Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats

Sorry for the delay, life got in the way.  (I’m a poet and don’t know it.  I hope I don’t show it….yes, I’m 12)

I’m back on the blog track with pseudo-comedy, Men Who Stare at Goats.  An interesting story that is not funny enough, action-packed enough, …or really engrossing enough to be recommended beyond a rental.

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This movie was one of those I recommended a few weeks ago based solely on its trailer.  Ahhh the beauty of marketing.   I love all the actors involved and it sounded kind of quirky so a Monday afternoon in Surrey with nothing to do?  I stared at some goats.

THE SETUP: 
Bob the reporter (Ewan McGregor) is having himself a midlife crisis.  In order to shake his situation up and to put some value on his life (it’s how you impress the ladies) he goes to Iraq for work.  This leads him to Lyn (George Clooney), a “retired” psychic/spy/jedi master with a tale to tell.  From Lyn, we learn about the U.S. Army’s First Earth Battalion.  A team of hippies turned super soldiers, led by Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey, who use their powers as an answer to what they believe the Russians are doing.  The story is apparently true…trueish.

THE THOUGHTS:
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I have mad love for Clooney.  Spacey too.  I will give any movie with these guys in it a try.  Hence why I found myself watching this…this…meh.

You would think a movie with dead goats, jedi army masters and the Iraq war would be a winning combination. Yeah, no.  It’s like this movie didn’t know what it wanted to be. If it was a straight up comedy, I didn’t haha.  If it was an action movie…where was the action?  I like movies “based on a true story” and I can certainly imagine the U.S. army was dumb enough to invest in this project but the delivery of the story was not compelling.

Acting?  Not a problem with these guys.  They just didn’t have a lot to work with.  They do look like they’re having fun, especially Bridges and Clooney, but they’re having more than I was watching them.  I wanted to laugh with them and just didn’t get the chance.  I wanted the movie to tell me what parts of this story was true.  Nope.  Really I left the theatre wanting more than I got.

The movie even ends on a note that I’m sure was meant to inspire and make me say, “YEAH!”  yeah, no.  But I’ll still go to the next movie you guys do.

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS Rating:
1 star – not worth your time. This would have been a great documentary.   Unfortunately what you get is a bland story that doesn’t know what it wants to be.  Rent it if you want to, but save your money from the theatre gods.

Coming Attractions:
Edge of Darkness – He’s back.  Ok, so he might be a racist drunk with creepy Christian values but remember, this is freaking Mad Max/Braveheart.  NO ONE does pissed off like Mel Gibson.  Check out the Patriot when one of his kids gets killed.  Welcome back Mel, we missed you.  Now go take anger management courses.

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Randomly Recommended
Little Voice (1998) – I don’t like musicals you say.  Guess what, neither do I, but every once in a while there comes a great movie that just happens to have music in it.  Once is like that and so is Little Voice.  Jane Horrocks does an amazing job as a mousy shutin who only can express herself through impersonating her favourite singers.  It is scarey good.  Ewan McGregor and Brenda Blethyn round out the amazing cast of this small but powerful movie.  Oh, and see “Once” as well.

Unfortunately I don’t have access to all movie trailers so below is a performance by Horracks as Shirley Bassey.

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A Bug’s Life (1998) – The Pixar movie most have not seen.  FOR SHAME.  Kevin Spacey as an evil Grasshopper.  It’s a Pixar movie directed by the same guy who did the first two Toy Story movies.  I don’t even need to write any more.

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 Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats
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Comments

  1. IS it just me or has it been a long time since you actually liked a new movie. It’s fine if that’s how it is, but for someone who likes movies…you don’t seem to like too many these days. Must be discouraging.

    I will rent and repost my take on this.

    And Kevin Spacey as a pissed grasshopper…perfect.

  2. I’ll admit. I’ve had a mediocre run at the movies. I will say there have been a few good ones that I haven’t mentioned. Zombieland and This is It!, the Michael Jackson concert movie. Both were in the theatres a few weeks when I saw them so they didn’t make the cut. HOWEVER, these were definitely two movies I would have given 2 tickets, if not 3 tickets to.
    So yeah, it is discouraging but it’s the recommendations that balance it out. Even if the movie is crap, it reminds me of movies in the same genre or with the same actors that were a whole lot better.

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