Michael Bay Apologizes for ‘Armageddon’ for Some Reason

Usually, it takes a true cinematic nuclear meltdown disaster to get a filmmaker to apologize for their work. Like, Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin—you know, the one with the Bat-Nipples—level disaster. For which Schumacher actually did apologize. But directors, generally, aren’t expected to apologize for even their worst errors, especially those who critics typically pigeonhole as makers of bad movies. Which is why it was so surprising that, in an interview promoting his new film Pain & Gain, Michael Bay, he of the Transformers franchise, offered a mea culpa to fans of one of his most, erm, classic films.

As the man himself told the Miami Herald:

“I will apologize for Armageddon, because we had to do the whole movie in 16 weeks. It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could. But the studio literally took the movie away from us. It was terrible. My visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown, so I had to be in charge of that. I called James Cameron and asked ‘What do you do when you’re doing all the effects yourself?’ But the movie did fine.”

Michael, Michael. It’s okay, dude. You don’t need to apologize for Armageddon. We get it, the explosions weren’t quite up to your standards and you had to fight with Deep Impact for attention (Deep Impact did have Morgan Freeman but yes, Armageddon is somehow still better than Deep Impact). Yes, it’s a bad movie, but it almost veers into so-bad-it’s-good territory and you know what? Lots of people genuinely love Armageddon. I have seen it unironically front and center amongst the DVD collections of various Chicago apartment-dwellers. People actually liked it. Just as some people genuinely love all your movies (and people other than adolescent boys, too), even the ones that were way, way worse than Armageddon. People still like lots of movies that are bad. And if you’re going to apologize for shoddy work, Armageddon is, like, the last one you should be apologizing for. Steven Tyler would probably agree.

Afternoon Links: Aerosmith Goes Topless, Pixar Gets Their First Female Heroine

● The boys of Aerosmith, otherwise known as Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and Joey Kramer, hit the beach together and posed topless for the paparazzi. It’s almost cute? [Vulture]

● She shouldn’t have to, but Mindy Kaling reminds us that you can wear lipstick and watch the Kardashians and still be smart and feminist. "I do think that if you like lipstick or watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians while you do the elliptical machine, and you’re willing to admit to any of that, that there are people who think you’re letting down women or something. Which is just a bunch of bullshit," she says. [AV Club]

● Bradley Cooper is your lastest Sexiest Man Alive, according to the "sexy" experts at People. He takes over for last year’s winner, Ryan Reynolds, who is too busy canoodling with Blake Lively to care. [People]

● Starbucks is tired of providing free and not-too-gross public restrooms for all of New York City. If you need a new pitstop.  [NYP]

● The best TV mom of the last ten years, Connie Britton, has adopted a nine-month-old boy from Ethiopia, meaning she is now a real mom, right? [Us]

● This new UNHATE ad campaign featuring photoshopped images of world leaders locking lips, President Obama, included, lends new power to phrase "what the fuck." [Flavorwire]

● It’s hard to believe, but Pixar is finally debuting their first female heroine. Meet Merida, the fierce Scottish Princess and star of next summer’s Brave. [Huff Post]

Steven Tyler Has Fallen and He Can Barely Get Up

Falling in love is so hard on the knees. Especially when you can’t stand up, because you’re an old person. Just ask Steven Tyler!

Tyler was in Paraguay for an Aerosmith show and had an accident in his hotel room: he slipped and fell in his shower. It’s being reported as a “small accident,” but he also lost two teeth in the fall, which seems like a fairly sizable accident, right?

Tyler received stitches and had emergency dental work done during a nearly four-hour stay at the La Costa medical center in Paraguay’s capital, according to a hospital statement. He was in good condition when discharged. … Aerosmith planned to perform in the South American nation of Paraguay on Tuesday during a tour through Latin America.

Those poor Paraguanian (I guess?) Aerosmith fans! I should probably call my Memaw, who is usually on top of all news relating to old people who fall down.

Our Man in Miami: Taking a Drive with Desmond Child

Thank Zeus for cool friends. No sooner had a certain electronica act passed on having a chat with yours truly than a gal pal o’ mine set up an interview with someone infinitely more palatable—and enduring. So rather than having to force myself on a couple too-cool-for-school Canadians, I got to get with the cat who’s largely responsible the soundtrack of our lives. So there.

That’s how I found myself sitting in the backseat of a Dodge Nitro speaking with legendary producer and songwriter Desmond Child yesterday afternoon. The ever glam Debbie O made the connect, and I couldn’t have been keener on the prospect had I suggested it myself. Child just so happened to be holed up in one of Ricky Martin’s stately abodes wrapping up the Latin heartthrob’s latest LP. Martin’s home, as you might imagine, is literally fit for storybooks. But even more impressive was the fact that it had been converted into some kinda sound factory. The moment I crossed the threshold I could feel the magic in the air.

Child had to jet away for a few days to take care of a couple things, so I hopped on board for the drive to the airport. And while all I heard of his latest production came in snippets through one of Martin’s three studio doors, I nevertheless sensed something brewing that just may knock the proverbial socks off the whole wild world. Confirming my suspicion was Child himself, who told me just enough about Martin’s next collection of songs to make everybody’s day. But first, I asked him to backtrack through some of his career highlights, which still leave me somewhat agog.

Would you consider Kiss’ “I Was Made for Loving You” your breakout track? It was my first international hit, and yeah, it helped put me on the map as a songwriter with bands. Up until that point not very many bands wrote with professional outside songwriters. At the time, though, I was really an artist with Desmond Child & Rouge, and it was more of a collaboration between artists, because Paul Stanley was a fan of our group. He’d come down to the shows all the time, and one day he said, ‘Hey, let’s write a song together.” So he co-wrote a song on our first record called “The Fight,” and I co-wrote “I Was Made for Loving You” for Kiss’ Dynasty. I think I did better than he did in the exchange.

And Stanley is the one who recommended you to Bon Jovi, right? Right. Bon Jovi was on tour in Europe with Kiss—they were the opening act. And I think they really liked another song I wrote with Paul called “Heaven’s on Fire,” which also became a hit for them. Jon asked Paul about me, and Paul gave him my phone number. And then I went over to New Jersey to write with this new band called Bon Jovi. I ended up co-writing four songs from Slippery When Wet, including “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

And you’ve been working with them ever since? Yeah, I served as Executive Producer on the last four albums.

I know you’ve also worked with Alice Cooper, who gave me a great interview last year. Was that the Trash record? Yes, I co-wrote with Alice and produced Trash. That had a song called “Poison” on it, which was his big comeback song.

Have you worked with him since? Yeah, in fact, we worked recently with Bob Ezrin. Wow! The immortal Kiss producer! Yeah, but he also produced all of Alice’s early records too.

Did he do Killer and School’s Out and all of those? Yeah, and Billion Dollar Babies and Welcome to My Nightmare… He’s an amazing producer and one of the most wonderful people I’ve even known.

You’ve also co-written with Joan Jett. Was “I Hate Myself for Loving You” the only song you two wrote together? No, we did “Little Liar” and “Get Off the Cross I Need the Wood”…

You guys wrote a song called “Get Off the Cross I Need the Wood”? That’s brilliant! (Both laugh) We did a few other songs together too.

I also wanted to ask about that Hanson track, “Weird,” which is a really beautiful song. Thanks. Maybe other than “Livin’ on a Prayer,” that is singularly one of my all-time favorite songs. I always perform it whenever I’m asked to sing somewhere.

I’ve also got Cher in my notes, with three exclamation points. How did that come about? John Kalodner, the legendary A&R man at Geffen Records, signed Cher when no one believed in her as a recording artist anymore. I had been working on Aerosmith’s Permanent Vacation, where I had co-written “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” and “Angel,” and I was also having success with Bon Jovi at the time, and he asked if I’d produce her. I’d met her back while she was doing the play Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean when another producer had used a couple of my songs, so Kalodner re-introduced us, and she was thoroughly enchanting. I ended up bringing in a bunch of my friends to do the record, including Jon Bon Jovi. And that’s when she met Richie Sambora.

Oh, so you’re responsible for that? (laughs) Yeah, it’s all my fault! (laughs) Not that I could’ve stopped it. Instant chemistry.

Another triple exclamation point I’ve got is for Lindsay Lohan. She did your song “I Live for The Day.” Really? How? Why? Actually, I didn’t work with her. The song was pitched to her and she cut it. In fact, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never even heard her version. The record company didn’t send me a copy, because they don’t do that anymore, and at the time I didn’t know how to download, so, through one thing or another, I never got to listen to it.

More recently you worked with Mika. What’s he like? Yeah, we co-wrote a song with Jody Marr called “Erase.” He’s wonderful. A great guy, very smart.

Then there’s Katy Perry’s “Waking Up in Vegas.” Yeah, that went number one a year ago. She’s amazing. She’s absolutely adorable and gorgeous and funny and irreverent – exactly as she is in her songs.

Okay, that brings us to the next Ricky Martin record… I’m really excited about the music, the content, because since he’s come out it’s unleashed his creativity and the scope of what he can sing about and say and do. He’s a formidable person – an activist, a philanthropist, a humanitarian. All of the work he’s put into his charity—it’s all going into the music. His personal life too, and how much his life has been changed by his children. Once he opened that door a floodgate of energy and creativity just really exploded.

So, it’s fair to say that the next Ricky Martin record will be unlike anything we’ve ever heard before? Definitely. We really reached a creative fusion of rock and pop and electronic and Latin music – it’s all over the place in a really great way.

Steven Tyler Quits Aerosmith, Robbie Williams Rejoins Take That

What a whirlwhind day for rock heroes! Both past and present. The terrifying trichotillomania-inducing bad news first! Steven Tyler, in a diva-ish homage to Geri Halliwell’s abrupt exit from the Spice Girls in 1998, stunned his bandmates with news/lack of further explanation of his own departure. Guitarist Joe Perry says that he knows nothing further, while bassist Tom Hamilton glibly offers how Tyler is always angry at the band. And if the parallel plotting of the Halliwell-Tyler trajectory is true, then just about now, Tyler gearing up to spread (testicular?) cancer awareness on various little-seen chat shows. Reasonable people, however, would’ve been right in assuming that the band split way back when, shortly either after this single or this one. But enough dwelling on the past!

Excellent news to counter the histrionics of that old leather-face is this: Robbie Williams will be rejoining Take That. Currently enjoying a studly comeback, Williams is going to step out for a one-off reunion with Gary Barlow and crew. And although he won’t be back for good, Williams’ loyalty to the band is permanent and skin-deep. He flashed the new ink he got on his wrist, a tribute to his time in his former band. His new album may do for him what Circus did for Britney Spears and resuscitate his career. But it’s here that we can pause and reflect on his failure. Because he made failure sound so good.