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The Men Who Stare At Goats

09 Apr

Men Who Stare At Goats — directed by Grant Heslov. Comedy. Mind control, the paranormal and such rise up in the military and take over. 96 minutes Color 2009.

★★★★★

The Men Who Stare At Goats is a drollery. For me, what’s funny in it is how seriously every actor plays his part in a piece that demonstrates that the Sixties never went away. Clooney gives a creamy performance as a talented psychic in training, and the more earnest he is, the funnier he is. I did not laugh out loud. But I was amused out loud. I smiled in the dark, and that was enough. Yes, the Sixties, which were trashed by lentils and dope and a lack of a sense of humor – a condition for which George Carlin was the antidote that never took. I like this movie. Get high on acid and set everyone free is its prescription. It would work, if what life needed was a prescription. Ewan McGregor plays the credulous reporter tagging along and overtly cowardly and incorrect at every point, and therefore believable. It’s wise casting, since everyone else in the cast is around 50. You don’t want a boy in that role; what you want is a failed writer in his middle thirties. We also have big-hearted Jeff Bridges as the teacher of the psychics, and he is no end of entertainment. Kevin Spacey plays the Basil Rathbone part of the venomous villain, with his usual peculiar comic quirk. I had no expectations of this piece when I entered the theatre: I found it to be a delicious slice of tart pie.

 
 
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