HOLLYWOOD, CA — A surprising new partnership between Hollywood and the Department of Defense was announced today, which sources say will result in better military movies, more combat realism, and more reflective belts, among other perks.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took the stage alongside CEO of Warner Bros. Studios, Barry Meyer, who made the major announcement.
"It is my pleasure to announce, after a year of planning," Meyer said, as whispers in the audience ceased, "that Warner Brothers, in partnership with other major film studios and the Department of Defense, will begin dual production of all high budget films in an effort to release content more specifically suited for our military viewership. These special versions of the films will be shipped to and play at all military installations, domestic and overseas."
One notable example is from Meyer's own company, Warner Bros. The fan-favorite action movie, 300, which was adored by military focus groups surveyed in the past, will now be shown with the Greek warriors demonstrating proper Operational Risk Management (ORM) and donning their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as reflective belts.
"This shows that the Spartan Phalanx, while primarily a well-oiled machine of death, is also known for reducing motor vehicle accidents," Meyer said. After a pause he added, "The main character's response to the threat of Persian arrows blotting out the sun is being changed to, 'Then we will fight in a well-lit area which has been approved for physical activity!' We really think our military members are going to connect with that positive, ass-covering bureaucratic attitude."
Another example given, courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, explains that due to the often-times sexually deprived and emotionally unstable nature of male servicemen, all James Bond films will be re-released sans any provocative or sexual scenes. Top Pentagon brass predicts this change "will probably reduce sexual assault cases by more than zero percent."
New Line Cinema was pleased to present one example of their own "souped up" re-releases, the first of the popular Rush Hour series. A few examples stand out among the changes listed. For one, all chase scenes are to be replaced by "moderately exciting" sequences of cars traveling through the city streets at the posted speed limits, with proper turn signals consistently being used and all actions thoroughly in compliance with state and federal traffic laws.
Every such scene will be prefaced by a clip of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker taking and passing an exam in a certified Drivers Improvement Course (DIC). Furthermore, all product placement in the company's filmography is to be substituted for Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) advertisements, to better spread the word that troops can get big savings by buying brand name items at their local exchange.
Paramount Pictures has not made any official announcement, but has leaked a teaser video for something it calls "Top Drone."
Finally, to finish off the conference, the Honorable Mr. Hagel shared his plans for films to be released to military installations in the future.
"First, obviously, we will be removing all sex scenes, as they are not in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces, although waivers may be submitted if the film clearly depicts responsible use of contraception and STD prevention," said Hagel. "Second, any scenes depicting stealth or actions meant to be concealed by the dark of night will feature proper usage of reflective belts, to ensure our military installations remain bastions of good order and discipline.
Hagel also added that all movies with U.S. Military characters or operations, fictional or otherwise, will be considered classified information and are to be replaced with the informational and entertaining AFN commercials about OpSec. "I'm looking at you, Zero Dark Thirty," he said.
The decision spurred sharp criticism from veterans.
"Wait, so now I have to watch a movie knowing it's been 'approved' by my commander? I think we all know where this is headed. Last time I needed permission from my command to do anything it was to spend a single weekend in a hotel in Okinawa, just five miles from the base. And for that I needed to turn in a map, several phone numbers, a complete 'Operational Risk Management' report, a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and a sample of my own blood," said one Marine on condition of anonymity.
He and many other military members interviewed saw the move as censorship. However, civilians who spoke to reporters were unanimously positive. "I'm really glad the big movie companies are supporting the troops like this," said Betty Gladstone, a resident of Hollywood. "Also, I'd like to thank them for their service," she added carefully.
Another civilian interviewee told reporters, "I think it's great they're being recognized. I mean, getting your own director's cut of every movie with hands-on guidance from top military officials sounds really cool. This doesn't seem like something they would do just to make it look like they were busy."