Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 5/27/99
1998 (1999) Scott Free
review by Todd Doogan,
special to The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B, A,
Specs and Features
104 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, full
frame (1.33:1), single-sided, dual-layered (no layer switch), Amaray
keep case packaging, theatrical trailer, talent bios, film-themed
menu screens, scene access (18 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1
& 2.0), subtitles: English and Spanish, Close Captioned
Yee-haw! Ain't nothing
like a good ol' tale, 'bout a bunch of good ol' boys. With this here
flick, we gets the sordid, but darkly comedic tale of Clay, a guy
who even from the first scene can't do right by nobody. Having
witnessed the suicide of his best buddy, who just found out that
Clay has been bumping nasty with his pretty-young-thing wife, Clay
finds that he has to hide the body, because it's been set up to look
like murder. Uh-oh. Well, no matter - everything turns out okay for
young Clay... at first. Into Clay's life ambles a varmit by the name
of Lester Long. Lester is a charming cowpoke who just happens to be
a real lady-killer. And I mean that - he's a real killer of ladies.
Will Clay get sucked into Lester's world, or will he do right? Will
the FBI catch Lester, or think Clay is the killer? And what does
Clay Pigeons producer Ridley
Scott's Alien have to do with
anything? All these question will be answered by the end of this
truly funny film.
Vince Vaughn plays the same character over and over again in films
- he doesn't seem to have much range, just charm and attitude. That
may usually be a criticism - but here it serves the film just fine.
Vaughn is really great in this flick. His usually abilities infuse
Lester with a snake's charisma, and a killer smile. Joaquin Phoenix
plays Clay, and he's perfect. Clay doesn't know what to think half
the time, and Phoenix just has that confused look on his face --
it's great. Janeane Garofalo and Georgina Cates help round out the
cast. Garofalo plays the FBI agent hot on the trail of Lester, and
she's also good in this role. She's sarcastic, funny and witty -
everything fans of hers love. And Georgina Cates is perfect as the
femme fatale, that wraps every man around her finger. I can't wait
to see more of her. She practically steals the film.
Polygram's DVD represents the film nicely. It's dual-layered,
allowing you to choose either full frame or widescreen right up
front. The transfer is clean and the colors are pretty good. There's
a little bit of compression noise, but it's mostly unnoticeable.
There are two English tracks on board (2.0 and 5.1) and both sound
crisp and full. The only extras are the trailer, and cast and crew
bios, which aren't much. Still, it's an effort.
Black comedies are sometimes the best comedies, and Clay
Pigeons is a fine example of all the things a good black
comedy should have -- great dialogue, wonderful characters, and one
hell of a great twist ending. I'm slow, so I didn't get the ending
right away. See how much smarter you are than me -- check out this
DVD to see if you catch it faster than I did.