‘The Rock’ a revealing window into Project 007

Strange Interpretation #5

The Rock (Sean Connery)

The idea of a Michael Bay film being open to interpretive scrutiny is, quite frankly, so fanciful that it practically defies the laws of our known universe. As his champions are so fond of adamantly stating, his flicks are popcorn movies designed purely for entertainment and occasional pre-pubescent escapist wish fulfillment. But it is a fact that any story, no matter how limited or lacking in gravitas, can be twisted and turned to resemble something else entirely. For some viewers, it is a type of defense mechanism to psychologically overcome the trauma of watching an absolute turd on wheels. Seeking a combination of this factor and a long standing theory among film fanatics, this writer has turned to Bay’s finest film, by which he means the film that he doesn’t completely ruin but could have improved by turning down – The Rock. But this week we won’t be analyzing why the 1996 blockbuster is actually a harrowing psychological study; no, a better use of time would be in discerning how The Rock offers a tantalizing avenue into the realm of Project 007.

Yes, Sean Connery is in The Rock and, yes, he plays a badass ex-spy. That is where the clever allusions end within said film, with a knowing sense of irony that the schman is portraying a sort of alternate universe Bond who has spent the last thirty years in prison. This kind of fan-service is hardly new, but it does serve as an interesting piece of evidence to be presented by a clique of over-thinkers (this writer included) who have been saying for years that James Bond is not simply one man, he is merely an identity. Not only does The Rock provide evidence, however, it also serves as a piece of a jigsaw we didn’t know we were assembling, one that goes further down the rabbit hole than an oblique explanation as to why Bond’s face seems to change every few films. Intentional or not, the Bond series has provided numerous clues suggesting that the Project 007 theory is a legitimate interpretation of the world famous franchise; in turn The Rock, not a Bond film at all, is the window into the harsh, less fanciful truth. We’ll start with his ‘incarnation’ here, the original classic Connery 007. On this occasion, he actually has a name to help us differentiate from his successors; John Patrick Mason.

The Rock (Sean Connery & Nicolas Cage)

Mason bears all the hallmarks of Bond#1, with a personality only differing due to a hard grit no doubt brought about by his incarceration. He has the same taste for seduction in the face of danger (he fathered a child while on the run), pragmatic but effective means of disposing of his enemies, an indulgence for car chases and a knack for one liners. He even echoes one of his previous Bond lines, when upon meeting Nicolas Cage’s Stanley Goodspeed greets the introduction by dryly replying “but of course you are”. Bond and Mason also share backgrounds in the realms of intelligence agencies and special operations (aside from the fact Mason is ex-SAS, while Bond is a British Navy Commander). Given that the Bond films tend to ignore timescale (a necessity, ultimately) it is not hard to argue that Connery’s final true-Bond appearance Diamonds are Forever was actually set in the sixties (not in 1971, when the film was made) which would correspond to Mason’s capture. Given that the ending of Diamonds placed Bond within the United States helps set up for an unseen Bond chapter which saw him attempting to recover a top secret microfilm from the FBI but ultimately fall foul. That MI6 would betray him, abandoning him to preserve friendship with Britain’s strongest ally, is hardly a stretch. This is the same organization and nation that in-universe did the exact same to Skyfall’s fallen agent Silva and the Lienz Cossacks.

So if Mason is in fact the original Bond, him being thrown in Alcatraz would explain why Roger Moore suddenly appeared with the same name despite being nothing like the first. The nationality (read accent), physicality and appearance are a given, but Bond#3 – let’s call him Moond – also bore a completely different personality from his predecessor, as well as alternate methods and style. Realists will of course say that Moore provided the producers with a different approach to the character, one more open to comedy. But the more imaginative acolytes of the Project 007 theory will state that Moond is in fact a different person. While his face changed, that of his colleagues did not: Q was still Q, M was still M, Moneypenny was still Moneypenny. Opting into the theory, Moond was actually a nameless operative of MI6 who was drafted in to replace the imprisoned and expatriated Mason, given the name James Bond and the moniker 007, as well as the same mission statement.

Dr No (Sean Connery)

For anyone who considers this concept preposterous, it’s worth mentioning that MI6 have performed this trick openly in other areas. Goldeneye stated as a matter of fact that Judi Dench’s character was the “new M”, a replacement for Robert Brown’s version, who had in turn replaced Bernard Lee. Then, in the most recent Skyfall, we see Ralph Fiennes take over from Emma and are also introduced to Ben Whishaw’s version of Q, previously only played by the late Desmond Llewelyn. Same names, different people. Across the pond, the same tactic is also being employed it seems; Felix Leiter, Bond’s friend and contact within the CIA, has appeared in many forms since he was first introduced, most recently by Jeffrey Wright. Blofeld, the most famous adversary of the series, also seems to suffer from changing face syndrome, which is a keen reminder that the Bond universe is not a particularly realistic one. As a morsel of food for thought, keep in mind that in Diamonds are Forever there appear signs that Bond’s numerous forays into enemy territory have actually earned him a reputation, making him a recognizable figure among the criminal underworld he is infiltrating. Were he not locked up, Mason probably would have been replaced anyway since his face was too well known. Moond may share the name, but is clearly not the same guy and thus not a liability.

That latter theory would also help explain the George Lazenby anomaly. On this occasion, Mason departs to be replaced by the rather dull and listless Lazenbond for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service only to come back in the following outing. The timing of this is interesting, if one is to believe that Mason would be caught soon after. Mason had been ditched after You Only Live Twice, by which time Bond’s notoriety even saw MI6 fake his death in order to preserve his ability to operate anonymously. They retire Mason once Lazenbond is ready as a replacement, but the events of OHMSS prove that he is not cut out to be 007. Emotionally compromised after his wife (He got married!) dies and either retired or choosing to quit, Lazenbond’s departure facilitates the need to risk bringing back Mason. Sadly, this did not last long, and soon neither was available. Enter Moond, who would keep up the job until the 1980s and his battle with Max Zorin. By this point, MI6 had a very good reason to replace Moond; he was too old. Roger Moore was creaking just as much as his eyebrows by 1985 at the age of 58. So they choose Bond#4 – Daltbond – who is cut from a different cloth. Fans cite Dalton’s Bond as being the darkest and edgiest seen in the franchise until the Daniel Craig reboot, and this is down to Daltbond being angrier and mostly humorless.

All James Bonds mock up picture

So far, MI6 have lost three Bonds for different reasons: Mason was incarcerated, Lazenbond either quit or was fired and Moond was retired due to age. Now they would have a fourth cause to seek a new operative; Daltbond turned out to be a psychotic. After Leiter (subsequently replaced himself) is crippled by a drug cartel in Licence to Kill, Daltbond is overcome by vengeance and rage and defies his masters to mount a personal mission in the name of retribution. Although this ends with Daltbond being offered his job back, it is likely a trap to get him back into the hands of MI6 and feel their wrath. Whether or not Daltbond chooses to go back, he is not 007 by the time the next film comes along. Enter Brond, Pierce Brosnan’s Bond#5. Once again, he is markedly different, more balanced and with a more even temperament. He feels fear, guilt and retains a greater sense of loyalty. If one is to interpret his foray to an Arkangelsk weapons facility with colleague Alec Trevelyan (also an orphan, more on that later) in Goldeneye’s prologue as Brond’s first mission then we see him take over from Daltbond in the same year of that roaring rampage of revenge.

This operative disappears from the scene after the events of the ridiculous Die Another Day for reasons unclear beyond the necessity for a reboot. You can argue that Brond is granted discharge from the role for good service, particularly in light of his torturous spell behind bars. MI6’s decision to trade Bond for a North Korean renegade may have been influenced by their previous loss of a Bond to similar circumstances. Either way, by the time Casino Royale crops up, a new operative has been selected and passes the test to earn his double 0 status. Bond #6, or Blond, is clearly a replacement since we see him start his new job while under the tutelage of the previous Bond’s boss, despite she herself having previously been unveiled as a substitute. Unless you view this occurrence as a mind bending continuity loophole, Casino Royale represents perhaps the most substantial evidence of all.

James Bond Custom made gallery

So who are these men who take the name? We learn of Mason from The Rock that he was born in Glasgow but nothing beyond that of his life pre-Bond. For all we know, the history that is recited is merely a cover, an impressive resume explaining Mason’s know-how that doesn’t reveal his actually definitive identity. It is also a standard fact that Bond is an orphan, though the manner and relevance seems to change. Brond, for example, lost his parents in a mountain climbing accident, while Blond’s mother and father met their demise in an unmentioned manner. Since it’s safe to say that Brond and Blond are two very different people, it is no coincidence that they are both without family ties. Alec Trevelyan, Goldeneye’s 006, also shared this tragic background. It should be taken as read that all of the Bonds are either chosen due to their emancipation or that, more sinisterly, they have been groomed from a young age under the care of the state.

Rather more like the cinematic foibles of Treadstone and the like, they are engineered for the role rather than simply trained. The 00s, from 1 to whatever, represent MI6s cream of the crop, their best weapons against the threat of tyranny and terrorism; no doubt these roles must be filled by men who or not merely men. If this sounds a little overblown, consider that the Bond universe is far fetched enough to make this logical. With every installment, Bond must save the world from often incredulous threats and missions. For every arms dealer there is a megalomaniacal super-genius with a space laser. The world which Bond inhabits is more akin to the Metal Gear Solid universe than our own, more grounded reboot notwithstanding. While we may celebrate the later installments for their use of a more down to earth sensibility and cut down on the camp, they still defy realism even by movie standards. Skyfall, rated extraordinarily by fans and critics alike, has at its heart a taste for the theatrical which made the earlier efforts so iconic. Super-genius Silva is as gritty and grounded a character as Stavros Blofelt if we are discussing semantics.

The Rock (Sean Connery)

Perversely, the 007 theory is on the surface a far fetched musing but actually helps the Bond series form a more consistent and collected tone which borders on realistic emotional involvement. The belief that James Bond is just one man who has been fighting the world’s enemies for fifty years without getting old or getting dead is the one that is truly ridiculous. The Rock is a great example of something a little more likely, while still bombastic and dramatic enough to be entertaining. Mason, the original Bond, is still a match for a platoon of US Marines half his age even after spending decades in prison. Somehow this is more forgivable than the suggestion that we should accept that Sean Connery and Daniel Craig are supposed to be the same person. And as for the thought that we should stop thinking so much and just enjoy the entertainment? This writer would contend that all the theorizing enhances the experience by introducing a fascinating mythos behind the action. And, when you’re watching something as brainless and ironically camp as The Rock, who can blame him?

This has been a Strange Interpretation.

Scott Patterson

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By Scott Patterson

Born to unknowing parents, Scott hails from the land seen as romantic to those who don’t know, and a place for heavy drinking and hypocritical cynicism to those who do know. Although he’s yet to rise to great acclaim and disgraceful rich antics, he writes fiction and factual, the latter mainly on his greatest passion of film, in all forms and variety, all genres or styles. What matters to him is a good story, whether it be in cinema, literature, anecdote or excuse for having a suspicious stain on one’s trousers. His sense of humor falls somewhere between wry and outrageous, and he fights hard every day to avoid misunderstood in this regard, though not in any other. His politics can be best described as militantly neutral, bordering on passive aggressive. Favored pass times include watching what he calls football, and will never stop calling football even if it is lost in a common language, quiet conversation with friends, a night at the movies and the company of a darling woman, preference vague if not fluctuating. Favorite Films: Apocalypse Now Memento The Fountain Fight Club Inception LA Confidential Seven The Usual Suspects Wonder Boys Goodfellas

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9 Responses to ‘The Rock’ a revealing window into Project 007

  1. Scott Patterson June 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Nate, thank you for your response. I’ll respond to each point you make in order.

    Firstly, I would suggest not belittling a person based on a criteria other than their relevant abilities when criticizing their work. I can assure you that my age has absolutely no bearing on any of my opinions or my general taste in films. Nor should it, it is a matter of experience and not birth dates. I have enough experience and am sufficiently weary enough to know that people will always disagree, no matter how strongly I feel about something. The fact that you seem to think you can “teach” me, or more accurately synchronize our opinions, reminds me worryingly of my own thought processes ten years ago.

    I don’t feel that my criticisms of Bay as a director were childish, certainly not in the literal sense of the word. I made clear my reservations with his bombastic and charmless style and used them for background rather than focus. The article is not even about Bay, nor really about The Rock if we’re going to be pedantic. If you feel that my personal view that The Rock would have been a better film with a different director is childish, then you’re welcome to that opinion. I despair at your poor grasp of language in that event, though.

    It’s interesting that you use the word ‘probably’ in your diatribe where you describe me as an ‘art-geek’ because I find that usually when a person uses ‘probably’ in a sentence its a set up for them to say something utterly ignorant and incorrect. This occasion is no different. Were you to take a few moments to look at my back catalogue of articles, you would find that if anything I don’t watch enough arthouse films, and that my tastes do weigh towards mainstream. More interestingly, if you had actually scrolled down and continued reading the article (which you so proudly scorned) you would find that the bulk of it surrounds the James Bond series. You cannot get much more mainstream than the Bond franchise. I actually pride myself on being utterly unpredictable which is probably why I’m so emotionally unstable.

    I cannot find any meaning behind the term “FACTUALLY positive” other than you holding the belief that there is some objective form of measuring the quality of utterly subjective storytelling, which is either hugely ambitious or horribly naive. The fact that you chose to capitalize ‘FACTUALLY’ for greater gravitas has the reverse effect, and actually makes you sound like you have a monopoly on the truth. There is nothing “FACTUALLY positive” about anything in life, it is all a matter of interpretation and circumstance. I wouldn’t even suggest that Apocalypse Now, my personal favorite film, is factually good. I just like it a lot and feel all the elements work perfectly. Again, my view.

    I’m not aware of Michael Bay being in anyway influential or admired amongst his peers. I do not know how many film makers aspire to his abilities and frankly I do not want to know. The mind can only boggle so far before it escalates into a full blown brain aneurysm. If this makes them happy, then all’s well, but I shan’t be watching their films. Mimicking a person’s style always makes one’s work inferior to that they aspire to, and since I find Bay’s films (with the exception of The Rock and Bad Boys) overwhelmingly annoying and wasteful I cannot even bring myself to think about what a second rate mimicking of a second rate product could do to me. Again, my view. There’s a recurring theme here, isn’t there?

    I’m amused by you describing the want on the part of a viewer for story and character development as moronic. What you seem to be missing is the fact that bad storytelling and poorly written development don’t cut it when it comes to a film that is trying to engage the emotions of the viewer. The fact that you immediately assume that this continued criticism of Bay’s work (one I didn’t make by the way) is just a lazy attempt by critics to justify their disdain would suggest that you are in the inverse to what you assume they are; blindly hating in this case has blindly loyal to counter it. Now, it’s important for me to point out that I could well be wrong, and that if Bay did make a film you found terrible you’d say as such. But if I’m making an assumption for the purposes of a point, while you made your assumptions about me for the purpose of self-aggrandizement.

    I personally think that The Rock is an excellent action movie, hence why I’ve seen it enough times to feel it is worth writing about in depth. However, all of the elements I don’t like are accounted for by Bay’s obnoxious style and crass humor. For examples of said crass humor, turn your attention to the use of minorities from the black and gay community for stereotypical laughs. I find this cringeworthy. The story, particularly that of General Hummel, belongs in the hands of a more mature and composed Director, one who can combine powerful action with powerful emotion. Bay, in my opinion, is not that man. I also disagree strongly that every iota of praise The Rock gets is because of Bay. In fact, I would contend (as the article suggests) that with a superior director that praise would be increased hugely.

    The suggestion that I be “realistic” by only expressing my views on the film is confusing because it sounds a lot like you are suggesting that nobody should voice their opinion, which makes this process very difficult. It also skips past the fact that I clearly do not hate the film, nor do I hate Bay for that matter. I haven’t met him, so how could I? Your final line is curious, because it says absolutely nothing. I could easily alter it to say “You can point out the huge fanbase and huge international audience on the planet, that doesn’t change the fact that Bay is a director with lots of negative reviews” and it still says nothing worthwhile.

    You can quote the majority until you’re blue in the face, but it doesn’t impress me. “Most fans like Michael Bay films” will not sway me or change my personal taste because I didn’t design my opinions to correspond with other people, especially not the masses. I don’t like Michael Bay films. I like films I like. That doesn’t make me wrong. Nor does you liking Bay films and disliking the films I like wrong.

    What this boils down to is the fact that you don’t agree with me about Michael Bay. Everything else, from your citing of popularity and commercial success, to your ignorant assumptions and personal criticisms of a person you don’t even know, or your interesting interpretations of the concept of truth, are just facets to that one point. You don’t have enough there to actually justify the amount of time and thought you put into your post, because disagreement on the subject of personal taste is so common that it’s as worthy of discussion as the bowel movements. All those other things are big, flashy and confrontational sidings that add nothing to the main narrative of your point, no matter how emotive they are. Yes, that’s right. Your post, ironically, suffers the same problems as a Michael Bay film.

    Now, I feel I have addressed your points respectfully and thoughtfully. If you feel you have anything to add which isn’t at all motivated by a need to insult me for no rational reasons, feel free to leave another comment. If you’d like to read more of my work, click ‘view all posts’ below my bio, there is plenty of mainstream related pieces to choose from including The Dark Knight Rises among others.

    Have a nice day,

    Scott

    Reply
    • NATE June 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      You backed up your claims in a respectful way and I’ll do the same. I’ll answer to direct quotes.

      ———
      There is nothing “FACTUALLY positive” about anything in life, it is all a matter of interpretation and circumstance. I wouldn’t even suggest that Apocalypse Now, my personal favorite film, is factually good. I just like it a lot and feel all the elements work perfectly. Again, my view.
      ———

      You’re right there and I agree. But by “factually” I meant numbers, people and interest. It is a fact that all Bay films are successful not only in the theaters, but on DVD/Blu-ray as well. It is a fact that a lot of people, mostly action fans, watch his movies because of him. It’s also a fact that his movies are extremely popular among the general public. I’m not saying that this means his movies are “good” because in art there’s no such thing as “good” or “bad”. It’s all about the personal perception.

      But…you have to admnit that there’s a reason why his films are so popular among the public. Keep in mind I don’t include the critics here. I only care about the public because movies are made for the public. As the saying goes “Film is a conversation between the filmmaker and his audience”.

      There’s a reason why on every trailer you see the big words “A MICHAEL BAY FILM”. They use that because he’s one of the very, very few directors who can sell a movie just with their names. If he was as bad as the critics say no studio would’ve used “A MICHAEL BAY FILM” card in the trailers. No way.

      ——–
      I’m not aware of Michael Bay being in anyway influential or admired amongst his peers.

      ——–

      He’s actually one of the most influential modern directors. I’m his fan for more than 15 years so trust me on this. There are tons of articles on the matter and you can find it all on the fan-site “michaelbay.com”.

      To make it easier I’ll post a direct link to a thread from the site’s forums. It’s called “The oral history of Michael Bay”. Inside you’ll see that filmmakers like Cameron, Nolan, Spielberg, Nicolas Refn, Barry Sonnefeld, Todd Phillips, George Lucas and others admire the man and his work. Here’s the link:

      http://www.shootfortheedit.com/forum/showthread.php?9445-quot-The-Oral-History-of-Michael-Bay-quot

      ——-
      For examples of said crass humor, turn your attention to the use of minorities from the black and gay community for stereotypical laughs. I find this cringeworthy.
      ——-

      We live in a world with crass humor all over the place. I find it hard to believe that you would be bothered by a few crass jokes in his films. And even if you are, would you let these small scenes inluence your opinion on a movie that’s over 2 hours?

      If that’s the case then I should hate pretty much every movie I’ve seen.

      And let’s not accuse only Bay. Gay and black jokes are everywhere these days. How about the Hangover films, the Epic, Date, Disaster films and the Scary Movies. The list goes on and on.

      Keep in mind, I don’t defend crass humor. I’m just used to it.

      And let’s not forget that Bay is the director of Bad Boys 1 and 2. Movies where black guys kick butt.

      ————–
      because I didn’t design my opinions to correspond with other people, especially not the masses
      ————-

      Same here. But I have to ask – would you add the critics to your comment? Or you care about them? If that’s the case then we disagree on this one big time. Because I can’t stand film critics. And it’s not because of Bay. I mean in general. They’re not reviewing movies anymore, they attack and insult the audience, the actors and the filmmakers. In my world critics do *not* exist. And I’m grateful for that.

      ——
      What this boils down to is the fact that you don’t agree with me about Michael Bay.
      ——

      Correct. And I’m not here to change you opinions. I can’t change you and you can’t change me. All I wanted to do is to show you the other side of the coin. As many other successful artists Bay gets a lot of hate from bloggers, fanboys and critics. I came across this article and I just wanted to respond to an opinion I disagree with. Nothing else.

      I’m not a rude person, but from the stuff I’ve seen on the web I discovered that you have to be rude with some bloggers and journalists. Thankfully, with your reply you proved that you’re not the hateful blogger I expected you to be.

      And that’s good. It means that there is a room for a normal debate.

      Reply
      • Scott Patterson June 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm

        Good of you to get back to me, Nate.

        I won’t disagree for a second that Bay is a blockbuster director, and that applies to revenue as well as style. Yes, his films make huge amounts of money and entertain a hell of a lot of people. But the problem here is that I never disputed that, since it isn’t relevant. If I break up every sentence I write to add a textually irrelevant factoid about the person I’m discussing then the article would be an unbearably stilted experience for any reader. Also, all box office revenue tells me is that a large amount of people liked the film sufficiently to pay for cinema tickets, nothing more. I never stop and wonder whether I’m wrong to dislike something commercially successful, because that would involve editing one’s opinion.

        Well, we could argue over the virtues of the Oral History article but it wouldn’t really change anything. If said directors do indeed admire and respect Bay, that’s hardly an indictment of me being a fraud for not feeling the same way. They’re welcome to that admiration, and I’m sure Bay appreciates it. I certainly hope he does.

        The crass jokes are merely the tip of the iceberg and the fact that such bad humor is commonplace doesn’t make it any less embarrassing for me to watch. When a director feels the need to throw in such needless elements to a film which has a natural mood completely contrasting to that kind of comedy it speaks volumes to me. Yes, the black tram conductor and the hairdresser are only briefly in the film. But you also have the pointlessly annoying segments featuring a stereotypical rich German hummer owner, a stereotypical angry Chinese chef, incompetent slapstick FBI agents and tediously irritating hostages. The film actually takes brief pauses out of its momentum to show these examples and I have no idea why. I certainly don’t find them funny. It reminds me of brief moments in The Dark Knight trilogy that (try to) inject small doses of humor into action sequences. On those occasions, it seems to be aimed at a small portion of the audience, normally younger viewers. The Dark Knight features a brief scene with two boys in a car mimicking shooting up a traffic jam around them, only for the Batpod to arrive and do just that for real. It’s clearly in there for the kids, which I can just about tolerate. However, these are quick and over with sharply. The Rock, and many films in Bay’s back catalogue, have these come up again and again, usually at inappropriate moments. The Nostalgia Critic makes a good point about these in Pearl Harbor.

        I don’t want to defend those other films you cited by any means, but they at least are comedies. They set their stall out from the start, and the only variable is whether you actually find it funny. The Rock is not a comedy, nor are any of Bay’s films (Bad Boys comes closest, but is still predominantly a serious film), so it’s more a lot more jarring. I should also add that “everybody else does it” does not excuse anyone of wrong doing, and is a facetious piece of reasoning. Being used to something doesn’t necessarily mean you should tolerate it.

        I was confused by your reference to black guys kicking butt in Bad Boys until I realized you meant it exonerated him of being a racist. That’s hardly the point though, since stereotyping and lazy inappropriate humor is not the same as racism or prejudice in general.

        My comment includes everyone, critics included. For example, Mark Kermode is a film critic I admire hugely and enjoy listening to. But I don’t share all of his opinions, and what he thinks of a film I’ve watched is nothing to me but some interesting opinions. If he says Dogville is a masterpiece, that won’t change the fact that I think it’s a piece of pretentious garbage for reasons I won’t get into for the sake of time. Alternately, his hatred of Guy Ritchie films doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It would be pretty hypocritical if I championed the value of free will and right to one’s opinion only to then reverse my stance where a film critic is concerned.

        It’s interesting to me that you can’t stand film critics, because they are just people (like you) who love films. The only difference is that they make their money by articulating their views and have a far more professional commitment to their passion. Ultimately, there is no fundamental difference between a critic and a fan on the street, so their opinion shouldn’t bother you any more than the guy sitting across the aisle from you. Holding deep seeded resentment is only damaging to the person who bears it, and all it does is exhaust considerable energy into a hatred that serves no point. So a film critic, some guy you’ve never met and never will, hates Michael Bay. Why does that matter? Does it devalue your fondness for his work? Does it threaten your respectability? I wouldn’t know if there some kind of journalistic agenda against Bay, but I doubt it. I don’t like his style as a Director, it just seems that others feel the same way. It doesn’t matter though. Who cares?

        Nate, I appreciate you’re trying to be reasonable and conciliatory here but your closing remarks actually irritate me quite a lot because you’re being hypocritical and dishonest.

        First of all, you say that you never intended to change my opinion. This is somewhat at odds with the fact that when you first posted you categorically stated that I had to “learn a thing or two” and that you intended to “teach” me. Not only is this form of patronization hugely offensive to anyone above the age of six, it’s also indicative of arrogance. I write for Sound on Sight because I love discussing one of my great loves, not so I can be patronized by someone who I’ve never met on the finer points of my taste in films. When you saw my opening paragraph in which I was disparaging to Michael Bay, the correct course of action should have been to stop reading and dismiss my scribblings from your mind. The fact that I’m sanctioned to write for a website does not mean I’ve been given any authority, it just means I have the chance to share my views. Now, it’s important to note that I’m not stating that there should be no negative feedback. What I’m saying is that if the response is out of anger, you should calm yourself and collect your thoughts. Disputing a person’s claims is reasonable. Insulting a person based on their claims is not, especially on such a subjective and ultimately frivolous matter.

        You say you’re not rude but you made a dreadful first impression with your approach. It would insane if you didn’t recognize that. There’s a reason that Deepayan was forceful with you, and it wasn’t because of your opinions on Michael Bay. It’s because you displayed such loathsome levels of disdain for a fellow human being without provocation, and if that doesn’t make you a rude person I don’t know what does. The fact that others on the internet are equally short on personal virtues doesn’t make up for anything, it merely puts the spotlight firmly back on you. If you “have to be” rude with bloggers then just don’t waste your time with them, it clearly isn’t good for your outlook. You define yourself with how you respond and act. Prove how good a person you are by not becoming lost in what you clearly hate.

        I never gave anyone, including you, any cause to assume I was just a hateful blogger, so you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t take that as a compliment.

        Now, I think I should close by assuring you that none of what I’m saying is intended to be argumentative, I simply believe that the best thing to do is to be honest in as reasoned a manner as possible. For all I know, in person you could be the greatest guy in the world and somebody a person would be proud to call a friend. But here, you’ve come across dreadfully and it’s important that you know that. Nobody disapproves of you because of your opinions, they disapprove of you because of your attitude. I’ll be happy to hear more of your opinions and tastes on film, or your takes on my articles, but only if you be yourself. The confrontational stuff causes nothing but trouble, and, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, pisses me off royally.

        Think first, act second.

        Reply
  2. NATE June 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    “….by which he means the film that he doesn’t completely ruin but could have improved by turning down – The Rock
    —————-

    Scott Patterson. Scotty, Scotty, Scotty. That stupid quote of yours is the reason I’m wasting my time here. But you have to learn a thing or two. And I’m here to teach you.

    You’re young guy so I would forgive you the lame ramblings at the the start of this…”article”. Didn’t even finish it.

    The fact that you trash in a pretty childsih way a proven and extremely successful action director like Bay simply shows that you’re nothing but a close-minded art-geek who hates most mainstream stuff just for the heck of it. Seriously, why are you so predictable? Why militant film buffs like you always take cheap shots at directors like Bay and at the same time you carefully ignore all FACTUALLY positive stuff. Do you even know how influential Bay is? Do you even know how many filmmakers admire his work and try to recreate his style? No, I don’t think you do. Because movie buffs like you are constantly repeating the moronic “we want story and character development!!!”.

    Newsflash, my friend. EVERY single movie out there has a story and some kind of character development. Even porn movies have stories. So it’s time for you to come up with something new. As for The Rock, that movie is considered by many fans of the genre as one of the greatest action films of all time. And it’s all because of Bay’s style and approach. You may hate the movie and its director, but at least be realistic and point out the facts. And the facts are that most fans of cinema like The Rock and most people like the other Bay films. You can quote all negative reviews on the planet, that doesn’t change the fact that Bay is a director with a huge fanbase and a huge international audience.

    Reply
    • Deepayan Sengupta June 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      First off, the fact that you didn’t finish the article really negates every point you’ve made. Literally every single one, because what you’re doing is the equivalent of criticising Verbal Kint’s story in The Usual Suspects for sounding made up, or turning off Alien after 20 minutes because you didn’t find it scary. Yet I’m going to address your comments, because the difference between you and me is that I’m actually able to read and respond to viewpoints that differ from mine without coming off sounding like a petulant child who’s been told to share their toys. You’ll note that Scott is also like me, with an added dose of niceness, which is why he’s ten times the film fan you’ll ever be.

      Militant film buffs is a myth. Film buffs don’t hate most mainstream stuff. A lot of these so-called militant film buffs praised Fast & Furious 6 this year. A lot of them praised The Raid last year. A lot of them praised Skyfall, which was a goddamn Bond movie. Many of them looked forawrd to The Avengers, and felt it lived up to their expectations. A similar number of them are looking forward to Man Of Steel this year, and if superhero films don’t fall in your decription of mainstream, then I don’t know what to tell you. So that statement is less a reflection of reality, and more a statement you made to justify the hate boner you popped upon reading that maybe somebody out there isn’t worshipping Bay like a deity, the way you seem to. This, ironically, is something I foresaw you saying as soon as you called the quote stupid, which makes you the painfully predictable one.

      Furthermore, wanting story and character development is not a bad thing. The fact that you choose to dismiss that point, rather than illustrate the existence of story and character development in The Rock, is a more damning indictment of the movie than anything Scott, or any other critic, could provide.

      Last but not least, your point about Bay’s huge fanbase and audience being some kind of indicator of quality reflects a very simplistic idea. Tommy Wiseau also has a huge fanbase comprised of people who’ve seen and thoroughly enjoyed The Room over the years. A lot of people are fans of Nicolas Cage’s performance in The Wicker Man. But let’s point out something that’ll really grind the gears of a Bay fanboy like you; the Twilight movies have been among the most successful film franchises over the past few years, spawning tons of imitators. If you’re going to point to Bay’s box office success and knockoffs as proof of the quality of his work, you have to do the same for Stephenie Meyer. So let’s hear you heap praise on Meyer the same way you did on Bay. I’ve got time, I’ll wait.

      Scott was nice to you, a lot nicer than I would have been if you’d left a comment like this on an article I poured my sweat and blood into. But here’s the truth of the matter; you’re the childish one here. You know very little, and your unwillingness to engage in debate with those who don’t see things the way you do makes you the worst kind of film fan. In fact, I’m loathe to even call you a film fan, because people like you make film fans look bad every time you express an opinion, and this comment is living proof of that. The next time you want to leave a comment like this on an article, do the world a favour, and don’t hit send. If you’re not going to engage in a critical, respectful debate, then we don’t want to hear from you.

      Reply
      • NATE June 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        Deepayan Sengupta, thank you for proving my point. Thank you. And yes there are militant movie buffs. And yes, I’m certain that I’m more open-minded than you and because of that I can enjoy a lot more movies than you. The fact that you desperately try to prove someone wrong, when you know very well that you can’t simply because it’s all matter of opinion, speaks for itself.

        And don’t put words in my mouth. No one says that box office or copycats equals quality. Just like reviews and critics don’t decide what’s good or bad. I was just posting a FACT.

        And nice try with Fast 6, Man of Steal, The Raid and Avengers. Is it coincidence that All of these flicks were praised by the film critics? And as we all know film buffs don’t have their own opinions because they are dying to agree with the film critics. Why don’t you say that buffs are excited to see a Transformers movie or a Hangover movie, huh?

        You can’t say it, because these franchises are not praised by the critics and as a result, and because most of them are sheep, movie buffs don’t like them too. It’s all sooooo predictable and there’s nothing you can say to deny that. It’s a fact.

        In the end let me just say that I AM a huge fan of movies. And make no mistake, I can debate 24/7 on topics that I’m good at. Question is, do I want to.

        Again, I’m a film fan, not a film buff. There’s a huge difference. A film fan is someone open-minded who’s not influenced by the critics or the internet. A film buff is someone who’s using crap sites like Rotten Tomatoes to prove that a certain movie is good/bad. A film buff is someone who thinks that opinions = facts.

        And I thank all gods that I didn’t end up being a film buff.

        Reply
        • Deepayan Sengupta June 10, 2013 at 10:37 pm

          Since you bafflingly contradicted yourself on several points in responding to me, I’ll just pull a quote from your response to Scott.

          “I’m not a rude person, but from the stuff I’ve seen on the web I discovered that you have to be rude with some bloggers and journalists.”

          Nate, if you run into an asshole in the morning, they’re an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.

          Reply
    • Theo June 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      AUTOMATIC FAIL on the part of Nate. I’d waste my trying to explain why, but given his comment above, he is clearly an older man and I’d assume that if he hasn’t yet matured at his age, nothing I write here will change his dimwitted views. Waste of everyone’s time.

      Reply
      • NATE June 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm

        Theo, Theo, I just love randoms like you who just pop out of nowhere, hide themselves behind someone else’s comment and don’t say anything that actually matters. And if posting my POV on the matter is according to you “AUTOMATIC FAIL” then I wonder and wonder what’s “AUTOMATIC SUCCESS” in your world.

        No, don’t answer that. I have no intention of having any kind of debate with people like you. Maybe next time you’ll have my attention. No today though.

        Reply

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