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Code Name: Foxfire: Slay It Again, Sam (1985)
Season 1, Episode 1
what were they thinking?
17 July 2003
What were they thinking when this movie was released? It is truly, utterly and irretrievably awful. It is not tongue-in-cheek enough to be comic book, and so stupid that no sane viewer would treat it as being believable.

The script is cliched, corny and written in haste. The acting is wooden and under-rehearsed. The direction is sloppy, the photography second-rate and the special effects sub-standard even by mid-eighties TV standard. The whole premise seems to be to turn out a trashy TV pilot as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Only Joanna Cassidy holds it together at all, and most of the time she is fighting the lame script more than the bland bad-guy. The other characters try to do their best but have nothing to work with.

Lacking in charm, excitement, interest, believability. File under 'Forget'.
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A Killing Spring (2002 TV Movie)
Filming by numbers
14 July 2003
This film marks an attempt to revive the flagging 'Joanna Kilbourn Mysteries' series, but simply adding more action and taking out some of the talking is not really enough. Wendy Crewson is as good as ever, and actually gets to show a more physical side, but the lack of Victor Garber as a foil weakens the Kilbourn-Police up-down relationship. New-boy Shawn Doyle does not have enough presence to convince as a replacement, and looks uncomfortable for much of the film.

Unlike so many 'mystery' movies there is a genuine chance for the viewer to try and participate in the detection process, but the final revelations still seem to have come from nowhere. The biggest problem is pacing. The whole thing feels like filming by numbers - there are few genuine changes of pace, and after 85 minutes you begin to feel that you have not really been entertained or engaged. The only real moment that makes you sit up is well done, but somehow even then lacking in real 'shock'. That said, the direction IS somewhat tighter than previous episodes, and the dialogue has more 'bite', but it is still too two-dimensional to grip the viewer. At least we do not spend half the movie watching Ms Crewson drive up or drive off - a pleasant change after the earlier episodes. ... and by the way, are the Toronto Police really -that- incompetent?

A personal recommendation - watch the six films in the correct sequence and they make more sense!

3 stars out of 5
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