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La Femme Nikita - The Complete 2nd Season Review




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Buy from DVDEmpire.com (US)

Rating
Video:   8/10
Audio:   8/10
Extras:   3/10

Whoohoo, they released it!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
3/15/2005

Accused of a crime she didn't commit, Nikita finds herself in "Section One," a secretive organization created to combat terrorists and other groups. Her mentor is Michael (Roy Dupuis), a man of few words, but lots of action. Birkoff (Matthew Ferguson), a computer genius is often behind-the-scenes working his geeky magic while Walter (Don Francks) provides the team with the firepower they need to get the job done. When someone's not cooperating it's a trip to the white room for them where they meet Madeline (Alberta Watson), a motherly figure you just don't want to tick off. Behind every secret organization is a top man; in this case he's known as "Operations" (Eugene Robert Glazer) - a no-nonsense kinda guy.

Disc 1
Hard Landing (44:41)
Spec Ops (43:36)
Third Person (44:47)
Approaching Zero (43:42)

Disc 2
New Regime (44:52)
Mandatory Refusal (44:44)
Half Life (44:43)
Darkness Visible (44:42)

Disc 3
Open Heart (44:44)
First Mission (44:42)
Psychic Pilgrim (44:46)
Soul Sacrifice (44:43)

Disc 4
Not Was (44:47)
Double Date (44:55)
Fuzzy Logic (44:42)
Old Habits (44:43)

Disc 5
Inside Out (44:13)
Off Profile (44:46)
Last Night (44:14)
In Between (44:48)

Disc 6
Adrian's Garden (44:44)
End Game (44:42)

Video

I found the video quality of this release a slight step up rom what I remember of season 1. The colors are bright, and the picture is almost free from dust and debris. This is about how I was expecting the show to look. Chapters are set at appropriate places in the episodes, including right after the opening to allow skipping of the intro, and there's a "play all" option on each disc.

Audio

The music used in the series played an important role in the show, so it's nice to hear a solid soundtrack. This Dolby Surround track gave my system a nice workout, especially with some of the bass heard during explosions and some of the heavier songs used on the show. The show sounds a lot better than it ever did on TV, and it was fun to rock to the groovy tunes used in the show. There are English, French and Spanish subtitles included for the episodes. There's a single song that's been replaced; more on that below.

Extras - How we rate extras

Commentary on "Hard Landing" and "End Game"
Joel Surnow, and Michael Loceff provide commentary on the two episodes, and Jon Cassar joins them for "Hard Landing." The three do an excellent job, providing us with information on the episode, and broader info on the show.

Cancelled Scenes (15:12)
There are deleted scenes on every disc, or you can find all the scenes on the final disc of the set. Jon Cassar provides an introduction to each deleted scene.
Disc 1 - 4:05 1 scene
Disc 2 - 1:41 1 scene
Disc 3 - 1:49 1 scene
Disc 4 - 3:08 1 scene
Disc 5 - 1:54 1 scene
Disc 6 - 2:35 2 scenes + all scenes from all discs

Gag Reel (2:33)
A very short gag reel for the second season.

Summary

La Femme Nikita is the set that almost never was. Warner Bros sent out a notice shortly before the planned July, 2004 release telling retailers the set was postponed, with now new date, and no explanation why. We made some calls and found out is was due to an issue with licensing some music, actually, an issue licensing a single song. Some retailers put the set out for sale, and some fans managed to snag copies, much to the frustration of Warner Bros. They hit a snag licensing the song (no idea which one), and couldn't legally sell it. The set sat in warehouses while Warner tried to secure the license for the single song, but they were forced to replace it when they weren't able to get the rights for the DVD. I gather all this cost them a lot of money, since they've had to press 1 set, promote it, recall it, replace a disc and then promote it again. I understand the first season wasn't a huge seller for them, so this hassle is obviously eating into what little money they were making in the first place. Some of you may wonder why the discs were all finished and ready to be released if a song wasn't licensed yet; this can be quite common. I know of a set that didn't have a signed deal in place a week before it was to be released! Those lawyers seem to wait until the last possible moment some days.

I'm impressed that Warner Bros was willing to go through the trouble to release this set, and I've heard rumors we may see season 3 later this year. This is still one of my favorite shows, and I love watching it on DVD. I ran into Jon Cassar when in was in LA, but I foolishly forgot to talk to him about La Femme Nikita. I found out he's Canadian, which now seems extremely obvious to me, and discovered he worked in Edmonton shooting Jake and the Kid, one of the few productions we've had shoot in the area. Jon's a really nice guy, and I enjoyed chatting to him. Strangely enough I "saw" Peta Wilson a few hours later. I say I "saw" her because it was just out of the corner of my eye while I was talking with some friends, and I didn't realize it was her until she was gone. She came up and kissed a person I know from a PR firm, and he said, "that was Peta Wilson" after she had already left. I don't think he was ready for me yelling, "YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME THAT WAS HER!!" because he took a few steps back. Umm...sorry Chris! Anyway, those are my La Femme Nikita stories for this review; don't count on any for season 3 though.

I love Alias, but La Femme Nikita is the original ass-kicking female spy. I dig this show, and if you've made it this far in the review then you probably dig it too. Let's cross our fingers and hope that we'll see season 3 later this year! And a big "THANKS" to Warner Bros for working out the problems with the set and delivering it to the fans.


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