Thursday, July 19, 2007

Michael Bay Can Write?

I had no idea. But here's proof. From Jim Emerson's scanners:blog, a letter written by Michael Bay published in the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Evidently, Bay is an avid reader too.

To the Editor:

The Northwest Herald’s movie critic, Jeffrey Westhoff, seems to be woefully out of touch with pop culture.

The “Transformers” movie’s $155 million seven-day haul is the biggest non-sequel opening in box office history. Numbers like that usually mean positive word of mouth on the film is huge, and people are going back.

A friend of mine, Steven Spielberg – he’s pretty smart about film – said Westhoff’s review was idiotic. Westhoff’s a critic who actually reviewed his dislike for the director, rather then reviewing the movie, like his job description prescribes. Westhoff talks about the director being an “egomaniacal hack.” ["Michael Bay turns 'Transformers' into pile of scrap metal."] Well I don’t believe I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Westhoff, though it sounds like he knows me. If Westhoff actually did know me, he would find me to be a pretty down-to-earth, nice guy.

I implore the editor to give Westhoff a little relaxation and sunshine, clear his head, let him rediscover that movie-going is supposed to be a fun experience.

Maybe even help him get rid of his hatred.

Michael Bay
Director of “Transformers”
Los Angeles, Ca.

Last time I checked there was something called freedom of speech. Westhoff is as free to call Bay an 'egomaniacal hack' as Stephen Spielberg (so he's friends with him now?) is to call Westhoff's review idiotic. This harkens back to the time that Cameron called for the resignation of the reviewer from the L.A. Times who didn't like Titanic.

I have worked with several production people who have worked with Bay when he was directing commercials. They know him to be anything but a 'down-to-earth' guy.

Go away Bay. Go far, far away.


Bob Turnbull said...

I think Bay's letters/emails are far more entertaining than his films. I've never failed to read something he's written and think "Man, this guy is a pompous twit."

I like how he equates the huge opening numbers with word of mouth support. Word of mouth reflects ongoing box office dollars and longevity in the theatre. Not the first few days of a hugely promoted film...

To be somewhat fair to him though, I don't think he necessarily called for his firing or asked that the statements be retracted. The reviewer called him a hack and he told him he needs to get rid of his hatred. Free speech on both sides.

I expect Bay's letter will only help the editor to encourage more of the same from Westhoff. It's called publicity.

Love the Spielberg namecheck though - lol.

Piper said...


He didn't call for his firing, but it's written as a very veiled 'maybe he should take a leave' request. Not as harsh, but still egomaniacal.

And for the record to Bay, I like to enjoy movies. If he wants to actually direct a movie I can enjoy, I'm all for it.

Jeremy Fuksa: Creative Generalist said...

I've known very few directors to be down-to-earth nice guys PERIOD.

Adam Ross said...

What's sad is that Bay cares so much about what people think of him that he obviously reads almost every review printed ... how else to explain why he's reading some paper called the Northwest Herald?

I don't know what you would call the tactics Bay is using (since he's not calling for him to be fired), but politicians do it all the time with newspapers. Someone will endorse another candidate or disagree with how they voted, and they'll contact the editor or writer and expect them to back down from their opinion simply because they're getting called out on it.

JA said...

That Bay uses this sentence -" The “Transformers” movie’s $155 million seven-day haul is the biggest non-sequel opening in box office history." - as proof to the actual quality of his film says everything that needs too be said about what drives him to make films in the first place. Hack.

Damian said...

And now Roth my other least favorite, Eli Roth, has written a letter in response to a critic referring to Hostel 2 as a "failure." What are the chances?

ray said...


What a whiny, name-dropping shitstain. The guy clearly thinks making money is justification for churning out these greasy quiefs.

As many have already said - Bay is symptomatic of Hollywood's problem.

Piper said...

Ja and Adam,

He is very much like Ratner in that he judges his talent by the size of the B.O. which is bullshit. Or he's trying to justify his lack of talent by the B.O. which is bullshit just the same.


I read the piece on Roth and it's as stupid as the letter Bay wrote. Roth trying to justify his character development in the first half of Hostel Part II is laughable.

* (asterisk) said...

I just don't get why these people make like they care so much. As I've said here before, I think Bay has a good eye. But he'll never make anything interesting because he is obsessed with being a director for hire making huge-budget crap with no character.

And it's not that I'm an action-movie hater. I'm not. But there is less and less room in Hollywood, it seems, for anything other than shit these days. Grrr. And the helmers of this kind of "product" (for that is what it is) get oh-so-pissy when criticized. Like they're some misunderstood genius or something. Puh-leeze.

Burbanked said...

I linked to this yesterday, too, but I really wondered if the letter to the editor was genuine or not. If it is, it shows a pretty desperate insecurity from a director known for his Extreme Macho-ness. What, was he sitting at his computer with a box of tissues, weeping through the 105th negative review that was referring to him as a hack or as soulless or whatever? And he just couldn't take it anymore?

The review itself is - although essentially accurate - written with a pretty pissy attitude, which makes it all the more surprising to me that Bay would take the time to respond to it.

Andrew (intern) said...

Thought you might enjoy this digital short made by some local KC guys I know, "Killing Michael Bay"

or you can just search "Killing Michael Bay" on iFilm if this link doesn't work.