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The Surrogate (1995)
Strong acting performances in your average TV drama with a moral dilemma
Having seen quite a few made-for-TV films, ordinarily showcasing the 'talent' of aging has-been TV actresses, I was surprised that Connie Sellecca was actually able to deliver. From the beginning, she is portrayed as a creepy woman with a mysterious past. The audience knows that she once had a baby boy, who is now absent in her life. One is supposed to wonder whatever happened to him, and what her Sellecca's character Joan Quinn has to do with the situation.
I have been an admirer of Alyssa Milano's work for nine years now. So when this TV movie came on late night, I jumped my chances to tape it. Milano, who has done some mediocre work in the early nineties, finally gets her chance to let the world see what she is capable of. In the first halve, she plays this average art student (reminding one of Poison Ivy 2's Lily Leonetti's shy twin sister) with a friendly attitude. Nothing interesting there. Milano then gets some juicy acting when she agrees to be the surrogate mother of Joan's baby, and grows suspicious of Joan's integrity. The film contains some lovely confrontational scenes between Milano and Sellecca. They have such wonderful on screen chemistry: convincible as good friends looking out for each other's best interests, and as two women who can't stand the sight of each other. I have to extra note Sellecca for her portrayal of a psychotic woman, and her ability to spin you around her finger. The one minute, you sympathize with her, and the next you want Milano's character to kick her ass.
A moral dilemma attributes to the film not being your everyday '90s TV film. In the end, it is revealed that Joan accidentally killed her baby boy while smothering him when he would not stop crying. Milano's character Amy believes that Joan is an unfit mother and should never be able to have a child again. For me, this is a little to black-and-white. Admitted, Joan could sometime show some psychotic behavior, but it was every time in the best interest of her child. It was quite noticeable that she would do anything for her child and love him/her no matter what. Sellecca's character should have stepped to the police when she accidentally killed her child, but was not an evil person who could not take care of a child. Apparently, ABC wanted you to think that you cannot make a mistake. Ever.
Concluding, the film had some average writing, with a typical TV movie mother-baby-justice subject. Sellecca and Milano had great chemistry, though, and show that they may be worth more than being TV actresses. The writers unfortunately evaluated Sellecca's character's actions, locking a moral grey zone that is interesting for the viewer to think about.
One might want to note Milano's maternal instincts in the film. She was great with the baby, and has expressed strong interest in becoming a mother herself throughout her entire adult life. Milano finally became a mother only recently, at the age of 38. The actress showed us already in 1995 how good a mother she would become. Bless you!
Tess of the Storm Country (1914)
Mary Pickford lights up this superb film
It's a wonder 94 years after the first screening copies still exist. I had the opportunity to watch it and it was magnificent! As usual, sweet little Mary Pickford knows like no other how to mix comedy with drama. At the time, Tess of the Storm Country became a huge success. What else could it have been? Pickford clearly had fun shooting this film and probably was still buoyed up by the success of her previous film A Good Little Devil. The movie revolves around Tessibel Skinner, a little girl who is enjoying her life, despite the fact she's poor. When her father is put on trial for murder, she is devastated and tries everything to save him. But exactly how much is that going to cost? The movie had great outdoor sets, which makes the film a cultural pleasure. Pickford remade the film in 1922 after a few box office mistake and it became a hit all over again. The audience just can't stop adoring sweet little Tessibel Skinner.
Scrap Heaven (2005)
Shocking drama with a bit comedy here and there
This was such a beautiful drama. Kuriyama (Kill Bill vol. 1 & Battle Royale) did a great job as a blind person and the other two actors were also outstanding. I loved the relationship between the three people in the group. They weren't really connected, but because they spend a lot of time with each other, they kind of created their own ordinary relationship.
This movie really interested me, and it's not a typical movie you can find anywhere. There were quite some memorable scenes! There weren't really that much lines in the movie, but even without saying anything, you can just look threw the heart of the characters. I love this movie!
Stand by Me (1986)
Great movie for all ages!
I watched this movie several times as a child and thought it was a cool movie. Now, a couple of years later, it's my favorite movie! It has a slow start, but you can't not love it at the end. Everyone could recognize something about themselves in these 4 kids. No matter of you're a boy or a girl. There are some memorable scenes that probably stay with you for a long, long time.
This movie is simply about being a kid. After seeing this movie, you will probably miss being a kid for a while. But that's the message I personally think.
The acting job of the 4 kids is amazing! Wil Wheaton and River Phoenix did an amazing job. Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell were also outstanding.
It's also a movie you could see for like 20 times in one week and you still be excited about it! For children, this movie is just very fun. For teenagers / adults it's still a great movie, because this movie has an interesting message.
I give it a 10/10