Monday, November 9, 2009

Men Who Stare At Goats

The Flick: Men Who Stare At Goats

The Actors: Kevin Spacey, Stephen Lang, Jeff Bridges, and, oh, yeah, that fella from those Ocean's movies.

The Dealio: Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Based on a story too wackadoodle to be made up, MWSAG takes us inside, on the ground level, of a government project, top secret and so far out of the box, that there is no box to be seen anywhere. The goal? To create a New Earth Army with Jedi Knights as soldiers, instead of the standard GI GI. All this is seen and told through the eyes of an outsider, journalist Ewan MacGregor, a sad sack, forlorn guy from a small fish-wrappin' sort of paper, whose wife leaves him for their editor. Now, rudderless and filled with despair, the journalist finds himself scrambling after the most top-secret of all secret, and being guided by a passionate follower of a madman. Along the way, there are riffs on everything from Apocalypse Now to Star Wars (well, duh!) to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. With goats. Fainting goats.
You may think that this is a story about 'getting the story' and winning back some semblance of validation and affirmation of the glories of taking the road less travelled-albeit, through a desert. To me, it was more about finding the remnants of creativity, imagination and essential 'self-stuff' that may have taken refuge away from your everyday life, deep, deep inside you. Can you actually make goats die by simply looking at them? Can you thought-process yourself through walls? Really? That's beside the point. Which, to me is this: do you believe that you can? 'S all I'm sayin'.

The Grading Session: 4.3 stars out of 5. Great casting, metered lunacy, tricky harvesting from other films and a su-weet ending that says nothing. And everything.

Lessons Learned: What is the difference between being gullible and being willing to, at least momentarily, suspend disbelief?

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