Clay Pigeons (** ˝) - I really wanted to like this film because of two reasons - Vince Vaughn and Janeane Garofalo. Both of them are terrific in this film continuing to impress with each performance. But I can't and this is why.First of all, Joaquin Phoenix is not impressive in the slightest as the film's lead. With all this bad stuff happening to me - I didn't really give a shit because he's not very interesting. Phoenix made a much more sympathetic victim in his last recent film (also with Vince Vaughn) Return to Paradise. He seems so dumb that it makes his To Die For character look like a poet laureate. He just resembles another loser hick who makes some bad decisions in life. His character isn't all that well written and underdeveloped and as the film's hero that's a huge error - especially compared to the charisma of the Vince Vaughn character who's original and funny and the Janeane Garofalo character is very interesting but isn't in the film long enough. I wanted to see more of her and she doesn't even enter the film until at least the 45-minute mark. The one scene their two characters have together is the film's best and it left me wanting more. Second of all - the pacing of the film is very nonchalant. Things just kind of develop and develop - while all the time - not really developing much. This is a 104-minute film that should have been either cut down to 90 or given a rewrite to make the additional 14 minutes interesting (unfortunately they'd probably still involve the Phoenix character). The film maintains a humorous dark tone for most of the way (when the pacing isn't dragging it down) but the film's climax is too muddled for it's own good.I liked what it was headed towards but ask yourself two questions - Is it likely that the Garofalo character would discover the truth by looking at a cigarette? and what exactly are they implying by the ending. Whatever - because it's a real shame that this could have been a fun autumn movie instead of just a good attempt with two wonderful performances.