Escapist Podcast - Movies and TV: 009: Michael Bay- History's Greatest Monster?

009: Michael Bay- History's Greatest Monster?

This podcast is audio only. NOTE: technical issues prevented video, but will be resolved for next week. This week Ross Lincoln, Bob "MovieBob" Chipman and Escapist Senior Editor of Movies and TV Elizabeth Harper talk extensively about Michael Bay hate, whether or not he's a visionary or a charlatan, the relative merit of the Transformers franchise, and finally, we revisit the Gary Oldman hubbub. Warning: Flamebait.

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"They are a bunch of horrible, tasteless animals!": I'm sure this is not just a result "normal" utter hatred for mankind but rather also pulls from the vast reservoir of hat e that is accumulated by years of retail.
And he is 100% right about it!

On the subject of Transformers and how it's been "destroyed" by Michael Bay.

It was brought up that anyone who remembers Transformers as anything other than a tonally inconsistent mess is clearly fooling themselves. While that's true if you watched the G1 show and accompanying film, it's worth pointing out that the franchise has maintained a presence on the air in one form or another rather consistently since it's original airing. And while G1, Beast Wars and Beast Machines are the only series to maintain a central plot, the fan base has fostered a surprisingly detailed expanded universe and core mythology that they come to expect.

Where I think you're likely getting a lot of the die hard hatred from fans is less that it wasn't as super serious and well done as the original show. But that it wasn't anything near as good or well plotted as the franchise eventually became through the additional shows and comics.

To be fair, I'm certainly not sitting here trying to pretend like it's Dostoyevsky or anything. It's still a series about alien robots who, for reasons that are barely coherent, turn into other machines and shoot the holy hell out of eachother.
It's jut there's nothing about that premise that is any more or less ridiculous than a man running around in his bat Garanimals punching clowns, or the adventures of a young space wizard as he learns to wave his glow stick around at the evil space wizards, or an Alien Baby who grows up in Kansas and becomes super fast and strong because...the sun.

As usual, Ross talks too much, Ross interrupts too much and Ross gets things wrong because he's talking to people and not producing a carefully researched and edited written essay. Just like Gary Oldman was. (And again, I will say Ross is actually quite smart and interesting, but he should just have his own Podcast instead of "hosting" two here, with the same general flaws in each.)

Your comments about Oldman being an "old man" are, aside from the obvious (but not noted) play on his name, ageist. Young people are not better by virtue of being young. They are not less racist, more open-minded, more egalitarian or in any other way superior to old people. The social problems that exist in the world were not created by people slightly older than you all and they will not be cured by people your age or people even younger than you. As Bob said the other day, (and this is from memory, so perhaps slightly off), "I thought we'd be more interesting when we were in charge", referring to his generation. You're not. And you're not even in charge. No generation is in charge.

Your viewpoints are shallow. You seem to think that "old people" are more conservative because they were born that way and just happened to stay that way as they got old, and that "young people" will be different. That's nonsense. People become more conservative as they get older. And this didn't just happen in the last few generations in the US; it's a broader social and cultural phenomenon and there are socially legitimizing and stabilizing reasons for it. Many of the reasons turn out to be rooted in human psychology and personal tragedy.

It's rather disgusting of you to suggest that Oldman doesn't like the Golden Globes because his status as a non-drinker makes an event where people get drunk no fun. Even young people can have problems with alcoholism, and while you often make efforts at claiming to be non-sexist and non-racist and so forth, you exhibit the callousness of youth when it comes to showing respect for people who deal with serious problems -- ones you feel you can mock, in violation of your much-loved "rule" that only members of a class can make fun of the members of that class. The rule is idiotic, but you're the ones who say it should be applied, so you figure that out.

Tragic things happen in life. Old people tend to not talk about their personal tragedies. Old people tend to be less happy, because people they cared about have died or suffered diseases or simply become old and dealt with all that means. Old people have seen their children grow up, make mistakes and suffer for those mistakes. And old people, collectively, turn inward and want to keep people from making mistakes. They want to have a little less "freedom" and a little less "fun", because they want people to be a little "wiser". Many of them know that's not how life works -- wisdom rarely comes before tragedy. But they're not doing these things to upset you. They're not being old just to ruin your day.

I don't expect you to understand or care. You're young. You're full of pride and foolishness. But you can learn at any time.

Lastly, if you are going to have a woman on your panel to act like "good little liberals", then the least you could do is give her some speaking time. You should do a word-count for each speaker and think seriously about it. It's not that you should give her more time because she's a woman -- you should do it because she's a third person and the only woman you have on the panel. Women don't exist simply to tick off your "Feminist" check-box most of the time and then get hauled on-stage when you want to talk about "leading women in film" or some other overtly female-oriented subject.

Diddy_Mao:
On the subject of Transformers and how it's been "destroyed" by Michael Bay.

It was brought up that anyone who remembers Transformers as anything other than a tonally inconsistent mess is clearly fooling themselves.

A few years ago, I shared a house with a guy who was a major transformers fan. We had this conversation.

Monday: Him - "Hey, I'm so excited, I've ordered the complete set of original transformers cartoons on DVD. Its the greatest show from my childhood."

Wednesday: "The box set still isn't here. I was hoping I could sit down and watch the whole thing tonight. I can't wait it's going to be awesome".

On Thursday I came home from work. He's sitting in the living room watching the news. The transformers box set is sitting next to the TV with the packaging from the first disc out.

Me: "Hows the Transformers box set?"
Him: "I don't want to talk about it".

Transformers was never mentioned again in the house.

LaoJim:

Diddy_Mao:
On the subject of Transformers and how it's been "destroyed" by Michael Bay.

It was brought up that anyone who remembers Transformers as anything other than a tonally inconsistent mess is clearly fooling themselves.

A few years ago, I shared a house with a guy who was a major transformers fan. We had this conversation.

Monday: Him - "Hey, I'm so excited, I've ordered the complete set of original transformers cartoons on DVD. Its the greatest show from my childhood."

Wednesday: "The box set still isn't here. I was hoping I could sit down and watch the whole thing tonight. I can't wait it's going to be awesome".

On Thursday I came home from work. He's sitting in the living room watching the news. The transformers box set is sitting next to the TV with the packaging from the first disc out.

Me: "Hows the Transformers box set?"
Him: "I don't want to talk about it".

Transformers was never mentioned again in the house.

Yeah there's always a danger of viewing your favorite childhood things through a thick nostalgia haze and I think it's really important to recognize the flaws.

I'll still watch the original series from time to time and I still enjoy it, but certainly not in the same way I used to as a kid.

And to be sure, there are a lot of legitimate complaints to make about the movies, but folks comparing them only to the G1 series as a reference point for how good the movies could have been, always strikes me as a bit silly.

Okay, wow. I am going to have to start this comment before I finish the podcast.

Elizabeth Harper: If you want to host this podcast, let me say this: please, by all means, take over. If you can wrestle the mic from Ross, that is. I won't beg you, because that's rude, but I am almost about to quit listening all together, and I really think this podcast could be awesome.

Escapist: If you ever want to have a music section, I think that Ross could talk enough about it to over-take your game journalism. You won't even have to pay him, he won't shut up about it when talking about... anything.

All panelists other than Ross: Feel free to give an audible sigh of frustration any time Ross has rambled for more than five minutes. I know I start cursing after this happens twice in the first fifteen minutes.
---
Most important quote from Ross I have heard, taken completely out of context: "I made the mistake of, like, I think I front-loaded this..." 23:04 to 23:10.

Perfect summation of any and every topic he starts. Should be a t-shirt, then burned in sacrifice to some deity.

---
Breaking news: Ross is uncomfortable with a person with similar political views not having the same exact opinion as him. Clock time to get to this point: 2 minutes

---
I love how Ross wraps his dia(tribe)logue about politics around what Bob says, any time Bob disagrees with Ross. Ross will agree at the start of a comment, then slowly talk around the topic back to what he actually thinks again. Its funny in a "jesus, either disagree with Bob and make your point and/or shut up" kind of way. So, not so much funny as terribly, terribly painful.
---

55:58 - Another important time, when someone talks over Ross rather than the reverse. I think I can count on one hand how many times this has happened in the entire run of the show. I can count on two hands how many times Ross does this every episode.
---

I am excited to see the video of the other panelists trying desperately to not look bored and annoyed while Ross seizes control of the narrative relentlessly. Probably to wax faux-philosophic on how relevant Jazz-rap is to modern cinematographical scores, or something.

God, I hope they are half as bored as me. I hope I am not the only one.
---

JustMakingAComment:
As usual, Ross talks too much, Ross interrupts too much and Ross gets things wrong because he's talking to people and not producing a carefully researched and edited written essay. Just like Gary Oldman was. (And again, I will say Ross is actually quite smart and interesting, but he should just have his own Podcast instead of "hosting" two here, with the same general flaws in each.)

...

Lastly, if you are going to have a woman on your panel to act like "good little liberals", then the least you could do is give her some speaking time. You should do a word-count for each speaker and think seriously about it. It's not that you should give her more time because she's a woman -- you should do it because she's a third person and the only woman you have on the panel. Women don't exist simply to tick off your "Feminist" check-box most of the time and then get hauled on-stage when you want to talk about "leading women in film" or some other overtly female-oriented subject.

Yeah! Give Ross his own podcast! He could host it himself, with no guests and it would be twice as long, since he wouldn't have to pretend he had other guests to give speaking time.

I am not sure I would go so far as to say that there is a woman on the podcast just to maintain their "liberal" image, but the guests other than Bob do tend to get shortchanged. Ross will ask Bob far more respectfully and frequently his opinion, mainly because, lets face it, Bob is their star power. But he gets just as shorted of time as the other members of the group. It just feels a little worse, cause the third/fourth panelists don't get their obligatory star time minimum, and all the third panelists are women.

A male on the third seat would get as little time as the others, maybe three minutes tops of talking time, is all I am trying to say.
---

I am really sorry if I am overblowing my singular opinion on this.

Maybe others generally enjoy the podcast as it is. I haven't listened to the comics and cosplay podcast, maybe Ross is far better on that 'cast. But I am pretty much done.

I don't think I can stand another "Ross Talks: Plus other people chime in, when he needs to catch his breath." Ross is not a bad person, nor a villain. He is just not a good host for this show. I would have thought he was going to curtail his worst habits a little over time, but it hasn't gotten the least bit better since the first episode.

I just feel like I need to say something, before I give up listening completely. Tenth time's the charm guys...

 

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