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As promised here is the “original” late 1990’s La Femme Nikita cable TV series that actually died and them came back to life like the ladies in the shows.

The followup to the film Point of No Return, La Femme Nikita the late 1990’s basic cable TV series appearing on USA differs from the original film version in one fundamental aspect: Nikita (Peta Wilson) is innocent she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.   Section One sets Nikita up to be accused of murdering a police officer and sentenced to life in prison where she supposedly commits suicide and is brought into Section One.  Like in the original film though Nikita will be killed (or “canceled”) if she fails to comply, she is forced to carry out the organization’s ruthless methods of fighting terrorism, while attempting to keep her moral integrity intact. This personal struggle becomes the primary conflict of the series.  A key scene in both the film and the series involves Nikita’s first assignment—to murder a VIP in a crowded restaurant. Although the Nikita of the television series eventually does become, by necessity, a ruthless killer, in the television version of this first mission she uses her ingenuity to avoid having to kill the VIP (whereas the film versions of the character complete the assignment). However, despite the machinations of others in power around her, Nikita retains her compassion and humanity.

La Femme Nikita was the number-one drama on basic cable channel USA Network for its first two seasons.  It had been “green-lighted” by the network’s founder and “cable network pioneer” Kay Koplovitz and nurtured by former USA Network president Rod Perth, a “key player” in its development.  However in 2000 it was canceled but its dedicated viewers mounted an extensive fan campaign to revive it and were successful!  These fans sent in over 25,000 letters and the network made a truncated 5th season.  According the JPFmovies research staff, such a resurrection happened only a couple of times once when Firefly was canceled after one season but due to fan demand the network made a full-length film an Family Guy which was brought back after three years on the shelf.

The LFN original series was not bad for its time and given the fact that it was brought back from the dead does tell you something about it.  If you do decide to take a look at it, watch for the ruthless character Madeline—she is as cold as it gets and she is another one you love to hate.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2019 in Movie Reviews

 

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Let’s take a look as some beautiful, but dangerous, woman: La Femme Nikita the original series (1997-2001) based on the film Point of No Return (1993)—also reviewed starring Bridget Fonda and Gabriel Byrne. Stay clear of blonds with guns.

Anyone who is a film buff has come across the term “femme fatale” which is a French term that’s translated to “fatal woman.”  Films over the years have made these characters into beautiful, but dangerous, women.  These characters are the ones you love to hate.  The JPFmovies staff has looked into some femme fatale entertainment and decided to review the La Femme Nikita franchise.  First there was the film starring Bridget Fonda, Gabriel Byrne, Harvey Keitel, Anne Bancroft and Olivia d’Abo in Point of No Return (1992).  All fine performers and all         quite young in this film.  Bridget Fonda is literally a child, Keitel and Byrne look like they are in their late 20’s.  The JPFmovies staff was particularly excited to watch a film with Bridget Fonda in it—you don’t see her in too many films.

Our femme fatale, Maggie Hayward (Bridget Fonda), is a violent and unstable drug addict found guilty of murdering a police officer, and is sentenced to death by lethal injection.  A secret government organization fakes her death because they need to have a young female operative in the field.  Agent Bob (Gabriel Byrne) is charged with transforming her from this renegade youth into a sophisticated assassin. She is given a makeover by senior Operative Amanda (Anne Bancroft) and training that turns her into not only a beautiful woman, but also a trained killer.  The pressure is on though as she is only given 6 months reach operative level efficiency otherwise, she will literally get a bullet in the brain.

She passes her final test: an assassination of a VIP eating at a restaurant. Maggie kills the VIP and his bodyguard and then is pursued by a team of the VIP’s bodyguards and then escapes by jumping down a laundry chute. Maggie is relocated to California and finds her first relationship with J.P. (Dermot Mulroney). She promptly performs her first two assignments, both hit jobs, but she begins to hate her work.  Naturally she wants out but the agency has other ideas.  She is told that if she can pull off one last job Bob will try to get her out of the agency.

 

Maggie and her partner have trouble with this job and it goes sideways.  In a early version of The Wolf from Pulp Fiction, Victor, a “cleaner” (Harvey Keitel) is called salvage the mission. Unknown to Maggie, he has also been ordered to kill both agents as well because one failure results in death. After killing the wounded Beth in front of Maggie, he drives her to Fahd’s home she gets what she needs to.  The cleaner is supposed to kill her as well but she is crafty enough to turn the tables and gets away.  Bob (her handler) takes pity on her and falsely tells his boss that Maggie is dead setting her free.  The last scene is Maggie walking away in the pouring rain as she starts anew.

The JPFmovies staff is a big fan of Ms. Fonda and excited to see this film.  Seeing the early version of Keitel as Mr. Wolf as the “cleaner” is frankly hilarious.  Byrne, who also made a great 1990’s film The Usual Suspects, looks like he is in grade school in this movie.  Yeah kinda cliché but all in all not bad if you look at this film as the start of successful franchise depicting secret government organizations transforming young, beautiful, blonde trouble making girls into deadly women.

 

The moral of the story is never trust a blonde with a gun.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2019 in Movie Reviews

 

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Let’s take a look at some great Femme Fatale flix—you know the attractive, seductive woman who will ultimately bring disaster to a man (or men) that becomes involved with her. Our first look: The Last Seduction (1994) staring Linda Fiorentino, Peter Berg, and Bill Pullman.

When the discussion of Femme Fatale films came up the first movie we here at JPFmovies immediately thought of was The Last Seduction.  Many of you probably never heard of it because even though Fiorentino’s performance generated talk of an Oscar nomination, she was deemed ineligible because the film was shown on HBO before it was released into the theaters.  October Films and ITC Entertainment sued the Academy, but were unable to make Fiorentino eligible for a nomination.  So, the film went right from HBO to DVD—what a waste.

To say The Last Seduction is a neo-noir erotic thriller doesn’t do the film justice.  It is an outstanding example modernizing the traditional stereotype of the deadly women of classic fim noir that were generally disliked, detested, and sometimes hated by patriarchal society.  Here the Director and Fiorentino bring some of the enduring cultural images of the femme fatale while bestowing her with modern, distinguishing characteristics.

 

The film opens with, Bridget Gregory (Fiorentino) pressuring and scolding the salesmen in some boiler-room telemarketing office in New York City selling worthless coins.  She knows how to use the hard sell, close deals, and manage men with fear and degradation.  She runs a tight and ruthless ship.  After work, she races to her apartment to see if an important deal her medical school husband made selling $700,000 worth of pharmaceutical grade cocaine to some street thugs paid off.  It did, the husband (Bill Pullman) had to stuff the 700K in his jacket on the way home, After Bridget makes some rude remark to her husband, he gives her a pretty good smack across the face which seems to set the wheels of this tale of deceit in motion.

While her husband is taking a shower, Bridge to use a phrase from the Steve Miller Band “go on take the money and run.”  Naturally her husband is upset but does not seemed too surprised.

 On her way to Chicago, Bridget stops in a small town called Beston to gas up. It’s in a nearby bar that we – and Bridget – meet the film’s third principal character, Mike Swale (played to naive, lustful perfection by Peter Berg). In the bar, Bridget’s order is ignored by the bartender, and, instantly attracted to her dark good looks, Mike Swale gallantly steps in to help. Bridget, however, is not interested. “Could you leave?  Please?” she asks. “Well, I haven’t finished charming you yet,” Mike responds, to which Bridget retorts: “You haven’t started.” Still endeavoring to win Bridget’s heart – or some part of her – Mike informs her that he’s “hung like a horse.”  Perhaps wishing only to amuse herself, perhaps with other, more far-reaching plans in mind, Bridget asks to see for herself, unzips his pants right in the bar, and then fires off a series of questions: how many lovers has he had? Have any been prostitutes? Does he have his own place? Does it have indoor plumbing? Before long, the two are in Mike’s apartment.  He is now under her spell.

As the movie progresses, an evil disorder dwells deep within Bridget. She seems to scorn men. She uses men to her advantage, catching them, conquering them, and bending them to her will. She values money, power, and independence over relationships. She enjoys humiliating men, deriding them as ‘eunuchs,’ ‘Neanderthals,’ ‘maggots,’ and ‘sex objects.’ A trace of revenge lurks in Bridget’s behavior towards the opposite sex.

Bridget continues to exhibit her psychopathic behavior, cunning and naked ambition.  As the film progresses we see that Bridget Gregory, is total bitch. Hot, genius smart, kinky and slinky. Feline and ruthless. Politically incorrect chain smoker. New York City telemarketer/con artist. Catty call floor conniver. Rough Rider floor boss. And I mean all of that as a compliment.

Interesting enough we try to find a linkable character in the film but no one comes to this dance with clean hands.

We could go on for pages but there will be no spoilers here.  You need to make the time watch The Last Seduction, you are getting the JPFmovie seal of approval that it is worth watching.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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