Movie Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats

“The best kind of movies are the ones you go into with no expectations and you leave thinking it was really good.”  Some random girl said that to me the other day, and I think that best sums up The Men Who Stare At Goats for me.  I hadn’t heard any raves for it – but I hadn’t heard anyone say it was awful.  The trailers didn’t really give away much, but they didn’t titilate either.

I definitely left the theatre glad I had chosen this over ‘4th Kind.’

Ewan Mcgregor and George Clooney together is a great combo.  And Daniels is doing his best Lebowski impersonation… but lets face it – Lebowski is pretty damn good.

Honestly, i walked in thinking this would be a zany high-brow comedy type thing (aka boring), with these guys training to kill people with their minds.  It is most certainly not.  Mcgregor is a reporter who can’t find a story.  His wife leaves him for a guy with a fake arm.  So he packs it up and goes to Iraq, but they won’t allow him into the country so he’s on the border.  This is where he runs into Clooney’s character, who may or may not be a total fraud – a psychic operative.  Together they go into Iraq.

Another pleasant surprise is Kevin Spacey.  I’ve come to dislike his work recently.  Like Al Pacino screaming his way through every movie since ‘Scent of a Woman’, Spacey has phoned it in since ‘American Beauty.’  Hamming it up and over-acting.  But he was awesome in this and renewed my faith in the man.

The style and tone is Coen Brothers-esque, but a good Coen Bros. movie.  More ‘Lebowski’ meets ‘Millers Crossing’ than ‘Ladykillers’ or ‘O’Brother.’  Some of you may recall my post about ‘A Serious Man’ last week, where I mentioned that the Coens are masters at the top of their game.  While Heslov isn’t on their level, and is helped tremendously by an amazing crew – especially DP Robert Elswit – his game is good here.

So, Overture, fire your marketing department.  A company who started off with some pretty crap movies, on a decent roll the last few months.

That random girl is reading this right now and is so pissed.  Pissed that the gossip blogs won’t link us together because I didn’t name her.  Okay… okay.  Dakota Fanning, thank you for your wisdom.

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