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Men Who Stare at Goats (Heslov, 2010): Clooney as "paranormal" soldier [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Men Who Stare at Goats (Heslov, 2010): Clooney as "paranormal" soldier


NoirFan
11-17-08, 11:16 PM
IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1234548/) synopsis: A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's First Earth Battalion, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.

Director:
Grant Heslov
Writers:
Jon Ronson (book)
Peter Straughan (screenplay)
Genre:
History

Cast:

George Clooney ... Lyn Cassady

Ewan McGregor ... Bob Wilton

Jeff Bridges ... Bill Django

Kevin Spacey ... Larry Hooper


First pix of Clooney (http://www.thebadandugly.com/2008/11/17/first-look-clooney-in-goats/). This looks intriguingly bizarre.

iamiam
11-17-08, 11:30 PM
Just based on the cast, I would see this.

Troy Stiffler
11-18-08, 01:28 AM
Sounds ambitious. Would go and see it without thinking.

PopcornTreeCt
11-18-08, 03:27 AM
WTF? That sounds like the plot of a video game... a bad video game.

sauce07
11-18-08, 11:10 AM
Clooney looks like an 80's pediofile

NoirFan
11-19-08, 05:57 PM
WTF? That sounds like the plot of a video game... a bad video game.

It's based upon a true story. Obviously the idea of a legitimately paranormal soldier is absurd, but I'm sure the military has tried all manner of unorthodox warfare and experimentation over the years. Look at their attempts to use LSD as a truth-telling serum. I'm definitely going to check out Jon Ronson's book now.

The Antipodean
11-20-08, 12:38 AM
I dunno, words that should never be in movie titles together -- "Men," "Who," "Goats."

Greg MacGuffin
11-20-08, 08:00 PM
WTF? That sounds like the plot of a video game... a bad video game.

I just picked up the book today. From the looks of it, it seems more along the lines of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

And it's got Clooney in it. Say what you will about the guy, but he picks some interesting roles.

d2cheer
11-21-08, 12:41 PM
Agree, but do you think they will keep the title? Seems like it may go through at least one title change even though it is based on a book.

Brian T
11-21-08, 12:59 PM
The book is a great read, a swift mix of humour and jawdropping U.S. military inanity (the "First Earth Battalion" :lol:). In tone it is indeed reminiscent of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, only far more likely to be true, and anchored by something more substantial than a first-person point of view: interviews with actual participants, some of whom still believe in the paranormal. A couple chapters into it, I thought it would make an excellent movie. Not surprising that Clooney would find it workable.

Part of the program included "de-bleating" goats in Fort Bragg and having military types actually try to stare them to death in the hopes of honing superior mental powers for use during wartime. There's few developed countries on the planet where I can see such ideas being given serious consideration. ;)

Greg MacGuffin
11-21-08, 06:58 PM
I started reading the book today. Laugh out loud funny. Some of the dialogue....

NoirFan
05-19-09, 04:20 PM
From Variety (http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003890.html?categoryid=3628&cs=1): ...in the first major pickup of (Cannes), Overture has grabbed domestic rights to war comedy "Men Who Stare at Goats," featuring Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges and helmed by Heslov.

GoldenJCJ
05-19-09, 05:09 PM
I'm looking forward to this! Clooney, McGregor, and Bridges are all fantastic when they go the comedy route.

madcougar
05-20-09, 03:19 PM
Ahhh... finally spotted the word that makes me very interested in seeing this... "comedy."

NoirFan
08-18-09, 07:01 PM
First image (http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/movie/men-who-stare-at-goats/stills/1)

Zen Peckinpah
08-18-09, 09:46 PM
Seth Gecko, Rentboy, Verbal Kint, and The Dude in the same movie. HOLY SHIT. If it was rated G, ran 80 minutes and the movie was an inspirational story of goat farmers, I'd see it opening day.

The Bus
08-28-09, 10:05 AM
<a href="http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/themenwhostareatgoats/">HD Trailer</a>

GoldenJCJ
08-28-09, 12:26 PM
^ Looks good. I actually laughed out loud several times throughout the trailer!

Zen Peckinpah
08-28-09, 02:10 PM
This movie looks like nothing but great, greater, and greatest.

Brian T
08-28-09, 02:16 PM
This premieres at the Toronto Film Fest in a couple of weeks. Ordered most of my tickets early this year; hoping they go through.

islandclaws
08-28-09, 04:08 PM
Looks like it could be great, and what a cast. I'm def in.

Dr Mabuse
08-28-09, 04:31 PM
<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/qszzV1tkzoE&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/qszzV1tkzoE&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>

Let's do this right, embedded in HD.

Dr Mabuse
08-28-09, 04:32 PM
This looks excellent btw...

gmanca
08-28-09, 05:19 PM
Yeah, this is going to be awesome.

chris_sc77
08-28-09, 05:40 PM
Looks very funny but I am concerned about IMDB listing the runtime as only 90 minutes. Hopefully that is a grave error.

Greg MacGuffin
08-28-09, 08:04 PM
This looks like all sorts of awesome. Jeff Bridges hair....Jesus....

Kicker_of_Elves
08-28-09, 11:56 PM
That trailer was fantastic!

Looks very funny but I am concerned about IMDB listing the runtime as only 90 minutes. Hopefully that is a grave error.


http://i31.tinypic.com/24odfva.jpg

Kicker_of_Elves
08-30-09, 03:31 PM
I've watched the trailer 4 times now, it looks awesome. I think i'm looking forward to this more than Avatar :lol:

Artman
08-30-09, 03:59 PM
Yeah, this is first I've heard of it and it looks great. Trailer still cracks me up having watched it multiple times now...

Draven
08-30-09, 05:59 PM
This looks hilarious. Clooney can do no wrong in my book. And the trailer is great.

Looks very funny but I am concerned about IMDB listing the runtime as only 90 minutes. Hopefully that is a grave error.

Seriously, don't you ever get tired of yourself?

LorenzoL
08-30-09, 06:19 PM
As per its website, this movie is coming out in November of this year. I'm also hoping to see this movie in the Toronto International Film Festival.

Blu Man
08-30-09, 06:36 PM
Looks great.

Supermallet
08-30-09, 06:49 PM
Looks hilarious! I'm not always a fan of Clooney, but this is the kind of role he excels in. Also, McGregor, Spacey, and Bridges all look fantastic in this.

And the best news of all? It's a tight 90 minutes! Score!

chris_sc77
08-30-09, 07:54 PM
I just realized the director is the guy who played Schwarzenegger's and Tom Arnold's other partner in True Lies.

Drexl
08-30-09, 07:58 PM
I just realized the director is the guy who played Schwarzenegger's and Tom Arnold's other partner in True Lies.

Yeah, Grant Heslov works with Clooney a lot, and co-wrote the script for "Good Night, and Good Luck." with him.

But, let's wait and see if this gets an R first. ;)

Solid Snake
08-30-09, 08:04 PM
The middle eastern guy? Yeah, he had a little cameo in Good Night, and Good Luck.

Also chris_sc77...you must have a crap level of standards for movies. You must watch very few of the great films that aren't R and/or 2 hrs.

chris_sc77
08-30-09, 08:06 PM
^I watch all kinds of movies man with all different kinds or ratings and lengths. I just wont go to the theater for certain types of films.

Goldberg74
08-30-09, 08:29 PM
I had read somewhere (can't remember where) that this film -- while the humor is dark -- it's pretty light on the language and violence (like O' Brother Where Are Thou) and would probably get a PG-13 rating.

Sorry chris_sc77. ;)

Solid Snake
08-30-09, 08:34 PM
chris_sc77-So...why are you loudly prominent on the whole 2hr and R rating? Your explanation, believe it or not, clears up a lot about you. It's just theaters. You're kinda like a broken record though. It's generally always the same 2 things that are an issue. You don't have to tell us that every time.

Also...I've never noticed this but..Clooney really does well with comedy. At least to me he does.

Brian T
08-30-09, 10:30 PM
Jon Ronson's book is not the kind of book that needs a 2-hour+ movie. It's the kind of book you might get through in one or two dedicated sittings, and it's fantastic reading at that. I do wonder if folks who won't spend the money for a ticket to a movie that's less than two hours long on principle only--particularly a movie they think looks interesting--aren't just cheap. :D They probably wouldn't buy Ronson's book, either, because it's only 260 pages, not 500.

Superman07
09-01-09, 09:25 PM
This looks great. It's like O' Brother meets Top Secret!

NoirFan
09-09-09, 05:47 PM
Variety review (http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117940980.html?categoryid=31&cs=1)

Brian T
09-14-09, 03:42 AM
Went to a TIFF screening this morning and thought it was a blast. VERY funny movie, with four great characterizations from McGregor, Clooney, Bridges and Spacey, with occasional upstaging by the hilarious Stephen Lang. Stays true to the spirit if not the word of the book (hardly surprising really). Some great gags throughout, including plenty that aren't given away in the trailer. Ronson's book provided so many great anecdotes for a movie like this, that the filmmakers must've felt they were shooting the proverbial fish judging by some of the doozies that made the transition (accompanied by a few embellishments here and there). As the reviews mention, the story jumps back and forth in time, but is always easy to follow. The climactic "adventure" on the military base leans a little too far "left" even for this particular liberal, but it's still quite fun.

Kicker_of_Elves
09-14-09, 11:48 AM
I wish this was out now. :(

NoirFan
09-16-09, 05:48 PM
Great poster:

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd114/besh1/goatsposter.jpg

Zen Peckinpah
09-16-09, 06:05 PM
Sarah Jessica Parker is in this too?

GoldenJCJ
09-16-09, 06:10 PM
I look forward to seeing her team up with Jeff Bridges again. Seabiscuit was awesome.

SkipKassidy
09-16-09, 09:53 PM
I just realized the director is the guy who played Schwarzenegger's and Tom Arnold's other partner in True Lies.

He also wrote Good Night, and Good Luck to which George Clooney directed.

Now he's directing Clooney.

I'm sensing a pattern.

I bet it dates back to when they did an episode of "The Facts of Life".

Boba Fett
09-17-09, 12:40 AM
I just saw the trailer at a theater tonight and couldn't stop laughing, this definitely looks like it will be a big hit.

Dr Mabuse
09-17-09, 02:13 PM
SreufFevUSw&fmt=18

The other trailer crapped out.

glassdragon
10-07-09, 03:46 AM
saw the trailer tonight. This movie looks hilarious.

"We're Jedi. We don't use guns, we fight with our minds"

The Bus
10-07-09, 09:20 AM
Sarah Jessica Parker is in this too?

Duh. Her photo is on the one sheet.

Brian T
10-07-09, 09:19 PM
saw the trailer tonight. This movie looks hilarious.

"We're Jedi. We don't use guns, we fight with our minds"


There's a lot of dead-pan humour like that in this film. A favourite of mine—among many—involves Clooney demonstrating his supposedly deadly "sparkle eyes" technique on McGregor (I think that's what it was called, anyway).

d2cheer
10-08-09, 01:27 PM
saw the trailer tonight. This movie looks hilarious.

"We're Jedi. We don't use guns, we fight with our minds"

Agree 100%.

Boba Fett
11-06-09, 09:31 PM
Saw it this afternoon and it ended up being a mixed bag. It's at times brilliantly hilarious, but really starts to drag at the end. While I was watching it, I thought the finale was really funny, but five minutes after walking out of the theater, I felt cheated. In hindsight, the ending is a cop out and really brings the whole piece down. Fortunately, all the actors involved were great and kept the thing going, despite the clunky moments.

The marketing is definitely misleading like "The Informant." The biggest gags are in the trailer and aren't representative of the film's sense of humor in the bigger picture.

I'd give it a 3/5.

BravesMG
11-06-09, 10:03 PM
Saw it this afternoon and it ended up being a mixed bag. It's at times brilliantly hilarious, but really starts to drag at the end. While I was watching it, I thought the finale was really funny, but five minutes after walking out of the theater, I felt cheated. In hindsight, the ending is a cop out and really brings the whole piece down. Fortunately, all the actors involved were great and kept the thing going, despite the clunky moments.

The marketing is definitely misleading like "The Informant." The biggest gags are in the trailer and aren't representative of the film's sense of humor in the bigger picture.

I'd give it a 3/5.Agree with just about everything in this review, especially regarding the ending and somewhat misleading trailers.

Groucho
11-06-09, 10:10 PM
This got an "F" in Entertainment Weekly.

Boba Fett
11-06-09, 10:14 PM
I should also add, that one scene is sapped of laughs due to recent events.

A soldier hopped up on LSD wildly fires a gun at other troops in the middle of the army base.

Jamie nails my feelings in his review as well:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/40525/men-who-stare-at-goats-the/

gmanca
11-07-09, 05:28 PM
I thought it was mixed but only in it's layers, not in the actual delivery. There were plot lines that would have been nice to see developed fully. Overall though, it was a very solid movie with some great lines by the leads and Stephen Lang's goofy smile was hilarious! "I don't know, maybe I'll do it wrong and Ironically Attack someone instead."

The Bus
11-07-09, 09:21 PM
Saw this today and have to say that while it was entertaining, it didn't have much of a point. I guess I was expecting something along the lines of the big reveal of Charlie Wilson's War but it was all very anti-climactic (and if anything, it sort of pissed me off that they

actually released prisoners held captive! Sure we may have tortured / "tortured" them, but that doesn't mean they weren't dangerous!

Clooney as always turns in a very impressive performance. I thought McGregor had some great metahumor in his lines when he talks about being a Jedi. And Bridges was great as sort of a military Lebowski.

Crocker Jarmen
11-08-09, 01:19 AM
I enjoyed everything about the movie other than the last twenty minutes. The performances were a joy to watch, I had a smile on my face for almost the entire film.

The ending spiking the breakfast with LSD played like an extended cheap joke. Pretty lame. And I agree the releasing all the prisoners reveals incredible naivet'e on the part of the filmmakers.

Even still, it's just a very silly movie and have no trouble reccommending it.

Regarding:
I should also add, that one scene is sapped of laughs due to recent events.

A soldier hopped up on LSD wildly fires a gun at other troops in the middle of the army base.



Unfortunate timing, but to be fair, that scene wasn't meant to be humorous.

And a little off-topic, but I continue to be amazed how often Roger Ebert remembers parts of movies incorrectly in his review. The inaccuracies are never anything major, but it always bugs me and comes off as very sloppy. In this review, he says that Clooney shows McGregor two videos of animals. Actually, Stephen Root shows McGregor the first video, and the second isn't a video at all, it's a flashback story.

GenPion
11-09-09, 01:56 AM
I saw this tonight and enjoyed it - to an extent. I thought it was cute but kinda disappointing overall. It featured good performances, but an average script and uninteresting direction. This film also had really lackluster photography.

Overall I would recommend it but not necessarily for theater viewing. A rental seems adequate.

mikehunt
11-09-09, 07:56 PM
I like in the commercial I saw on tv where clooney says they're jedi warriors and mcgreggor is like "really, jedi warriors" or something like that

Giles
11-09-09, 09:27 PM
This got an "F" in Entertainment Weekly.

personally that rating EW gave it shocked me - they rarely slap a review with that low a letter grade.

Solid Snake
11-09-09, 10:06 PM
I like in the commercial I saw on tv where clooney says they're jedi warriors and mcgreggor is like "really, jedi warriors" or something like that

Somewhere in that home of his...Lucas must be having fun w/ his SW universe being referenced

Brian T
11-11-09, 12:53 PM
personally that rating EW gave it shocked me - they rarely slap a review with that low a letter grade.

It's certainly not an "A" grade movie, but it's hardly deserving of an F. Reviews like that, however, remind me why I gave up on Entertainment Weekly many years ago. :)

Dr Mabuse
03-13-10, 04:25 PM
I've watched this 4 or 5 times now, and each time I watch it I like it more, and laugh more.

One sign of a good film for me is that you get more out of it on repeat viewings. Bad films, that you may have enjoyed as the proverbial 'fun popcorn flick' the first time through, you tend to notice more crap and things you don't like about it on repeat viewings.

This has become one of my favorite relatively recent comedies now.

Man it's really hilarious, and the jokes really work for me.

Travis McClain
03-14-10, 01:05 AM
I think my favorite part about it all is that Clooney's character has Crohn's disease. I can't imagine being in the desert heat with Crohn's and being able to do nearly anything that his character manages to pull off, but it was still exciting to have a Crohnie movie character.

islandclaws
03-23-10, 03:01 PM
I watched this on BD over the weekend. I thought it was funny at times, but there's essentially no plot to the film. What narrative there is feels loosely strung together. The best scenes were the flashbacks, which were made even better knowing they were (mostly) real. The ending was meh, but I really don't know where else it could have gone. It's such a bizarre film, but it ended up being better than I expected. The acting is what really keeps it from being terrible.