when something else went wrong) And then there's pearl harbour and the bad boys films - three really rotten films. I get your point with Bieber, he's an easy target. But having seen a few of his films I think my dislike of his style and approach is based on experience more than any form of band wagon.

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it's vital for the profile of the awards that they target big-budget films rather than genuinely shocking stuff starring people that no-one's ever heard of that runs in five theatres and closes with a gross of $2000
While thats true, I think in fairness when a film has massive financal backing of a studio and therein the ability to have people at the top of their game working on it, it should be held up to a higher standard - whether its aimed at the mass market or not. But regarding the razzies I was just suprised the third got more nominations than the second. One thing to consider though is that the razzies try to follow public opinion more closely than your standard "awards". They tend not to go after films that are well received.

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t's also amazing how little non-fans give a shit about stuff that makes fans' blood boil - things like the Devastator/scrotum joke. Fans are foaming as if we saw a big hairy pair of bollocks dangling away but for 99% of people watching it was a two-second gag that was over with as soon as it started. So while it might make the basis for a fatwah in some circles most people who watched the film in the cinema once and maybe on DVD a year later barely noticed it.
I'll argue this point a little. I dont think its just "hardcores" that have problems with this. Much as I like that first film I found some of the scenes took me out of the movie. Prime skulking round the parents house? A transformer peeing on a human? Sorry, I found that cringe worthy and not because it is sacralige against my favourite childhood toy - I just thought they were scenes which took away from the movie and the atmosphere it sometimes had. And the devastator balls thing isnt that big a deal - I just thought it was adolescent homour done with no skill. "Ha-ha, look its like he has balls" Whatever. If that was ROTFs biggest problem it wouldnt bother me. I bring it up as reference to the overall tone that Bays film have.

Fun as this always is, we'll have to agree to disagree on the merits of Michael Bay.
 
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Old 2012-09-25, 08:39 AM   #14
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But having seen a few of his films I think my dislike of his style and approach is based on experience more than any form of band wagon.
Well obviously - you're laying out a rational basis for not liking the films. But I don't think everyone recycling cheap Bay jokes is capable of the same, and that's the sort of thing that attracts mocking YouTube videos, articles on modish pop culture sites, lowballing vote cramming and Razzie awards.

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While thats true, I think in fairness when a film has massive financal backing of a studio and therein the ability to have people at the top of their game working on it, it should be held up to a higher standard - whether its aimed at the mass market or not.
True - but it largely makes them just as meaningless as the Oscars are in their way (they basically work on the same principles of buzz, just inverted - TBH the Razzies lost any bite the second people started to turn up and collect the things - it's a weird indicator of cult approval now). Bay will get Razzie nominations because people know who he is and because there's no point in some tit churning out identikit mockbusters or whatever. I'd theorise DotM got more largely because 2011 was less clunker-filled than 2009, though.



Quote:
I'll argue this point a little. I dont think its just "hardcores" that have problems with this. Much as I like that first film I found some of the scenes took me out of the movie. Prime skulking round the parents house? A transformer peeing on a human? Sorry, I found that cringe worthy and not because it is sacralige against my favourite childhood toy - I just thought they were scenes which took away from the movie and the atmosphere it sometimes had. And the devastator balls thing isnt that big a deal - I just thought it was adolescent homour done with no skill. "Ha-ha, look its like he has balls" Whatever. If that was ROTFs biggest problem it wouldnt bother me. I bring it up as reference to the overall tone that Bays film have.
Sorry, more of a tangent - though everyone I've watched the first film with has found the Autobots ineptly hiding around Sam's house to be pretty funny (and I quite like the idea of robots in disguise being unable to hide sensibly). It's a your mileage may vary thing but a large amount of the audience like the comedy even if it can be hit and miss.
 
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Old 2012-09-25, 02:32 PM   #15
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I want a reboot because I don't want to see Sam, Carly, Simmons anymore. They are at their dead end.
You don't need a reboot for that, just a new human cast. The story itself has moved past them.

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But I also like the chance of carrying over so that might give Hasbro another chance to negotiate the license for Ferrari Dino.........
Won't happen. Alternators weren't good enough for them, so I can't imagine that a so-called ""Bayformer" design would work either.
 
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Old 2012-09-25, 03:05 PM   #16
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Won't happen. Alternators weren't good enough for them, so I can't imagine that a so-called ""Bayformer" design would work either.
What makes Alternators better than the Movie designs? The Bayformer designs tie in with big blockbuster movies. Alternators are oversized, overpriced collector toys homaging a then-defunct twenty-year-old cartoon.
 
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Old 2012-09-25, 03:29 PM   #17
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What makes Alternators better than the Movie designs? The Bayformer designs tie in with big blockbuster movies. Alternators are oversized, overpriced collector toys homaging a then-defunct twenty-year-old cartoon.
Realism of the alt-mode. Ferrarri didn't like the 'lines' in the vehicle mode neccessary for transformation. If Alternators couldn't do it, deluxe-sized toys wouldn't have a 'perfect' Ferrrarri form either.
 
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Old 2012-09-25, 03:31 PM   #18
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Eh, we're unlikely to get a Ferrari Transformer because Ferrari are Ferrari. We're talking a Coca-Cola level of branding here (people all over the world who will never own a car know what a Ferrari is and want one; the name is effectively a by-word for luxury and class) but mixed with such a high-end product that they really don't have to worry about pissing people off because there will always, always be a demand for their cars. God knows what Hot Wheels pay them in licencing but it's offset by the ability to produce dozens of new toys a year to pay it back. Hasbro aren't going to stump up that sort of money for 1-4 figures. Ferrari's brand is so powerful that they can name their price for this sort of thing.

Really the inclusion of Dino in TF3 is just the latest of a series of incidents that show that in Paramount Hasbro finally have a partner who can and will ignore what they want. If it had been up to Hasbro there wouldn't have been a Ferrari in the film because they know they wouldn't be able to get a toy out of it.

And yeh, they're never likely to approve a toy that features any additional lines in the car mode - this is why Dino's transformations are largely blocked from view (we see the second half of it during the Autobots' return), why he doesn't go into Stealth Mode and quite likely why Que died instead in the final film.
 
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Old 2012-09-25, 05:07 PM   #19
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Do Bond films have proper directors now then? Not seen anything this side of the one with Halle Berry but the ones before that were all directed by totally unremarkable professionals who could follow orders and had zero personal panache. So much of them depends on trope and tradition that the director is no more than part of a slick film-making machine rather than an artist steering the project.
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Well Sam Mendes is doing the Skyfall film but generally, Bond directors do tend to seem like a mis-match of journey men.
I think that's a tad harsh, John Glen is the only one I'd really describe as a journeyman (and he's the only one without a notable non-Bond credit) but the others definately had their own style and outside success, I mean, Terrance Fisher alone is just as much a iconic director of popular cinema as anyone else.

One thing they have done post Glen is put some effort into being a bit eccentric and off the wall in their choices. Martin Campbell is the only with who had any real previous form as an action director, but was most famous for Edge of Darkness.

And whilst their choices haven't always worked (Lee probably regrets being involved at all as before Die Another Day he was known for his hard hitting Kiwi drama, now he's known for two of the daftest action films ever made and seems to have a dead career) but everything from Goldeneye onwards is a lot fresher and and varied than the '80's films.

Speaking of Bond, does the fact this is at least the second time Bay has gone into one of the sequels saying "This will be my last" remind anyone of Sir Roger's "No more for me" comments as part of his pay negotiations after every film?

I'm not suggesting chucking out Bay and getting the Cohen brothers in is either likely or desirable, nor that we're likely to see a drastic reinvention any time soon. But new directors can still bring in a fresh, less tired eye to things. I'm not convinced there is anything new Bay can bring to the table at this point.

Mind... thinking about this:

Quote:
The problem with stick and twist is who to get in. There'll be people suggesting the likes of Nolan, Whedon and various other in vogue names who'd never touch a film advertising toys of course but this film's being made in the real world rather than some fevered fanboy dream. So you're basically looking at getting in someone who's a bit like Bay and may or may not be as good at being Bay. And what'd be the point in that?
Isn't Bay himself proof that you can get A list directors on the franchise? Love or hate his stuff, he's made some of the most successful and popular action films of the last twenty years. Arguably TF's should be as much beneath him as the directors you mention. I suspect working with Spielberg (or if you want to be cynical, the moolah) is the main appeal for both Bay anyone who might come on to work on the films in future rather than the property itself.
 
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Old 2012-09-25, 05:27 PM   #20
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I didn't say anything about A-list. I mean in vogue directors. That's why I said it. Bay wasn't close to in vogue - in fact from Pearl Harbor and Bad Boys II (which is where the Bruckheimer backlash started to kick in and people began to pretend they never enjoyed The Rock) his stock was actually pretty mediocre at the time despite his box office record.
 
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