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…

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

This is the big one.

I have never watched Saving Private Ryan.

I love films by director Steven Spielberg – the director behind Saving Private Ryan – yet I’ve never watched this movie.

The reasons?

  • I’m not a huge fan of war films
  • The film is just shy of three hours long – a tad longer than I like
  • I imagine this movie is pretty depressing throughout

OK, so those are rubbish reasons really. There is no excuse for why I’ve not watched Saving Private Ryan!

As for what I know about the movie, well I know Tom Hanks is the star; I know the film has won countless awards (with Spielberg picking up Best Director at the 71st Academy Awards); I know the movie was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry; and I know it is often hailed as one of the greatest movies of all time.

It’s fair to say I know quite a bit about this film. I now just need to watch it.

*Clicks the play button*

6mins 30secs – OK, so this is the famous scene where the troops land on Omaha Beach. This is brutal.

9mins 30secs – Jeez… a soldier just picked up his own arm!

10mins – It’s a blood bath.

17mins – This whole situation is senseless.

22mins – I’m barely making comment on this scene because this sequence is just so exhaustive. This isn’t the sort of action and drama you would usually open a movie with, this is the sort of action you hold back for the finale! Amazing.

26mins – And now for the aftermath and consequences of such a devastating battle – the letters home to family members.

27mins – I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like to write countless letters to family members who have lost a son/husband in the war.

29mins 40secs – Bryan Cranston?

40mins – For those who also haven’t watched Saving Private Ryan, the movie is essentially a rescue mission, with a small squad of troops (led by Tom Hanks) on an assignment to find Private Ryan – a lost soldier.

43mins – I had no idea that Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg or Giovanni Ribisi were in this movie!

45mins – With all the rain, mud and debris, this film must have been a bitch to shoot.

46mins – Paul Giamatti!

55mins – I’m approximately a third of the way into this movie and it has barely let up since it started.

58mins – Is that Nathan Fillion?

58mins 40secs – It is!

59mins – The thing I’m finding most surprising about Saving Private Ryan is the sheer amount of actors in this movie that I had no idea were in this picture! Is this common knowledge? Does everyone know that Nathan Fillion and Paul Giamatti are in this film?

1hr – Even Ted Danson is in this movie!

1hr 1min – If Saving Private Ryan ever comes up in a round of Pointless and the question is to name actors who have appeared in this movie, I will be able to nail the question.

1hr 16mins – Tom Hanks is great in this movie. But then, Tom Hanks is great in everything. I may not of cared much for Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail, but that was never the fault of Hanks.

1hr 18mins – After an hour and 18 minutes, we might be close to finding Private Ryan.

1hr 21mins – Where was this movie filmed? Parts of this look very much like the UK?

*Looks up the details*

Oh, so parts were filmed in the UK. Yeah, I figured.

1hr 32mins – This whole movie demonstrates quite clearly the pointlessness of war.

1hr 37mins – We’re also seeing how war changes people.

1hr 38mins – This is simply an amazing movie.

1hr 42mins – We’ve found Private Ryan! I repeat: We’ve found Private Ryan!

1hr 42mins 10secs – And Private Ryan is played by Matt Damon.

1hr 42mins 20secs – This is one bit of casting that I actually did know!

1hr 47mins – It sounds bizarre to say, as the story is filled with death and destruction, but this is a beautifully shot picture. Of course, if you’ve already watched this movie then you know this.

1hr 50mins – *Checks time* There is still another 50 minutes to go – what happens now that the squad has found Ryan?

1hr 51mins – So now the movie is dealing with a separate mission that needs to be completed before Ryan can be ‘saved’.

1hr 53mins – I can’t believe I’ve been watching this movie for almost two hours – it certainly doesn’t feel that way.

2hrs 12mins – Yet more action.

2hrs 22mins – I’m just in awe of these battle scenes.

2hrs 26mins – Did they just kill Tom Hanks?

2hrs 27mins – It’s fine, he’s not dead… er… it’s just a flesh wound. A really bad, flesh wound.

2hrs 29mins – The important thing is, Private Ryan has been saved! Hurrah!

2hrs 30mins 30secs – Oh… Tom Hanks is dead. Guess it was more than just a flesh wound.

*Clicks stop*

Brilliant. Simply brilliant. Saving Private Ryan is not the sort of film I’d actively seek out, which is why I’ve ignored it for the past 21 years, but it is truly marvellous.

One of the main reasons I initiated 90 from the ’90s was to force myself to watch films that I might actually like, if only I give them the chance. While a great deal of the movies I’ve watched have been crap, finding the time to watch this one has made this whole exercise so worthwhile.

*Claps hands repeatedly*

For past entries in the 90 from the ’90s series, check out: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Flubber (1997), The Big Lebowski (1998), FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992), Free Willy (1993), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)Air Bud (1997)Robin Hood(1991)Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)Hercules and Xena: The Battle for Mount Olympus (1998)Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story (1993)Highlander II: The Quickening (1991)F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion (1991)Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999)Showgirls (1995)American History X (1998)North (1994)Jack Frost (1998)Psycho (1998)A League of Their Own (1992)Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)Patch Adams (1998)My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)You’ve Got Mail (1998)Sleepless in Seattle (1993)Graveyard Shift (1990)Johnny Mnemonic (1995)Striptease (1996) Indecent Proposal (1993)My Girl 2 (1994)The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)Poison Ivy (1996)Body of Evidence (1993)Turbulence (1997)Fatal Instinct (1993)True Romance (1993)Newsies (1992)Contact (1997)The Pelican Brief (1993)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).