I don’t know about you guys but I enjoy the work George Clooney does with his writing partner Grant Heslov (better known as the Rock’s sidekick in THE SCORPION KING). Now Heslov is directing a movie starring Clooney based on a book I’ve heard is good, a true story comedy about a unit of the military that tried to figure out how to use paranormal powers.

It doesn’t come out until the beginning of November, but they’re just now beginning to advertise it and there’s a poster for it now. An interesting design because it doesn’t show any photos from the movie or anything, it’s just some silverish background with red silhouettes, kind of scratched up looking an– wait a minute WHAT THE FUUUUCK!??


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74 Responses to “New poster for THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS”

  1. Wow, George Clooney ripping you off!

    You must be so very proud. :)

  2. your impact is starting to ripple through. use your influence wisely.

  3. Really liked the trailer for that. I wonder if Bridges’ character jumping off a roof and hurting his leg is a reference to him doing similar in The Vanishing?

  4. I just LOLed in my pants

  5. One Guy From Andromeda

    September 17th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Hollywood ripping you off? I know your pain Vern! Look what those fuckers did to me – http://bennynero.deviantart.com/art/Plagiarismo-105484021
    ; )

  6. Just chiming in before Clooney shows up to defend himself.

  7. Holy shit! Maybe this means that Hollywood is taking notice of you, Vern! Better get crackin’ on that novel!

  8. Telf – Just in time.

    Vern – Sorry we ripped you off, but what can we say? Everyone borrows, the best steal.

    I would like to add that I’ve been a big big fan of your writings and reviews. My agent lended me his copy of SEAGALOGY and Ah I’m just fucking with ya Vern. It’s RRA, not really George Clooney. Sorry, but I must admit, I did feel like a sexy bitch there for a moment.

  9. Send them a love letter — straight from your heart.

    Or just sue.

  10. They are taking Liberties mate!!!!!!!!!!!!!………………….

  11. now george clooney won’t show up. because then he’ll have to register as george clooney1. and he’s just above that shit man.

  12. I kinda know hos you feel man. When I was five or six, I had this idea for a really fancy VCR that let you record multiple TV shows at once and then you could fast forward through the commercials and you could program it to record stuff even when the TV was off. Then, just yesterday, I pointed out how this Ringo Starr cover
    looked a lot like the cover to Common’s Be.
    but everyone thought it was just a coincidence because they were assholes.

  13. Also, when the hell are you gonna do another Vern Tells It Like It IS?
    I haven’t seen any since you moved to the new website, and I think that’s bullshit man.

  14. Vern, it’s infringement, plain and simple.

    You should either feel flattered or violated. Perhaps both.

    At the very least, Clooney owes you a forward in your next book.

    Kick some ass.

  15. I like to think that George Clooney’s notorious sense of humour would exhibit itself if he visited this site: his user name could be “George Burnett” or George CLONEy.

    But yeah, he’s probably too busy flying around Italy in a jet pack with a lingerie model in his arms.

  16. Saw the guy who wrote the book on “the Colbert Report” last night. Seems like a nice enough guy, but having Ewan McGregor play him is flattery on an almost epic level, like having Robert Redford play Bill Gates or something. Seems like a pretty amazing story, though. The books that could be written about the crazy, unbelievable shit the CIA, FBI, and military were up to in the 60s and 70s would fill a library, and normal people would refuse to believe most of it.

    Why do I mention this? Because who but the shadow government could be behind such a dastardly plot to ride on the coattails of SEAGALOGY?

  17. This is an outrage! Forget our talk last week about health care and all that, this is what is wrong with America!

  18. If Clooney did come around, he’d be totally incognito. *I* would be the only one he would clue in, because I’m special like that.

  19. That’s true. His special Clooney Sense would be able to detect the one female who reads this sight.

  20. You know, I should get some sort of special recognition for being the lone representative of femalehood here. Cash would do nicely.

  21. Twynklebat: When you indicated in an earlier thread that you had no fear of the DOORWAY TO PURE EVIL, I thought that you might be putting on a brave face. Now that I know you are a female who visits male-dominated film geek sites, I have no doubt that you’ve seen horrors far worse than anything Dave “the Demon” DeFalco could conjure from his shopworn Wes Craven playbook.

    Mr. Majestyk: As I understand, the Clooney Sense is also known as “Cloontang.”

  22. Doorways to pure evil ain’t nuthin. I survived being suckered into a game of D&D.

  23. I had an ex-girlfriend who was the queen of D&D. I also got suckered into playing a game or two. It was like Snow White and the Seven Dorks.

  24. Worst thing with the D&D, other than the guy who said his animal totem was a hummingbird ripping off his shirt to do pushups to impress me, which was just awkward, is that I got kind of—-INTO it. Like some sort of nerd whammy had been put on me. Had to stop myself before I fell into the abyss never to return.

  25. Yeah, there was no danger of that for me. I consulted my spirit otter first and he warned me to steer clear.

  26. Mr.M, Twynklebat—quick, what’s your THACO?!

    Ah shit, I just made my first THACO joke of the day.

    Now I return to my home, back beneath the bridge.

  27. I don’t know that one. Did I miss my dex check or something?

    (The best thing that came out of being exposed to D&D is that now I have the ammo to make fun of gamers more precisely.)

  28. Mr. M, because I care, and because you’re a good guy, I’m going to completely embarrass myself by revealing the single—most—useless piece of knowledge I possess.

    THACO=To Hit Armor Class 0.

    Sweet Jesus, I think I just regained my virginity!

  29. Thanks for the trust, man. Now you know how I felt when I laughed at the “decaffeinated” joke in Hot Fuzz and had no one to share it with.

  30. So we saying that Clooney’s sixth sense is his Boner Radar? I believe it. Think Charlie Sheen, but with the “trashy hookers” filtered off the sonar.

    Also, I just never got the appeal of D&D. Not trashing anyone who genuinely likes it. Just…its like Fantasy Football. I see people, some very rational and sane people, do it…but I don’t understand the why.

  31. Well , that’s some shameless rip-off , but you’ve got to admit , the design IS pretty cool.

    Also , I played D&D too , but I don’t remember any of this THACO stuff. I wonder what’s the THACO of Vin Diesel , action hero extraordinaire , and huge nerd all around . D&D player and Connoisseur of Videogames ( as seen in XXX) , some say that Mr Diesel has a Tattoo of his D&D character’s name on his body , somewhere.That’s commitment , and also , nerd power!

  32. People like d&d because of horrible evil dark satan magic, it isn’t their fault. It’s devil-seduction to be avoided at all costs.

  33. I once had the misfortune to witness a “Your Momma” competition that was held by D&D players. You’d hear things like:

    “Your momma is so fat, her speed is listed as, “Hell no!”” and
    “Your momma is so fat, she can’t even see her feats.”

    It was worse than Warren Beaty’s rapping in “Bulworth.”

  34. RRA : I know exactly what you’re talking about . I always wanted to try some Fantasy Sport ( obviously here in Italy the most popular is Fantasy Soccer , Fantacalcio ). But when I finally reached for the pen and paper , I said to myself : But …Why? I still think Fantasy Wrestling looks fun……..

    Twynklebat: I know some girls in love with Jean-Claude Van Damme. I don’t understand this , in my opinion the guy is uglier than a bag of monkeys , but for the girls he has “sex appeal” , some kind of D&D thing , I presume. I don’t have any money to give you , but I’ve got a question . What’s the “sex appeal” (1 to 10 )of some of our champions ? Champions like :

    Robert Z’Dar

    Al Leong

    Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister

  35. jareth–that’s painful

  36. Was it painful? Absolutely.

    Was it as utterly terrifying as the “nerd whammy”? Thankfully, no.

    I think you win the Nerd Trauma Award.

  37. yay! do i get my cash prize now? still waiting for that….

  38. There are some things that money can’t buy. For everything else, my salary isn’t sufficient.

  39. Remember in the 80s when otherwise apparently sane people believed that a vast conspiericy of baby-eating Satanists were going to brainwash their kids and force them to have abortions? And D&D was part of it, because kids were going to get lost in the fantasy world and forget all things which comprised a fragile tether to reality?

    Good Times. You know it was a defining nerd moment because Futurama did a whole movie about it.

    Anyway, as it turns out all it takes is a black president and a economic downturn to completely sever people’s ties to reality, so maybe their fears were not as unfounded as they looked.

  40. PS “the Nerd Whammy” would be a good name for a punk band.

  41. Mr. Subtlety: Looking back, it almost seems quaint that the only thing people could get worked up about as a potential threat to their childrens’ wellbeing was a board game with six-sided dice. If a movie were being made about it today, it would come across as nostalgic as the tiny town in “Footloose” with the oh so square parents. Except instead of dancing, the lead character would liberate the town by dressing up as Frodo and lead a parade of misfits through the town.

    Then hip hop would gain a widespread audience and the moral panic would shift entirely to concern over Ice-T’s lyrics.

  42. Yeah, I remember the 80’s satan scare. Masters of the Universe was supposed to be evil, too. But then more recently there was the whole Harry Potter thing, so I guess nothing’s really changed.

  43. Twynklebat: Exactly what I was thinking . The Harry Potter Hate is something that just blew my mind. Seeing someone on national TV saying that those children books are the gateway to Black Magic is just too depressing to even laugh at it. Then recently I’ve found out about COMICS of the 70’s-80’s saying the same thing about D&D ! That’s just ridiculous. Then hip-hop was the next big scare , now , apparently , it’s videogames. Everything’s a better target instead of addressing at least some real problems . My mother is a big fan of Harry Potter , and I don’t see her as a dangerous menace to society .( Jesus , she’s slightly taller than a midget ! ).

  44. Many many people are just stupid. That’s all there is too it. Scared and stupid and can be led to believe anything is evil.

  45. Anyone ever try WWE’s Fantasy Wrestling? I’m not sure if they still have it going on, but I always wanted to try it, at least just to see how easily one would win by drafting Triple H on your team.

  46. Jareth — thinking about your “FOOTLOOSE with D&D” movie and suddenly wondering… would the parents actually be more square than their D&D playing offspring? Or would it be reverse-FOOTLOOSE with the parents trying to convince their loser offspring to be more with it?

    Twynkle — yeah, nothing really changes, but it seems like every frenzy is even more shrill than the last. Technology has allowed the crazies to find each other and the media seems to think that every insane claim made by someone is a legitimate controversy which deserves equal time. Wheee!

  47. neal2zod : Yeah !! I made a comment about Fantasy Wrestling , but the moderators are still working on it . That seems like a fun “plus” to a pay per view . Never played any of this fantasy stuff , but my first choice is DX . They have lost recently , but I bet they’re going to win a couple of matches in a row now!

  48. Mr. Subtlety – I don’t know how this would work in the real world, but as a film it would be totally awesome if the parents were cool. Imagine Dad in a leather jacket giving a heartfelt speech to his kid about the need for him to go out, get drunk and procreate, rather than waste his life with D&D. Cast Gary Busey as the dad and I’m so totally there.

    Actually, I think that is pretty much the character Busey played in “Lost Highway.”

  49. Remember Mazes & Monsters, that movie where a D&D-esque game drives Tom Hanks insane, so he wanders the streets of New York slaying imaginary orks? Good times.

    Also, remember The Gate, where the parents of the eighties were right and heavy metal lyrics were used to raise demons?

  50. Mazes&Monsters is on my to-be-watched shelf.

  51. I don’t want to blow your mind or anything, Twynk, but it’s not very, um, good. Even with my rudimentary understanding of the rules of D&D, the game they’re playing (M&M, I guess) makes no sense. There’s no dice or anything. One of them will just be like “I slew the flurgenmuck or whatever!” and the rest of them will just take his word for it. They basically make it up as they go along, it seems. It’s like Calvinball.

    Maybe it’s this lack of boundaries that drove Tom Hanks off his nut.

  52. i like certain movies that are not very good. alot. this seemed like one that might be fun bad.

  53. CallMeKermiT – Well I’m sure that DX member married to his boss’s daughter will do just fine. :)

    Goddamn I’m a smark.

  54. THE GATE! I had been trying to remember what the heck that movie was called for some time. The portal to hell is a hole in the kids’ backyard, right?

  55. Twynk, you don’t have to defend yourself to me for enjoying the occasional bad movie. I’m the guy everybody around here makes fun of for liking a certain robot-oriented sequel whose name must not be uttered.

  56. RRA : That’s the problem with Triple H , in my opinion . He’s a good , not fantastic , wrestler . One of those reliable guys , but certainly not as charismatic as the best in the business . But he’s married with the daughter of the chairman , so everything he does is overshadowed by this simple fact . I hate the guy for being the “daddy boy” , but I’ve got to admit that some of his matches are pretty good . If he wasn’t the chairman’s little boy ? Probably TNA by now .

  57. Mr Majestyk: You speak of course, of SHORT CIRCUIT 2?

  58. It would take a very special actor to sell the line “I slew the flurgenmuck!”

    Jam – don’t get us started on our love for bad robots, or we’ll totally derail Vern’s site with endless debates about who was better: Tobor the Great or Torg from SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS.

  59. Jam, it’s true. My blind love for all things Johnny Five has made me a pariah round these parts. I regret nothing.

  60. hey, if you’re gonna represent a SHORT CIRCUIT movie, at least pick the one without Steve Guttenberg. That’s my motto. Sure, they couldn’t spring for an actual Indian guy, but at least he’s not just a sidekick anymore.

  61. I think it was Scott Weinberg who once wrote that “calling Short Circuit 2 a movie is like calling Cool Whip dinner”.

  62. CallMeKermiT – To be fair, I remember Trips as on his way to main event when he hitched the boss’s daughter. I do think he’s a great wrestler, but as a person…he’s got a bad reputation, one that he’s helped earn for himself.

    Off-topic since I rarely seem to talk to “rasslin” fans outside of, well rasslin websites but….what you think of ole CM Punk?

    Just know, he was right! :)

  63. Well, looks like you won’t have to worry Vern, this movie’s OK but its not gonna replace “Seagalogy” in people’s hearts anytime soon. It’s perfectly watchable but unfortunately kind of awkwardly straddles the line between drama and comedy without quite delivering enough of the goods in either department (but also not really failing in either). Clooney and Bridges are a hoot to watch, but McGregor seems to be acting in a different movie (his American accent isn’t too hot either, which makes for a weird performance) and Spacey is pretty generic. It’s full of good ideas, sharp commentary, and pretty well executed scenes, but just doesn’t quite end up amounting to much. It almost makes up for it with a kind of disarming sweetness and good nature, but not quite.

  64. I liked Men who Stare at Goats, but the thing that kind of bugged me was that while the stuff set in the 80’s was a combination of fact and fiction, it’s obvious all the ‘present day’ stuff is complete bullshit. I thought McGregor was fine (although why you cast a Scottish guy to a play a British man and then make him do an American accent is beyond me) he’s just sort of blown out of the water completely by Clooney and his gale force charisma and craziness. I was actually really surprised by Spacey who does some of his loosest, ego-less work in years. Also, as weak as some (OK most) of the third act is, the “ending” was so ballsy and unironic I left with a big shit-eating grin on my face.

  65. Yeah, one of the things that impressed and surprised me about the movie is that it actually really seems to like the Jedi. They are such easy targets in some ways that it would be a simple matter to make a movie mocking their dumb hippy beliefs. But the movie doesn’t really see it that way; while they may be kind of stupid and ridiculous, the movie wants us to remember that the old military-industrial complex is just as stupid, but a lot meaner. Maybe they Jedi are deluded dreamers, but they’re genuine believers in something which is much kinder and more humane. Sure, it may not work all that well, but then, how well does traditional violence work, in the end? That’s why its so important to have Iraq in there — to remind us that the supposedly more realistic killers are actually just as ineffective, and a whole lot uglier.

    So there’s plenty to think about, and I admire a lot about it, including its commitment to connect with recent history and to consider the moral underpinnings of organized violence. I just found the film itself a little on the sleight side, unfortunately; not quite funny enough or quite dramatic enough to really have much staying power. I wonder if there’s another possible edit which might have added enough to pull it off? I’d definitely love to see a longer director’s cut with a little more meat in there, either comedy or drama. McGregor’s kind of unfunny, though (IMHO), which makes him an ineffective foil, so that may be a key stumbling point. Its not that he’s bad, he just plays it pretty straight, and ends up kind of absorbing a lot of Clooney’s fucking awesome crazy, rather than enhancing it. I’d love for that role to go to a better comedic actor, someone who could make the reactions funnier. When McGregor gets pissed and freaks out, he seems genuinely mad, which is kind of a buzzkill and not all that funny either. Heslov is new at directing so I think he’ll get better at drawing the RIGHT performance out of actors in the future (not just a good one).

  66. It’s a light movie. I was surprised by just how light Heslov played a lot of it. I think if he had actually allowed Spacey’s bastardization of the Jedi way for profit to have real weight, it would have redeemed most of the film’s weaker points. I guess I liked McGregor more then you (and most other reviewers), I thought he was really funny, and he convincingly played that wimpy guy, and did a good job playing that guy’s growth (also credit to them for allowing Clooney and McGregor to grow and improve by degrees, not having some random Sandra Bullock being cured of racism by falling on her ass dramatic epiphany). I think the thing that sold me on him was the narration, where he just maintains this constant upbeat tone, and always finds the most hilariously overwrought way possible (“But into this garden came a serpent!”)

  67. Yeah, I saw it but didn’t feel strongly enough to even write a review. It’s one of those true story movies that was reasonably entertaining but just made me think that I’d rather read the book or see a documentary about what really happened.

    When I saw it it was one of those square crowds where you can tell nobody goes out to the movies much because they laugh at the terrible jokes in the advertisements. And then it kind of hurts the movie for me because even though it’s not unfunny or anything people are laughing what seems to me like way too hard at the jokes and it makes me uncomfortable.

    Anyway, I bring this up because during the movie they keep using the word Jedi, and I guess because Ewan Macgregor is in the movie and he played Obi Wan everybody would laugh when they said it. After this happened a couple times some guy in the theater says, “I don’t get it.” And his friend starts explaining, “Ewan Macgregor played Obi Wan, blah blah blah.”

    Later in the movie there’s a reference to Angela Lansbury, and I swear to you that a woman on my row, who was at an age where it is not possible that she managed to avoid Murder She Wrote for her entire life, asked at a normal volume who Angela Lansbury was. And her husband or boyfriend proceeded to explain at length and not quietly what different shows and movies Angela Lansbury is primarily known for. None of them rang a bell for her.

    The movie wasn’t bad, but that stuff stuck in my mind more. Also it was directed by the Scorpion King’s sidekick.

  68. The documentary series was excellent, here’s a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKgilR4rIY0

    Didn’t like the film much. Didn’t dislike it, but Ewan McGregor’s terrible, terrible accent just took me out of it every time he spoke. Saw Haneke’s THE WHITE RIBBON last night, hoping you’ll review it in the future Vern!

  69. Oh man that stinks Vern. My audience was into it from minute one, laughing and clapping the whole time. So that might be playing with my reaction.

  70. Did it strike anyone else as funny that Clooney killing the goat has been used as a punchline in every single trailer, but then in the movie itself, him doing that is supposed to be this horrible tragedy that has haunted him for decades? That was funny to me.

  71. Brendan — yeah, thats one of the things that pleasantly surprised me about the movie — they tend to take what by every right should be throwaway jokes and treat their emotional content seriously.

    Also, if memory serves, isn’t there a scene in the trailer where they line up a bunch of goats and have him try to kill a particular one (and he succeeds in killing the next one over)? That’s not in the movie at all. One of the things that makes me wonder if there’s a longer cut out there somewhere that might have a little more oomph to it.

  72. I think that was just the way they cut the trailer, but I can’t really remember. I think the movie actually could have used some more of that same kind of serious take on stuff. To often he went in for the wacky gag over emotional truth, which kind of dragged the movie down.

  73. Thought it was pretty poor to be honest.

    There was stuff I liked, it made me laugh a fair bit, Clooney is always great and Jeff Bridges was actually pretty astounding and far better than the film deserves. His physical acting – compare him in the modern day with his awkward movements and downcast eyes to his youthful days with flowing movements etc – was exceptional. Also I really liked the flashback stuff.

    But the real problem came with the ‘modern’ story they built around it and took up way too much of the film. Firstly we’re stuck with a main character that’s incredibly bland but we’re meant to be involved in his own attempts to prove himself after breaking up with a girl….ZZZZzzzzz. It meandered all over the place and the middle of the film really dragged because the plot didnt’ seem to have anywhere to go. McGregor’s accent was very forced and annoying and he was stuck with some of the worst dialogue, a pretty rubbish narration and an incredible bland character we’re meant to care about?

    Oh and the ending was quite rubbish as well. The last few lines being particularly cringe worthy as Ewan runs through the wall. Gah i’m cringing just thinking about it.

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