Tag Archives: Xander Berkley

NIKITA Makes an Outstanding Thursday Return

Gamechanger.  viagra purcgase mastercard https://creativephl.org/pills/where-to-buy-brand-cialis-online/33/ doctoral dissertation database annuity homework help http://admissions.iuhs.edu/?page_id=viagra-werking-hoe-lang essay topic traffic source url write my paper for me cheap creative writing kurs enter site how to start a dissertation buy viagra online org uk thesis statement and outline university of phoenix clomid j2 a j6 writting help here professional bibliography editing website http://yogachicago.com/pills/sex-power-tablets-name/25/ custom thesis statement writer site usa https://pittsburghgreenstory.com/newyork/proofreading-benefits/15/ click here persuasive essay guide sexual harassment research paper vertaling dissertation work effective academic writing 3 download free taking too much viagra enter site thesis binding buy research papers 40 viagra for 9900 go to site viagra in dentistry NIKITA returns tonight after several weeks’ hiatus to an explosive (literally) and truly outstanding episode titled “Covenants” that can easily be labeled a ‘gamechanger’ among many other positive adjectives.  Even if you have not been following this new Nikita very closely, you can easily treat yourself as a viewer to a most entertaining, emotional, and exciting hour.  All elements come together adeptly and beautifully: the writing, directing, production, action, and filming.  And the twists, turns, and revelations move the story forward in a frenetic yet satisfying manner.

Those of us attending WonderCon this past weekend had the pleasure of seeing the full episode a full week before tonight’s official return.  One thing that gave me particular joy was seeing the auditorium nearly full.  Sadly, that was not due to everyone’s interest in Nikita, but to their desire to secure a seat for the “Doctor Who” panel to follow.  But this gave me joy because all those people now  had  to see Nikita.  And if they were not regular viewers before, then this episode would no doubt have made them into viewers now.  Yes, it was  that  good!  It would truly be a crime if the new incoming CW President does not renew this series for a Season Two.  Excellent writing, compelling characters, talented and charismatic actors, outstanding action sequences… what more could you ask for other than a few more ratings point perhaps.

Comments and spoilers after the jump.  And dare I say it for all the die-hard fans? … “Mi-kita” alert!!

Continue reading NIKITA Makes an Outstanding Thursday Return

Television: CW’s Nikita -Mildly Entertaining Action Despite A Lack of Spark From Maggie Q

Nikita

On Thursday, September 9th at 9PM EST (Supernatural’s old time slot), The CW Network is set to offer up their re-imagining of the 1997 USA Network series Nikita which starred Peta Wilson. That series was in itself an adapting of the 1990 French film, Le Femme Nikta.

While the blue eyed blonde Wilson has been replaced by the darkly exotic beauty of female action star Maggie Q (Mission Impossible 2), the basic plot remains the same. When Nikita was a deeply troubled eighteen year old accused of murder, she was rescued from death row by a secret U.S. agency known only as Division. They trained her as a spy and assassin.  Nikita was their top agent until she broke the cardinal rule of never getting close to someone and fell in love. Because of this, Nikita was betrayed by the only people she thought she could trust and the man she loved was murdered by them.  Now, after three years in hiding, Nikita is seeking retribution and making it clear to her former boss, Percy (Xander Berkeley, “24”) and her former friends Michael (Shane West, “E.R.”) and Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford, “X-Men: The Last Stand) that she will stop at nothing to expose and destroy their covert operation.

The majority of the pilot for Nikita, which was directed by Danny Cannon and written by Craig Silverstein, spends a lot of it’s time giving the audience the exposition on title character’s back story. The exposition is interspersed with action sequences to show the audience what a kick ass, strong woman Nikita is.

While all of this was slickly presented and mildly entertaining, the biggest problem I had was this: Yes, Maggie Q is as deadly graceful and skilled as an action hero should be in all the fight sequences. However, her Nikita comes across as too remote and coldly detached from the angst surrounding her character to create any spark or screen presence to connect to outside of her fighting prowess. I do have to say that this remote detachment does help the character keep a sense of dignity around her during the scenes in which Nikita must run around scantily clad. On the up side, that kind of dignity is a welcome change from the usual “sex it up” mentality that often comes along with a series which revolves around a female spy . It certainly makes Nikita more intimidating. On the downside, the issue I had with this is that, unfortunately, there is no heat of any kind whatsoever in those scenes nor in the action sequences. To me, the action sequences of a series like this is where the character’s passion for her cause should be most revealed. I just didn’t feel Nikita’s passion for her crusade.

Continue reading Television: CW’s Nikita -Mildly Entertaining Action Despite A Lack of Spark From Maggie Q

MOVIES: Sleek, Stylish and Slightly Skeevey, Taken Delivers The Goods!

A retired spy’s daughter is kidnapped to be sold as a sex slave [the slightly skeevey part]. The ex-spy hunts the men who kidnapped her. As premises go, this one is simple, direct and a bit odd to find in a PG-13 film – but we are talking about a Luc Besson production, so maybe it’s not really a surprise.

Taken - Neeson

What is a surprise is that Taken, co-written by Besson [Leon, The Professional and The Fifth Element] and Robert Mark Kamen [The Karate Kid, The Transporter], and directed by Pierre Morel [District B13], is better than the premise suggests. This mostly because it takes a bit of time to establish that our protagonist, Bryan Mills [Liam Neeson] has retired because he wants to reconnect with his daughter, Kim [Maggie Grace]. We believe him because we see how disappointed he is when her mother, Lenore [Famke Janssen] and step-father, Stuart [Xander Berkley] upstage him at her birthday party [he brings her an expensive karaoke machine, but Stuart gives her a horse].

When she and her mother persuade him to sign a waiver allowing Kim to go to Paris, his warnings of danger fall on deaf ears and – sure enough – she and her friend are kidnapped. Then comes the phone conversation we saw in the trailer – followed by Mills taking action. Although Neeson is not a small guy, he does a good job of making himself seem ordinary as he begins tracking down the kidnappers, but once he swings into action, he becomes a force of nature.

Morel keeps the action up front and his pacing builds as Mills works himself up the chain of command – starting with the spotter who set up Kim and her friend. The usual ingredients of a Besson production are here – fights, chases, explosions – but because we buy into Mills as a father, there is a little more gravity, a little more at stake than usual.

Taken is entertaining but, ultimately, reliant on one performance. If you buy Neeson as Mills, then you’ll enjoy the movie. If not, you won’t. I did.

Final Grade: B-