But recruiting is just part of the equation, and the phrase “a positive light” is even a little soft. At the movies, the military gets sold — at least in those legions of Pentagon-aided films — as heroic, admirable, and morally correct. Often, it can literally do no wrong. This, of course, is no accident. Something must be exchanged for the millions of dollars in otherwise unavailable high-tech weapons systems and equipment, not to speak of personnel and military advisors, necessary to make the sort of “realistic,” eye-catching war, action, and sci-fi movies that Hollywood (and assumedly its audiences) demand.Speaking about the big-budget, live-action blockbuster Transformers (2007), Ian Bryce, one of its producers, characterized the relationship this way, “Without the superb military support we’ve gotten… it would be an entirely different-looking film… Once you get Pentagon approval, you’ve created a win-win situation. We want to cooperate with the Pentagon to show them off in the most positive light, and the Pentagon likewise wants to give us the resources to be able to do that.”
The basic plot for Transformers goes something like this. Evil robots in the Middle East attack US military base, and good robots help the US to kick evil Middle Eastern robot ass. Christ, even Raza, for which Spanish dictator Francisco Franco wrote the script, was more subtle than that.
Speaking of which:
A real barrel of laughs. In fairness, it could have been livened up with a few kick-ass robots.