A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

November 4, 2008

Transformers (2007)


– What is Predictive Programming?
– Alan Watt – Predictive Programming; Theory and Practice
– Vyzygoth Interviews Phillip and Paul Collins – Invoking the Beyond (Predictive Programming)

For a decent synopsis, go to Wikipedia. A couple of sentences in that review immediately stand out:

The United States Military and General Motors lent vehicles and aircraft during filming, which saved money for the production and added realism to the battle scenes.
The military of the United States provided significant support, enhancing the film’s realism: the film features F-22s, F-117s, and V-22 Ospreys, the first time these aircraft were used for a film; soldiers served as extras, and authentic uniforms were provided for the actors.[1] A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and Lockheed AC-130s also appear.

This basically means that the script of the movie depicts the military in a sufficiently favorable way. The reason why the movie gets a padding on the back by the military is not hard to understand as it heavily promotes the all out gun-blazing take-no-prisoners warrior ethos. In other words, the movie seems to make for most welcome recruitment material as it is likely to earn the approval of hordes of ‘trigger happy’ video-game poisoned and naive adolescent boys.

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Much like the Cyborg Girl review I did yesterday, this too is a movie in which the conceptual robot is personified. The movie depicts robots with remarkably human characteristics and apart from their obviously human physical appearance (i.e. provided they are in their non-vehicular form), they also behave very much like humans do, especially young males:


Robots talking like (English speaking) humans do, moving like humans do, fighting like humans do, and they even know how to urinate like human males do (although the robots smartly call it ‘lubricate’).

As such, personifying robots no doubt earns the sympathy of many young and naive viewers and there stands nothing in the way of viewer to even identify with the robots. Depicting robots sympathetically and which have literally superhuman powers reads like an effective advertisement regarding the merger of man and machine. By making robots come across as friendly and protective (the Autobots only though, not the Decepticons) the viewer is predictively programmed to look favorable towards a future in which man will be drawn closer to machine either by augmenting machines with human characteristics or by endowing humans with machine like qualities facilitated by neural implants. In short, machines to be humanized while man to be dehumanized. The latter is a most worrisome prospect to anyone preferring to be a flesh-and-blood sentient human being who enjoys his or her autonomic mind and takes pride in his or hers individuality, as opposed to being an essentially soulless and unconditionally obedient machine reminiscent of a human.


Another predictive programming theme surfaces in a scene where a seemingly unannounced search and seizure operation by the federal police takes place. The FBI simply come barge through the door of some house, ransacks it and without notice arrest its inhabitants. No search-warrant is provided and no Miranda rights are read to the promptly arrested civilians. In other words, the viewer is further familiarized with Police State antics and scenery.


In the last batch of scenes a battle between the ‘good’ robots versus the ‘evil’ robots transpires in the city of Los Angeles. The military is heavily represented in the city and fighter jets fly over city, something that of and by itself is unusual as this is not entirely legal. I believe that scenes such as these, although given the context of the movie their presence seems justified, are to make the viewer getting accustomed to military forces operating in and around big cities and which have taken over the role of the regular local police and, at the expense of the Posse Commitatus Act, are now de facto policing the civilian population.

On further digging it turns out that the Posse Comitatus Act at this day and age was effectively suspended under the Bush regime.

Since the coming to reality of future calamities and crises, e.g. escalating economic crises or new terror attacks, is a very real possibility indeed, it is hardly a wild idea to suppose that movies such as Transformers help prepare the public, through predictive programming, of indeed situations in which military forces are mobilized to assume a public law enforcing capacity.


"To punish and enslave."

My other analyses (oldest first, newest last):

Children of Men (2006)
300 (2006)
28 Weeks Later (2007)
Soylent Green (1973)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
The Kingdom (2007)
The Invasion (2007)
Shoot em Up (2007)
John Rambo (2008 )
I, Robot (2004)
Cloverfield (2008 )
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
Starship Troopers 3 – Marauder (2008 )
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008 )
Code 46 (2003)
Equilibrium (2003)
Gattaca (1997)
Minority Report (2002)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Things to Come (1936)
Swordfish (2001)
Independence Day (1996)
Death Race (2008 )
Bee Movie (2007)
The Happening (2008 )
Cyborg Girl – Boku no kanojo wa saib?gu (2008 )
Transformers (2007)
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 1of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 2of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 3of6
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008 )
I Am Legend (2007)
Robocop (1987) – Promoting the Militarization of Police
Dark Knight (2008) – Excusing the Rude & Stoic Strongman Crime Fighter

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