Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Men who stare at goats

It was Saturday evening and there wasn't anything promising on telly. So I wandered down to the new-ish local DVD rental shop.

It came down to a choice between two overnights - Date Night or The Men Who Stare at Goats.

Date Night starred Steve Carrell and Tina Fey, both very funny actors (and I am in love with Fey's 30 Rock).

Goats starred George Clooney (among others) and sounded a bit intellectual - just the sort of thing I went for in my film festival-going days.

I was tempted to get both, but we wouldn't have time to watch both before they were due back. Plus, it would cost less to rent just one.

So I deferred to the guy behind the counter.

"Well..." he said, "Date Night's pretty funny, but it's pretty light. The other one's kinda anti-American, and really funny. I liked it a lot".

So even though I've been tending to go for the funny+ lite, this time I went for the funny + arthouse. I didn't know how the boy would take it, but I didn't care. He made me walk all the way down to the DVD rental and if he didn't like it he could lump it.

We both loved it. It's hard to believe it's based on fact - the fact that, during the Reagan years, the US military trained a team of "super soldiers" with mystical powers (you know, fork bending and such like). Actually I really liked the vision, because it was included the belief that we are all part of the universe and everything in it. It also had the idea that you could win a war without actually killing people.
It was also very funny. Not in that laugh out loud, slapstick kind of way. More in a "I can't believe they did this!" kind of way. I wouldn't say it was anti-American as just making fun of the American government of the time.

Oh yeah, and if you think Clooney's yummy, then you'll like that aspect of it too because you get to see him looking alternately older and distinguished, and young and spunky.


Anonymous said...

Oh I might get that out when I go on mat leave - I remember wanting to see it when it came out at the cinema. I've heard that Date Night isn't really that good - like as though Tina and Steve (both whom I normally think are excellent) kind of cancel each other out and are only half as funny together as separately, so you probably made a good choice!

Nigel Patel said...

In keeping with Reagan's desire to evangelize the military, Nancy's unswerving devotion to astrology and the "intelligence" community's experiments with LSD.
I might give it a go. Also, the future Mrs. is mad about Clooney so I don't think she'd object to seeing it.

Violet said...

donnasoowho: yes you should. I think I mainly watched Buffy lots and lots while I was on maternity leave.

nigel: sounds like a win-win to me :-)

Anonymous said...

We've started watching this movie - except that both times we've watched it so far I've immediately fallen asleep. Not cause it's boring or anything (it looks quite good) but I'm just to sleepy to watch TV. Ray likes it tho.

Violet said...

donnasoowho: hmmm..you aren't watching it right after dinner are you? Because that's when I'm at my sleepiest (aside from right after lunch).

Anonymous said...

yeah we are. I always fall asleep watching TV in the evenings (pregnant or otherwise). I think once I finish all my housework (ha ha) I might try watching it again during the day.