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Geek Beef: Guillermo Del Toro Disses 'Transformers' And Its "Super Cool, Car Commercial-Looking Environments"

by Kevin Jagernauth
April 18, 2013 2:47 PM
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Guillermo Del Toro Transformers Chevy Car

As you may know, this week is CinemaCon, where studios dangle shiny things in front of theater owners to soothe them, and confirm that everyone will make piles of money with the blockbusters they have on the way. Directors and stars come out with great enthusiasm, show off footage, and everyone oohs and aaahs and dreams with dollar signs in their heads. But it seems that even heading into his fourth movie, Michael Bay is a bit protective/insecure about his "Transformers" series, throwing some shade on the other robot movies out there.

Indeed, Bay -- who is in Las Vegas to hang out with Victoria's Secret models to promote both next week's "Pain & Gain" and "Transformers 4" -- casually dismissed unspecified "ripoff" movies, claiming audiences know that his robot smashfest is the real deal or whatever. Was he talking about the mega-flop "Battleship" or maybe "Real Steel"? That would be weird, months and months after the fact, and many speculated he's taking a jab at Guillermo Del Toro's robot smashfest "Pacific Rim." Well, he isn't taking it lightly.

"This is my universe and my creation, and I do not create through comparison," he told THR, launching this little criticism at Bay about the action in his films: "The fights don't occur in well-lit, super cool, car commercial-looking environments. They occur in the middle of a raging sea storm or in a savage snow storm. They happen in a universe that is incredibly saturated." Oh snap!

Indeed, Bay's "Transformers" movies are basically 50% advertising, not just for Chevrolet but for whatever company signs up for product placement, so well done, Del Toro. But in the end, the director is a good sport, adding "the source of all artificial life is Frankenstein" but still saying that his giant jaegers would destroy every "robot in the history of mankind in a toe-to-toe showdown." Strong words.

What do you say about all this? Let us know below. "Pacific Rim" transforms opens on July 12th.

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  • Brock Brahmes | February 3, 2014 7:36 AMReply

    I'll take Pacific Rim over Transformer of trash any day. And yes in a toe to toe showdown Jaegers will win the battle.

  • Suzanne | April 19, 2013 8:41 AMReply

    Thank you for that. I speak fluent sarcasmo myself... It really should be taught at the elementary school level.

  • Edgy | April 19, 2013 12:44 AMReply

    bay is 1 of the best directors of his time..if there were a hall-of-fame in hollywood, he'd be in it.

  • yer | April 18, 2013 4:14 PMReply

    I'm not a fan of Michael Bay at all, but man is there a director out there who has more publicity with such little to show than Del Toro? The Hellboy films were decent and only got acclaim because they were an alternative to the Nolan Batman giant wave of hype. Aside from Pan's the guy hasn't done much (his early horror films are only retroactively considered good after he got famous). Here's hoping Pacific Rim is actually decent so he can back up all this publicity he gets.

  • huffy | April 19, 2013 12:50 AM

    " Aside from Pan's the guy hasn't done much (his early horror films are only retroactively considered good after he got famous"

    Bullshit. Cronos and The Devil's Backbone both got very good reviews at the time of their release.

  • JM | April 18, 2013 4:50 PM

    I'd like to take umbrage kind sir. The Hellboy films, while I agree are only decent films, did not garner acclaim because of what Nolan did with Batman. Hellboy came out before Nolan ever directed a Batman movie. If anything, in 2004, Hellboy was an alternative to the Spiderman franchise, which at the time was setting massive box-office records, but was a very different universe than Hellboy.

    More importantly, one does not simply say, "Aside from Pan's Labyrinth, the guy hasn't done much". Firstly, Pan's Labyrinth was a huge success and widely regarded as a masterpiece. If you were able to only churn out one film in your life...and it were that'd be considered a great director, and even if you never churned out a single film, you'd still be a better director than Michael Bay. However, I'm surprised you're brushing over Cronos and Devil's Backbone so swiftly. Those are two films that garnered acclaim when they were released and, personally, I think show how talented a director he truly is. The maturity he garnered with Cronos and Devil's Backbone certainly led to Pan's Labyrinth.

    From what I know, Pacific Rim is going to be different than his other films but I bet people will be entertained by the film and that it's far more engrossing than any of the transformer films -- heck, combine all of the transformer films into one and it still doesn't live up to Pacific Rim.

  • kasjbdkajs | April 18, 2013 3:53 PMReply

    "The fights don't occur in well-lit, super cool, car commercial-looking environments. They occur in the middle of a raging sea storm or in a savage snow storm."

    So basically, they're harder to see and easier to conceal shitty CGI? That's not a badge of honor.

  • KT | April 18, 2013 5:06 PM

    "Ball's in his court."

    And del Toro will slam dunk it and shatter the backboard. Michael Bay may churn out hit movies, but they're garbage none the less. Heck, damn-near every actor whose worked with him has thrown his talent under the bus. But, money talks in Hollywood so no one can really hear the complaints and negatives over the "cha-ching" sounds of the studio cash register.

  • Dave | April 18, 2013 4:20 PM

    You're absolutely right.

    Del Toro just shot himself in the foot. He's making it sound like it's a bad thing to see robot fights in "wel-lit, super cool enviorments". I expected him to be more educated when it comes to these things. And the fact is, he's the one who's under pressure now. Bay already made a successful robot movie in 2007. Let's see if Del Toro can do the same thing. Ball's in his court.

  • Dave | April 18, 2013 3:44 PMReply

    To the kid named HMMM:

    Thanks for proving what morons you Bay-haters really are. The second someone comes and starts praising Bay you little worms throw crap like "Are you Michael Bay?". Come up with something better next time, pal. And accept the fact that A LOT of people like Michael Bay. I'm a huge fan of Bay and I agree 100% with THISLALIFE. When it comes to action spectacle Del Toro is a complete amateur next to Bay. The only one who can match Bay is James Cameron.

    As for the article: congratulations for another craptastic piece of writing, Kevin Jagernauth a.k.a. "The guy who can't stop talking about Bay". Keep going. I'm sure it'll get you far.

  • sen2860 | April 18, 2013 6:01 PM

    Are you Michael Bay?

  • Chris | April 18, 2013 5:16 PM

    Are you Michael Bay?

  • Allen | April 18, 2013 3:49 PM

    Are you Michael Bay?

  • Steven Flores | April 18, 2013 3:25 PMReply

    You tell 'em Guillermo, Michael Bay doesn't have an ounce of your talents and passion for cinema.

  • thislalife | April 18, 2013 3:07 PMReply

    When it comes to action spectacle, Bay is da God and Del Toro should be taking notes. I'll wait and see on Pacific Rim, but considering that all the footage we've seen so far has been in boringly lit overcast skies or night, I'll side with the Bay, the babes, the bots and beautiful daytime battles.

  • cattt | April 18, 2013 5:47 PM

    When it comes to action spectacle, Bay is nowhere near guys like Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson or even the Wachowskis. Bay's action scenes are just a mess, editing is crappy and the viewers don't know what's going on.
    Spielberg's action scenes in Indiana Jones-films, Minority Report, Jurassic Park, Private Ryan or Jaws are textbook examples of great visual storytelling. He doesn't need to have another cut after two seconds.

  • Hmmm | April 18, 2013 3:16 PM

    Hehe. Michael Bay is that you?

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