Check out this really competent breakdown of Michael Bay's form. Quite funny in parts and generally quite informative. Well played Tony Zhou.
Check it out below:
It's always this issue of style over content with Bay. I personally do like some of his movies because aside from a lot of them being essentially fluff, he is one of the most distinct visual storytellers ever. It's a very rare thing that even people who don't know much about movies can tell you what a Michael Bayism is. This reflects that whether you like his movies or not and perhaps much to your distain, they do stick with you.
His shot composition is second to none but it is, as I have said, style over content. He doesn't tease his audience, he doesn't build stress then release. Take, for example, the scene when Michael slaps the table at the end of The Godfather. This moment has a lasting impact because it has been simmering the whole way through the movie and then it breaks, as does the character. This is why we are shocked. The skill is where and when this moment is placed. If Bay were doing it Michael would've been slapping the table the whole way through the movie. Every sentence "No!!" SMASH, 'That's Luca Brazi!' SMASH.
What I'm saying is that I personally believe shot composition should have intent. The same way actors say 'what is my action?' and 'why?', the camera should perform in this same way. I think it should be in service of the story, otherwise you're just servicing yourself.
If you have more of an interest in this check out The Story of Film: An Odyssey. It's a documentary series that charts the development of film as a medium from shot composition, to theatres, to acting developments. It's really very good. It also shows shots that are now industry standard and where they came from; what the original intention of shots were and how less and less thought is put into 'why' a camera moves, or why it pulls focus etc.
And if you liked this video check out more of Zhou's work on his youtube Every Frame a Painting.
So, To Bay or Not to Bay?
To Bay or Not to Bay?