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My mate has been doing this for years in his local nightclub!
Men Who Stare At Goats (DVD)
Member Name: huggy2009
Men Who Stare At Goats (DVD)
Advantages: Funny in parts, well acted
Disadvantages: Not as good as the book
This film is based on an interesting book by the onetime Loaded Journalist Jon Ronson. It is a really interesting concept and stars George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.
This film is decent in parts and has a fantastic premise, some wonderful actors and some great, really hilarious set pieces, but it never really captures the strange reality of Ronson's book, it tries to hard for moments of slapstick when the reality of what is being attempted is funny enough to make any watcher laugh at the concept and conclusion.
The idea of both the book and the film is that the American government have a top secret department commited to new age techniques to outwit their enemies and rivals.
This can include using mind control, psychics and the experiment in the title of staring at goats and using mind control to kill them. Obviously a lot of these things aren't going to work for a number of reasons and this in itself is very funny. However the undertone of the film is that the experiments which start out as mind control and subliminal pushing turn more sinister as commanders want the mind control used for destruction.
For this fictional account Bob Wilton (McGregor) is a reporter who encounters Lyn Cassidy (Clooney) in Iraq and discovers he was a New Earth Army spy who was expected to use his mental powers to defeat the enemy, they go off in search of Cassidy's old boss Bill Django (Bridges) but run into Cassidy's hated nemesis, the twisted Larry Hooper (Spacey) who runs a government funded centre using mind control for torture rather than subliminal thinking.
The film is nowhere near as good as the book, as the book is hilarious due to its connection with real life it puts the characters in real life and some of their ideas and theories are obviously crazy, in this film the link between these people and reality is less clear and therefore in fiction anything could happen which loses something for me. The story is fine but again it has lost something in translation a more kamikaze production following an actor playing the gonzo Ronson as he researched his book would have been funnier.
The film has some very good set pieces and does build up well after a slow start, the actors are uniformly very good with Bridges, Spacey and Clooney standing out.
It has its moments, it looks good and the acting is very good, but it lacks something, perhaps having read the book, I just have that feeling that they missed some tricks with this film, but nonetheless its an original idea to bring to the big screen.
Bridges in particular has great fun with his part as the slightly off kilter Django. The goats are pretty good too!!
George Clooney ... Lyn Cassady
Ewan McGregor ... Bob Wilton
Jeff Bridges ... Bill Django
Kevin Spacey ... Larry Hooper
Stephen Lang ... Brigadier General Dean Hopgood
Robert Patrick ... Todd Nixon
Waleed Zuaiter ... Mahmud Daash
Stephen Root ... Gus Lacey
Glenn Morshower ... Major Holtz
Nick Offerman ... Scotty Mercer
Tim Griffin ... Tim Kootz
Rebecca Mader ... Debora Wilton
Jacob Browne ... Lieutenant Boone
Todd La Tourrette ... Dave
Brad Grunberg ... Ron
The DVD comes in a one disc set and includes the following extras:
* Featurette: Project Hollywood: A Classified Report from the Set (8 minutes)
* Featurette: Goats Declassified: The Real Men of the First Earth Battalion (12 minutes)
*Featurette: Character Bios (5 minutes)
*Deleted Scenes (4 minutes)
*Trailer (2 minutes)
The DVD is available on Play.com or Amazon for £10.99 but this does seem a bit steep for a film which is 3 out of 5 at best, unless you adore Clooney, McGregor, Bridges or Spacey, rent it out.
Summary: My mate has been doing this for years in his local nightclub!