Top

Monsters University: Collector’s Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

October 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

monstersu

“Monsters University” is an enjoyable prequel to “Monsters, Inc.” but this Blu-ray release is  a perfect example of Disney Pixar and their dedication to quality.  Not only do they set the bar high in terms of animation but the Blu-ray is magnificent and is deserving a perfect five star.  No doubt one of the top three Blu-ray releases of 2013!  Highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Monsters University: Collector’s Edition

FILM RELEASE: 2013

DURATION: 104 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: Blu-ray 3D, 1080p High Definition, 16:9 Widescreen, English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

RATED: G (General Audiences)

Release Date: October 28, 2013

Directed by Dan Scanlon

Story by Dan Scanlon, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird

Screenplay by Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird, Dan Scanlon

Produced by Kori Rae

Executive Producer: Pete Docter, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Music by Randy Newman

Edited by Greg Snyder

Production Design by Ricky Nierva

Starring:

Billy Crystal as Mike

John Goodman as Sullivan

Steve Buscemi as Randy

Helen Mirren as Dean Hardscrabble

Peter Sohn as Squishy

Joel Murray as Don

Sean Hayes as Terri

Dave Foley as Terry

Charlie Day as Art

Alfred Molina as Professor Knight

Tyler Labine as Greek Council VP

Nathan Fillion as Johnny Worthington

Aubrey Plaza as Claire Wheeler

Bobby Moynihan as Chet

Noah Johnston as Young Mike

Julia Sweeney as Ms. Quibbles

Bonnie Hunt as Mrs. Graves

John Krasinski as Frank McCay

Bill Hader as Referee

Disney Pixar proudly presents the hilarious story of how two mismatched monsters met and became lifelong friends in a movie screaming with laughter and oozing with heart. Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he’s dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. With their dreams temporarily dashed, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right. Get ready to party with hours of exclusive bonus extras, including an inside look at the world of monsters and the animated theatrical short film “The Blue Umbrella.”

monstersu-b

For Disney Pixar fans, the crew are often asked about sequels to their popular animated films.

With “Toy Story” and “Cars” receiving sequels, Pixar’s 2001 film, “Monsters, Inc.” is one that has continued to receive sequel requests and in 2013, a new film was made but not a sequel, but a prequel to the popular film, showing us how Mike and Sullivan became friends.

Directed by Dan Scanlon (writer of “Tracy” and “Mater and Ghostlight”) and co-written by Scanlon, Daniel Gerson and Robert L. Baird (both who wrote additional story material for “Chicken Little”, “Meet the Robinsons” and “Cars”), “Monsters University” was a success, grossing $737 million in the box office.

And now, the film will be released on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D in Oct. 2013 courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

The version that I will be reviewing is “Monsters University: Collector’s Edition” which comes with the normal Blu-ray release plus a DVD and Digital Copy.

“Monsters University” begins with a young Michael “Mike” Wazowski was on a school field trip to a scaring company.  As they watch the professionals from various universities plug their favorite university, one hero that Mike has watched is from Monsters University.  During the field trip, Mike breaks the rule of standing behind the yellow line and ends up going inside the scare room and being with a professional while he scared a child.

Seeing how Mike was able to get through without getting noticed, the employee gives Mike encouraging advice which leads to Mike deciding at a young age that he wants to be a scarer and he will attend Monsters University.

Eleven years later, Mike begins his first day at Monsters University and finds out that his roommate is Randall “Randy” Boggs (who will become Mike and Sulley’s antagonist in “Monsters, Inc.”).  He also meets James P. “Sulley” Sullivan for the very first time.  And learns that Sulley comes from a family of scarers and thinks he will become a scarer easily because of his natural scaring ability.  But when Sulley is chosen to become part of Roar Omega Roar and Mike is looked as someone with zero scare factor, Mike is hurt but studies hard to do all he can to become a scarer and both declare that they will be the top scarer and become competitive rivals.

But their rivalry leads the two to be dropped from the scaring program by Dean Hardscrabble and both are depressed.  But when Mike sees a flyer about the Scare Games, he finds a way to get back into the program and that is by joining a fraternity, the unpopular Oozma Kappa and making a deal with Dean Hardscrabble that if his fraternity wins the Scare Games, they would all become part of the Scaring Program, which the Dean agrees to.  But the problem is in order for Oozma Kappa to compete, they need one more member.  And sure enough, Sulley joins the fraternity.

And as Mike and Sulley join and move in to the frat alongside members, the older Don Carlton; the two headed (but same body) Terri and Terry Perry, Scott “Squishy” Squibbles and the furry member, Art.  Problem is that Oozma Kappa is far from being scary, so Mike tries to find a way to use everyone’s skills to win the Scare Games.  But will Sulley and Mike’s rivalry hurt their chances of working as a team?

monstersu-d

VIDEO:

“Monsters University” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio) and is a film that Disney Pixar has set the bar high once again in terms of visuals.  The film is absolutely vibrant, every surrounding, from trees, vehicles, buildings, rooms are fully detailed.  The characters design look absolutely fantastic and are also highly detailed.  Mike’s eyes have wonderful reflection, Sulley and Art’s furry hair looks very realistic, I was very impressed of how the hair physics and detail looks today.  Everything is rendered with amazing detail.

And the picture quality is pristine!  No banding, no artifacts, this is the best looking Pixar film on Blu-ray to date!

Videophiles and Disney Pixar fans now have a new reference quality title as this film looks magnificent on Blu-ray!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Monsters University” not only scores a perfect grade for video but also scores high for its lossless soundtrack.  Presented in Dolby True HD 7.1, the film is also presented in English 2.0 Dolby Digital, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.

This is one of the most immersive Disney Pixars I have listened to and because of the amount of action featured in the film, from dance parties to scare games and more, the surround channels are fully utilized as with the LFE.  Dialogue and music is crystal clear, scene with crowds have amazing ambiance from the surround channels, so every cheer, every jeer, every scream and pretty much every sound is crystal clear.  Sounds are literally envelop the soundscape with amazing clarity and it’s a soundtrack that is very active and immersive and an audiophiles dream!

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Monsters University” comes with two Blu-rays with special features:

  • Blue Umbrella - (6:43) Disney Pixar’s animated short that was shown before the film in theaters, about a blue umbrella who has fallen for a red umbrella.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by director/co-writer Dan Scanlon, producer Kori Rae and story supervisor Kelsey Mann.
  • Campus Life – (15:14) Director Dan Scanlon’s video journal showing a day in the life of the making of “Monsters University”.
  • Story School – (13:13) A look at the concept artwork, storyboards and more.
  • Scare Games  – (8:38) How competition was integrated to the work of the Disney Pixar crew by actual games/competitions.
  • Monthropology – (5:47) How the crew created the students and faculty of Monsters University and created 500 types of monsters.
  • Welcome to MU – (6:09) Director Dan Scanlon discusses the planning that went into creating the Monster University campus.
  • Music Appreciation – (7:29) Music editor Bruno Coon and composer Randy Newman discuss the making of the music of “Monster University”.
  • Scare Tactics – (5:16) The animators discuss the art of Monsters University.
  • Color and Light – (5:16) A featurette on the before and after look of the film utilizing color and light.
  • Paths to Pixar: MU Edition  - (7:40) The crew talk about how they came to work for Pixar.
  • Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective – (5:02) A comparison of the 2001 “Monsters, Inc.” and the 2013 “Monsters University”.
  • Deleted Scenes – (22:04) Featuring four undeleted scenes with an intro by Director and co-writer Dan Scanlon.
  • Promo Picks  – Featuring the “Monsters Mashup” (4:01), “College Campaign” (college commercial, March Madness, Admissions), “Theatrical Campaign” (teaser trailer, back then, one night, Japan trailer).
  • Set Flythroughs  – (6:25) A tour through the campus of Monsters University.
  • Art Galleries  – Featuring artwork which include characters, color keys, development art, environments and graphics.

EXTRAS:

“Monsters University: Collector’s Edition” comes with a Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy of the film plus a slipcover of the film.

monstersu-c

“Monsters University” is a wonderful prequel to the 2001 film “Monsters, Inc.”.

With the latest film, I found it to have much more than I was expecting to see in the film in terms of characters, locations, environments and literally how far they could go in creating a new world.

It’s no surprise considering the number of people working on the film was over 250, the technology and the scope of brilliance that Disney Pixar has continued to improve since the original 2001 film is extraordinary and of course, for something so grand, it’s going to be an expensive process and for Disney Pixar, it was $200 million spent to make this film.  And in the end, the film made over $700 million in the box office and no doubt the earnings of the film will continue to go through the roof with this Blu-ray release.

Disney has release magnificent Blu-rays in the past and Disney Pixar films have been but nothing short of magnificent, but I’m confident in saying that “Monsters University” is not only one of the better Blu-ray releases of 2013, it’s one of the best Disney Pixar films created.

This goes beyond how magnificent the animation and hair/fur physics have come but its how huge this film was in terms of its planning and execution.  Give your audience more than you expect?  Surely, this huge team at Disney Pixar gave a lot in trying to build this new world with so many monsters, a campus that is so huge that its featured in a special feature of how expansive this campus truly is and how the smallest things that can happen in reality, they wanted to incorporate to this film.  From books falling and showing individual pages flow, to how Sulley’s fur moves whenever he makes movement of his arms or body.

There is so much planning that went into this film… and Disney Pixar nailed it!

I absolutely enjoyed the storyline and learning how Mike and Sulley became friends but how it was not so easy at first.  But to also explore other characters in the Monsters world.  I was like a child again watching this film, smiling and laughing and just really in awe with what I was watching.

And on Blu-ray, I was amazed by the vibrant colors and the detail of the models.  The environments look fantastic and well detailed, the fur/hair of the characters look fantastic and the physics that went along with it was impressive.  And as the picture quality was fantastic, the lossless audio soundtrack was impressive as directional sound to create immersiveness was used in its 7.1 soundtrack.  My surround and rear surround channels were being utilized, LFE was being utilized and dialogue and music from the center and front channels were crystal clear.

And the special features were also amazing.  I have been in media Q&A’s with Disney Pixar staff for their films and one of the biggest questions is how these talented individuals got into the field.  With this Blu-ray release of “Monsters Universe”, not only do we get to see the crew working on various parts of the job, but we also get to hear from them on how many had to work other jobs to get to where they are at, some who have received 25 or over 50 rejection letters before working at Disney Pixar.  We also get to see how the company has fun with its employees by letting them participate in games (department competitions) to help ease the tension but also see a day in the life of a Disney Pixar employee.  These are features that many have wanted to see for the longest time, but this release shows us how Disney Pixar is not only a great place to work but also because everyone works as a team, it led to the quality of the making of this film.

Also, included is the enjoyable Disney Pixar short “The Blue Umbrella” shown in theaters prior to the film.  The short film features a blue umbrella who becomes smitten by a red umbrella, but due to bad weather conditions, the owner loses his hold on the umbrella which ends up flying through the streets of the city.  A beautiful and entertaining animated short.

Overall, “Monsters University” is an enjoyable prequel to “Monsters, Inc.” but this Blu-ray release is  a perfect example of Disney Pixar and their dedication to quality.  Not only do they set the bar high in terms of animation but the Blu-ray is magnificent and is deserving a perfect five star.  No doubt one of the top three Blu-ray releases of 2013!  Highly recommended!

Castle – The Complete Fifth Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The fifth season of “Castle” is my favorite season yet!  Wonderful writing, better production and solid performances and integration of characters. If you love “Castle”, then “Castle – The Complete Fifth Season” is highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: CASTLE – The Complete Fifth Season

TELEVISION AIR DATE: 2012-2013

DURATION: 24 episodes (1032 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, French and Spanish Subtitles, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions

COMPANY: abc studios

RATED: TV PG DLSV

RELEASE DATE: September 10, 2013

Created by Andrew J. Marlowe

Directed by Rob Bowman, Bryan Spicer, John Terlesky, Bill Roe, Thomas J. Wright, Jeff Bleckner, David Barrett, Paul Holahan, Jonathan Frakes, Ron Undrwood, Holly Dale, Larry Shaw, Kate Woods

Written by Andrew J. Marlow, Shalisha Francis, David Grae, Alexi Hawley, Elizabeth Davis, Moira Kirland, Terence Paul Winter, Will Beall, Terri Miller, Rene Echevarria, Jose Molina, David Amann, Matt Pyken, Scott Williams, Christine Roum, Jason Wilborn

Executive Producer: Armyan Bernstein, Rob Bowman, Andrew W. Marlowe, Laurie Zaks

Co-Executive Producer: Jose Molina, Matt Pyken, Scott Williams,

Producer: D. Howard Grigsby, David Grae

Co-Producer: Marc A. Kahn, Terri Miller, Alexi Hawley, Joan Van Horn

Music by Robert Duncan

Cinematography by Bill Roe, Daryn Okada, Roger Simonsz

Edited by Warren Bowman, Sue Blainey, Marta Evry

Casting by Kendra Castleberry, Donna Rosenstein

Production Design by Alfred Sole, Chris Farmer

Art Direction by Jim Wallis, Gershon Ginsburg, Michael E. Goldman, Page Buckner, Priscilla Elliott

Set Decoration by Claire Kaufman

Costume Design by Luke Reichie

Starring:

Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle

Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett

Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers

Molly C. Quinn as Alexis Castle

Jon Huertas as Detective Javier Esposito

Seamus Dever as Detective Kevin Ryan

Tamala Jones as Dr. Lanie Parish

Penny Johnson as Captain Victoria Gates

Jack Coleman as Senator William Bracken

Michael Dorn as Dr. Cater Burke

Together at last! After four seasons of sparring and heated banter, TV’s dynamic crime-solving team finds romance in ABC’s Castle: The Complete Fifth Season. Relive all 23 unforgettable episodes, complete with never-before-seen bonus features only available on DVD, in this spectacular five-disc set. Now that Castle and Beckett (“Caskett”) have finally given into their true feelings for each other, how will it affect their work together? As they try to keep their new relationship under wraps from their co-workers, the unlikely duo must track down the murderer of Beckett’s mother, find the perpetrator of a major conspiracy, and untangle a line of investigation that links Castle to a ritualistic killing. The action and passion heat up like never before in the brilliant fifth season of ABC’s Castle!

For four years, viewers have watched the sexual tension between Detective Kate Beckett and mystery novelist Frank Castle grow.  Almost inseparable, and by the end of season four, the two finally get together.

And here we are in season five, Kate and Castle must do all they can to keep their relationship secret or else, their partnership will be ended by the department.  Meanwhile, Kate discovers the true killer of her father and how powerful this man may be.

And what happens when Alexis is kidnapped?

Find out in the exciting fifth season of “Castle”!

What is “Castle”?

“CASTLE” debuted on ABC as a mid-season replacement and began airing on March 2009. Created by Andrew M. Marlowe (“Air Force One”, “End of Days” and “Hollyw Man”) and executive produced by Rob Bowman (“The A-Team”, “The X-Files”, “Day Break”) comes a new drama series on crime solving.

The first season which featured 10 episodes stars actor Nathan Fillion (“Firefly”, “Drive” and “Desperate Housewives”) as Richard Castle. The famous mystery novelist who is adored by many but behind-the-scenes, he is a playboy who has an on-and-off fling with his ex-wife (who is an actress), another ex-wife who is his publisher and lives with his bright teenage daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn, “My One and Only”) and his meddlesome mother and former Broadway actress, Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan, “The Nine”, “Dharma & Greg”).

There is a lot of pressure on Nathan to create another book and with him stuck, his luck starts to change when he meets by-the-book Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic, “Heroes”, “The Spirit”, “Quantum of Solace”) who is investigating several murders which have taken place and the way that they were done were like the murders featured in several of his novels. Because of his knowledge of how things end up with his books, he gets the opportunity to assist the detectives in their case.

Eventually, Richard Castle discovers that he can do several things in his life. Write his new book based on Detective Beckett, see if he can woo Detective Beckett and most of all to investigate other murders which he can incorporate ideas for his new book. At first, it seems implausible but with Castle being so well-known and friends with the mayor, Captain Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Huds0n) will do what he can to make the mayor and his boss happy, so he allows Richard to tag along with Detective Beckett.

Needless to say, she’s not happy about it but with his skills of mystery writing and her skills as a detective, the two find out that together, they can be an effective duo in crime solving. Also, joining Beckett are Detective Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas), Detective Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and forensics doctor Dr. Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones).

In the first season, Detective Beckett and Richard Castle have worked together in handling various cases. But one case that Richard would like to investigate is the death of Detective Beckett’s mother but Beckett doesn’t want him getting into her personal business.

In the second season, Richard continues to work with Detective Beckett and together they try to solve a variety of murder cases including one that deals with a serial killer going after Detective Beckett. This season also shows us how Castle and Beckett seem to start showing some affection towards each other but in the process, Beckett becomes closer with Detective Demming.

In this third season of “Castle”, we learn that the murder of Detective Beckett’s mother is much bigger than she can ever realize. As as the sexual tension began to heat up between Castle and Kate, Kate found herself a new boyfriend and as for Castle, well…perhaps it was a one-sided love afterall? But with Captain Montgomery being revealed as a person who knows who killed Kate’s mother and may have been involved himself, the first major character in the series was killed. And the season ended with those trying to put a stop to Kate in continuing her investigation, leading to a sniper shooting her at Montgomery’s funeral and with life slipping away, Castle revealing his true feelings for her.

The fourth season of “Castle” picks up after Kate Beckett is shot. It’s a given that there is no way Castle or Kate Beckett is going to die as they are the primary characters of the series, so what happens next is that Kate must deal with the trauma of being shot and killed and getting back on duty.

While she has told everyone that she does not remember anything after being shot, the truth is that she does remember everything, including what Castle told her. But to protect him and to focus on who killed her mother, not falling in love is her priority, even though she knows she has feelings for Castle as well.

But as Kate tries to find out more of who shot her and why and also finding out more details of her mother’s death, Castle is meeting a mystery man behind Kate’s back, a man who knows a great amount of information that deals with her mother’s death. But the mysterious man warns Castle that Kate should probably step back as she may get herself too far in her investigation and end up dead.

And the fifth season of “Castle”, both Detective Kate Beckett and Frank Castle are finally together.  But with their relationship being kept private, how long will they be able to keep their relationship a secret and will it be too much for them?

Meanwhile, the discovery of who is responsible for the death of Kate’s mother is revealed and Castle’s worst nightmare comes true when his daughter is kidnapped.

“Castle – The Complete Fifth Season” features 24 episodes on five discs. Included are (spoiler-less summaries):

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 82 – After the Storm - Castle and Kate are now in a relationship, meanwhile Kate finds out who is responsible for her mother’s murder….Senator William Bracken.
  • EPISODE 83 – Cloudy with a Chance of Murder – Beckett and Castle investigate the murder of a television weather forecaster.
  • EPISODE 84 – Secret’s Safe with Me – Beckett and Castle investigate the death of a socialite.
  • EPISODE 85 – Murder, He Wrote - Beckett and Castle try to have a romantic weekend in the Hamptons, but what happens when a murder takes place at Castle’s vacation home.
  • EPISODE 86 – Probable Cause - Castle has been framed for murder.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 87 – The Final Frontier – Castle and Beckett investigate a death at a sci-fi convention.
  • EPISODE 88 – Swan Song – Martha and Castle investigate the death of a rockstar, but must investigate with a documentary crew following them.
  • EPISODE 89 – After Hours – Beckett and Castle are being pursued by the mob.
  • EPISODE 90 – Secret Santa – Who killed Santa?
  • EPISODE 91 – Significant Others – Beckett moves in with Castle while her home is being fumigated, but guess who arrives as well…Castle’s ex-wife Meredith who wants to stay at his home.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 92 – Under the Influence – Beckett and Castle investigate a young DJ who has been strangled to death.
  • EPISODE 93 – Death Gone Crazy- Who killed Beau Randolf, founder of the adult video franchise “College Girls Gone Crazy”.
  • EPISODE 94 – Recoil – Detective Beckett must protect Senator William Bracken, the man responsible for her mother’s death.
  • EPISODE 95 – Reality Star Struck- Detective Beckett and Castle investigate the murder of a reality TV star.
  • EPISODE 96 – Target -Alexis and the daughter of a powerful foreign dignitary have been kidnapped.

DISC 4:

  • EPISODE 97 – Hunt – (Part Two) Castle goes to London to find someone who can help him find Alexis.
  • EPISODE 98 – Scared to Death – Beckett and Castle try to capture a homicide involving a “haunted” film.
  • EPISODE 99 – The Wild Rover – Detective Kevin Ryan returns to an old undercover alias to solve a murder that leads back to the Irish mob he once infiltrated.
  • EPISODE 100 – The Lives of Others – Castle is stuck at home with a broken leg and while watching outside his building, spots a murder from a building across the street.
  • EPISODE 101 – The Fast and the Furriest- Castle and Beckett investigate a “Bigfoot” case.

DISC 5:

  • EPISODE 102 – The Squab and the Quail – Beckett tries to help billionaire Eric Vaughn, who is being threatened.  But he also has his eyes on Beckett which makes Castle feels uncomfortable.
  • EPISODE 103 – Still -Beckett accidentally trips a sensor on a bomb and the police have several hours to detonate it.
  • EPISODE 104 – The Human Factor – Who murdered a whistleblower?  Detective Beckett must work for a special investigator for the Attorney General.
  • EPISODE 105 – Watershed – The detectives investigate the death of a young woman posing as a prostitute.  Meanwhile, Beckett must make a decision to pursue a job in Washington, D.C.

VIDEO:

“Castle – The Complete Fifth Season” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions. The drama series is quite slick as it gives you the feel of New York and like many abc studios related DVD releases, Disney has always done a good job with their TV show transfers. A show that balances outdoor and indoor shots with good lighting, the picture quality for “CASTLE” is pretty solid. I didn’t see any major artifacting issues or low level noise that was distracting.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the audio, “Castle – The Complete Fifth Season” is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The series is front and center channel driven with a few episodes (that involve gun fights) utilizing the surround channels. The series does utilize quite a bit of music and for the most, the series is clear and understandable.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Castle – The Complete Fifth Season” includes the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring four deleted scenes.

DISC 2:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary for “The Final Frontier” with director Jonathan Frakes, actor Nathan Fillion and costume designer Luke Reichle.
  • Deleted Scene – One deleted scene

DISC 3:

  • Audio Commentary – “Target” with audio commentary by executive producer/writer David Amann, director Bill Roe and actors Susan Sullivan and Molly Quinn
  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring three deleted scenes

Disc 4:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary for “Hunt” with creator/executive producer/writer Andrew W. Marlowe, executive producer/director Rob Bowman and actors Nathan Fillion and Molly Quinn.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary for “The Lives of Others” with creator/executive producer/writer Andrew W. Marlowe, writer/producer Terri Edda Miller, editor Marta Every and composer Robert Duncan.
  • Deleted Scenes- Featuring three deleted scenes.

DISC 5:

  • Martha’s Master Class - (7:51) Martha discussing how she staged the actors for Castle’s surprise birthday party.
  • Your Home is Your Castle – (22:28) Vern Yip hosting a show of “Your Home is Your Castle” of where “Castle” is shot and visiting Alfred Sole, “Castle” production designer and architect and the cast and crew.  And looking at the decoir of “Castle” and more.
  • Lot Cops – (12:15) Actors Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever meeting with military/tactical advisers for law enforcement training.
  • Deleted Scene – Featuring a deleted scene.
  • Bloopers – (6:16) Outtakes from “Castle” season five.

EXTRAS:

“Castle – The Complete Fifth Season” comes with a one “Castle” Trading Card/Promotional Card and one “Castle the Detective” Card game card.

One of the biggest worries that I have had with “Castle” was what would happen if Castle and Detective Kate Beckett were to finally get together.

While romance was inevitable as the series can only have so much sexual tension between the two, I worried because I have seen series similar to it and the writers were not very good at handling it.  In the ’80s, the Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd TV series “Moonlighting” explored it but the quality of writing began to suffer.  Granted, the play of relationships have gone on for many series with success or limited success, may it be Carrie and Mr. Big (“Sex and the City”), Ross and Rachel (“Friends”) and the list goes on.

With the cast of “Castle”, the fifth series had to deal with their romance, from being kept as a secret from Beckett’s co-workers in order to keep Beckett and Castle close together but fortunately, the writers found a way to make their relationship exciting, romantic, uncertain and it works.  The relationship was not poorly done or dumbed-down, it worked!

And for this fifth season, I have to say it was possibly one of my favorite, if not the best season of “Castle” that I have watched.  First, to bring “Star Trek: The Next Generation” actor Jonathan Frakes to directed a few episodes was great but the episode “The Final Frontier” was fantastic!  It had a “Galaxy Quest” type of vibe, homage to other sci-fi series (as well as a few people with guest starring roles in this episode) and the audio commentary was wonderful.

The two-parter involving Castle in his most emotional moment when his daughter Alexis is kidnapped and fearing that she may be dead. It was rather interesting to watch and see how the whole kidnapping plays out.

The return of Jerry Tyson (Triple Killer – 3XK) was also well-done and it’s evident that we will see this lunatic killer back in the near future.

But most importantly, finding out who is responsible for Kate Beckett’s death…the powerful Senator Bracken.  And the fact that he will show up in a future episode and Beckett is responsible in protecting him.

And of course, many other episodes that were just as exciting and most of all, the importance of utilizing the supporting talent.  More Javier and Ryan, more from Alexis and Martha, including Captain Gates… everyone has more involvement for season five.

It’s also obvious that the production value for the series is up and the fact that while other series are receiving a decrease in episodes, “Castle” received an extra episode with a total of 24 this season.

As for the DVD, “Castle – The Complete Fifth Season” is once again, another solid release. I enjoyed the inclusion of more audio commentary into this DVD set but also the addition of several audio commentary, featurettes especially one on the decoir of “Castle”, deleted scenes and outtakes.

Overall, the fifth season of “Castle” is my favorite season yet!  Wonderful writing, better production and solid performances and integration of characters.

If you love “Castle”, then “Castle – The Complete Fifth Season” is highly recommended!

Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

June 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

taichihero-a

“Robot Chicken: DC Comic Special” is another hilarious, crazy and fun special from the crew of “Robot Chicken”.  For the DC Comics fans who grew up with these characters in the past, to the “Robot Chicken” fans who love the series no matter which characters they feature, “Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special” is worth checking out on Blu-ray!

Images courtesy of © Cartoon Network.  DC Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special

FILM RELEASE: 2012

DURATION: 23 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 16:9 Dolby TrueHD English 5.1, Subtitles: English SDH

COMPANY: Adult Swim

RATED: TV MA

Release Date: July 9, 2013

Directed by Seth Green

Written by Matthew Ireland Beans, Mike Fasolo, Douglas Goldstein, Seth Green, Geoff Johns, Breckin Meyer, Tom Root, Matthew Senreich, Kevin Shinick, Zeb Wells

Executive Produced by Seth Green, John Harvatine IV, Geoff Johns, Sam Register, Matthew Senreich, Eric Towner

Co-Producer: Ethan Marak

Music by Shawn Patterosn

Cinematography by Helder Sun

Edited by Jenny McKibben

Costume Design by Becky Van Cleve

Featuring the Voices of

Abraham Benrubi as Cyborg, Kilowog, Appa Ali Apsa, Icicle, Solomon Grundy

Alex Borstein as Wonder Woman, Giganta, Woman

Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, Mr. Freeze

Megan Fox as Lois Lane

Clare Grant as Cheetah, Ice, Abby Holland

Seth Green as The Nerd, Batman, Robin, Aquaman, The Penguin, Martian Manhunter, Toyman, Scarecrow, Gorilla Grod, Cheese, Swamp Thing, Abin Surg, Ganthet, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Jimmy Olsen

Neil Patrick Harris as Two-Face, Black Manta

Breckin Meyer as Superman, Mirror Master

Alfred Molina as Lex Luthor, Firestorm

Aaron Paul as Mister Banjo, Glenn

Paul Reubens as The Riddler

Tom Root as Captain Cold

Kevin Shinick as Narrator

Matthew Senreich as The Flash, Chillblaine, Brainiac

Tara Strong as Harley Quinn, Selena Gomez

Zeb Wells as Sinestro, B’dg

Superman! Batman! Wonder Woman! For more than 75 years, the DC Comics Universe has been home to the world’s most iconic superheroes!

Robot chicken! It’s…a puppet show on basic cable.

Well, not every team-up can be a winner.  Wait, this is supposed to be a sales pitch! So prepare to be thrilled by Robot Chicken’s twisted takes on all your favorite DC Comics heroes and villains! Watch as Aquaman faces his greatest crisis of all time! See the Green Lantern Corps welcome their newest member – The Robot Chicken Nerd! Witness the evil Sinestro commit murder on his own mustache!

In 2005, actor Seth Green (“Austin Powers” films, “Family Guy”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Matthew Senreich along with writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root created the stop-motion animated comedy “Robot Chicken”.

Featuring many celebrity guest voice talent and taking on a variety of well-known franchises and doing parodies for “Star Wars”, “Cat and the Hat”, “Law and Order”, “Voltron”, “Teen Titans”, “Beavis and Butthead” and more.

The series has won an Annie Award and three Emmy Awards and in 2013, with a total of six seasons and 120 episodes and five specials being made, the “Robot Chicken” staff will be releasing their new “DC Comics Special” on Blu-ray and DVD on July 9, 2013.

For those not familiar with Robot Chicken, the animated series uses action figures and shoots each frame until they put them together via animation.  The series puts certain characters in hilarious and embarrassing situations and includes mouths on the action figures and are voice acted by the Robot Chicken staff or via celebrities.

In the DC Comics Special, the special focuses on the top members of the Justice League of America which include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and Aquaman.

While Superman learns he can make people forget with a kiss, he wonders if he can use that magic on his enemies.  Batman unfortunately keeps getting his back broken by bane, Green Lantern can’t stop himself from laughing at a funeral held by Captain Carrot and the Amazing Zoo Crew.  But the special focuses on Aquaman, a hero that never gets any respect from his peers since his powers are only good in water.

Always being picked on by his fellow JLA members, Aquaman wonders if he should help out the Legion of Doom to get back at his former allies.  Meanwhile, the Green Lantern Corps hires a new Green Lantern from Earth… the Robot Chicken nerd.

VIDEO:

“Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special ” is presented in 1080p High Definition.  For the most part, the Mego dolls and action figures are quite detailed in HD, while the stage setups for the figures and the lighting was very well-done.  For the most part, picture quality is well-done!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special ” is presented in English Dolby True HD 5.1.  The series is primarily dialogue driven and dialogue is crystal clear and center/front channel driven.  Meanwhile, the audio commentaries are presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0.

Subtitles are in English SDH.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special ” come with the following special features:

  • The Making of the Robot Chicken DC Special  – (10:15) Featuring behind-the-scenes the making of “Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special”.
  • Aquaman: His DC Special Origin Story – (1:27) The staff talk about how they came up with Aquaman being the focal point hero in the special.
  • Chicken Nuggets – (22:52) While watching the “Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special”, an icon will show up on the screen and when you hit “Enter” on your remote, you can access a behind-the-scenes video commentary from the staff plus sketches.
  • Writers Commentary – Featuring an audio commentary by Kevin Shinick, Zeb Wells, Tom Root, Matt Beans, Mike Fasolo and Geoff Johns.
  • Actors Commentary – Featuring an audio commentary with Mathew Senreich, Abraham Benrubi, Fred Molina, Seth Green and Mike Fasolo.
  • DC Entertainment Tour – (7:16) Geoff Johns takes the Robot Chicken staff on a tour at the DC Comics New York office.
  • Stoopid Alter Egos – (3:46) The Robot Chicken staff cosplay as DC Comics characters.
  • Outtakes – (2:01) Featuring outtakes from the studio recording of “Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special”.
  • Cut Sketches – (15:15) Featuring a total of 13 studio sketches
  • 5.2 Questions for Robot Chicken – (2:13) Robot Chicken staff answer questions.

taichihero-d

If you are a “Robot Chicken” fan or a longtime fan of DC Comics, you can’t help but watch the “Robot Chicken: DC Comics” special and just laugh out loud!

Sure, the special captures the craziness that we have seen on the popular TV series and its “Star Wars” specials as a longtime reader of DC Comics titles, what I enjoyed about this special is that the characters are not something created from today’s comic books but for those who read DC back in the ’90s or even before then.

From the use of Mego characters, the fact that one of my favorite DC comic titles from the ’80s “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew” are featured and just the crazy stories about Superman using his kissing spell on his enemies to make them forget about their evil plots, Bane continually breaking Batman’s back, a postal person at the Legion of Doom with bad body odor and of course, the jokes made about Aquaman.

Aquaman is always used as the but of all jokes among the JLA members and I’m sure that the staff couldn’t resist.  But despite Aquaman getting a good amount of the dissing, not everyone is spared from the jokes (well, except the Flash and Wonder Woman) but because of the DC Comics jokes, you can’t help but laugh and be amused by them.  Especially if you grew up in the ’70-90’s reading DC Comics.

It was a crazy special that would no doubt entertain “Robot Chicken” fans and of course, DC Comic fans.  While the jokes will appeal to those familiar with the humor of “Robot Chicken”, unless you are sensitive to Aquaman jokes, for the most part, I think most people will find this special to be a lot of fun!

If there was any problem that I had with this special, it was too short at 23 minutes long.   I was hoping for more and possibly the crew may want to follow up with more DC Comics specials in the near future.   So, while this special episode is short, fortunately, there are many special features included with this Blu-ray release.  It was great to listen to both audio commentaries.   From the writers about the inclusion of characters for the series to the actors on their thoughts of playing a character and both commentaries are hilarious and fun to listen to.

For those who enjoy learning about the tricks of stop-motion animation, you get to see a little of how this DC Special was made.  You get a few sketches that were not used in the final product, a tour of DC Entertainment’s New York office and more.

Overall, “Robot Chicken: DC Comic Special” is another hilarious, crazy and fun special from the crew of “Robot Chicken”.  For the DC Comics fans who grew up with these characters in the past, to the “Robot Chicken” fans who love the series no matter which characters they feature, “Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special” is worth checking out on Blu-ray!

Castle – The Complete Fourth Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sexual tension and crime drama aside, the humor, well-written episodes and great performances from the cast of “Castle” have made this fourth season exciting and entertaining!  It’s one of my favorite series on television and if you enjoyed the previous three seasons and purchased the previous DVD sets, then it’s a no-brainer that this fourth season on DVD is a must-buy.

Images courtesy of © ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: CASTLE – The Complete Fourth Season

TELEVISION AIR DATE: 2011-2012

DURATION: 23 episodes (985 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, French and Spanish Subtitles, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions

COMPANY: abc studios

RATED: TV 14 DLSV

RELEASE DATE: September 11, 2012

Created by Andrew J. Marlowe

Directed by Rob Bowman, Bryan Spicer, John Terlesky, Bill Roe, Thomas J. Wright, Jeff Bleckner, David Barrett

Written by Andrew J. Marlow, Shalisha Francis, David Grae, Alexi Hawley, Elizabeth Davis, Moira Kirland, Terence Paul Winter, Will Beall, Terri Miller, Rene Echevarria, Jose Molina, David Amann, Matt Pyken, Scott Williams

Executive Producer: Armyan Bernstein, Rob Bowman, Andrew W. Marlowe, Laurie Zaks

Co-Executive Producer: Jose Molina, Matt Pyken, Scott Williams,

Producer: D. Howard Grigsby, David Grae

Co-Producer: Marc A. Kahn, Terri Miller, Alexi Hawley, Joan Van Horn

Music by Robert Duncan

Cinematography by Bill Roe

Edited by Warren Bowman, Sue Blainey, Marta Evry

Casting by Kendra Castleberry, Donna Rosenstein

Production Design by Alfred Sole

Art Direction by Jim Wallis, Gershon Ginsburg

Set Decoration by Claire Kaufman

Costume Design by Luke Reichie

Starring:

Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle

Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett

Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers

Molly C. Quinn as Alexis Castle

Jon Huertas as Detective Javier Esposito

Seamus Dever as Detective Kevin Ryan

Tamala Jones as Dr. Lanie Parish

Penny Johnson as Captain Victoria Gates

Michael Dorn as Dr. Cater Burke

Television’s most unlikely crime-fighting team is back and their relationship is stronger than ever! Prepare for a season full of suspense where lines are drawn, sides are chosen and careers are put on the line as Castle tries to protect Beckett following her near death encounter. Castle’s relationship with Beckett radically changes during the season, leading to a final confrontation with a mysterious man who holds all the answers that Beckett has been searching for since the night her mother was murdered. Features all 23 episodes plus exclusive bonus material including “Nathan & Friends: Castle Goes Radio;” “Anatomy of A Stunt;” audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and bloopers.

Sexual tension and crime drama aside, the humor, well-written episodes and great performances from the cast of “Castle” have made this fourth season exciting and entertaining!

When we last left “Castle” in season three, there were new developments in Detective Kate Beckett’s pursuit of finding out who murdered her mother.  It was revealed that Captain Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Huds0n), who was a good father figure for Kate was involved in her father’s death but that the conspiracy is much larger than she thinks.  For what reason, not much is known but in the end, to protect Kate, Captain Montgomery paid with his life.

And with Montgomery’s last words to “Castle” was to protect her, at the funeral for Montgomery, the season final ended with a sniper shooting Kate during the funeral and Castle, holding her in his arms, telling her that he loves her.

And here ware now, with the fourth season of the hit drama series “Castle”.  If you thought the third season was explosive and fun, wait until you watch the 23 episodes featured in “Castle – The Complete Fourth Season” which will be released in Sept. 2012, before the airing of the fifth season season premiere.

What is “Castle”?

“CASTLE” debuted on ABC as a mid-season replacement and began airing on March 2009. Created by Andrew M. Marlowe (“Air Force One”, “End of Days” and “Hollyw Man”) and executive produced by Rob Bowman (“The A-Team”, “The X-Files”, “Day Break”) comes a new drama series on crime solving.

The first season which featured 10 episodes stars actor Nathan Fillion (“Firefly”, “Drive” and “Desperate Housewives”) as Richard Castle. The famous mystery novelist who is adored by many but behind-the-scenes, he is a playboy who has an on-and-off fling with his ex-wife (who is an actress), another ex-wife who is his publisher and lives with his bright teenage daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn, “My One and Only”) and his meddlesome mother and former Broadway actress, Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan, “The Nine”, “Dharma & Greg”).

There is a lot of pressure on Nathan to create another book and with him stuck, his luck starts to change when he meets by-the-book Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic, “Heroes”, “The Spirit”, “Quantum of Solace”) who is investigating several murders which have taken place and the way that they were done were like the murders featured in several of his novels. Because of his knowledge of how things end up with his books, he gets the opportunity to assist the detectives in their case.

Eventually, Richard Castle discovers that he can do several things in his life. Write his new book based on Detective Beckett, see if he can woo Detective Beckett and most of all to investigate other murders which he can incorporate ideas for his new book. At first, it seems implausible but with Castle being so well-known and friends with the mayor, Captain Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Huds0n) will do what he can to make the mayor and his boss happy, so he allows Richard to tag along with Detective Beckett.

Needless to say, she’s not happy about it but with his skills of mystery writing and her skills as a detective, the two find out that together, they can be an effective duo in crime solving. Also, joining Beckett are Detective Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas), Detective Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and forensics doctor Dr. Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones).

In the first season, Detective Beckett and Richard Castle have worked together in handling various cases. But one case that Richard would like to investigate is the death of Detective Beckett’s mother but Beckett doesn’t want him getting into her personal business.

In the second season, Richard continues to work with Detective Beckett and together they try to solve a variety of murder cases including one that deals with a serial killer going after Detective Beckett. This season also shows us how Castle and Beckett seem to start showing some affection towards each other but in the process, Beckett becomes closer with Detective Demming.

In this third season of “Castle”, with Castle having ended his research with Detective Beckett, Beckett and her team are reunited with Beckett who has not communicated with them for several months. But now Beckett wants to be involved with the research and team up with Beckett once again.

Meanwhile, Castle is trying to get used to being a father when his daughter is dating and Castle’s publisher and second ex-wife Gina is back into Castle’s life and with Beckett dating another man, Castle finds himself reuniting with his ex-wife, despite starting to have more feelings towards Beckett.

As for Detective Beckett, when she finds out that a police officer investigating her mother’s murder has new information for her, something tragic happens. But also, when an assassin who may know information of what happened to her mother, manages to escape while on trial. As Beckett has been trying to find out who killed her mother, what new information do these individuals have? And what happens when Beckett’s mother’s case becomes so big that may lead to her own death. Castle and everyone knows the danger that Beckett is getting involved with but how much more explosive can things get.

And by the third season, we learn that the murder of Detective Beckett’s mother is much bigger than she can ever realize. As as the sexual tension began to heat up between Castle and Kate, Kate found herself a new boyfriend and as for Castle, well…perhaps it was a one-sided love afterall?    But with Captain Montgomery being revealed as a person who knows who killed Kate’s mother and may have been involved himself, the first major character in the series was killed.  And the season ended with those trying to put a stop to Kate in continuing her investigation, leading to a sniper shooting her at Montgomery’s funeral and with life slipping away, Castle revealing his true feelings for her.

The fourth season of “Castle” picks up after Kate Beckett is shot.  It’s a given that there is no way Castle or Kate Beckett is going to die as they are the primary characters of the series, so what happens next is that Kate must deal with the trauma of being shot and killed and getting back on duty.

While she has told everyone that she does not remember anything after being shot, the truth is that she does remember everything, including what Castle told her.  But to protect him and to focus on who killed her mother, not falling in love is her priority, even though she knows she has feelings for Castle as well.

The series also takes a big step forward in giving more storylines involving the supporting characters.  Introduced to the series is Captain Victoria Gates (portrayed by Penny Johnson), who is nothing like Montgomery and would rather Beckett focus on her cases without Castle involved, because she sees him as a distraction.

Javier Esposito is dating Lanie Parish, Kevin has now inherited Castle’s style of reasoning is getting married and as for Alexis Castle, she has to deal with having a boyfriend and trying to get into college.

But as Kate tries to find out more of who shot her and why and also finding out more details of her mother’s death, Castle is meeting a mystery man behind Kate’s back, a man who knows a great amount of information that deals with her mother’s death.  But the mysterious man warns Castle that Kate should probably step back as she may get herself too far in her investigation and end up dead.

“Castle – The Complete Fourth Season” is another humorous, exciting and explosive season with a good balance of plot twists, sexual tension and drama.

“Castle – The Complete Fourth Season” features 23 episodes on five discs. Included are (spoiler-less summaries):

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 59 – Rise - After being shot, Beckett recuperates for three months before going back to work.  Meanwhile, a new Captain is in place, and she does not like Castle’s presence with her detectives.
  • EPISODE 60 – Heroes & Villains – Castle and Beckett investigate a superhero vigilante.
  • EPISODE 61 – Head Case – Becket and Castle investigate a crime scene with a lot of blood but no victims.  Meanwhile, Alexis finds out if she will be attending Stanford.
  • EPISODE 62 – Kick the Ballistics - Becket and Castle investigate a murder of a young woman, who died by someone using Detective Ryan’s old service weapon.
  • EPISODE 63 – Eye of the Beholder - Castle and Beckett investigate a murder committed during the theft of a valuable sculpture.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 64 – Demons – Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of a ghost hunter.
  • EPISODE 65 – Cops & Robbers – Martha and Castle are among the hostages of a bank robbery.  Can Beckett save him?
  • EPISODE 66 – Heartbreak Hotel – Beckett and Captain Gates investigate a murder of an Atlantic City casino owner.
  • EPISODE 67 – Kill Shot – A sniper is killing people in NYC and Bekett’s post-traumatic stress worsens because of it.
  • EPISODE 68 – Cuffed – Castle and Beckett awaken in a dark, sealed room handcuffed together.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 69 – ‘Til Death Do Us Part – Beckett and Castle investigate the death of a player, who may have had some sexual relations with Detective Ryan’s fiancee.
  • EPISODE 70 – Dial M for Mayor- A woman is found dead in a car on loan from city hall by the Mayor.  When the Mayor is suspected for the woman’s death, because Castle defends his good friend, it causes complications for Beckett who feels that Castle has become biased.
  • EPISODE 71 – An Embarrassment of Bitches – Beckett and Castle investigate the death of a famous dog trainer and reality TV star Kay Cappuccio (special guest star: Hilarie Burton) may be responsible.  Or is she?
  • EPISODE 72 – The Blue Butterfly – Detective Beckett and Castle investigate a crime using a diary that was written back in the 1940’s
  • EPISODE 73 – Pandora – (Part One) Castle and Beckett investigate a killer who is part of an international conspiracy, meanwhile Alexis starts a new internship assisting Lanie at the Medical Examiner’s Office.

DISC 4:

  • EPISODE 74 – Linchpin – (Part Two) Detective Beckett and Castle are betrayed by someone they thought they could trust.  Meanwhile, Castle begins to learn more about his father.
  • EPISODE 75 – Once Upon a Crime – Beckett and Castle investigate two murdered women who were dressed as fairytale characters by the killer, now they must quickly find him before he kills again.
  • EPISODE 76 – A Dance with Death – Beckett and Castle investigate the death of a troubled celebrity.
  • EPISODE 77 – 47 Seconds – Someone has bombed the “Takeover Wall Street” protest and Castle and Beckett try to find the perpetrator.
  • EPISODE 78 – The Limey- Castle and Beckett are approached by Scotland Yard detective inspector Colin Hunt in help with solving the murder of a family friend.

DISC 5:

  • EPISODE 79 – Headhunters – Castle and Beckett’s working relationship continues to worsen and it leads to Castle working with Detective Ethan Slaughter (special guest: Adam Baldwin) who has violent methods in dealing with crime.
  • EPISODE 80 – Undead Again -Will this be a new beginning between Castle and Beckett’s relationship?
  • EPISODE 81 – Always – Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of a reformed gang member, they find evidence that links him to Beckett’s shooting and also stolen documents that came from Captain Montgomery’s home.  Meanwhile, Cole Maddox, the assassin vows to kill Kate if he can recover Montgomery’s files on his employer.

VIDEO:

“Castle – The Complete Fourth Season” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions. The drama series is quite slick as it gives you the feel of New York and like many abc studios related DVD releases, Disney has always done a good job with their TV show transfers. A show that balances outdoor and indoor shots with good lighting, the picture quality for “CASTLE” is pretty solid. I didn’t see any major artifacting issues or low level noise that was distracting.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the audio, “Castle – The Complete Fourth Season” is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The series is front and center channel driven with a few episodes (that involve gun fights) utilizing the surround channels. The series does utilize quite a bit of music and for the most, the series is clear and understandable.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Castle – The Complete Fourth Season” includes the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary for “Rise” by director/executive producer Rob Bowman and actors Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever and Tamala Jones.

DISC 2:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by creator/executive producer/writer Andrew W. Marlow, Writer Terri Miller and Actors Terri Miller and Actors Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic.

DISC 3:

  • Deleted Scene – (:59) “Dial M for Mayor “deleted scene.
  • Audio Commentary – “The Blue Butterfly” with audio commentary by writer Terence Paul Winter, Costume Designer Luke Reichle and actors Susan Sullivan, Tamala Jones and Molly Quinn.

Disc 4:

  • Deleted Scenes- (2:24) Featuring two deleted scenes: “Our Linchpin” and “New Identity”.

DISC 5:

  • Filion and Friends: Castle Goes Radio - Making the Show (11:14) Molly C. Quinn hosts the making of the podcast, Sparks Nevada: Marshall on Mars (21:15) – A live stage performance, “Cactoid Jim: King of the Martian Frontier”(21:40) A live stage performance.
  • Submerged: An In-Depth Look at Stunts – (17:31) The stunts of “Castle” and a look behind-the scenes of how these stunts are made for this season’s two-parter.
  • Bowman, Bowman & Castle – (10:24) How the cast and crew of “Castle” are like a big family and interview with a few of the crew members.
  • Deleted Scenes – (3:08) Featuring five deleted scenes: “Way Over the Line”, “Are You There”, “Unprofessional”, “Outside Montgomery’s House”, “Sound Like an Alcoholic”.
  • Bloopers – (4:22) Outtakes from “Castle” season four.

EXTRAS:

“Castle – The Complete Fourth Season” comes with a slip cover case.

One of the difficulties drama series have often is to follow-up an explosive season finale.  Because the expectations are high and people are hoping to see more of that excitement to kick off the next season.

For season four, it was probably good for the writers to take a step back and focus on character dynamics but also this sexual tension that has gone on between Castle and Beckett.

But we know by the first episode, it’s not going to be that easy.  Having been shot and nearly killed, Detective Beckett knows that she wants to pursue those who killed her mother and moreso, for those who tried to kill her in order to stop investigating her mother’s death.  For actress Stana Katic, this series asks for her to bring another side to Beckett, one that is fragile and experiencing post-traumatic stress, but also be a woman who can be a kick ass investigator but also one that is trying to temper her growing love for Castle, for his protection but also because she is known to put up a defensive wall around her.

So, I enjoyed how the writers focused on that in season four.  Getting past all the flirtation, we now are about to see hopefully progress between both Kate and Castle.

The episodes are well-written.  Good amount of drama and humor, I found myself laughing quite a bit.  But also enjoyed seeing episodes such as “The Blue Butterfly” and taking the series to a 1940’s storyline.  I love the fact that the writers are able to create some freedom and doing something different once in awhile and to see everyone in ’40s costume design, I thought that was very cool!

What I also enjoyed about season four is that the writers are integrating the supporting characters such as Javier Esposito, Kevin Ryan, Lanie Parish and Alexis Castle.  For the characters of Javier and Kevin, we see more teamwork and them being utilized on cases instead of being research hounds for Detective Beckett.  They get involved in the action and I love the growth of their characters.  Also, Lanie Parish is utilized more in the story and I enjoy that.

It’ll be interesting to see how Captain Victoria Gates fits into this series.  I enjoyed watching Penny Johnson in “24” and she could prove to be an intriguing character as the series continues in its fifth season.

So, for the most part, I really did enjoy the fourth season of “Castle”.  While the season finale was not as shocking as last season, it does give fans what they have wanted for so long.  Also, more developments in regards to Beckett’s shooting and her investigation into her mother’s death.  So, no doubt that season 5 will be quite interesting and see if people enjoy the new chapter in the lives of Castle and Detective Beckett.

As for the DVD, “Castle – The Complete Fourth Season” is once again, another solid release. I enjoyed the inclusion of more audio commentary into this DVD set but also the addition of the live stage performances, deleted scenes, outtakes and also two features on the crew and cast being one big family and the stunts of the two-parter episodes.

Overall, sexual tension and crime drama aside, the humor, well-written episodes and great performances from the cast of “Castle” have made this fourth season exciting and entertaining!  It’s one of my favorite series on television and if you enjoyed the previous three seasons and purchased the previous DVD sets, then it’s a no-brainer that this fourth season on DVD is a must-buy.

If you love “Castle”, then “Castle – The Complete Fourth Season” is definitely recommended!

Media Q&A with actor Nathan Fillion of “Castle” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

September 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Actor Nathan Fillion has that recognizable face in movies and television.

Earlier in his career, Fillion had appeared in the film “Saving Private Ryan” and the TV series “Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place” followed by appearances in the drama series “Pasadena” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.

Fillion would gain a fan following for his role as Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds on the series “Firefly” in which the adventures of his character Mal would lead to a continuing of the story through the feature film “Serenity”.

Not long after, Nathan appeared on series such as “Lost”, “Miss Match”, “Desperate Housewives” and “Drive”.

But Fillion had once again gained a fan following for his role on the TV series “Castle”.  Season four of “Castle” premiered on ABC on Sept. 19th.

In the series, Nathan Fillion plays the role of Richard Castle, the famous mystery novelist who is adored by many but behind-the-scenes, he is a playboy who had an on-and-off fling with his ex-wife (who is an actress), another ex-wife who is his publisher (who he also has an off-an-on fling with) and lives with his bright teenage daughter Alexis (played by Molly Quinn, “My One and Only”) and his meddlesome mother and former Broadway actress, Martha Rodgers (played by Susan Sullivan, “The Nine”, “Dharma & Greg”).

There is a lot of pressure on Nathan to create another book and with him stuck and unable to come up with ideas, his luck starts to change when he meets by-the-book Detective Kate Beckett (played by Stana Katic, “Heroes”, “The Spirit”, “Quantum of Solace”) who is investigating several murders which have taken place and the way that they were done were like the murders featured in several of Castle’s novels. Because of his knowledge of how things end up with his books, he gets the opportunity to assist the detectives in their case.  Because it would do the police good to bring in a high profile writer to work with them, it’s a win-win situation for the police dept. and Richard Castle.  Not so much for Kate Beckett who feels that Nathan is always in her way.

But as they say in Hollywood, opposites attract and despite the two trying to keep a platonic business relationship, they know inside that they have chemistry together but both of them resist their urge and keep things business between the both of them.  But how long can that last?

With the upcoming release of “Castle: The Complete Third Season” (read our review for the DVD box set here), the following is a transcript of a brief media Q&A with Nathan Fillion as he reflects on the third season “Castle”.

The relationship between Castle and Beckett heats up in Season Three. How is Castle going to cope?

NATHAN: I think Castle is a very simple man. He has very simple wants and needs – and things are more complicated in this relationship than he would ever like them to be. I think things have been very easy for Castle all his life and finally he’s got a woman in front of him who represents a challenge, a challenge that he’s never had before.

 

How is it unfamiliar territory for him?

NATHAN: Kate Beckett’s an authority figure, but Castle has never had an authority figure in his life. She’s an expert and in a lot of ways, she’s smarter than he is. He’s not used to that. He really likes this woman, and yet there are all these complications. He doesn’t quite know how to tiptoe around, and he pushes too hard in areas when he ought to leave them alone.

 

Do you think viewers can relate to this dilemma?

NATHAN:  Yes, I do. Particularly when Castle thinks he’s doing the right thing, but it turns out he’s doing the wrong thing. I think he wants everything to be a lot simpler in his life. He wants everything to go his way, which is how the rest of his life has been. It’s also one of those ‘be careful what you wish for’ moments because if the challenge and the complications weren’t there, could that take away some of the magic?

 

Castle and Beckett finally kiss in Season Three. What’s the story behind that?

NATHAN: What happens can’t just be described as a kiss. It is more of a melt at the lips. That’s what it is; it’s a lip melting. And without spoiling too much, I’ll say this: Our writers and our creator Andrew Marlowe are very careful. When they push this relationship, they have this dance that they refer to. When they push things in one direction, they’re very careful to balance it again.

 

Do you feel there are boundaries for what can happen between Castle and Beckett?

NATHAN: There are definitely boundaries for them because once you cross the line, there’s no going back. However, the writers are very good at pushing the boundaries, and maybe even pushing the line ahead so that we go further than before – but then we retreat back again without making irreparable damage.

 

Do you think they will go any further than a kiss?

NATHAN:  I don’t want to spoil any storylines, so I’m not going to tell you. I don’t want to be the spoiler-alert guy. You’re just going to have to watch and see for yourself.

 

Doesn’t Kate Beckett have a boyfriend this season?

NATHAN:  Boy, she does. And he’s one hell of a guy! He is ten feet tall and he’s made of bricks. Josh Davidson is his name. He’s devastatingly handsome. He’s better looking than me. Plus, he’s super tall. I’m a tall guy, so I don’t usually look up to many people – but this guy is really tall.

 

How does Castle cope with the challenge of Josh’s arrival?

NATHAN:  Josh is the perfect guy, which can be hard for an actor to play without being smarmy or smug – but the actor Victor Webster does a wonderful job with the role. Victor plays a charming, reasonable, intelligent, perfect guy. What’s Richard Castle going to do? He’s pretty immature about it. It’s certainly a hurdle for Richard. It’s a thorn in his side, shall we say?

 

Is Castle afraid of Josh?

NATHAN:  Castle is afraid of nothing! Okay, he’s afraid of sharks, bears, and heights…

 

Are you concerned that the dynamic between Beckett and Castle would change if they hooked up?

NATHAN:  I am, and this is where Stana Katic and I differ. Stana thinks that if they got together, the relationship would just encounter different hurdles – but that everything would be fine. I am of the ‘jumping-the-shark’ school of thought. I believe that, if you have built up tension, you can’t just let it go again. As an audience member, I like being smarter than the characters on TV. I like watching them fail and saying to myself, “Oh, you know what he should do? Just admit how he feels.” I love that omniscient feeling that I know what’s going on in their hearts and in their heads. If you reconcile that and you give everybody what they want, you release the tension – and that’s when people say, “Okay, I’m done. Let’s change the channel and see what else is on.”

 

Castle has a funny and interesting relationship with his family. How did the producers ensure there would be a good connection between all of the actors involved?

NATHAN:  They brought me in to do ‘chemistry reads’, as they call it. All these actresses would come in and read for Castle’s mom and daughter, Martha and Alexis. All you want is for them to come into the room and just set it on fire – and Molly Quinn did exactly that. It was ridiculous when she left. The door closed and they picked up the phone right away and said, “That’s her. We need this actress.” It was a done deal and it was the same thing with Susan Sullivan. She came in and had so much of Martha about her. She walked into the audition room and she said to me, “Stand up, darling. I won’t be looking down at you.” And she had me stand up to read with her. She was just so Martha.

 

It feels like Castle is ruled by women. Would you agree?

NATHAN:  Yes, I guess I do agree that he has no male role models. I once applied for a job when I was 16 and the two ladies who were interviewing me said, “If you get this job, we will be your bosses. Do you have any problems taking orders from women?” And I replied: “My mom’s a woman and I take orders from her all the time.”

 

Do you like that about Castle?

NATHAN: I think one of the really neat things about Castle is that he’s not very macho. He’s not very swagger manly. He’s more boyish than anything as he’s never had an opportunity to grow up. At one point I remember – and this was one of those wonderful times where we could collaborate with the writers – Castle was apologizing to Alexis for blowing on something, and I came up with lines saying, “Be patient with me. Be forgiving. I’ve never been a dad to a teenage daughter before.” And I think that part of Castle’s truth is that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s just doing the best he can, but he has a good heart.

CASTLE: The Complete Third Season was released on DVD on September 20, 2011

Castle – The Complete Third Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

“Castle – The Complete Third Season” features another fun humorous, exciting and explosive season and the writers really stepped up their game with a good balance of plot twists, sexual tension and drama.  The best season of the series thus far!  Definitely recommended!

Images courtesy of © ABC Studios. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: CASTLE – The Complete Third Season

TELEVISION AIR DATE: 2010-2011

DURATION: 24 episodes (1025 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, French and Spanish Subtitles, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions

COMPANY: abc studios

RATED: TV 14 DLSV

RELEASE DATE: September 20, 2011

Created by Andrew J. Marlowe

Directed by Rob Bowman, Bryan Spicer, John Terlesky, Bill Roe, Thomas J. Wright, Jeff Bleckner, David Barrett

Written by Andrew J. Marlow, Shalisha Francis, David Grae, Alexi Hawley, Elizabeth Davis, Moira Kirland, Terence Paul Winter, Will Beall, Terri Miller, Rene Echevarria, Jose Molina, David Amann, Matt Pyken, Scott Williams

Executive Producer: Armyan Bernstein, Rob Bowman, Andrew W. Marlowe, Laurie Zaks

Co-Executive Producer: Jose Molina, Matt Pyken, Scott Williams,

Producer: D. Howard Grigsby, David Grae

Co-Producer: Marc A. Kahn, Terri Miller, Alexi Hawley, Joan Van Horn

Music by Robert Duncan

Cinematography by Bill Roe

Edited by Warren Bowman, Sue Blainey, Marta Evry

Casting by Kendra Castleberry, Donna Rosenstein

Production Design by Alfred Sole

Art Direction by Jim Wallis, Gershon Ginsburg

Set Decoration by Claire Kaufman

Costume Design by Luke Reichie

Starring:

Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle

Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett

Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers

Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Captain Roy Montgomery

Molly C. Quinn as Alexis Castle

Jon Huertas as Detective Javier Esposito

Seamus Dever as Detective Kevin Ryan

Tamala Jones as Dr. Lanie Parish

Bailey Chase as Will Sorenson

Monet Mazur as Gina Cowell

Arye Gross as M.E. Sidney Perlmutter

Scott Paulin as Jim Beckett

Ken Baumann as Ashley

Victor Webster as Josh Davidson

Max Martini as Hal Lockwood

Adrian Pasdar as Agent Mark Fallon

Laura Prepon as Natalie Rhodes

Famous mystery  novelist Richard Castle and NYPD detective Kate Beckett return for the suspenseful Third Season of ABC’s brilliantly funny series, Castle.  Enjoy every inspired idea and flirtatious moment at this fiery duo solve the strangest homicides New York has to offer.

It’s the most entertaining season yet as Castle’s wildly funny storytelling skills work their way into every case.  Between his mixed-up partnership with Beckett and his relationships with his diva mother and his clever daughter, Alexis, Castle is always on his toes.

Witty, suspenseful and fresh! The first season of “CASTLE” is the modern “Moonlighting” featuring a cool cast and each episode with an entertaining storyline.

“CASTLE” debuted on ABC as a mid-season replacement and began airing on March 2009. Created by Andrew M. Marlowe (“Air Force One”, “End of Days” and “Hollyw Man”) and executive produced by Rob Bowman (“The A-Team”, “The X-Files”, “Day Break”) comes a new drama series on crime solving.

The first season which featured 10 episodes stars actor Nathan Fillion (“Firefly”, “Drive” and “Desperate Housewives”) as Richard Castle. The famous mystery novelist who is adored by many but behind-the-scenes, he is a playboy who has an on-and-off fling with his ex-wife (who is an actress), another ex-wife who is his publisher and lives with his bright teenage daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn, “My One and Only”) and his meddlesome mother and former Broadway actress, Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan, “The Nine”, “Dharma & Greg”).

There is a lot of pressure on Nathan to create another book and with him stuck, his luck starts to change when he meets by-the-book Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic, “Heroes”, “The Spirit”, “Quantum of Solace”) who is investigating several murders which have taken place and the way that they were done were like the murders featured in several of his novels. Because of his knowledge of how things end up with his books, he gets the opportunity to assist the detectives in their case.

Eventually, Richard Castle discovers that he can do several things in his life. Write his new book based on Detective Beckett, see if he can woo Detective Beckett and most of all to investigate other murders which he can incorporate ideas for his new book. At first, it seems implausible but with Castle being so well-known and friends with the mayor, Captain Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Huds0n) will do what he can to make the mayor and his boss happy, so he allows Richard to tag along with Detective Beckett.

Needless to say, she’s not happy about it but with his skills of mystery writing and her skills as a detective, the two find out that together, they can be an effective duo in crime solving. Also, joining Beckett are Detective Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas), Detective Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and forensics doctor Dr. Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones).

In the first season, Detective Beckett and Richard Castle have worked together in handling various cases. But one case that Richard would like to investigate is the death of Detective Beckett’s mother but Beckett doesn’t want him getting into her personal business.

In the second season, Richard continues to work with Detective Beckett and together they try to solve a variety of murder cases including one that deals with a serial killer going after Detective Beckett. This season also shows us how Castle and Beckett seem to start showing some affection towards each other but in the process, Beckett becomes closer with Detective Demming.

In this third season of “Castle”, with Castle having ended his research with Detective Beckett, Beckett and her team are reunited with Beckett who has not communicated with them for several months.  But now Beckett wants to be involved with the research and team up with Beckett once again.

Meanwhile, Castle is trying to get used to being a father when his daughter is dating and Castle’s publisher and second ex-wife Gina is back into Castle’s life and with Beckett dating another man, Castle finds himself reuniting with his ex-wife, despite starting to have more feelings towards Beckett.

As for Detective Beckett, when she finds out that a police officer investigating her mother’s murder has new information for her, something tragic happens.  But also, when an assassin who may know information of what happened to her mother, manages to escape while on trial.  As Beckett has been trying to find out who killed her mother, what new information do these individuals have?  And what happens when Beckett’s mother’s case becomes so big that may lead to her own death.  Castle and everyone knows the danger that Beckett is getting involved with but how much more explosive can things get.

“Castle – The Complete Third Season” is another humorous, exciting and explosive season with a good balance of plot twists, sexual tension and drama.

“Castle – The Complete Third Season” features 24 episodes on five discs. Included are (spoiler-less summaries):

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 35 – A Deadly Affair - Detective Beckett and her team investigate a murder and meet up with Castle (who they have not seen in months).
  • EPISODE 36 – He’s Dead, She’s Dead – Detective Beckett and Castle investigate the murder of a famous psychic.
  • EPISODE 37 – Under the Gun – Becket and Castle meet up with Beckett’s first training officer Mike Royce, meanwhile investigating a murder of a bail bondsman.
  • EPISODE 38 – Punked - Becket and Castle investigate a murder of a young executive.
  • EPISODE 39 – Anatomy of a Murder - Detective Beckett and Castle investigate  case in which a doctor’s body is found inside another person’s casket.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 40 – 3XK – The Triple Killer has returned and Beckett and Castle must investigate.
  • EPISODE 41 – Almost Famous – Castle and Beckett investigate a murder of a male stripper wearing a police officer uniform.
  • EPISODE 42 – Murder Most Fowl – Castle and Beckett investigate a kidnapping of a boy.
  • EPISODE 43 – Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind – Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of an astrophysicist.
  • EPISODE 44 – Last Call – Castle and Beckett investigate a death of a bar owner.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 45 – Nikki Heat – Natalie Rhodes who plays the role Nikki Heat in the film adaptation of “Heat Wave” joins Beckett and Castle on an investigation. Guest Star: Laura Prepon
  • EPISODE 46 – Poof! You’re Dead – Detective Beckett and Castle investigate the death of a Magician.
  • EPISODE 47 – Knockdown – A detective who is investigate Beckett’s mother’s murder is shot in front of Beckett before he can show her new evidence he had found.
  • EPISODE 48 – Lucky Stiff – Detective Beckett and Castle investigate the murder of a lottery winner.
  • EPISODE 49 – The Final Nail – Detective Beckett and Castle investigate the death of a wealthy woman.

DISC 4:

  • EPISODE 50 – Setup – Detective Beckett and Castle investigate the murder of an NYC taxi driver.  Part 1 of a two part episode.
  • EPISODE 51 – Countdown – In part 2 of a two-part episode, the NYPD and Department of Homeland Security search for a dirty bomb, meanwhile Beckett and Castle are trapped ina frozen storage container.
  • EPISODE 52 – One Life to Lose – Beckett and Castle investigate the death of a head writer of a long-running soap opera.
  • EPISODE 53 – Law & Murder – During a trial of a socialite, one of the jurors dies from cyanide poisoning. Beckett and Castle must investigate the death of the juror.
  • EPISODE 54 – Slice of Death – Detective Beckett and Castle investigate a reporter who is found dead inside a pizza oven.

DISC 5:

  • EPISODE 55 – The Dead Pool – Castle and Beckett investigate the death of a future Olympic swimmer.
  • EPISODE 56 – To Love and Die in L.A. -Beckett goes against orders and travels to LA to investigate the murder of her training officer Michael Royce.
  • EPISODE 57 – Pretty Dead –  Castle and Beckett investigate the death of a beauty pageant contestant.
  • EPISODE 58 – Knockout –  Season finale… Beckett and Castle try to track down an assassin who escapes custody during his trial and the person may have knowledge of how Beckett’s mother was murdered.  Meanwhile, Captain Montgomery’s secret is revealed and someone is shot.

VIDEO:

“Castle – The Complete Third Season” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions. The drama series is quite slick as it gives you the feel of New York and like many abc studios related DVD releases, Disney has always done a good job with their TV show transfers. A show that balances outdoor and indoor shots with good lighting, the picture quality for “CASTLE” is pretty solid. I didn’t see any major artifacting issues or low level noise that was distracting.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the audio, “Castle – The Complete Third Season” is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The series is front and center channel driven with a few episodes (that involve gun fights) utilizing the surround channels. The series does utilize quite a bit of music and for the most, the series is clear and understandable.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Castle – The Complete Third Season” includes the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Audio Commentary – Episode 301 ―A Deadly Affair‖ With Creator/Executive Producer/Writer Andrew W. Marlowe, Director/Executive Producer Rob Bowman And Actor Nathan Fillion

DISC 2:

  • Audio Commentary – Episode 307 ―3XK‖ with Director Bill Roe, Executive Producer/Writer David Amann And Actors Seamus Dever & Jon Huertas

DISC 5:

  • Murder The Wrote – (22:05) An exciting all-new roundtable featuring series star Nathan Fillion, New York Times best-selling author Michael Connelly, Andrew Marlowe (creator/executive producer), Rob Bowman (executive producer) and Brian Michael Bendis (graphic novelist) discuss the genre, tricks of the trade and more
  • Castle Goes Hollywood – (8:00) An all new behind-the-scenes look at the season‘s episode that takes the series characters to Hollywood.
  • Bloopers – (4:14) The outtakes from the third season of “Castle”.
  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring three deleted scenes: Message from Royce, Honorary Badge and Out of Line.
  • Murder Boards – (3:23) Rob Schow talks about the dry erase boards shown on the series  and how much planning goes into the boards and how they are utilized in the series.
  • Get on the Floor – Music Video –  (2:15) The music video feat. “Get on the Floor” (Note: The song does have some mature lyrics that you may not want to play around children).

EXTRAS:

“Castle – The Complete Third Season” comes with a slip cover case.

Finally, after watching three seasons of wondering if Castle and Beckett will ever get together, perhaps longtime viewers have a glimmer of hope for the fourth season.

For so long, after seeing Beckett and Castle together and having this chemistry but none of them willing to cross the line beyond their professional working relationship, season three of “Castle” really takes things up a notch by showing the viewers that perhaps these two would be good together.

Granted, like the previous two seasons, the writers are not going to easily make that happen.  And I don’t blame them.

Back in the 1980’s, when ABC had the hit investigative series “Moonlighting” with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.  The writers kept these two apart for so long despite the chemistry and sexual tension of the characters and once they got together, it was the final nail in the coffin for the series and from that moment on, the two as a pair brought the downfall of the series.

So, sometimes its not a good thing to push relationships but the writers have done a great job of holding things off and building that chemistry.  Do viewers want to see Beckett and Castle together?  Or to continue this built-up sexual tension for between these characters for another season.

But the season finale makes you wonder how things will be in season four between these two.

Now, possibly the best thing going for season three is the fact that we learn that the murder of Detective Beckett’s mother is much bigger than she can ever realize.  In fact, as a viewer, I was even surprised to see how deep this storyline has gotten and I do like how things have gotten progressively bigger each season with this storyline and in this case, possibly quite tragic.  OK, probably not as there is no way Castle is going to die but…Beckett?  Would the writers go that far?  All I can say is that the season finale left me speechless.  Wow!

And last, if there is one thing that “Castle” writers have been great, that is giving viewers one hell of a season finale.   And to find out one of the characters of the series has a major secret, suffice to say, I never saw that one coming.  And definitely will have ramifications going into season four.

As for the DVD, “Castle – The Complete Third Season” is once again, another solid release.   Like the previous two DVD box sets, this third season also has a good number of special features including an intriguing roundtable discussion, two audio commentary, a featurette about shooting in Hollywood, outtakes, deleted scenes and a music video.

Overall, “Castle – The Complete Third Season” features another fun humorous, exciting and explosive season and the writers really stepped up their game with a good balance of plot twists, sexual tension and drama.

Definitely recommended!

Castle – The Complete Second Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Another exciting and fun-filled season of “Castle”!    Season two features episodes that are well-written, well-acted and more character utilization (including special guest appearances).  If you are a big fan of the series, “Castle – The Complete Second Series” is a pretty solid with 24-episodes and a good number of special features.  Definitely recommended!

Images courtesy of © Walt Disney Studios Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: CASTLE – The Complete Second Season

TELEVISION AIR DATE: 2009-2010

DURATION: 24 episodes (1018 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, French and Spanish Subtitles, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions

COMPANY: abc studios

RATED: TV 14 DLSV

RELEASE DATE: September 21, 2010

Created by Andrew J. Marlowe

Directed by Rob Bowman, Bryan Spicer, John Terlesky, Bill Roe, Thomas J. Wright

Written by Andrew J. Marlow, David Grae, Alexi Hawley, Elizabeth Davis, Moira Kirland, Terence Paul Winter, Will Beall, Terri Miller, Rene Echevarria, Jose Molina

Executive Producer: Rob Bowman, Andrew W. Marlowe, Laurie Zaks, Rene Echevarria, Marc A. Kahn, Terri Miller

Co-Executive Producer: Gabrielle G. Stanton, Harry Werksman

Producer: D. Howard Grigsby, David Grae

Co-Producer: Marc A. Kahn, Terri Miller

Music by Robert Duncan

Cinematography by Bill Roe

Edited by Warren Bowman, Sue Blainey, Marta Evry

Casting by Kendra Castleberry, Donna Rosenstein

Production Design by Alfred Sole

Art Direction by Jim Wallis, Gershon Ginsburg

Set Decoration by Christopher Marsteller

Costume Design by Salvador Perez Jr.

 

Starring:

Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle

Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett

Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers

Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Captain Roy Montgomery

Molly C. Quinn as Alexis Castle

Jon Huertas as Detective Javier Esposito

Seamus Dever as Detective Kevin Ryan

Tamala Jones as Dr. Lanie Parish

Bailey Chase as WIll Sorenson

Dan Castellaneta as Judge Markway

Joseph C. Phillips as Mayor

Dana Delany as Special Agent Jordan Shaw

Michael Trucco as Detective Tom Demming

Castle and Beckett’s unconventional partnership and banter creates humorous situations and romantic tension unlike anything on TV. During this past season, Castle and Beckett’s relationship has grown stronger as they’ve dodged bullets, captured killers, and solved countless murder cases in their unorthodox partnership. But by the Season Two finale, Beckett’s new relationship with a robbery detective has pushed Castle away, forcing them both to confront their feelings for one another. When Castle leaves to finish writing his second Nikki Heat novel, Naked Heat, Beckett has to watch him walk away, unable to express her true feelings and unsure whether he will return to the precinct.

Witty, suspenseful and fresh! The first season of “CASTLE” is the modern “Moonlighting” featuring a cool cast and each episode with an entertaining storyline.

“CASTLE” debuted on ABC as a mid-season replacement and began airing on March 2009. Created by Andrew M. Marlowe (“Air Force One”, “End of Days” and “Hollyw Man”) and executive produced by Rob Bowman (“The A-Team”, “The X-Files”, “Day Break”) comes a new drama series on crime solving.

The first season which featured 10 episodes stars actor Nathan Fillion (“Firefly”, “Drive” and “Desperate Housewives”) as Richard Castle. The famous mystery novelist who is adored by many but behind-the-scenes, he is a playboy who has an on-and-off fling with his ex-wife (who is an actress), another ex-wife who is his publisher and lives with his bright teenage daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn, “My One and Only”) and his meddlesome mother and former Broadway actress, Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan, “The Nine”, “Dharma & Greg”).

There is a lot of pressure on Nathan to create another book and with him stuck, his luck starts to change when he meets by-the-book Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic, “Heroes”, “The Spirit”, “Quantum of Solace”) who is investigating several murders which have taken place and the way that they were done were like the murders featured in several of his novels. Because of his knowledge of how things end up with his books, he gets the opportunity to assist the detectives in their case.

Eventually, Richard Castle discovers that he can do several things in his life. Write his new book based on Detective Beckett, see if he can woo Detective Beckett and most of all to investigate other murders which he can incorporate ideas for his new book. At first, it seems implausible but with Castle being so well-known and friends with the mayor, Captain Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Huds0n) will do what he can to make the mayor and his boss happy, so he allows Richard to tag along with Detective Beckett.

Needless to say, she’s not happy about it but with his skills of mystery writing and her skills as a detective, the two find out that together, they can be an effective duo in crime solving. Also, joining Beckett are Detective Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas), Detective Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and forensics doctor Dr. Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones).

In the first season, Detective Beckett and Richard Castle have worked together in handling various cases.  But one case that Richard would like to investigate is the death of Detective Beckett’s mother but Beckett doesn’t want him getting into her personal business.

In the second season, Richard continues to work with Dr. Beckett and together they try to solve a variety of murder cases including one that deals with a serial killer going after Detective Beckett.  This season also shows us how Castle and Beckett seem to  start showing some affection towards each other but in the process, Beckett becomes closer with Detective Demming.

“CASTLE – The Complete Second Season” features 24 episodes on five discs. Included are (spoiler-less summaries):

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 11 – Deep In Death - Castle and Beckett go into the underground of the Chinese and Russian mafia to find out why one would try to steal a dead man.
  • EPISODE 12 – The Double Down – Two murders and somehow they are connected or are they?
  • EPISODE 13 – Inventing the Girl – A model is found murdered and Nathan helps Dr. Beckett find the killer.
  • EPISODE 14 – Feel Me Once… - Castle and Beckett investigate the mysterious death of an Arctic explorer.
  • EPISODE 15 – When the Bough Breaks – It’s the day before the release of “Nikki Heat” and Castle’s agent has an offer that he probably can’t refuse and it will mean an end to working with Beckett.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 16 – Vampire Weekend – It’s Halloween time and a man is found murdered with a stake through his heart and he was wearing fangs.  Castle and Beckett investigate the murder.
  • EPISODE 17 – Famous Last Words – Castle and Beckett investigate a rock star’s death but how she died is similar to the way she dies in her own music video.
  • EPISODE 18 – Kill the Messenger – Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of a bike messenger.
  • EPISODE 19 – Love Me Dead – Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of an assistant District Attorney.
  • EPISODE 20 – One Man’s Treasure – Castle and Beckett investigate a death of a man who was stuffed down a garbage chute.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 21 – The Fifth Bullet – Castle and Beckett investigate an art dealer who was shot and killed.  But a bullet is missing from the crime scene and now they look for the missing bullet.
  • EPISODE 22 – A Rose For Everafter – Detective Beckett and Castle investigate the death of a bridesmaid at a wedding but finds out the bride is his former girlfriend (played by Alyssa Milano).
  • EPISODE 23 – Sucker Punch – Detective Beckett and Castle investigate the death of an Irish mobster and the killer may be involved in the death of Beckett’s mother.
  • EPISODE 24 – The Third Man – Detective Beckett and Castle investigate the murder of a man found at the vacation home of a family.  Castle is nominated as one of New York’s 10 most eligible bachelors.
  • EPISODE 25 – The Suicide Squeeze – With the death of a baseball star who came back from Cuba, both Beckett and Castle come in contact with former Yankees coach Joe Torre.

DISC 4:

  • EPISODE 26 – The Mistress Always Spanks Twice – A half-naked woman has been murdered and she was found hanging with bondage cuffs and covered in caramel.  Now Castle and Beckett must find out who killed her.
  • EPISODE 27 – Tick, Tick, Tick… – Detective Beckett and Rick Castle work with the FBI to catch a serial killer using Castle’s book “Nikki Heat”. (Agent Shaw is played by Dana Delany)
  • EPISODE 28 – Boom! – The second part of the story as Beckett’s apartment has exploded and proof that the serial killer is still alive.  Now the two along with Agent Shaw (Dana Delany) must find him.
  • EPISODE 29 – Wrapped Up In Death – The assistant curator of the Natural History Museum has been killed and Castle and Beckett investigate.
  • EPISODE 30 – The Late Shaft – Castle promotes his new book “Heat Wave” on a late-night talk show and during commercial break, the host tells Castle that someone wants him dead.  And sure enough, the TV host (played by Tom Bergeron) was found dead the following day.  Castle and Beckett investigate the murder.

DISC 5:

  • EPISODE 31 – Den of Thieves – Castle and Beckett investigate a murder of a thief and find out that Detective Esposito may be involved.
  • EPISODE 32 – Food to Die For – A former contestant of the reality TV show “Kitchen Wars” has been killed and Beckett and Castle investigate.
  • EPISODE 33 – Overkill – Detective. Demming assists Beckett on her case but both Castle and Demming vie for her attention and Castle is learning that his time with Beckett is decreasing.
  • EPISODE 34 – A Deadly Game – Detective Beckett has a relationship with Detective Demming and Castle can’t stand it.  Meanwhile, the two are working to find out who assassinated an intelligent operative.

VIDEO:

“CASTLE – The Complete Second Season” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions. The drama series is quite slick as it gives you the feel of New York and like many abc studios related DVD releases, Disney has always done a good job with their TV show transfers. A show that balances outdoor and indoor shots with good lighting, the picture quality for “CASTLE” is pretty solid. I didn’t see any major artifacting issues or low level noise that was distracting.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the audio, the series is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The series is front and center channel driven with a few episodes (that involve gun fights) utilizing the surround channels. The series does utilize quite a bit of music and for the most, the series is understandable and clear.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“CASTLE – The Complete Second Season” includes the following special features:

 

DISC 5:

  • On Set With Seamus & Jon – (7:39) Interviews with Seamus Deaver (Detective Kevin Ryan) and Jon Huertas (Detective Javier Esposito) giving a tour of the set of “Castle”.
  • On Location With Nathan – (6:50) Featuring Nathan Fillion showing us the crew of “Castle” on location.  From those working in audio, craft services, assistant directors, transpo drivers, set production, props, etc.
  • Manhattan’s Most Unusual Murders -(7:57) Creator/executive producer Andrew Marlowe along with other executive producers, writers, director and cast as they talk about coming up with interesting, unusual and innovative murder cases each week for Castle.
  • Misdemeanors: Bloopers & Outtakes – (2:36) Outtakes from season 2 of “Castle”.
  • Deleted Scenes – (9:07) Featuring three deleted scenes: Take 5, More Morlock and Alibi & Timeline.
  • Music Videos – (2:37) First season bloopers.

“CASTLE” continues to be a fun and entertaining detective series.  Despite not being a detective, popular crime author Rick Castle is very good at solving cases and assisting Detective Beckett with her cases.  And through the first season, we know that sooner or later, the sparks are going to fly between the two characters (or will they?).

Both Rick Castle and Detective Kate Beckett are just polar opposites but you know that there is this sexual attraction there that makes their chemistry work onscreen. In a way, both are like Bruce Wayne (Batman) in the way they are keen in investigating things. Castle, as a mystery writer and having done a lot of research, puts himself in the shoes of the criminal and thinks of the many possibilities that can exist between the characters.  Detective Beckett, almost having a similar tragic Bruce Wayne story is a by-the-book detective and for the most part, have their unique way of feeding off each other in terms of handling a case.

Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic do a great job and have good chemistry onscreen.   Especially the number of verbal quips that writers have included this season for the characters. Here are a few examples from this season:

Castle: If something were to happen to me I want you to watch out for Alexis. She looks up to you, and if a worth man would get frisky you can shoot them.
Beckett: Nothing is gonna happen to you.
Castle: But if it does…?
Beckett: Ok.
Castle: And would you also go into my closet and get rid of my porn collection before she finds it?
Esposito: Don’t worry, Bro. I got you covered in that.

Castle: I knew there was something I didn’t like about him. Too pretty. Bet he takes yoga classes just so he can pick up girls… Probably subscribes to The New Yorker but doesn’t even read it… just leaves a copy layin’ out where people can see it.

Castle: Do you believe people get what they deserve?
Beckett: Well, if they do then I must have done something terrible to be punished with you.
Castle: Funny.

Beckett: You know Castle, sometimes I forget that you have such a capacity for pure innocence in your life.
Castle: Yeah, plus it was a great place to pickup chicks.
Beckett: Then you open your mouth and you ruin it.

Very hilarious season and the writing is also top notch.   The murder cases were absolutely interesting this season and I have to say that the more serious serial killer two-part storyline was fantastic and would love to see more of those serious storylines for season three.

With that being said, I often wonder where the characters of Castle and Beckett will go.  For season two, things are now becoming a little bit like “Moonlighting” (for those who remember the 1995-1998 detective series with Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis) in which there is sexual attraction and viewers are teased of when these two will actually hook up.  But whereas the hookup pretty much spelled the end of “Moonlighting”, hopefully “Castle” writers manages to do something different.   Personally, I liked where this Demming/Beckett story is going, especially seeing how Castle reacts with it.  Maybe Castle will find another woman in his life and it will be interesting to see how Beckett likes it.

Aside from the Castle/Beckett sexual tension of the season and the unique murder cases, season two also features more storylines involving characters Detective Esposito and Detective Ryan which was very cool.   It’s great to see the writers stepping things up and to tell you the truth, nothing wrong with adding a few more characters into the mix.  Would love to see another female detective (possible rival to Beckett).

This season also featured more Lanie Parish and very little of Captain Roy Montgomery.  It would be great to see the writers utilize these characters a bit more.    But overall, I’m glad the writers did utilize more characters in this season.  I definitely enjoyed the addition of Detective Tom Demming (Michael Trucco, “Battlestar Galactica”) and I felt the storyline involving the serial killer and Special Agent Jordan Shaw (Dana Delany) were fantastic!  But with Delany busy with “Desperate Housewives”, I doubt we are going to see more of her anytime soon.  And I definitely enjoy the storylines that involve Castle’s daughter Alexis and meddling mother Martha.  Although, it will be interesting to see a storyline that involves Alexis, that would be a great emotional storyline for Castle as his family’s life hasn’t really been pulled into anything serious.

But with two season’s playing it safe (despite season two’s exciting serial killer episodes), I get a feeling that season three may get a bit serious and possibly episodes leading to tragedy.  Dare I say it, with the majority of ALL  ABC drama series pulling the tragedy card this past season with the exception of “Castle”, I wouldn’t be surprised if “Castle” did the same for season three.

As for the DVD, “Castle – The Complete Second Season” is once again, another solid release.   Where the first season DVD box set, all we got was only ten episodes, we did get a good amount of special features including audio commentary.  With this season being 24-episode long, we get no commentary and several special features.    Also, the few special features on this second season DVD box set features Nathan Fillion, Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever but yet nothing on Stana Katic.  What’s up with that?  I’ll let it slide this time around but let’s have a Stana Katic special feature for next seasons DVD box set!

Overall, “CASTLE – The Complete Second Season” is another humorous, exciting and fun series and I look forward to the third season.  Definitely recommended!

CASTLE – The Complete First Season (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

“Featuring well-written storylines, enjoyable characters and an intriguing concept, the first season of “CASTLE” is highly entertaining, suspenseful and definitely fun!  ‘CASTLE – The Complete First Season’ is definitely worth checking out!”

Images courtesy of © abc studios/Disney. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: CASTLE – The Complete First Season

DURATION: 10 episodes (430 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, French and Spanish Subtitles, Widescreen (1:78:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions

COMPANY: abc studios

RATED: TV PG

RELEASE DATE:  September 22, 2009

Created by Andrew J. Marlowe

Directed by Rob Bowman, Bryan Spicer, John Terlesky

Written by Andrew J. Marlow, David Grae, Moira Kirland, Barry Schindel

Executive Producer: Rob Bowman, Andrew W. Marlowe, Laurie Zaks, Armyan Bernstein, Rene Echevarria

Co-Executive Producer: Gabrielle G. Stanton, Harry Werksman

Producer: D. Howard Grigsby, David Grae

Co-Producer: Mark A. Altman, Steven Kriozere

Associate Producer: Suzanne Lauer

Supervising Producer: Charles Murray

Music by Robert Duncan, Mark Kilian

Cinematography by Bill Roe

Edited by Warren Bowman, Mark S. Manos, Marta Evry

Casting by Kendra Castleberry, Donna Rosenstein

Production Design by Alfred Sole

Art Direction by Jim Wallis, Gershon Ginsburg

Set Decoration by Christopher Marsteller

Costume Design by Salvador Perez Jr.

Starring:

Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle

Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett

Susan Sullivan as Martha rodgers

Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Captain Roy Montgomery

Molly C. Quinn as Alexis Castle

John Huertas as Detective Javier Esposito

Seamus Dever as Detective Kevin Ryan

Tamala Jones as Dr. Lanie Parish

Bailey Chase as WIll Sorenson

Dan Castellaneta as Judge Markway

Joseph C. Phillips as Mayor

A bestselling novelist (Nathan Fillion) and a New York City detective (Stana Katic) delve into real world crime, starting with a copycat killer who recreates the murder scenes depicted in his novels. Finding true life mysteries more stimulating than fiction, writer Richard Castle continues to offer his professional insights to Detective Kate Beckett— whether she wants them or not. Sparks fly and a hint of romance hangs in the air as these two strong personalities investigate some of the most puzzling crimes on the NYPD’s docket.

Witty, suspenseful and fresh!  The first season of “CASTLE” is the modern “Moonlighting” featuring a cool cast and each episode with an entertaining storyline.

“CASTLE” debuted on ABC as a mid-season replacement and began airing on March 2009.  Created by Andrew M. Marlowe (“Air Force One”, “End of Days” and “Hollyw Man”) and executive produced by Rob Bowman (“The A-Team”, “The X-Files”, “Day Break”) comes a new drama series on crime solving.

The first season which featured 10 episodes stars actor Nathan Fillion (“Firefly”, “Drive” and “Desperate Housewives”) as Richard Castle.  The famous mystery novelist who is adored by many but behind-the-scenes, he is a playboy who has an on-and-off fling with his ex-wife (who is an actress), another ex-wife who is his publisher and lives with his bright teenage daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn, “My One and Only”) and his meddlesome mother and former Broadway actress, Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan, “The Nine”, “Dharma & Greg”).

There is a lot of pressure on Nathan to create another book and with him stuck, his luck starts to change when he meets by-the-book Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic, “Heroes”, “The Spirit”, “Quantum of Solace”) who is investigating several murders which have taken place and the way that they were done were like the murders featured in several of his novels.   Because of his knowledge of how things end up with his books, he gets the opportunity to assist the detectives in their case.

Eventually, Richard Castle discovers that he can do several things in his life.  Write his new book based on Detective Beckett, see if he can woo Detective Beckett and most of all to investigate other murders which he can incorporate ideas for his new book.  At first, it seems implausible but with Castle being so well-known and friends with the mayor, Captain Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Huds0n) will do what he can to make the mayor and his boss happy, so he allows Richard to tag along with Detective Beckett.

Needless to say, she’s not happy about it but with his skills of mystery writing and her skills as a detective, the two find out that together, they can be an effective duo in crime solving.  Also, joining Beckett are Detective Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas), Detective Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and forensics doctor Dr. Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones).

“CASTLE – The Complete First Season” features 10 episodes on three discs.  Included are (spoiler-less summaries):

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 1 – Flowers For Your Graves – A copycat killer is on the loose and they are using Rick Castle’s novels as a source of ideas.  With the NYPD Detectives having a tough time with the case, Castle offers to assist the investigators.
  • EPISODE 2 – Nanny McDead – A nanny is found dead inside a laundry machine and Investigator Beckett must find out who the killer is.  Meanwhile, Rick Castle pulls strings with the Mayor and Captain in using Beckett as a source of ideas for his upcoming book, thus allowing him to tag around Detective Beckett on cases.
  • EPISODE 3 – Hell Hath no Fury – A body is found wrapped in a rug and Castle and Beckett and it appears to be a politician.  Who killed him?
  • EPISODE 4 – Hedge Fund Homeboys – A man who once was from a wealthy family is found dead and while Beckett and Castle try to investigate, his friends try to do their best in stopping them.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 5 – A Chill Goes Through Her Veins – A woman is found frozen, her husband is found dead.  Beckett and Castle investigate.
  • EPISODE 6 – Always Buy Retail – Why are women who have been buying fake Gucci bags being targeted for death?
  • EPISODE 7 – Home is Where the Heart Stops – Someone is murdering the rich and famous and robbing them of their jewelry.  Can Beckett and Castle stop the person before they commit another murder?
  • EPISODE 8 – Ghosts – A woman is found dead in a bathtub filled with motor oil. And the woman who last spoke to her happens to be a mystery ghost writer.  Will Beckett and Castle find out who the true killer is?

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 9 – Little Girl Lost – A little girl has gone missing and for Detective Beckett, she is reunited with her former flame from the FBI.
  • EPISODE 10 – A Death in the Family – Detective Beckett warned Rick Castle not to look into the death of her mother but wanting to help her, he does. Meanwhile, the two investigate the death of a plastic surgeon.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“CASTLE – The Complete First Season” is presented in Widescreen (1:78:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions.  The drama series is quite slick as it gives you the feel of New York and like many abc studios related DVD releases, Disney has always done a good job with their TV show transfers.  A show that balances outdoor and indoor shots with good lighting, the picture quality for “CASTLE” is pretty solid.  I didn’t see any major artifacting issues or low level noise that was distracting.

As for the audio, the series is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.  The series is front and center channel driven with a few episodes (that involve gun fights) utilizing the surround channels.  The series does utilize quite a bit of music and for the most, the series is understandable and clear.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“CASTLE – The Complete First Season” includes the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Audio Commentary for “Flowers For Your Grave” with Executive Producer Andrew Marlow, Executive Producer Rob Bowman, Actors Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic and Jon Huertas

DISC 2:

  • Audio Commentary for “A Chill Goes Through Her Veins” with Executive Producer Andrew Marlow, Executive Producer Rob Bowman, Actors Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas and Molly Quinn

DISC 3:

  • Audio Commentary for “A Death in the Family” with Executive Producer Andrew Marlow, Executive Producer Rob Bowman, Actors Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas and Molly Quinn
  • Audio Commentary for “A Death in the Family” with Seamus Dever and  Jon Huertas
  • Whodunit: The Genesis of Castle -(6:15) Andrew Marlowe talks about how he came up with the idea of “Castle”.  Interviews with crew and cast and behind-the-scenes of making the series.
  • Castle’s Godfather – (7:16) Andrew Marlowe and Rob Bowman talk about how they got to work with Stephen J. Cannell (creator of “A-Team” and “Rockford Files”).
  • Write-Along with Nathan Fillion – (9:07) A hilarious featurette featuring Nathan Fillion wanting to learn from Stephen J. Cannell.
  • Misdemeanors: Bloopers & Outtakes – (2:37) First season bloopers.

“CASTLE” was definitely a surprise.  I can remember seeing the commercials during “LOST” but and for the most part, it kind of reminded me of the old “Moonlighting” years of crime investigation.  But after watching the first episode, I was instantly hooked.

Both Rick Castle and Detective Kate Beckett are just polar opposites but you know that there is this sexual attraction there that makes their chemistry work onscreen.  In a way, both are like Bruce Wayne (Batman) in the way they are keen in investigating things.  Castle, as a mystery writer and having done a lot of research, puts himself in the shoes of the criminal and thinks of the many possibilities that can exist between the characters.  Detective Beckett, almost having a similar tragic Bruce Wayne story is a by-the-book detective and for the most part, have their unique way of feeding off each other in terms of handling a case.  But Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic do a great job and have good chemistry onscreen.

So, far every episode has been intriguing, suspenseful and entertaining.  If there was one thing that tends to creep in my head that is more on the negative side, is just the serious aspects of a popular writer getting the opportunity to tag along a detective on her various cases.  I just have a hard time seeing the NYPD allowing such a thing and allowing a writer to get that close to the detectives.

Granted, this may seem a bit farfetched but overall, the writers make it work.  Each of the characters are actually quite enjoyable to watch, especially Castle’s meddling mother Martha and logical and intelligent daughter Alexis,  it’s good to see Castle pulled out of his element once in awhile. Beckett’s partners Detective Esposito and Ryan lend that serious but also comedic moment for the series.

The first season of “CASTLE” has been quite enjoyable thus far.  I’m glad to hear that the series has been green lighted for a second season because “CASTLE” has been nothing but entertaining, fun and a suspenseful drama series thus far.

“CASTLE – The Complete First Season” is definitely worth checking out!

Bottom