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The Men Who Stare at Goats

George Clooney , Jeff Bridges    Unrated   Blu-ray
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 30.57 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EAT MOR CHIKN July 25 2010
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) a recently divorced reporter wants to do what all men do when a woman "has broken his heart" do, go to war. On his way to Iraq, he stumbles across an ex-Jedi warrior Lyn Cassidy (George Clooney) who also happens to be going to Iraq for some nefarious purpose. As they travel together, the reporter, Bob makes him fascinated with a story of military and human importance told to him by bigger than life Lyn. Will any of Lyn's tales turn out to be true or are we just on a wild goat chase?

"More of it is true than you would believe"

This film does not really fall into any standard genre. It may have a message or two but you have to look for them. There are a few sight gages (one includes clouds). The stereotypical hippy is actually fun when you think back on the real thing. The war scenes are more realistic than in the film "Hurt Locker".

Beware the Blu-ray has all those nasty coming attractions that get old quickly. The DVD extras are worth a scan. You will have to look under audio setup to find the commentary with Director Grant Heslov or Author Jon Ronson.

The Men Who Stare at Goats
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny Military Satire March 28 2010
Format:Blu-ray
Men Who Stare at Goats begins with the phrase 'more of this is true than you would believe' I cannot verify that clam, but I do suspect that there lies some distant reality in this cleverly funny film.
Ewan McGregor is Daily Telegram reporter Bob Wilton, whose life suddenly begins to collapses when his wife leaves him for his editor. In his own words he does what most men do when a women break there heart, he goes to war.
A wannabe war corresponded; Bob hopes that in hunting for adventure he can prove to his lost love that he is not weak. In Iraq Bob meets Retired Special Forces operator, Lyn Cassady; played as the ever charming and crafty George Clooney. Cassady refers to himself as a Jedi warrior, a military trained super soldier, fighting with his mind.
As they journey into the desert together, Lyn reveals the story of his training by the New Earth Army; at the height of the cold war the pentagon catches wind of a Soviet psychic soldier program, unwilling to accept a psychological warfare gap, they begin their own program.
Newly Oscar winning Jeff Bridges brilliantly stars as Bill Django commander of the New Earth Army. Bill embraces the hippy movement in his personal quest for a peaceful warrior. He uses mental projection, positive thought, eastern meditation techniques, and yes even the occasional psychotropic drug to create a new form of warrior, a super soldier with the power of mind over matter.
The new age soldier movement attempts, with varying degrees of success, to train men to walk through walls, overcome there enemies with mental projections, and even kill goats with a stare.
An expectantly well rounded and talented cast saturates the film; Kevin spacy plays Larry Hooper the films primary antagonist; a vindictive psychic trainee.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 14 2014
Format:DVD
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Men who Stare at Goats Dec 16 2011
By B. J.
Format:DVD
This was purchased as a gift for my son so I am unable to comment on the content/quality of the disc itself, however the shipping was prompt and the package arrived safely.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  263 reviews
76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smart and enjoyable, but not as lasting as it should be. March 22 2010
By DanD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
George Clooney, Ewen McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Robert Patrick, Stephen Root, Stephen Lang...THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS has an one of the best cast lineups of any 2009 film (a year in which a lot of good actors made a lot of good movies). The film is based around a supposedly true plot: "psychic warriors" trained to fight terrorists, led by a hippie soldier, attacked by an arrogant Army officer, and infiltrated by a bored investigative reporter and a former psychic soldier. It makes for a great story, and overall, GOATS succeeds brilliantly; it is a delightful, at times dark film (the last 20 minutes or so get so dark, you'll wish the whole film had been this gutsy) that proposes a lot of questions, and doesn't bother answering them (like any good satire should).

However, something's lacking. Peter Straughan's script isn't up to par; and Grant Heslov's directing seems at times undecided. The acting is fine--Clooney is understated; Bridges is himself; Spacey is delightfully off-kilter; and watching McGregor deadpan the question "What's a Jedi?" is just good geeky fun--but the film itself doesn't live up to the cast's combined talents. The end result is a film that's certainly an enjoyable watch, even laugh-out-loud funny in spots (though it's overall a subtle comedy; this isn't slapstick, it's satire), but doesn't have the lasting effect something with this weight should. The ending is ultimately a let-down; a lot of build up for very little. That's not to say the movie isn't worth your time; if you enjoy intellectual comedies, you'll definitely want to check it out. However, unlike others of the genre--DR. STRANGELOVE comes to mind, though it's probably unfair to compare any war satire to Kubrick's masterpiece--THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS doesn't stay with you once you're done watching. And that is a damn shame, because a film with this great a cast, and this interesting a premise, deserves--almost necessitates--a lasting presence. As is, we have an enjoyable intelligent comedy that is slightly less than the sum of its parts.
55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five if you are former CIA or SOF, rest of world will not get it May 7 2010
By Robert David STEELE Vivas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An extraordinarily talented and experienced international law enforcement officer watched this on loan from me before I saw it, and hated it. Now that I have watched it myself, I understand--if you have not been deeply engaged with CIA and all of its idiocyncrasies including remote viewing, acoustic-kitty, the pigeons that came before Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), and then over to SOF (Special Operations Forces) where "unconventional" had to go covert to survive the straight-leg generals with no clue, you will simply not appreciate this movie.

DanD nails it--this is satire and also a brilliant documentary of what can only be decribed as a well-intentioned long-running Goat F..k. The movie is a collage of several different real initiatives including the First Earth Battalion (I knew a couple of the principals, decades ahead of their time); the Peace Warrior initiative, and of course Remote Viewing, the CIA's notorious MKULTRA and LSD for unwitting victims, and so on.

At one point in the movie the two principal actors are discussing the remorse--the angst--over having used his power to actually kill a goat with his mind, and the other guy pops in with "Silence of the Goats." That just about sums it up--this is, for someone steeped in the well-intentioned lunacy of the past--a perfect five, and I have to believe that the world-class actors that decided to do this did it knowing that it would be misunderstood by many, but a real hoot among the veterans of the seventies and eighties.

The only thing not in here, certainly worthy of a sequel to this movie, is extra-terrestial encounters, leveraging extra-terrestial technologies, warnings from extraterrestials [humans now being in a state of quarentine for being stupid squared], and the exotic, wasteful, and generally hilarious methods used to keep Area 51 and related projects "secret."

See also:
Peaceful Warrior (Widescreen)
First Earth Battalion Operations Manual: Reprint of Original Manual from the 70's
On the Psychology of Military Incompetence
Psychic Warrior
Psychic Warrior: The True Story of America's Foremost Psychic Spy and the Cover-Up of the CIA's Top-Secret Stargate Program
Memoirs of a Psychic Spy: The Remarkable Life of U.S. Government Remote Viewer 001
Hidden Secrets: The Complete History of Espionage and the Technology Used to Support ItHidden Truth: Forbidden Knowledge
Disclosure : Military and Government Witnesses Reveal the Greatest Secrets in Modern History
Hidden Truth: Forbidden Knowledge
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated War Satire Delivers on DVD March 22 2010
By Cubist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
After making serious political films like Syriana (Widescreen Edition) and Good Night, and Good Luck (Widescreen Edition), it's nice to see George Clooney starring in a political satire that is funny but still has something to say as it shows the absurdity of the war in Iraq. The Men Who Stare at Goats falls under the truth is stranger than fiction category as it presents a story populated by eccentric characters and tall tales, some of which might be true. Regardless, it is an entertaining film with a wonderfully oddball sense of humor. Don't be put off by the setting. Although it takes place in Iraq, The Men Who Stare at Goats is not weighed down by the baggage of this war.

There is an audio commentary by the film's director Grant Heslov. He points out certain characters that are composites but is quick to explain that what they say comes from Jon Ronson's book The Men Who Stare at Goats. He sometimes spends too much time telling us where certain scenes were shot which gets tiresome pretty fast. Heslov's focus is mostly on the nuts and bolts of filmmaking but done in a fairly dry and uninteresting way.

Also included is a commentary by the book's author Jon Ronson. He points out the scenes that are based on real incidents and talks about meeting the actual people that the characters are based on. He also explains who the composite characters are and tells all sorts of fascinating anecdotes. If you want to learn more the people and events behind the ones depicted in the film, this is worth a listen if only to find out how much is taken from his book and experiences.

"Goats Declassified: The Real Men of the First Earth Battalion" features some of the actual military personnel depicted The Men Who Stare at Goats. They talk about some of their intentions. We also learn about how this top secret unit's techniques were brought to light. It's great to hear from the actual people as they tell their fascinating stories.

"Project `Hollywood': A Classified Report from the Set" takes a brief look at the origins of the film and how it got made. Several of the lead actors talk about their characters and there's footage of them having fun on location.

"Character Bios" is a collection of trailer for the film emphasizing several key characters.

Also included is four minutes of deleted scenes. There is more flashback footage some of which should've stayed in as it's quite funny.

Finally, there is a theatrical trailer.
60 of 80 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The American Jedi Who Stare at Goats Nov. 6 2009
By Shopper - Published on Amazon.com
A man's wife leaves him. The man happens to be Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor), a small town newspaper journalist. To impress his wife and make her see him in a different light, Bob enlists to Iraq as a war correspondent. Sipping a drink in a plush Kuwaiti hotel, resignedly waiting for the green light to cross to Iraq, he meets Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), a garbage can company representative in search of a contract (or so he says). Bob is immediately intrigued. Not so long ago, he heard of Lyn in the course of an interview with a retired army soldier. Lyn's supposed psychic powers prove to be too much for Bob the Journalist to resist and he joins Lyn on his sojourn into Iraq. In the process, he discovers the (brief) story of the American Jedi, the soldiers of the U.S. Army's New Earth Battalion; the psychic warriors...

As I am one of the few adult women in the US who consider Clooney's sex appeal only a click above Mr. Rogers', there was a single compelling reason for me to see this film: its title. Unfortunately, the film does not live up to it. Yes, there are goats, men, and plenty of staring, but... the zany comedy/satire one is expecting never actually materializes. For a comedy, there are not enough laughs. For a satire, the pun is too diluted and lacking of a consistent object. The story frequently changes direction, until you feel it is the director's wish to keep the main plot hidden from you. When the film's conclusion finally arrives with a whimper, it forces you to ask: was the hour and a half leading up to this ending worth my time? The answer, in my case, was NO.

Still, the acting is excellent. Bridges as the stoner and Spacey as the villain are satisfying (if not predictable). There are a few good lines that may elicit a chuckle here and there. As long as you do not expect a fast action comedy, or a wise, stay-with-you-long-after-the-viewing satire, you may be able to enjoy some parts of the film...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it March 27 2010
By I am Atris Black - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
It's been cited by various people that this among this movie's weaknesses is the fact that it falls in between a drama, a comedy, a satire, and who knows what else. I agree with those people, this movie has aspects of all those things. I, unlike many others, do not believe this to be a weakness at all. The strange fusion of all the different genres combined in this movies creates a brand of humor and storytelling akin to a that of Terry Pratchet. Unlike many comedies, which recycle the same gag and situational comedy over and over, this movie has fresh plot driven versatile humor, which continues to entertain, rather than getting old once you realize that you are seeing the same joke over and over again in different contexts, as happens with many comedies. The satire is not particularly biting, but it's not mean spirited as much military satire is, so again, I for one, approve of the decisions they made in that area. If this film has a weakness, it is character development, which relies a great deal on the narrator to progress. This movie is entertaining, I came away from the experience feeling I was glad I'd seen it, rather that wishing I could get two hours of my life back. I certainly recommend this movie.
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