Battle of the Military-Industrial Cineplex

An interesting analysis of the current blockbuster Iron Man and it’s role, like many Hollywood flicks, in military PR:

“Liberal Hollywood” is a favorite whipping-boy of right-wingers who suppose the town and its signature industry are ever-at-work undermining the U.S. military. In reality, the military has been deeply involved with the film industry since the Silent Era. Today, however, the ad hoc arrangements of the past have been replaced by a full-scale one-stop shop, occupying a floor of a Los Angeles office building. There, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and the Department of Defense itself have established entertainment liaison offices to help ensure that Hollywood makes movies the military way.

I can’t say I agree with his whole argument–since the writer doesn’t account for the fact that writers take creative license with many facts to convey a greater truth, and it’s a comic book flick for chrissake–but I have to say that he has some interesting observations. Including:

Most famously, it appropriated a then-unforgettable Pulitzer prize-winning photo of Lt. Colonel Nguyen Ngoc Loan, South Vietnam’s national police chief, executing an unarmed, bound prisoner during the Tet Offensive with a point blank pistol shot to the head. In the film, however, it was the evil enemy which made American prisoners do the same to themselves as they were forced to play Russian Roulette for the amusement of their sadistic Vietnamese captors (something that had no basis in reality).

Regardless of the intellectual spin, I thought the film was quite good and can’t wait for the sequel.

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