Variety and oi9 have both posted articles in the last few days about the unique relationship between the film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Director Michael Bay and the movie's producers were able to get the full support of every branch of the US Military except the Coast Guard in making this latest installment of the franchise. By offering their expertise to the filmmakers, the military brought an informed perspective that will start a unique conversation with the audience. When heroes on screen show us how it's really done, we naturally want to emulate them. And the discovery that the cool protagonist you saw on screen did something real that you too could do, well, that gets people excited to be a part of something in which they may not have otherwise had an interest - like the military... or science.

The pentagon's decision to consult on Transformers was in part an effort to advertise and glamorize military service. Here at The Exchange, we're thrilled to see this kind of synergy because, in many ways, our mission is one-and-the same as theirs: promote recruitment and interest in our cause through mainstream media.

In Transformers, we have a major action extravaganza that consulted with the experts to make things, bigger, faster, louder, better, and more explosive because the reality is that oftentimes fact is a wilder ride than fiction. This film, along with many of Mr. Bay's motion pictures, makes an important statement about the value of getting things right for the screen: the glory of spectacle (and no one has mastered this art better than Bay) only grows stronger with realism. And what better way is there to celebrate the achievements of our servicemen and women - or the most brilliant science minds on the planet - than to honor them as heroes onscreen?

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