Just for a change, a Saturday visit to the picture house and what a change it made crowd-wise. While I much prefer an empty theater (as people are generally selfish, noisy buggers in this country) it is good to see that the cinema is still a popular place to go. The queue was pretty big at 1pm, and by the time I walked past at 3pm I was glad I’d picked up the ticket for my second film in advance – the queue was out the door and up the street!
The Men Who Stare At Goats
Weird title, weird film. Apparently based on a weird book – which I actually remember seeing in the Popular Science section of Waterstone’s many years ago.
Plot-in-a-nutshell: a journalist with a failed marriage heads for Iraq to write a war story. On the way he encounters a retired soldier who claims to have been part of an elite psychic soldier outfit. And this is apparently based on a true story…
The main cast is astounding: George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey… Robert Patrick is headlined, but he’s only in it for five minutes. They’re all damn good as well. McGregor managed to pull off a decent American accent without sounding stupid while Clooney pulls off stupid without looking… well, stupid.
This is a film about complete mentalists. It’s hard to tell where the line is drawn between docu-drama and complete fiction. I’d guess that the book is the same, partly as it just seems to far-fetched. Yet how unlikely is it that armies were throwing cash a potential psychic “weapons”?
There are laughs a-plenty, most of them quite dark. The fact that McGregor’s character ends up in a quest to become what the psi-ops regiment called a “Jedi” is not lost on the viewing public either.
Overall a good film that doesn’t outstay it’s modest running length.
The last decent female-based teen horror film was Ginger Snaps and that was released ages ago. Jennifer’s Body goes more down the “monster” than “werewolf” route but does it well with some great black humour. And two hot girls snogging.
Plot-in-a-nutshell: Town bike Jennifer turns from slut to blood-hungry psycho, requiring the blood of scared teens to survive. Her best friend is the only one to know her secret and she doesn’t like it.
When I saw the trailers I thought “rubbish – move on”. Then I saw some reviews, and not just from the likes of Baz Bamigboy and Jonathan Ross‘s far less talented sibling who will say anything is the “Best film of 2009″ if it gets them a free bag of popcorn. The schedule fitted in with my free time so I took a chance.
The film opens after the end of the main plotline with one of the characters putting us into the scene. The story then jumps to the beginning and is more or less linear from there except for a brief jump back to explain exactly what happened to Jennifer (Megan Fox). Fox, incidentally, is hot. Scorchy hot. I-would-give-a-limb hot. But credit must also go to co-star Amanda Seyfried who plays the frumpy best friend, Needy – “frumpy” in the sense that as soon as she takes off her glasses and shakes out her hair she’s also typically sexy.
Everything happens at a good pace with the characters not being too stereotypical. The gore isn’t over-the-top and the effects are good. What I liked most, other than the humour, is the way the two main characters act opposite each other and how Needy develops.
You can pretty much guess what happens, it’s the ending that’s fairly original. Although not a huge twist, it’s definitely well written.
Don’t avoid this film just because it has obvious eye candy in. Don’t get me wrong. Fox isn’t that great an actress, but her hotness is actually useful in this film. And you get to see her with her tongue down another hot chick’s throat. Admittedly this scene was made somewhat less erotic by one numpty in the cinema crying “YAY” in a dull monotone, resulting in a huge outburst of laughter and a smattering of applause.
Still, that’s a throwaway moment in the film in my opinion. The main reason to see it is Seyfried’s performance. And the poor jokes.
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