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The West Wing
THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, 2009
In Iraq, reporter Bob Wilton (McGregor) meets Lyn Cassady (Clooney), whose seemingly wild claim - that he's a member of the U.S. Army's First Earth Battalion, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions - causes Wilton to join Cassady's hunt for the battalion's founder, whose gone missing.
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In my mid 20s I had a 4 year relationship with a woman who earned a healthy living as a psychic. People would call her on the phone and she would give readings with tarot cards. Or she would get hired to go to resorts and give readings to corporate middle-men who were at those "let's work together in harmony" excursions. I learned a lot from her and mainly what I learned is that some days you got it and some days you don't. And some people you have immediate connections with and others you have no connections at all with. So on those certain days or with those certain people you'd just have to BS your way through.
I also spent 6 months recovering from a near death experience and when that happens you tend to get a whole new perspective on life. One moment you think you're dead and then all of a sudden you're given a second chance on life. You see the end and then in a split second you're right back at the beginning. When that happens your senses seem to react different. Put those two life experiences together, mix it with working in the entertainment business and what I get it that people think I'm a little nuts. I have my own inner absolute truth theories on life and I believe that my mind can basically control what I want most of the time. Only when my inner fears creep in is when I get lost and out of control of what's happening. Basically what I believe is in instincts. If you really feel then you know what's going to happen.
So the movie THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS made a lot of sense to me. Man has near death experience in Vietnam, recovers, and then goes on a 6 year Siddartha-like travel mission to find the meaning of it all. He comes back to the army and sets up a Jedi division where people with psychic abilities can possibly help protect the United States and/or help destroy the enemy. It's all about being yourself and as free as possible in order to tap into your inner psychic self.
But when you are in an army-like environment where everything is structured and their are divisions of order, it's hard to be as free as you can. And you also like to prove your worth to your superiors, so you might say things you think is the truth but it's really not. Eventually this division will end because it's just not the proper environment for it.
THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS is a comedy about belief. As long as you believe in something, then that's all that really matters. But the trick is to really believe 100% that this is the fact. It's something that most people can't do. I know I wasn't capable of it growing up because this is a very grey world that marketing companies, organized religion and sometimes the government attempt to showcase only the black and white. Most of us have at least half a brain so there's going to be some sort of doubt inside of us.
100% belief in something can only come within inside of our own self. Even brainwashing organizations can only influence someone for a few years before it goes away. In The Men Who Stare at Goats there are people who believe and because of that they see the world differently.
The emotional journey story in the film is about Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor), a reporter who needs to learn how to move on in life after his wife leaves him. He's always played the safe game in life and ends up in Iraq to prove his courage. There he meets the Jedi castoffs and the movie begins.
We've all seen Star Wars and there are immediate parallels happening with Luke Skywalker and Bob. And a lot of desert moments of the Jedi master teaching his young protege the Jedi tricks of life. All happening in a very dry comedic tone. The only reason this film is at the local cinema is because of the star studded cast. In reality you are watching a non-Hollywood movie. And how refreshing this is.
The Men Who Stare at Goats is a terrific movie to watch that is extremely funny plus tells a very interesting story. And these days we all need to find a little Jedi inside of us.