Nikita is presented in a 2.35:1 ratio and has been transferred into 1080P high definition using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. For the most part the data transfer rate doesn't fall below a steady and consistent 25Mbps.
The picture retains a fine filmic grain and on the whole the image is lovely and sharp. On closer inspection ringing reveals itself ever so often and it's a sure sign of digital enhancement. It's not bad by any means and for the most part the movie actually benefits from a sharpening of the image.
Colours are vivid in true European fashion and they remain solid and standout. There remains a genuine authenticity about the picture. Basically Nikita was originally designed as quite a stylised movie and these factors are in keeping with helping to accentuate that fact.
I discovered two foibles which centre round the black levels and the contrast. In an attempt to over stylise the movie the black levels have been cranked up a bit too high, the contrast as a result is too acute on the eyes. The result is that you will find that the blacks tend to crush all too easily. Much of the detail is lost in anything approaching a darker scene yet the image is still incredibly punchy, saturated, resolute and bold where it matters most.
Still, these problems are actually relatively minor as they detract very little from the movie. It's a question of balance. Besson's cinematography leads the viewer to concentrate on the detail in the middle of the screen and not in the shadows.
All in all this is a pretty good blu-ray disc and comes highly recommended for a genuinely cinematic experience.
When it comes to foreign language films it's sacrosanct to watch a movie in anything other than its native tongue. Nikita has a Dolby TrueHd 5.1 soundtrack in both English and French. Dubbed or not the English is not so bad but I would advise heading straight for the French if I were you.
From the hectic gunfire sequence in the pharmacy you will realise that there is plenty of clarity, control and direction about this soundtrack. LFE underlines the heavier action scenes and gives it all some respectable gravitas. Just don't expect room shaking stuff throughout.
Dialogue remains sharp and concise and along with much of the full on action, very front sound stage orientated. The panning across the front stereo channels is extremely good. Disappointingly there's very little going on behind the ears but you may not actually miss that so much in this movie. It's otherwise a very engaging affair.
Dependant on your amp and speaker set up the sound may appear to be a bit bright overall. Pioneer and Yamaha amps in my experience do sometimes tend to over brighten the sound but I doubt that you will fall foul of the sound aspects of a disc that is highly enjoyable in most regards.
There are no extras on this film. All you get are trailers for Felon, Resident Evil Degeneration, The Fall, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder and a promotional clip for the Blu-Ray format itself.
There is an option to go BD-Live if your player is profile compliant and ethernet blessed. It takes you onto the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment site but aside from viewing more trailers there was nothing worthy of note to rave about here.
Luc Besson pulls together a quite remarkable film in a refreshingly original style. It was fantastic all those years ago and it's just as fantastic now. He's taken a degenerate young life, made it utterly worthless and proceeded to give it a meaning so sadistically misconstrued and twisted that it begs a question of you. What is considered wrong and when is it considered right?
A deadly young female assassin with hauntingly beautiful looks is about as intriguing as it gets and Nikita is not a film you will likely forget or tire of over the years. Anne Parillaud is simply mesmerising as Nikita and it's a performance that never lacks in intensity. Besson directed his wife brilliantly and sprinkled it all with some of Jean Reno's glitter. Tcheky Karyo's depiction of 'Bob' helps cement the story as a rock solid thriller.
A distinctly stylised film it has many echoes of the eighties about it but aside from Eric Serra's score, there is much longevity in this one. Not surprising that it wasn't long after that an American re-make of the film was made as well as a series to spawn off of it. The whole idea and concept of a psychotic female assassin is just so cool.
La Femme Nikita is a frank and forthright movie; the high-def transfer is true to the style of the film and it enhances the small screen experience immeasurably so. Whilst the black levels are off, this blu-ray will nevertheless give you a fantastic cinematic experience. It's the best that Nikita has ever looked and while the extra's maybe AWOL, this blu-ray disc still deserves some shelf space.
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