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$6 bn man Michael Bay honored by Hollywood

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Filmmaker Michael Bay displays his hands after placing them in the block of cement at his Hand and Foot prints ceremony in front of the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California on May 23, 2017. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP


Michael Bay sank his hands and feet into the forecourt of Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre on Tuesday as he was honored for a money-spinning movie career that has netted almost $6 billion.

The 52-year-old Los Angeles native is known for directing some of history’s biggest effects-laden blockbusters, from “Bad Boys” (1995), “Armageddon” (1998) and “Pearl Harbor” (2001) to the “Transformers” franchise.

“It brings back your childhood because I remember as a kid I came here. And this is where I went to the movies with my parents, this was the place where I saw ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ when I decided I want to become a director,” he told AFP.

Bay, who now calls Miami home, worked as an intern for George Lucas’s special effects company Industrial Light and Magic before kickstarting his directing career with commercials and music videos for Tina Turner, Lionel Richie and Meat Loaf.

His first feature film — “Bad Boys,” starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence — marked the beginning of a string of collaborations between Bay and veteran producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

“It’s bizarre as a kid to think, this was always untouchable to me, you know,” he said of being honored by Hollywood.

“You don’t ever think that’s possible, so it’s kind of a bizarre thing having your hands printed here.”

Known for high octane action, Bay’s movies have made $5.8 billion, allowing him to indulge a passion for aviation and motoring, according to Rolling Stone magazine, snapping up a $50 million Gulfstream jet and a fleet of luxury and sports cars.

– ‘They can say whatever they want’ –
Yet his commercial success has not protected him from the barbs of critics that accompany each new release, and he has in the past been accused of “pummeling audiences into submission” rather than entertaining them.

Mark Kermode, the British film critic who came up with the phrase, wrote in a one-star review of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in 2014 that it had all the director’s hallmarks, from its ludicrous plot and incoherent action to “endless leering shots of the leading lady’s butt.”

Bay, who directed all five installments of the smash-hit “Transformers” franchise about huge robots that turn into cars and hit each other, said he never reads his critics.

“They can say whatever they want. It’s all about the fans. I think it’s a real epic movie,” Bay said at a preview of “Age of Extinction” in Miami.

Bay’s fifth installment, “Transformers: The Last Knight,” is scheduled for release on June 21 and an untitled sixth movie is due 12 months later, although a director has not been announced.


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