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November 6, 2009


The men who really do stare at goats

Men who stare at goats, Clooney and Spacey

The Men Who Stare at Goats opens today, and while it has some great cast members (Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, and Jeff Bridges, who all buoy up the Kevin Spacey deadweight) and some funny visual jokes about the woo-woo era of the US military in the 70s, it might not be the greatest movie. Manohla Dargis liked it OK, but says it "doesn't add up to anything. It's wacky, amusing."

Even if it's light and inconsequential, it sounds like there are a few transcendent moments, and the story is based on the delightful and real Stargate Project, which Manohla describes as "born in the fields of Vietnam and baptized in the hot tubs of the New Age movement, it brings together Buddhism, pantheism, militarism and old-fashioned hooey-ism, the idea being that war can be waged with love, eagle feathers and assorted paranormal techniques -- with a few martial arts moves thrown in."

Since the real Stargate Project is probably the most interesting thing here, Wired analyzed the military operations and experiments that appear in the movie and reports on how much of the wacky stuff was real. A few highlights:

Actually, it might be more fun to just read Lt Col Jim Channon's First Earth Battalion field guide, which tells you how to create a movement of peace, positive visualization, and harmony with the universe, but within the US military.

Was there ever a decade as self-confidently goofball as the 70s?

categories: Movies, War and Security
posted by amy at 3:56 PM | #

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