The cacophonous Super Bowl spot for Transformers 2 made me think -- not for the first time -- that Michael Bay is full of crap. There are plenty of directors who make stupid and expensive action blockbusters, but few who are so damned self-righteous about it. It seems that every interview with the man contains a response to his naysayers to the tune of: "I don't see anything wrong with spending a lot of money to make big action movies to entertain people. Yet somehow, I come under special scrutiny. I mean, why don't people get upset if Dow spends $300 million to invent some new chemical? Audiences like popcorn movies. What's wrong with that?" and "What we do is not brain surgery. We are entertainers, plain and simple, and we're responsible to bring that money back, to make a profit."
As a response to the criticism that his movies aren't very good, this is, of course, complete nonsense. There are people who make very commercial, very popular Hollywood films who don't have to resort to the "I'm just making popcorn movies" defense -- which, as Eric D. Snider pointed out to me, is another way of saying "I'm not making very good movies." Google Sam Raimi, and you'll get quotes about the power of great stories, and his love for his source material. Even Stephen Sommers, who has certainly made some reviled films, talks about his enthusiasm and inspiration; you can sense he's trying. From Bay, you get: "I'm an entertainer -- don't hold me to any standard."