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Clay Pigeons 1998 R CC

One death devolves into many more in this comical nightmare about an easy-going gas station attendant (Joaquin Phoenix) who covers up his best friend's suicide in a quirky small town.

Starring:
Joaquin Phoenix, Gregory Sporleder
Runtime:
1 hour, 45 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director David Dobkin
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gregory Sporleder
Supporting actors Georgina Cates, Scott Wilson, Vince Vieluf, Wayne Brennan, Joseph D. Reitman, Vince Vaughn, Nicole Arlyn, Jeff Olson, Monica Moench, Kevin Rahm, Jesse Bennett, Phil Morris, Janeane Garofalo, Zane Parker, Ryan Mouritsen, Kari Petersen, Dane Stevens, Steven Anderson
Studio Universal Pictures
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Clay Birdwell (Joaquim Phoenix) is a small-town guy who hates his ho-hum small-town life. In one afternoon all that changes. His best friend Earl (Gregory Sporleder) confronts him, while out target shooting, that he knows Clay's been involved with his wife (Georgina Cates). Earl commits suicide in an attempt to frame Clay for his murder...and with Clay's cover-up of that act, a chain of other terrible killings is sparked, as a charming, cowboy, serial killer, Lester Long (Vince Vaughn) senses an opportunity.
Dead bodies start turning up in "Big Sky Country" (Montana) and, unfortunately all of them, right under Clay's nose. Soon, the FBI turns up as well. Janeane Garofalo is great as the skeptical and sarcastic investigating agent.
This is a very well done dark comedy with a great cast - Vaughn is excellent, so are Garofalo and Joaquim Phoenix. Some great side characters are played by Scott Wilson (Sheriff Mooney), Vince Vieluf (Deputy Barney) and Phil Morris as the silent and brooding agent Reynard. A real keeper.
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Format: DVD
Clay Pigeons is one of my all time, favorite movies. Its scenes are exceptionally shot (the landscapes alone are enough to watch it, in my opion) and the acting is top of the line. If you are attracted to the work of ANY of the members of this cast, you are sure to love their performances.

Now no, this movie isn't for the faint of heart, nor is it as light as a 'dark comedy.' It's relatively intense, though not all that gory. For sinister-veined, drama lovers, it's right up your alley.
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Format: DVD
I can't tell you much about the plot of the surprisingly well made Clay Pigeons without giving too much away. The movie's twists and turns are much of the fun. I can say that at one point, the town sheriff turns to young Clay Birdwell [Joaquin Phoenix] and asks him to quit turning up in places where a murder has been committed.
The picture is set in Montana, but most of its breathtaking photography was shot in Utah. The scenery underlines the story, for much of it is both beautiful and foreboding. All those vast open spaces hint at underlying danger, as well as vulnerability.
Joaquin Phoenix, whom we first saw ten years ago as a kid in Parenthood, has been very promising in movies like Inventing the Abbotts and Parenthood. Clay Pigeons should mark his transition into a serious actor. His speech patterns, facial expressions and body language make Clay Birdwell a character not soon to be forgotten. In the next decade, his imperfect, chiseled looks should make him a welcome balance to the pretty boy looks of talented actors such as Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Clay shows us something not all of us want to see. A life can go on fairly routinely for years, then suddenly spin hopelessly out of control in one afternoon. What are we willing to resort to if that happens?
Vince Vaughn also shines in this picture. Here, his innocent school boy manner works much better than it did in the unfortunate remake of Psycho, where we all knew the story to begin with. Also first-rate is Janeane Garfalo, who plays an FBI agent. Garfalo is one of our finest character actresses. She's the type you've seen many times, but can never place her name. She is set to appear in no less than eleven movies this year. Her portrayal is a delight. I suspect she based it on Scully in X-Files.
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Format: VHS Tape
In a small town out west, a target practice outing with a friend kicks off a chain of bizarre events that lead a man to involvement with murder and an unsolicited alliance with a person of, shall we say, "questionable" character in "Clay Pigeons," directed by David Dobkin. Joaquin Phoenix is Clay Birdwell, a regular guy whose lack of judgment and discretion catches up with him unexpectedly in this dark, maddening tale of morality and fate that is sometimes morose and disturbing, at other times darkly humorous, as it deftly examines the trappings of the tangled webs we humans weave. Clay has become mired in a moral dilemma from which there seems to be no escape, when he meets and is befriended by Lester Long (Vince Vaughn), a trucker passing through town one night. At a local bar, Lester observes that Clay doesn't exactly have a way with women; it gets Lester's attention, which leads to a game of pool and, later on, a casual fishing trip that, like the target practice outing, proves to be a life-altering experience for Clay. Phoenix is perfectly cast as Clay, ably conveying the effects of the dark quagmire into which he is cast by circumstances he is unable to control. His performance enables you to feel him sinking ever deeper as the story moves along, and to empathize with him and experience what he is going through. You realize that he understands his situation, and it becomes a matter of waiting to see if he will make the right decisions, regardless of the inevitable consequences. It creates a tension that makes you want to yell at the screen to tell him what to do. Vaughn is excellent as well as the cowboy trucker with the winning smile, robust laugh and a closet full of dark secrets.Read more ›
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