Sunday, December 06, 2009


Kit and I went to see "The Men Who Stare At Goats" this afternoon. It is a film that stars George Clooney, Jeff Bridges and Ewan McGregor, and the subject matter is military psy-ops, or attempts to utilize strategies such as remote viewing, intuition, etc. to find missing personnel and ultimately to stay one step ahead of (or even defeat) the enemy. McGregor plays a news reporter who goes to Iraq to prove his manhood to his newly ex- wife, and while at a hotel in Kuwait he happens to run into Clooney, an ex-military psy-ops guy who is back in the area on, as we find later, a "mission". Bridges does a semi-reprisal of the Dude from "Big Lebowski", at least in appearance. And Kevin Spacey's role as the "turd in the punchbowl" is amusing.

I couldn't tell if this movie was attempting to recreate the atmosphere of Hollywood "counter-culture"-based semi-comedy films of the late Sixties through early Eighties, or if it was poking fun at the military, praising the military, or giving us the message that we as humans tend not to live up to our full potential, or what... Maybe a combination of all the above? At the beginning of the movie there is a little statement onscreen, something to the effect of "More of the following is true than you may realize." I am not sure how much of the things portrayed in the movie could possibly be true, but some of it supposedly did happen.

Although "Goats" seemed a bit slow at times, I enjoyed it. It seemed very much like a Coen Brothers movie, but I don't think it was done by the Coens.

If you like mellow movies that kind of amble along, provide some thought fodder, give you some good laughs, AND if you approach this film with an open mind (suspend your disbelief), I think you will like it as much as I did.


Blogger Holte Ender said...

I saw it recently too and being a big fan of Clooney, Bridges, Spacey and McGregor was expecting a lot more than I got. I was disappointed. It had so much potential with a zany script, great cast, but I thought it dragged. I enjoyed it in parts, it had no momentum. It was the sort of movie I wanted to really like, offbeat, low budget, pisses me off.

6:27 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I have to agree with Holte Ender. It featured a great cast and the subject had lots of potential but the movie just never seemed to go anywhere.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

True... it never went anywhere. But I still enjoyed it! 8-)>

6:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

That's a hell of a cast. I'll probably add it to our Netflix cue just for that.

I've always been interested in that urban legend (or was it???) from the '70s and '80s that there was an occult gap between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Supposedly the CIA was frantically trying to learn clairvoyance and telekinesis. If KGB agents were gonna use telekinesis to disrupt our missile systems and telepathy/clairvoyance to spy on us, then the CIA needed to be able to do the same thing. And that's supposed to be part of the movie's subject matter.

4:37 PM  
Blogger NorthCountryLiberal said...

I loved it.
Not just for the reminder of the experimental atmosphere of the 60-70's, but for Clooney's fantastic protrayal of so many of my friends both in and outside of mental hospitals. I happily participated in similar delusions in those great Nixon years. Far out, man.

4:07 AM  

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