Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday Night at the Movies - The Men WHo Stare At Goats

OK, so it's really Wednesday night but my wife is working late tomorrow and we decided to go to the movies tonight. So there.

Here's the way we decide what movies to go see. First, it starts with the trailer. Some movies look so bad in the trailer, that we never want to see them. A highly positive review might change our mind but I rarely see a highly positive review of a movie trailer I hated. The currently playing Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs falls into this category. We hated the trailer and the reviews weren't too good.

Then there are movies which, to us, are pretty much review proof. The last Transformers movie was like that. It looked like a lot of fun. The reviews weren't great and it turned out to be somewhat disappointing. The upcoming 2012 falls into that class.

Then there are the films which look good in the trailers but we need to see a good review before deciding to see it. Believe it or not, Paul Blart, Mall Cop was one of those. We thought the trailer was pretty funny. The reviews were horrible, so we skipped it.The trailers for The Men Who Stare At Goats looked very promising. And the reviews, while not raving, were good enough. It is an odd movie, very funny at times, and very entertaining.

The movie concerns the US Army's attempts in the 1980s to produce 'psychic soldiers'. Was the Army actually doing this in the 80s? Who knows for sure? I remember my Dad used to listen to crack-pot radio talk shows in the 90s where they talked about this stuff all the time. The concept of 'remote viewing' was a big topic. Soldiers were being trained to look into the future.

The movie starts with the disclaimer "There is more truth to this movie then you would believe".

George Clooney, in another oddball comic role, plays a former member of this 'psychic platoon' who travels to Iraq after the main fighting there was over in 2003, on a mission he's seen in a vision. Ewan McGreger is a down-on-his-luck newspaper reporter hoping to find a story to make him famous. Instead, he meets Clooney. The movie tells the story of Clooney's mission while simultaneously telling the story of the old platoon in flashbacks.

If you liked some of Clooney's other somewhat off-of-center movies like Burn After Reading and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind you will probably like this movie as well.

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