That's the contention made by academic film critic/historian Jeanine Basinger, a former professor of Bay's and, ordinarily, a pretty great thinker. "I often joke that my tombstone will read `She taught Michael Bay,'" Basinger tells the Miami Herald. "But I don't think Michael Bay is the devil. I think he's a good filmmaker." Basinger goes on to quote Ingmar Bergman:

"Ingmar Bergman said, `Every great filmmaker has to define film on his own terms,' and in a sense, that's right... For Michael, it's about pace and rapid movement. Michael is actually an abstract artist in the way he uses time, space, light and color. He's almost an experimental filmmaker in that regard. He uses the medium in the fastest, sharpest way that it can be used, and if you don't like it, tough luck.''

Well, if "abstract" is the antonym of "precise" (and I'm not at all sure it actually is - I left my English usage guide at home today), then I agree with her - because that whole final climactic action scene in Armageddon? I have no idea what's going on there, except that Affleck survives to play animal-crackers safari with Liv Tyler another day.

Incidentally, when Basinger isn't using Bergman quotes to defend the guy behind Bad Boys, she's a pretty great academic. Her book A Woman's View is pretty much the definitive work on the mid-century female filmgoing experience. Just thought you'd like to know ... [via MCNindie]