This absurd film, in my opinion, illustrates the contempt that Hollywood writers and producers have for the intelligence of their audiences.
It is difficult to set forth a bare-bones outline of this picture, but I'll try. Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), an Army man who specializes in parapsychology, is trained to kill using his evil eye. He demonstrates this ability by staring at a goat which has a heart attack and drops dead. Cassady meets a young reporter, Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor), and both enter Iraq surreptitiously. Flashbacks occur involving Bill Django (Jeff Bridges) the guru who teaches the new army psychic techniques. Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey) is the serpent in the Garden of Evil.
These four actors are usually excellent in their roles but not in this film. Their characters are contrived and the film, masquerading as a highbrow Hollywood production, is simply awful.
When I left the theater a young man in his thirties asked me what I thought of the film and whether I would review it. I said, "It stunk." He called over a friend and said, "He said it stunk. That's what I love about this guy." Apparently my telling the truth about films that I review is viewed as unusual and surely to be encouraged. Save your money and, more important, your precious time.
On behalf of the movie-going public, I appeal to Dionysus, lord of the theater in Greek-Roman mythology, to chastise the Hollywood punks who bring us such terrible flicks and are so contemptuous of their public. Then he should punish those in Hollywood, e.g., Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein and Martin Scorsese, who jumped to the defense of Roman Polanski who raped and sodomized a 13-year-old girl. And, of course, there is Jane Fonda to be properly dealt with.
When captive American soldiers appealed to her, she betrayed them to the Viet Kong. [Whoops.] Include Sean Penn, who praised the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, a bitter enemy of the U.S., who deprives his own people of human rights. I also appeal to him to influence film producers to be more careful and sensitive in the movies they make.
"The Men Who Stare at Goats" is playing at several theaters. I saw it at the Regal Union Square Stadium Theater on 13th & Broadway, a quite comfortable theater.
HS said: Manohla Dargis called this film an absurdist comedy and said she liked it. I thought it was absurdly unfunny; a waste of the actors' talents and the audience's time. It is not amusing to see soldiers do goofy and dangerous things under the influence of LSD. George Clooney is famous enough to make any movie he wants; his only film worse than "Goats" was his anti-American "Syriana."
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