Also I agree with you. He makes solid action films but Pearl Harbor was an abomination. However that's entirely blamable on Randal Wallance, the screen writer, who decided to go for making "the next Titanic" to which the studio executives agreed. Bay doesn't have the creative control you might think and when the executives say so his hands are tied.
I enjoyed Titanic
well enough, even if it was too long and seemed to not have enough carnage. It did, but the love story broke it up. The other thing that pissed me off about Pearl Harbor
was that I like history, especially 20th century war history, and I was looking forward to a war movie. Instead, as you said, we got an attempt at copying Titanic
. That movie worked because it was a tragic accident (Pearl Harbor wasn't) and the love story made it more emotional. In Pearl Harbor
, it just took away from the subject of the movie, which should have been the Japanese attack and the subsequent American entrance into the war. The other difference was that James Cameron is better at putting an emotional story on a grander setting. It held true for the Terminator
movies he directed, as well as Titanic
. Bay, as awesome as he is at grand action, can't present emotional stuff very well, except minimally. (I.e. Bruce Willis's goodbye speech in Armageddon
RotF's problems stem from similar issues, namely the lack of a finished script and executives with no interest in pausing production until the Writer's Strike ended.
Yeah, I would have gladly waited an extra year for a much better quality script. Whatever time Orci and Kurtzman (who are not that good to begin with) had before the strike went to Star Trek
and it showed. Ironically, RoTF still made more money.
There's a reason writers write and directors direct, just look at the Star Wars prequels.
That said RotF is way better than the Star Wars prequels, so yeah.
I thought Episode III was better than RoTF. It was a very well crafted emotional action epic, tying all 6 movies together. The only drawbacks, IMO, were the shitty acting of Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid after he was deformed. The fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin and Yoda and the Emperor was awesome, though it had an abrupt and anti-climactic ending. The only main gripe I have is that after Episode III, I no longer saw Vader as a ruthless galactic badass, but instead as a pathetic, jealous fool who got duped very easily. On the flip side, I really didn't like Yoda in the OS, and after Episodes II and II, I had a lot more respect for him. (When he broke out the green saber in Episode II, I actually cheered out loud in the theater.) I attempted to watch Star Wars
(yes, I still call it that, f**k it being "Episode IV") a while after, and I couldn't even finish it, because every time I saw Vader I just shook my head. Haven't watched the movies since.