Welcome to 90 from the ‘90s; the movie-related post in which I watch, discuss and debate a film from the 1990s – a film that I’ve NEVER SEEN. Posting on a semi-regular basis, I aim to work my way through 90 movies that I’ve previously missed/avoided, recording my thoughts along the way.

I’m going to watch good films, bad films, forgotten classics, Oscar winners and everything in between. Some of these films you’ll be surprised I’ve never seen, others you’ll completely understand why I’ve avoided them for 20+ years.

The rules are as follows:

  • The film must be from the 1990s (1990-1999)
  • The film must be a movie I’ve not watched before

Today’s unseen ‘90s movie is…

The Pelican Brief (1993)

It’s been a few weeks since I last published a post in the 90 from the ’90s category of this blog. This is due to a combination of factors (good weather, bad health etc) but it’s largely because I’ve been using a lot of my free time to catch-up on TV shows (Arrow, Dark, The Rain etc).

Anyway, today it’s time to head back to the ’90s in order to cram in a few more movies that have previously escaped me. This morning’s viewing is reserved for the Julia Roberts/Denzel Washington thriller, The Pelican Brief.

Once again, there’s no real reason as to why I’ve never watched this movie, it simply passed me by during the ’90s. As for what I know about The Pelican Brief? I know pretty much nothing.

Let’s give it a whirl!

*Clicks the play button*

1min – The movie opens up with some pelicans.

2mins – The pelicans are no longer on screen. That scene was pretty short… you could say it was ‘brief’. It was… pelican, brief.

3mins – The film has now moved onto scenes of unrest in the US. Er… is this 1993 or 2018?

7mins – Stanley Tucci has just appeared. He looks young and has hair. Is that a wig or is that actually Tucci’s hair?

8mins 30secs – Julia Roberts is sat in a college law class and who is that sat next to her? Oh, only former Sex and the City actress, Cynthia Nixon. Hang on a minute, didn’t Nixon play a lawyer in SatC? Is this movie linked? Is randy Samantha going to pop by in a minute to shag the college professor?

10mins – No sign of Samantha. Maybe this isn’t a Sex and the City prequel after all.

28mins 30secs – I was just about to make a comment about the story, but before I get to that I must note that this is happening right now…

Denzel Washington
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

28mins 35secs – This is Denzel Washington, sat in a car trying to remain inconspicuous… all while holding a MASSIVE camera and a HUGE mobile phone. I’m amazed he doesn’t have a gigantic telescope to help complete the set! There’s being inconspicuous and then there’s this! IT’S THE POLAR OPPOSITE!

35mins – Right, onto the story. Two Supreme Court Justices have been killed, Denzel Washington has been snooping about as a reporter and Julia Roberts has just escaped being blown up by a car bomb as she is getting caught up in all this.

40mins – Julia Roberts is convinced that someone is trying to kill her and it’s all because she wrote a brief… presumably about pelicans.

45mins – Julia Roberts is now on the run. There’s a chase scene and she’s running through a hotel kitchen, knocking things over etc. Jeez it’s dangerous working in a kitchen. If it’s not bad enough that you have to contend with hot pans, knives and the rage of a temperamental head chef, you also have to keep an eye out for A-list Hollywood stars running through your work space! I bet they don’t warn you about this sort of thing in culinary class.

54mins 30secs – Julia Roberts is on the run again.

1hr – Stanley Tucci is back on screen. He’s now got less hair. He’s also an assassin and a master of disguise. Well, I say a ‘master’, I really think he just likes dressing up.

1hr 5mins – Oh and now Stanley Tucci is dead. His days of dressing up are over.

1hr 14mins – I’m roughly about halfway through The Pelican Brief (it’s good) and my husband has just dropped a bombshell – he doesn’t think Denzel Washington is a good actor. I quote: “He’s not a very good actor, is he? He’s so monotone – showing no emotion.”

1hr 15mins – Me: “WHAT?! Denzel is one of the greatest actors of all-time! What are you on about?”

*Three minutes pass in silence*

1hr 18mins – Me (turning back to my husband): “Seriously, you think Denzel is a bad actor? Really? You think Denzel Washington is a bad actor? Do you even know what acting is?! Well, do you?!”

1hr 20mins – We’re now not speaking to each other.

1hr 21mins – John Lithgow has just appeared on screen! Yay!

1hr 21mins 10secs – I bet John Lithgow thinks that Denzel Washington is a good actor.

1hr 21mins 35secs – My husband (noticing that John Lithgow is on screen): “Hey look, it’s that alien guy – he’s got a new job.”

1hr 21mins 40secs – Me: “So, do you think that John Lithgow is a good actor?”

1hr 21mins 45secs – My husband: “Uh-huh.”

1r 23mins – John Lithgow is no longer on screen. My husband is now less arsed about the movie.

1hr 38mins – A lot of investigative work is now taking place – not much to report. This is a political thriller – just imagine something political and/or thrilling is taking place.

1hr 54mins – Julia Roberts is trying to access a safety deposit box. This scene feels a bit like that scene in Ghost, where Whoopi Goldberg is in a bank pretending to be Rita Miller. Oh, wouldn’t it be great if Whoopi Goldberg turned up in this!

1hr 56mins – Roberts accessed the safety deposit box. Whoopi Goldberg didn’t turn up.

2hrs 6mins – Having escaped a car bomb, Denzel and Julia have revealed they have all the details of the Pelican Brief and having now gone public about the situation the shit is about to hit the fan.

2hrs 11mins – Denzel and Julia are now on a plane, having exposed the assassination plot.

2hr 13mins – Ah, they embrace. No sexual tension – it’s not that kind of movie. Just mutual respect. Denzel is giving his best repectful face. This is acting. THIS is acting. Some people just don’t get it…

*Glares at husband*

*Clicks stop*

The Pelican Brief was a good political thriller. It’s not necessarily a film I would rush to watch (which explains why I hadn’t watched it previously) but I can’t deny that was a good movie with SOME GREAT ACTING.


*Glares at husband again*

For past entries in the 90 from the ’90s series, check out: Natural Born Killers (1994)Shakespeare in Love (1998)A Perfect Murder (1998)Quigley Down Under (1990)Of Mice and Men (1992), Friday (1995)Mannequin on the Move (1991)She’s All That (1999)Double Dragon (1994)Stay Tuned (1992)Murder at 1600 (1997), Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993)My Own Private Idaho (1991)Wagons East (1994)In the Line of Fire (1993)Postcards from the Edge (1990)Universal Soldier (1992)Passenger 57 (1992)Mo’ Better Blues (1990)The Client (1994)Good Will Hunting (1997)Pump Up the Volume (1990)Mr. Nanny (1993) Fargo (1996)Hudson Hawk (1991)So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993) and Timecop (1994).