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Men Who Stare At Goats (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

In this comedic look at real life events that are almost too bizarre to believe, reporter Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) discovers an experimental top-secret wing of the U.S. military called The New Earth Army, trained to change the ways wars are fought through New Age psychic power. In search of his next big story, Wilton tracks down Lyn Cassady (Academy Award winner George Clooney), a shadowy figure who claims to be a member of this legion of "Warrior Monks" with unparalleled psychic powers who can read the enemy's thoughts, pass through walls, and even kill a goat simply by staring at it. Marshall Fine of the Huffington Post states "Grant Heslov's wild comedy is a delicious and funny trip through the powers of the mind -- and the powers of suggestion." Inspired by Jon Ronson's non-fiction bestseller of the same name, this is an eye-opening and hilarious story of the government's attempts to harness soldiers' paranormal abilities in order to combat its enemies. Also stars Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey and Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges.


Studio Starz/sphe
SKU 213824931
UPC 013132137391
UPC 14 00013132137391
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 3/23/2010
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  2.35:1
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Bear with me here. Imagine Ghostbusters is based on a true story. Imagine the Dude from The Big Lebowski as a real-life U.S. Army general. All factual, right? That's what The Men Who Stare at Goats sort of wants us to believe. I think I sort of do -- to a small degree, sort of. "More of this is true than you would believe," the movie announces in an opening title. I'm waiting for the review of this one in Skeptic magazine...We begin with a newspaperman named Wilton (Ewan McGregor) from Ann Arbor. That's a poignant note, because Ann Arbor recently lost its daily newspaper. He interviews a goof who tells him he was a member of the New Earth Army, a super-secret Army team of paranormals who were being trained as stealth weapons. In theory, they could spy at a distance, kill by the power of their sight alone and penetrate enemy lines in spirit, not in body...Wilton hungers to hunt where the headlines are. In 2002, he flies to Kuwait, hoping to cross into the war zone. He runs into a legendary guy he heard about from the crackpot back home. This is Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), said to be the best of the New Earth trainees. Wilton pumps him and learns of an acidhead Vietnam veteran named Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), who sold the Army the notion of fighting men who could transcend physical limitations. We see Django in flashbacks; Bridges essentially plays him as the Dude in The Big Lebowski. Members of the Church of Lebowski will be able to enjoy this film as apocrypha...Kevin Spacey, who has been absorbed in London theatrical adventures, comes back in a good role as Hooper, who hates everything that Cassady stands for, whatever that is. All of the actors play without winks and spins, unless you consider Lebowskism itself a wink and spin. And we're faced with the fact that the movie is based on the 2004 book by Jon Ronson, a writer for the Guardian, who wrote it humorously but (he said) truthfully about an Army experiment. It was this real program, he says, that inspired playing the Barney the Dinosaur theme as a torture technique...It actually doesn't matter if the book is truthful. It doesn't claim the paranormal powers are real. Ronson simply says some officials thought they might be -- and that if they were, we had to get there first. The movie is funny either way...But figure this out. The book inspired a BBC-TV series which interviewed the real Ret. Gen. Albert Stubblebine III, who explains on camera exactly how men could walk through walls. He may be correct. Judge for yourself.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review Welcome to George Clooney season. Those who find the actor, who has been described by some as a modern day Cary Grant, engaging will have reason to smile as Hollywood begins its annual push toward the Oscars. Clooney will bring his winning personality and high-wattage smile to no fewer than three productions with Academy Award aspirations. Fantastic Mr. Fox and Up in the Air are yet a short distance down the road, but The Men Who Stare at Goats has arrived. Not only does it have the strangest title of the three late 2009 Clooney vehicles, but the storyline is also probably the most bizarre...The Men Who Stare at Goats opens with the following caption: "More of this is true than you would believe." But isn't truth always said to be stranger than fiction? We are introduced to Ann Arbor journalist Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor), who is looking for the story of his life; he wants to impress his wife, who has unceremoniously dumped him. His quest leads him to Kuwait, where he hopes to become embedded with a group of troops entering Iraq. There he meets Lyn Cassady (Clooney), an ex-Special Ops military officer who claims to have been part of the "New Earth Army," a covert group of "psychic spies" who use their "Jedi mind powers" to influence others. Cassady agrees to take Wilton with him on a mission across the border. Along the way, he tells him about the New Earth Army's history and its commanding officer, Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), who ran a very different kind of unit...The Men Who Stare at Goats is enjoyable to watch "in the moment," but it doesn't leave a powerful or lasting impact, at least insofar as the comedic elements are concerned. (Re-watching it a second time after initially seeing it a month earlier at the Toronto Film Festival, I was surprised how fresh the humor was - mainly because I didn't remember most of the jokes.) As entertaining as the production is, however, the fact that it contains a kernel of truth reminds us of one damning truth: This is the kind of thing that American tax dollars are being spent on. The Men Who Stare at Goats is a comedy, and I laughed quite a few times while watching it, but that sobering reality almost makes me want to cry.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 7
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Damon Wise, George Clooney dazzles and Jeff Bridges shines in a scattershot but often hilarious military farce.
Derek Elley, Variety A superbly written loony-tunes satire, played by a tony cast at the top of its game.
Mark Salisbury, Premiere An often highly amusing comedy in the vein of Catch 22 and Dr Strangelove, this lively satire looks destined for future cult status. Great soundtrack, too.
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