08/22/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

DVD Review: THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS



Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Year: 2009
Cast: George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey
Director: Grant Heslov
Release Date: March 23, 2010
Rating: R for language, some drug content and brief nudity
Run Time: 01h:33m:39s
Genre(s): war, comedy, satire

"More of this is true than you would believe." - from an opening title card

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS

Buy Now @ Amazon

 
  

Let us remember the forgotten victims of the war in Iraq: the livestock.

Movie Grade: B-

DVD Grade: B-

In many respects, a black sense of humor is the only appropriate response to the madness of war. Even a film as earnest and tense as The Hurt Locker is laced with a mordant sensibility, which seems to be part of the necessary armature of a warrior in our time. Or in any time. The Men Who Stares at Goats seeks to mine this vein, established as far back at least as Aristophanes, and coursing through films like Dr. Strangelove and Catch-22—but a jokey sense of life's ironies isn't in and of itself enough to make a good movie, as you'll discover if you watch this one. It's easy to become enchanted by all those stellar names above the title, but the pedigree of the project alone can't pull you through ninety minutes, and alas this one never quite figures out enough of a story to bring us in.

The film is based on a deadpan account by Jon Ronson, who himself becomes the rather fictionalized narrator played by Ewan McGregor. (Ronson is English; McGregor's character writes for a newspaper in Ann Arbor, and seeks out an embedded assignment after his wife leaves him for his boss.) But as much as anything else, it's a film about the odd intersection of military culture and the New Age movement, and about how the former tried to skim off some of the latter to make itself more efficient at, well, killing and conquering people. Jeff Bridges plays the high priest of this New Earth Army—he's a Vietnam vet looking to put together a platoon of warrior monks and establish a new paradigm. One of the things that the movie is smart about is confirming our suspicions that the huge Pentagon budget isn't full just of legitimate expenses and the proverbial waste, fraud and abuse; but also some stuff that's just flat-out batshit crazy.

McGregor meets up with George Clooney and his silly moustache; only the former is one of Bridges' "remote viewers," that is, a soldier cultivating a sense of extrasensory perception in order to serve the corps. The troops of the film's title aren't doing intense observation—the goal is to stare at a goat and channel so much negative energy toward it that the animal's heart stops. Much of this may indeed be true; but the film is much to satisfied with its smirky sensibility. Everyone involved loves to be in on the joke, but they're not much interested in sealing the deal with the audience, so we're largely on the outside looking in. And a plot of sorts is grafted onto what's really just a series of blackout sketches—it just doesn't add up into a whole movie, and director Grant Heslov's touch isn't especially light. Much of this plays like a heavy-handed Coen brothers imitation, with more politics and fewer setups and punchlines.

Heslov does have a keen ear, though—I especially like the use of More Than a Feeling on the soundtrack during an ESP montage—and wisely hired director of photography Robert Elswit, whose work these days is as stellar as anyone's, on the heels of films like Michael Clayton and There Will Be Blood. Kevin Spacey shows up late as the discontented psychic who wants to be teacher's pet—he's a plot necessity more than a character, unfortunately, and even an actor of Spacey's character can't fill in all of those blanks.

The extras package will likely only ratify your assessment of the feature. On the first commentary track, Heslov calls the script "the best screenplay I have ever read," but doesn't elaborate much, and offers just a hodgepodge of memories of the production history; on the second, Ronson seeks to ferret out fact from dramatic license. (He's an occasional contributor to This American Life, so hearing his cool cadence, you start to anticipate the payoff that never comes.) Goats Declassified (12m:09s) features Ronson and some of the characters' real-life counterparts; Project Hollywood (7m:33s) is a standard making-of piece. A group of deleted scenes are just snippets, running less than three minutes; and along with an original trailer are a collection of "character bios," really just teaser pieces for the feature.

Posted by: Jon Danziger - April 5, 2010, 8:59 am - DVD Review
Keywords: war, black comedy, satire, iraq, spacey, clooney, bridges




Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store