Earlier this week, a little to-do broke out over disparaging remarks Michael Bay supposedly made about his 1998 blockbuster, Armageddon, in an interview plugging his new flick, Pain & Gain. Seeing as, generally speaking, Michael Bay seems like the kind of guy who believes in the Bayian infallibility of Michael Bay, it was hard to fathom. But there they were, in black-and-white:
I will apologize for Armageddon, because we had to do the whole movie in 16 weeks. It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could. But the studio literally took the movie away from us. It was terrible. My visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown, so I had to be in charge of that. I called James Cameron and asked ‘What do you do when you’re doing all the effects yourself?’ But the movie did fine.
The strange thing was, of all the sins Michael Bay has committed in the name of filmmaking, Armageddon was the one he was apologizing for?! Yes, Armageddon was a big dumb emotionally manipulative action movie, but it was a damn good big dumb emotionally manipulative action movie, and the world needs big dumb emotionally manipulative action movies. (Go ahead and re-watch the “I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane” scene. We’ll wait).
So it wasn’t just the odd sight of Michael Bay Humility that we were dealing with. It was the even more bewildering Misplaced Michael Bay Humility. Truly, world-jarring stuff.
But today, like the life-ballast he is, Michael Bay popped up to correct the errors of the world. On his site, he writes:
One press writer has gone too far in reporting false information. He has printed the bare minimum of my statement which in effect have twisted my words and meaning. I’m not in the slightest going to apologize for the third movie in my movie career, a film called Armageddon. On the red carpet for Pain & Gain some reporters asked me what are you apologizing for, and I said what on earth are you talking about?
What I clearly said to the reporter, is I wish I had more time to edit the film, specifcally the the third act. He asked me in effect what would you change if you could in your movies if you could go back. I said, I wish we had a few more weeks in the edit room on Armageddon. And still today Armageddon, is still one of the most shown movies on cable TV. And yes, I’m proud of the movie. Enough said.
All very good. Well put, Michael! (And much, much respect to the fact that you managed to skirt over the fact that this all happened because of your failed attempt at bragging about how you did the visual effects on Armageddon yourself). Moving on … if Tea Leoni would like to apologize for Deep Impact, we’re all ears.