Posts Tagged ‘George Clooney’

The man who stare at goats – Grant Heslov


The man who stares at goats is a big promise. The story is a satire on the U.S. Army’s alternative fighting experiments based on Jon Ronsons’s best seller. The cast is impressive (George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey) and together with the plot it should guarantee an acid satire.

The start is promising; the cast is filling the high expectations, more or less, is handling this black-comedy with great skill: George Clooney and Jeff Bridges are outstanding, Ewan McGregor follows them closely and Kevin Spacey is a bit behind. The story is promising good laughs; the new eco-friendly war techniques of the “Jedi” warriors are absurd and hilarious.

After enjoying some satire elements spread across the narrative, one is eager to see them coming together, forming an arrow and shooting someone or something down. But it does not happen. Institutions, policies that could have been pinched hardly are unharmed. U.S. Army is still standing, war in Iraq still standing, right-wing policy still standing. Am I missing something here or this would have been a good opportunity to embarrass these?

Anyway it is worth seeing these four cool guys at work, and there are some moments when all things come together and pure satire is created. It is a pity that it only happens occasionally and that in the end satire is just a tamed shadow of itself.

If you really are in the mood for a perfect satire on war, you should watch Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, of course. You should watch it anyway.

Watch them both!

I used the word “satire” too many times. I think I miss the genre.

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Up in the Air – Jason Reitman


A story to ease the pain of those sacrificed in times of economic recession. Loosing a job is like dying, like loosing someone dear. The feeling of being unnecessary is overwhelming. This is the secondary theme; how to let go of people without hurting them, without bringing them to the edge of desperation, letting them know that there are other opportunities, other leads to follow in their professional life. Loosing a job is not loosing everything; family, friends, and other dreams to follow professionally are still there. This theme of the film can be a patch to America’s broken socio-economic heart.

The main theme is built on the character of Ryan Bingham, a super professional in the business of firing people, whose life is cut off voluntarily of all the, so-called, earthly things that makes the rest of humanity exposed to misery, dependence, illusionary/true happiness.

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is in the air not only factually but also figuratively. His life on earth is free of all the burdens other people bear gathering objects and persons round them; he only has his backpack filled with the strictly necessary things and relations. Is his life empty or just wisely packed? This is the question for the American dreamers and not only.

Bingham is like an angel that brings bad news for hundred of persons with light heart but sincere empathy, than he takes off again to his life in the air that so perfectly becomes him, detached from the mental and emotional laws of gravity.

His philosophy is his life and he is perfectly happy with it. Of course temptation is round the corner, and the small-big things, that make others happy, slowly gather around the character. The possibility of earthly love is the greatest temptation an angel can face, isn’t it?

What are the most important things in life? From far above, things look pretty different, it looks like we are all struggling with ridiculous difficulties, despairing when we should feel relieved, fearing when we should go for it. From the ground living unattached seems also ridiculous. Having nothing and nobody seems puerile, selfish and pathetic.

The movie’s rhythm (scenes, shots, cuts) is following the main character’s inner rhythm; fast, light, classy at the beginning than gradually slowing down as he is confronted with situations out of his comfort zone. George Clooney’s performance is accurate and charming and so are the rest of the performances. I should outline the performance of Anna Kendrick playing Natalie Keener. Natalie Keener is a difficult character with no charm at all but Anna Kendrick nails this raw, ambitious, naïve, wannabe with coolness. This is the part exposed to the biggest transformation.

The movie is fun, fresh, intelligent, launching serious issues. It is good entertainment. Have fun with it, and consider your priorities!

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