All The Things Michael Bay Cares About More Than Transformers

Illustration for article titled All The Things Michael Bay Cares About More Than Transformers

Guys. I'm a little freaked out. I checked my mailbox the other day, and it had a letter in it from my student loan people. They finally tracked me down, and want their $75,000 in gold and pelts. But what really bugs me is this — who put the letter there? Because it sure as hell wasn't me. Creepy.


Bay Dismay

Taylor D.:

In the last Transformers: Age of Extinction trailer, some guy is marveling over some shape-changing material that the Transformers are supposedly made of. This is so stupid it makes me insane. First of all, the Transformers are obviously made of metal. Second of all, the people in the first movie were studying Megatron for like a century or something. Even if they were made out of this crap, wouldn't they have been able to figure it out a long time ago?

Does Michael Bay not even pay attention to his own movies?

Yeah, not even slightly. It's adorable that you thought Michael Bay was trying to build some kind of live-action Transformers "continuity," but as you can see, that's clearly not the case. Hey, remember in the first movie when the Allspark randomly killed Megatron? But in the second movie it brought Megatron back to life for some reason? Michael Bay does not care. He figures out the action scenes, and then some poor bastard has to somehow connect them with words. If the words don't make sense, or somehow contradict each other, it is not Michael Bay's problem.

Here, maybe this will help. Here, as far as I can tell, is what Michael Bay cares about when making a movie, ranked from most important to least:

1) Explosions

2) The U.S. Military

3) Bros

4) Hot Girls Leaning Over Things

5) Guns

6) Making a Shit-Ton of Money

26) Giant Robots

47) The Live-Action Transformers Movie Franchise

154) Basic Common Sense

571) Continuity

1,283) Anything to Do with the Original Transformers Franchise

I hope that helps clean it up. By the way, I'm expecting Age of Extinction to be a mess on the order of Dark of the Moon. Transformers 3 was disappointingly mediocre; I'm really hoping Bay follows his bliss and finally has a robot shit on somebody. Probably Stanley Tucci.

Repleted Scenes

Melissa F.:

With all the talk over THAT SCENE in the Game of Thrones show, I was wondering what you think the BEST scene the show made up?


Well, I could go for the easy answer, and say the amazingly weird White Walker madness from a few episodes ago, which enriched our knowledge of the White Walkers beyond what was in the books, raised a ton of questions, seemingly introduced a major supernatural player, and, beyond all that, was just awesome.

But I won't go for the easy answer. Whenever I think of Game of Thrones going off-book, I'm reminded of the scene in season one where Cersei and King Robert discuss their utter failure of a marriage. It's not a scene even hinted at the books, because these weren't POV characters, and it was a private conversation. But this scene doesn't just convey their troubled relationship, it explains the entirety of their horrible relationship, how the Seven Kingdoms depended on the idea of their marriage, even as they both (but mostly Cersei) suffered for it. They're both so numb in the scene that they can even laugh together briefly, bonding over a lifetime of causing each other pain. That's when I knew Game of Thrones wasn't just going to be okay, but it was going to be a worthy show all on its own.


But this is the scene that sticks in my mind. I'd very much like to know which "new" scenes from the show are your favorites. Let me know in the comments!

Illustration for article titled All The Things Michael Bay Cares About More Than Transformers

At Bat

Clayton Johnston

Mr. Postman,

I would like to get your opinion on my idea for a continuity-free Batman anthology television series.

What sets Batman apart as a character is his ability to adapt to a broad range of tones, from silly cartoons to grim & gritty comics and even horror. Bad Batman stories are an issue of quality, not a mismatch of character and tone.

Since Warner Brothers is determined to stumble towards a shared DC movie universe, this concept doesn't have a chance of seeing the big screen, but I think there is room for a Batman anthology TV series that frees the character from the Dark Knight action hero rut. The series would probably air on Showtime or HBO, and would resemble a cross between The Outer Limits and the Batman Confidential comics; no ongoing story (each episode is out of continuity with the others) and featuring a rotating series of writers, actors and directors. Each season could be short, with six one-hour episodes or three two-hour episodes.

The anthology model would attract creatives with different take on the character that might not otherwise have a chance to be realized. Budget limitations would require the episodes to tell smaller stories, which is what I think the character needs. We could have noir influenced detective stories (imagine David Fincher writing/directing) and even humorous episodes (I would love to see Jon Hamm as Batman and Patrick Warburton as Superman).

I know we're in the golden ages of long-form storytelling in TV and shared universe movies, but do you think there's a market for a Batman show with unconnected stories and no consistent tone?


There is a market for a Batman anthology show that you're describing, and they're called "nerds." Nerds could handle the changes in tone and style and Batmen in stride, and still come back every week for more.

But mass audiences? Not so much. First of all, there haven't been anthology shows like The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone in quite some time, mostly because they're a lot of work. Anthology TV shows nowadays are done by season — like American Horror Story and True Detective — but in the case of AHS the tone is still consistent (as is a bit of the cast). Think of the time and effort it would take to make six different Batsuits. And then think of how jarring it would be for mass audiences to see a new Batman and a totally different story and tone each week. It's not going to happen.


If we ever get a Batman TV series — you know, one that actually stars Batman — it'll be a serialized drama like Arrow or The Flash or whatever. But don't worry, because we're not going to get a Batman TV show because Warner Bros is always going to keep Batman a movie franchise because it makes them a shit-ton of money and they somehow think a Batman TV series will somehow affect that.

My suggestion: Get all the animated Batman shows and movies you can. Stack all the DVDs on top of each other, then throw them in the air. Pick them up randomly, and then watch them in that order. Boom, anthology!


Illustration for article titled All The Things Michael Bay Cares About More Than Transformers

Vagina Detente


Dear Postman,

So, in this week's column you said foreign audiences don't matter to American networks. Being a non-American, I feel like I also have a voice and opinions - but more importantly I have money, goddamn it. I am told American networks like money, want money and do not care what color it is as long as they can count it. Yet I can't access American shows on Hulu, Netflix, itunes, Amazon or Google. Why won't they take my money, o wise Postman? Is international licensing for online content so hard to do? Please answer me so that this endless torment of not knowing may end.

More importantly and probably more related to your particular area of expertise: the internet is riddled with long, detailed theses and papers on what a calamitous thing it is for a person of the female persuasion to be er, loved, by Superman. Why are there no corresponding treatises on the dangers and pleasures of having sex with super powered women, say, Wonder Woman for instance? Amazons were not known for their tolerance for men in the first place, even when they were not super-powered. Do you think the lack of research in this area is simply another manifestation of castration anxiety? Or is there some other androcentric reason behind it?

Thank you for taking the time to read and hopefully answer my mail.

To your first question: You have money, you just don't have enough of it. Don't be hurt; your entire country doesn't have enough of it. Yes, all these American studios and networks want money, but they want so much money that they can't be bothered with anything that doesn't make them at least, say, something in the 8-digits. While $9 million may seem a lot to you and me, Hollywood basically won't even bother, even if it's as simple a matter of clearing videos to air internationally, or Fedexing some DVDs overseas so a foreign network can broadcast these shows. Seriously, it might take all of 15 minutes of work, but these companies are only designed to make lots of money, not all the money they can. Sorry about that.


To your second question: I'm sure a great deal of scholarly theory could be tossed around as to why people have been so interested in Superman blowing out Lois Lane's uterus with his super-sperm versus Wonder Woman ripping off a guy's junk with her wonder Kegels. I believe you can probably chalk them up to castration anxiety and androcentrism and that Wonder Woman has been, for most of the 75-year career, a character primarily enjoyed by boys, who are not particularly interested in reading about character that intimidates them sexually or in having their penises ripped off. And of the women who have enjoyed WW over the years, I don't think they equate sexuality with power and violence like dudes do, and thus it wouldn't necessarily occur to them to wonder in Wonder Woman could kill a man with her vagina. This is, without a doubt, to their credit.

Illustration for article titled All The Things Michael Bay Cares About More Than Transformers

Monster Mash

Carson L.:

Who would win in a fight — a Jaegar or the new Godzilla?

The new Godzilla is supposedly 100 meters tall, or almost 330 feet. The Gipsy Danger, which seemed to me to be pretty indicative of Jaegar size, is 79 meters tall, or 260 feet. So the Jaegars are a bit shorter, giving Godzilla the size advantage, but not enormously so. (The awesome art above is by Michael K. Matsumoto, by the way.)


But Godzilla would pretty much trounce any and all Jaegars Pacific Rim could send after him, and here's why: 1) Conventional weapons don't hurt him at all. 2) Nukes essentially only make Godzilla sleepy. Thus 3) a Jaegar's hand-to-hand combat would be useless against Godzilla, plus 4) I'm pretty sure the Jaegar's blades couldn't pierce Godzilla's hide. But even if it could, 5) Godzilla shoots atomic death from its mouth and could pick off all the Jaegars from a distance. And last but not least: 6) Godzilla is awesome and Pacific Rim, in a word, wasn't.

Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email the! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!




6) Godzilla is awesome and Pacific Rim, in a word, wasn't.

Says you.