From Michael Bay to Kevin Smith, directors of all varieties have sometimes feuded with critics
Film critics gleefully took their hammers to “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” like they were Gallagher smashing a watermelon, but director Michael Bay was unfazed.
“Let them hate,” the directer boasted, while his film enjoyed 2014’s biggest opening to date and thundered to over $100 million in its first weekend.
Bay isn’t the only director to face his critics head on. In fact, in the age of Twitter and Facebook, it’s easier than ever for auteurs to respond directly to reviewers who are paid to pan their films.
Here are five directors who called out critics of their film for trashing their movie:
1. Michael Bay, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”
“They love to hate, and I don’t care; let them hate,” Bay said. “They’re still going to see the movie! I think it’s good to get a little tension. Very good.”
2. Uwe Boll, “Postal”
Wired trashed Boll’s 2007 effort “Postal” (with Dave Foley and Zack Ward), and the oft-maligned director fired right back.
He sent this email:
your review shows me only that you dont understand anything about movies and that you are a untalented wanna bee filmmaker with no balls and no understanding what POSTAL is. you dont see courage because you are nothing. and no go to your mum and fuck her …because she cooks for you now since 30 years ..so she deserves it.
people like you are the reason that independent movies have no chance anymore.
PS: POSTAL is R RATED . The MPAA understood the satire — you not — you dumb fuck”
3. Vincent Gallo, “The Brown Bunny”
When the dearly departed Roger Ebert screened a first cut of Gallo’s “Brown Bunny” at Cannes in 2003, he called it the worst movie to ever play the festival and walked out. Instead of defending his film, Gallo went with an ad hominem attack — he called Ebert a “fat pig with the physique of a slave trader,” according to an interview in The Guardian, and then spoke ill of the critic’s colon.
“I am not too worried,” Ebert replied on his site. “I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than ‘The Brown Bunny’ … Someday I will be thin, but Vincent Gallo will always be the director of ‘The Brown Bunny.””
The two would eventually reconcile (kind of.) Gallo re-cut the film and Ebert would go on to give it a thumbs up.
4. Darren Aronofsky, “Noah”
After critics repeatedly took Aronofsky to town over the overt pro-environmental themes in “Noah,” he asked them all to take a closer at the material that inspire his story.
“It’s in Genesis,” he told CNN in a video interview, according to NME. “Noah is saving the animals. He’s not out there saving innocent babies – he’s saving the animals, he’s saving creation.”
5. Kevin Smith, “Cop Out”
Critics didn’t love Smith’s buddy cop flick with Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, “Cop Out,” and Smith didn’t like their reviews.
He took to Twitter and called out the entire Hollywood process.
“Realized [the] whole system’s upside down: so we let a bunch of people see [a movie] for free and they sh- all over it?” Smith tweeted.
“From now on, any flick I’m ever involved with, I conduct screenings thusly: you wanna see it early to review it? Fine: pay like you would if you saw it next week. Like, why am I giving an arbitrary 500 people power over what I do at all, let alone for free. Why’s their opinion more valid? It’s a backwards system. People are free to talk sh- about any of my flicks, so long as they paid to see it.”