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Movie Review: The Men Who Stare At Goats

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Written by Fido

Well, alright then, that was an incredibly lost movie. Like someone handing them the casting lottery ticket and they gave it to three-year-old who used it to wipe his nose after an incredibly unsatisfying sneeze. It had no idea whether it was a comedy, drama, etc. and it is just a complete waste of what should've been a good (and at the least fun) flick.

I go into this a big fan of everyone in the movie Kevin Spacey, George Clooney, Ewan MacGregor, and Jeff Bridges (freaking Flynn Lebowski for corncob’s sake) and this is what gets delivered?! At its best, it’s a dirty rotten tease of a movie that makes you think it’s just gathering steam for a great payoff. However, when all is said and done it just passes out on the floor right after you think you’re going to get lucky. (A story for another day, but I digress)

Granted, the script was nothing to really revel over. The movie felt like someone got way too stoned and listened to way too much Coast-To-Coast AM one night, then decided they could write a script about this remote viewing and psy-ops military stuff. Turns out that “special” brownies and insomnia don’t always equal genius.

Like I said before, is it a comedy, are we a drama, are we a true story kind of romp or are we just kind of stroking ourselves and spending the studio’s money on a sweet-ass vacation in the desert for a couple months. It turns out it’s the vacation the director and writer opted for. Now hey, don’t get me wrong, hangin’ on that set would’ve been a blast. I mean kickin’ around with all those guys and that much talent – so much to draw off of and get inspired by. It would be a dream job.

George Clooney does a half-ass job of his O Brother, Where Art Thou character as a drugged-up “psychic,” we get a little throwback to The Big Lebowski from Bridges, Spacey plays the usual likeable jerk that you kind of want to be friends with and punch all at once. Ewan MacGregor, not being stupid in real life, just doesn’t carry the insecure dumbfounded guy role off that well whatsoever.

So – sad for the audience, the “making of” is/will probably be far more interesting than the movie itself. Maybe the DVD release will have that on there to help gloss over the stark matte finish of this flick.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not the kind of movie that you’ll walk away from not liking the guys in it. It’s a good lesson for any moviemaker to show them that script and direction actually do matter more than the names on the marquee. So to that end, its existence is justified, but otherwise I watched this thinking, “Alright, here comes the good part. Oh man, this is going to be great when we see it all really gets moving. Okay, well maybe in the next act, we’ll get momentum." I had this inner monologue right up until the last scene. When my optimism faded, I looked around the living room, realizing I forgot to vacuum this weekend, and that would’ve been far more productive and far more entertaining.

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