The Men Who Stare At Goats
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Reporter Bob Wilton is in search of his next big story when he encounters Lyn Cassady, a shadowy figure who claims to be part of an experimental U.S. military unit. According to Cassady, the New Earth Army is changing the way wars are fought. A legion of "Warrior Monks" with unparalleled psychic powers can read the enemy's thoughts, pass through solid walls, and even kill a goat simply by staring at it.Now, the program's founder, Bill Django, has gone missing and Cassady's mission is to find him. Intrigued by his new acquaintance's far-fetched stories, Bob impulsively decides to tag along. When the pair tracks Django to a clandestine training camp run by renegade psychic Larry Hooper, the reporter is trapped in the middle of a grudge match between the forces of Django's New Earth Army and Hooper's personal militia of super soldiers. In order to survive this wild adventure, Bob will have to outwit an enemy he never thought possible.
Hard to define but easy to enjoy, The Men Who Stare at Goats is the preposterous yet more-true-than-not story of a small-town journalist named Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor) who, trying to prove himself in Iraq, stumbles upon a man named Lyn Cassady (George Clooney) who claims to be a psychic spy for the U.S. Army. With dazzling cinematic efficiency, the movie bounces back and forth between the origins of the New Earth Army--a squad of American Jedi warriors--and Bob and Lyn wandering through war-torn Iraq, pursuing a mission that turns out to have been assigned by a vision. The movie shifts from giddy comedy to melancholy as a portrait of human pettiness, manifested in military paranoia and corporate greed, unfolds. The ending loses a bit of steam, but most of The Men Who Stare at Goats is a delight--unusual yet satisfying, funny and thoughtful in turns. Jeff Bridges plays--of course--the addled yet charismatic founder of the New Earth Army, while Kevin Spacey plays--of course--the weaselly, manipulative psychic spy who turns what was meant to transform the world for the better into a mechanism for propaganda and worse. Adapted from the bestselling nonfiction book of the same title by British journalist Jon Ronson, The Men Who Stare at Goats niftily balances surface lunacy with serious undercurrents, buoyed by excellent performances from all involved. --Bret Fetzer
Stills from The Men Who Stare At Goats (Click for larger image)
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- Goats Declassified: The Real Men of the First Earth Battalion
- Project “Hollywood”: A Classified Report from the Set
- Audio Commentaries
- Character Bios
- Deleted Scenes
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A top-secret wing of the military is run by Jeff Bridges. He was paid for a couple decades to go around the country and research truth, love, finding peace, and searching for inner powers. When he returns, he is given a company of men to train in the powers of the mind. The whole story revolves around a reporter (McGregor) who is following Clooney around to try and get this story from him about his past and ends up going to meet this man who led this revolution in mind control and powers. Along the way, you get the back story and get to see some of the history behind it all.
This movie has many people in it including George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, and Kevin Spacey. It is well worth the price to rent, and is a pretty good movie to buy as well, which, we will eventually do, because I get tired of having to rent it, ha ha. It's a great movie. I would definitely give it a chance if you're looking for something a bit different.
The book examines connections between military programs and psychological techniques being used for interrogation in the War on Terror. The book traces the evolution of these covert activities over the previous three decades, and analyzes how they persisted within U.S. Homeland Security and the Iraq War. It examines the use of the theme tune to Barney & Friends on Iraqi prisoners-of-war, the smuggling of a hundred de-bleated goats into the Special Forces command center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the connection between the U.S. military and the mass-suicide of members of the Heaven's Gate cult in San Diego.