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Pelican Brief
BLU-RAY disk
Feb 20, 2009 By: Sturdy
Pelican Brief order
Director:
Alan J. Pakula

Actors:
Julia Roberts
Denzel Washington
Stanley Tucci

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young woman writes a far-fetched theory on who she thinks is behind the assassinations of two Supreme Court justices. When the brief gets passed around, all the way up to the President of the United States, everyone involved with the report ends up dead. She enlists the help of a respectable reporter and together they uncover the truth.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The PELICAN BRIEF was the first Grisham book I ever read. Ive always been a fan of his books and the movies they inevitably inspire. THE PELICAN BRIEF was a faithful telling of the book and it was clear Pakula liked the book enough to stay true to it at almost every turn. But the problems with the film lie with the telling of the story and not so much the story itself.

For me, the film never managed to spark a serious concern for the characters. I realized the situations were intense and dramatic, I just didnt feel that anyone was ever in any real danger. Since her plight was the driving force in the film, it was essential that the audience be involved with what she was going through. Unfortunately, the story was told so matter-of-factly that the intensity didnt resonate with the audience. It might have been a deficiency with the director since many of the supposed dramatic scenes either dragged on or never climaxed to an accelerated heart rate or a gasp from the viewer. There is one scene involving a murder in a hotel room and we watched the killer watch the victim for almost five minutes and then all we see to end the scene is blood splatter on the TV. It just didnt work.

Julia went through some rough roles there for a while when she was trying to convince audiences she could play the tough damsel in distress. Im not saying she cant play that role, but I am saying she hasnt always played it well. Some times her reactions werent enough or they were misplaced and ill-timed. She witnesses a car explosion in which her lover dies and we barely get a shocked look on her face. Im pretty sure that if a car exploded anywhere near me, Id be pretty freaked out. Denzel is his normal cool self and the rest of the cast does well with what they have.

THE PELICAN BRIEF isnt a bad film, its just very bland. I like the story and the idea that an average person could solve a mystery involving the White House and then be hunted for it. But the film could have used some spice with the directing and a few more edits in order to speed things up and keep the film moving.
THE EXTRAS
None
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
THE PELICAN BRIEF is a decent film, but nothing I would whole-heartedly recommend. It can make for a decent rental, but I wouldnt make it a part of your collection.
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