23 May 2010

Michael BAY Of Pigs: Shia LeBEOUF and Megan FOX Vs TRANSFORMERS and The Hollywood INTEGRITY BOMB

No, we're not gunning for Perez Hilton's job. That said, read on... At Cannes last week, Shia LeBeouf manned-up in a surprising way and apologized for not having the acting skills to deliver on his last genre film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  He also stated that his wasn't the only flaw with the film,  admitting that while he has a good relationship Steven Spielberg, the movie's director, he felt that Spielberg also dropped the ball with Jones.  

But LeBeouf, 23, didn't stop with Jones; he made similar apologies for Transformers 2 - the Michael Bay-directed sequel of which Spielberg is an Executive Director - and promised a much better film for the franchise's third installment, set to be released 01 July 2011.

Like a great many other fans, we completely agree with LeBeouf's comments  -- as well as his stated reasons for making them: owning up to past mistakes so as to maintain future credibility with the movie-going public. However, we can't shake the notion that LeBeouf may have commented as he did and when he did in an effort to show some kind of solidarity with his former Transformers co-star, Megan Fox.  After months of heated exchanges between herself and Michael Bay, Fox was fired from the sequel by Bay last Thursday.
While few would disagree with LeBeouf's remarks or motives, Fox's verbal fire-fight with Bay has heaped a world of hurt on her. Our initial purpose for today's blog was, in a way, to take a fun comicsblog stab at her, too. But a bit of consideration and further research has made us change our minds.  Why? Simply, there's a lot more to this story than even the most gossip-ridden websites are mentioning. Some it would, we're sure, qualify as scandal; but ,we believe, the rest might border on the blasphemous.

Blasphemous by Hollywood's standards, at least. Since Thursday, both Fox and LeBeouf have drawn sharp criticism for their recent words, and their careers may even be in jeopardy for not 'towing the Hollywood line.' (The Los Angeles Times features an amazing article on this subject which you can read here). Hollywood is a business like any other large corporation, and if you've worked for one as we have, you already know that the penalties are severe - sometimes immeasurably so - for speaking the truth, or even coming close to it.  If you dare to do so, beware the Integrity Bomb that's sure to fall.

Unlike LeBeouf's comments and as an Google search will reveal a million times over, Megan Fox's public ridicule of Michael Bay and of Transformers has, frankly, seemed bitchy, whiny, and immature.  It's also been extreme: in her Wonderland interview, she compared Bay to Adolph Hitler, saying that he's "endearing to watch, but a tyrant on the set". (Odd, don't you think?). Bay's responses have been more level-headed, chalking up Fox's behavior and comments to her age and lack of experience.  We'd expect any corporate executive to have a similar retort, and it seems sound, at that. But when you consider that Bay chose to chastise her in an unrelated interview with The Wall Street Journal, his professional posturing plummets to pieces. And one must really stop and ponder: what is up ??

It's possible that we're being sexist here, but it's hard not to draw the conclusion we have. The intense feuding and the allegations and irrational behaviors that have been non-stop between Bay, an adult  and Fox, whom Bay points out many times over to be, basically, a child (and a very attractive female one at that), has all the ingredients of a spat between jealous ex-lovers. It's the drama we'd expect to find - and have found -as posts on Craigslist's Casual Encounters.  So the elephant on our table remains: Did Bay and Fox do the 'Horizontal Hokey-Pokey'?

There's not much love for Michael Bay on the internet; we've seen gigolos who pose for pictures with less exposed chest hair and wearing more clothes than Bay. He's made no secret that he's the one who made Megan Fox a star (which is true), and we wonder what she may have done to get that chance in the first place. If she did get nasty with Bay, maybe she didn't want to do it anymore? For all her promiscuous photography, and while we're not saying that she's  (much of) an actress, she is a woman in a relationship. 

That doesn't, of course, mean that Bay shouldn't have fired Megan Fox.  Whatever may have really happened, neither Bay nor Fox have come completely clean, and Fox chose to remain 'employed' as Bay's cast member. As such, and although it does take two to tango, her words were out of line and Bay acted within his right. Given that much of the Transformers crew had little use for Fox either, her absence will undoubtedly be better for the next film's overall morale. Bay has already benefited from his actions, too; he's hired  supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to replace Fox in the next film. 
It's a decision that's right in line with Michael Bay's character (and a mid-life crisis?) but that to us makes NO sense -- unless perhaps you're trying to pour salt in the would of an unhappy ex-lover, likely one who did the rejecting in the first place. Huntington-Whiteley has absolutely zero acting experience in her career, but she's probably been on Bay's mind (if she also hasn't been on some of his other body parts) ever since he completed filming a video for Victoria's Secret last December. Will she, like Fox, become America's next 'Pop Model?'
Both Fox and LeBeouf have said that the 'human factor' was missing from Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. Whether or not that's simply because of a poor script's emphasis on robotic action and SFX, or if it's a symptom of a lack of humanity on set isn't clear, but we'd wager it's the unfortunate result of both.  With Huntington-Whitely on board for the sequel, cast and crew may be in for stiller waters -- but, as Transformers by their very nature teach us, appearances can be very, very deceiving.

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