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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!

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!

The Double (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“The Double” is an exciting spy thriller worth watching!

Images courtesy of © 2011 Historic Holdings, Ltd.  All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: The Double

FILM RELEASE: 2011

DURATION: 98 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (widescreen 2:35:1), DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

COMPANY: Image Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (For Intense Sequences of Action and Violence, Some Disturbing Images and Language)

Release Date: January 31, 2012

Directed by Michael Brandt

Written by Michael Brandt, Derek Haas

Producer: Patrick Aiello, Ashok Amritraj, Andrew Deane, Derek Haas

Executive Producer: Mohamed Khalaf A-Mazrouei, Ed Bourgerding

Co-Producer: Stefan Brunner, Manu Gargi

Associate Producer: Tali Lipa

Music by John Debney

Cinematography by Jeffrey L. Kimball

Edited by Steve Mirkovich

Casting by Kelly Wagner

Production Design by Giles Masters

Art Direction by Caty Maxey

Set Decoration by Erin Boyd

Costume Design by Aggie Guerard Rodgers

Starring:

Richard Gere as Paul Shepherdson

Topher Grace as Ben Geary

Martin Sheen as Tom Highland

Tamer Hassan as Bozlovski

Stephen Moyer as Brutus

Chris Marquette as Oiver

Odette Annable as Natalie Geary

Stana Katic as Amber

Yuri Sardarov as Leo

Ed Kelly as Senator Dennis Darden

Jeffrey Pierce as Agent Weaver

When a United States Senator is brutally murdered, the evidence points to a Soviet assassin code-named Cassius, who was long-thought to be dead. Two men who know Cassius best are thrown together to catch him. Paul Shepherdson (Richard Gere, An Officer and a Gentleman) is a retired CIA operative who spent his career tracking Cassius around the globe. Ben Geary (Topher Grace, Spider-Man 3) is a hotshot young FBI Agent and family man who has studied the killer’s every move. Ben thinks he knows Cassius, but Paul knows he is dead wrong. Now, time is running out to stop this merciless killing machine before he finds his next target. Martin Sheen (The Departed), Stephen Moyer (True Blood), Odette Yustman (Cloverfield) and Stana Katic (Castle) costar in this tense thriller from the co-writers of Wanted and 3:10 to Yuma that will keep you guessing until the very last shot.

Writing duo Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (known for their work on “Wanted”, “2 Fast, 2 Furious” and “3:10 to Yuma” are back with a spy thriller titled “The Double”.

The film marks the debut of Brandt as a director and stars Richard Gere (“Pretty Woman”, “Primal Fear”, “An Officer and a Gentleman”), Topher Grace (“That 70′s Show”, “Spider-Man 3″, “Predators”), Martin Sheen (“Apocalypse Now”, “The Departed”) and Odette Annable (“House M.D.”, “Breaking In”, “Brothers & Sisters”).

“The Double” begins with a group of foreign Soviet terrorists coming into America from Mexico.  When a senator is killed, CIA’s Tom Highland (played by Martin Sheen) brings in one of the government’s best agent on terrorism out of retirement, agent Paul Shepherdson (played by Richard Gere).  The murder of the senator appears to be the work of a mysterious assassin named “Cassius” who Paul has been trying to catch for decades and a killer known for killing people with a special wire to cut his victim’s neck.

The CIA wants Paul to work with the FBI’s Ben Geary (played by Topher Grace), an investigator who has studied the work of Paul, and just like Paul, has literally took over the case on finding Cassius.  Ben feels that Cassius is back again, while Paul disagrees and thinks it’s a copycat killer.  Both disagree with each other and Paul doesn’t seem as a team player and is not to thrilled to work with Ben and goes back home.

But because the situation is important and even the President being advised, Paul knows he has no choice but to work with Agent Geary.

And while working with each other, Paul is easily annoyed by Ben, because he is somewhat of a rookie without field experience.

When the two go to a state prison to meet with a terrorist who has worked with “Cassius”, they try to bargain with him by giving him a radio.  If this inmate gives the details of where “Cassius” is and what he looks like, he will get his radio.  But Paul thinks that the man will say anything for the radio and just tells Ben to give the radio to him.

As the two leave, the inmate swallows the AA batteries that are inside the radio and is rushed to the hospital.  While the doctors are able to remove the batteries, immediately the inmate grabs a security officer’s gun and the inmate escapes.

But hiding in the shadows is Agent Paul Shepherdson who stops the inmate and immediately reveals himself not as an agent but reveals himself to be the real “Cassius”.  And Paul removes a wire that comes out of his watch and kills the inmate.

And as Agent Geary continues to pursue “Cassius” unaware that Paul is the real killer that he is after, Paul who starts to know Ben’s wife and children knows he may need to kill Ben in order to keep his Soviet identity a secret, but is he willing to kill the agent and his famiy?

While Agent Shepherdson tries to convince Ben’s wife Joanie (played by Odette Anabelle) to get her husband to quit the “Cassius” case and to let her know that Agent Geary’s obsession of catching “Cassius” can lead to her husband’s demise.

VIDEO:

“The Double” is presented in 1080p High Definition Widescreen (2:35:1).  If anything, It was smart of Michael Brand to enlist cinematographer Jeffrey L. Kimball (“Top Gun”, “Mission: Impossible II”, “The Expendables”)for this film.  While the film has a good amount of grain, colors look very good, a good mix of warm and cool colors and picture quality for the most part is good.  I did notice a few scenes with a bit of artifacts but for the most part, the picture quality for “The Double” looks great!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“The Double” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  For the most part, this is a film that is dialogue driven for for the first hour, and while you can hear the ambience of the CIA headquarters and you can hear the surround channels featuring a lot on the sounds of cars driving by, the majority of the action takes lace towards the end as we get a car chase scene and also exchange of gunfire.

If anything, dialogue is crystal clear, the music by John Debney (“Sin City”, “Iron Man 2″, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) sounds fantastic and for the most part, the soundtrack works quite will with this film.

Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“The Double” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by director/co-writer Michael Brandt and co-writer/producer Derek Haas.  The two really go into detail about the production, cinematography but also the challenges of shooting this film on a low budget but how many people dedicated themselves to this film and volunteer time on this film for free.
  • Production Interviews – (7:48) Featuring interviews with Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Director/Co-writer Michael Brndt, Co-writer/Producer Derek Haas and more.
  • Trailer – (2:26) The theatrical trailer for “The Double”.
  • Trailer – (2:20) The theatrical trailer for “Division III: Football’s Finest”.

EXTRAS:

“The Double” comes with a slipcover.

I have to give Michael Brandt and Derek Haas some praise for writing and directing their own film and working on an extreme budget.  Typically, spy thrillers tend to involve shooting in beautiful locations around the world and along with the storyline, you have intense action.

With “The Double”, the film had to be structured in which the focus was on the characters, less on the location.  And while the film doesn’t have people waiting until the end to find out who “The Double” is and the trailer may seem to reveal a bit much, there is a twist to “The Double” concept that I didn’t see coming, but when revealed, it was not as striking as when we find out very early in the movie that Gere was playing a double agent.

But I suppose that once Gere’s character, Agent Shepherdson was revealed to be a double, my mind started to wonder what kind of spy thriller this would end up being?  A mere cat and mouse game of FBI agent going after “Cassius”, along with his partner who is “Cassius” who is trying to kill his partner but feels guilty about it?

And while that would be quite intriguing, as we have seen films such as the 1989 John Woo film, “The Killer” or Phillip Noyce’s “Salt” deliver in the cat & mouse type storyline with several plot twists to multiple double agent storylines on the defunct TV series “24″ … the problem with “The Double” is that, the Russian terrorists who have entered America don’t really play that much of a significant role to the film.  We are told they are dangerous, as some were trained by “Cassius” but somehow instead of continuing with the Russian terrorist causing trouble storyline, they aren’t the people responsible for the dead bodies in the film.

And I truly believe this is possibly where not having a big budget can hurt a spy thriller.  We expect so much these days in spy thriller films may it be explosions, big body count or exotic locations and perhaps that is why some may feel that the lower-budget “The Double” may feel like a let down.  There is no elevation of violence, if anything the film relies too much on the relationship between Agent Shepherdson and Agent Geary and the viewer focusing on whether or not if Shepherdson is going to kill Geary and his family.  Not much is done by the “menacing” Russians who illegally entered the country.

Granted, we do have a car chase, we do have a few scenes with people shooting guns at each other but it’s not enough.

As for the performance, Richard Gere still shows us that he can be a pretty active as a character lead and for Topher Grace, an action role in a spy thriller is definitely a step-up from his ’80s comedy film “Take Me Tonight” and “Spider-Man 3″.    And as for Martin Sheen, while it was great to see him in “The Double”, his appearance in this film is fairly short.

But despite the shortcomings of this film, I did enjoy it for what it is, for what Brandt and Haas were able to accomplish with the budget they had.

The Blu-ray release of “The Double” does look very good in HD and because it’s primarily dialogue, for its lossless audio soundtrack, it becomes much more immersive in the final 20 minutes of the film.  The audio commentary and production featurette were good but if anything, the commentary while insightful, goes to show how challenging Michael Brandt and Derek Haas had while filming this film with a low-budget and were grateful to the people who volunteered their time or not expect a big pay off in order to make this film happen.

Overall, “The Double” may not be a big-budget spy thriller nor should anyone expect any high impact action scenes throughout the entire film, but it’s still an enjoyable film worth watching.

Media Q&A with actress Stana Katic of “Castle” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

September 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Actress Stana Katic is known for her role as Detective Kate Beckett in the ABC series “Castle”.

The half Serbian and Croatian actress grew up in Canada and the United States  and studied at Chicago’s Goodman School of Drama.  In 2004, she made her first television debut as a flight attendant on “Alias” followed by appearances on “L.A. Dragnet” and “The Shield”.  But in 2006, the actress appeared on the series “24″ and in 2007 on the series “Heroes” which would lead to feature film roles in “Quantum of Solace” and “The Spirit”.

“Castle” revolves around Richard Castle (played by actor Nathan Fillion, “Firefly”, “Drive” and “Desperate Housewives”) as 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 (played by actress 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 on what to write next, 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. But as they later find out, the two are developing feelings for each other, but both keep it inside in order to keep their professional relationship platonic.  But how long can that last?

Season four of “Castle” premiered on ABC on Sept. 19th.  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 actress Stana Katic as she reflects on the third season “Castle”.

What do you like about Kate Beckett, the character you play on Castle?

STANA:  I like the way that Kate is imperfectly perfect. She doesn’t always make the right choices, but she will try to. When she doesn’t make the right choice, for whatever reason, she wants to get it right in the end. I like that about her. I like it when a person fails by accident, but they then step up to the plate in order to try and fix things. Kate always tries to do better. She always tries to improve.

 

Do you think that helps the audience relate to Beckett?

STANA: Absolutely. Beckett is not always going to make the right choices and I think that’s what everybody faces on a daily basis. Sometimes we screw up and in spite of screwing up you’re still given an opportunity to go back up to the plate and try again. Life says, “Hey, it’s a new day. Try it again and try to do it better.” Beckett is that kind of character. That’s probably what I like the most about her. She’s like a hero who is flawed and I think that’s why she really has a connection with the audience.

 

How does Beckett cope with relationships in Season Three?

STANA:  I love the way that she handles relationships this season. I understand that she is a girl who doesn’t want to break up something that’s really great. She doesn’t want to break up a great friendship and a great working relationship. I think any girl in Beckett’s situation would probably make the same choice.

 

Does she continue to investigate the murder of her mother in Season Three?

STANA:  Definitely. And there are some huge revelations that happen this season, too. Beckett might not show it during other episodes, but she is continuing to do her own pursuit at home for sure.

 

How do you keep your character so fresh on a long-running show?

STANA:  It’s my job to keep it interesting for me, as well as for the people who are watching. As an actor, you try to attack a scene that you might have done 30 different ways already. You have to find the 31st way. As we keep exploring Beckett’s inner life and peeling away layers of her, there will be so many more beats to play.

 

There are rumors that the cast gets to sing together this season… Is that true?

STANA:  There is an episode in Season Three that revolves around an old bar in New York. If you’ve ever been to New York, you’ll know that there is a great pub culture there where people circulate around the same bar. It’s a hangout for people, and in a way, it’s almost like Cheers. That episode is all about finding a community around a place and Castle ends up buying the bar at the end of the episode. So, we all had a Cheers moment and sang together.

 

We don’t usually get to hear the cast sing… How did everyone do?

STANA:  Everybody on the cast has a beautiful voice, from Nathan and Seamus to Ruben and Jon, who is actually recording his own CD project on the side. It wasn’t difficult to film, other than we had to have a series of close ups singing, so they did extra takes just to get those. But everyone’s voices are really fantastic.

 

Will the bar become a new set on the show?

STANA:  I hope so. I know that’s probably on the writers’ radar, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

 

Beckett often gets into scrapes in the show. Do you enjoy playing the physical side of the character?

STANA:  I love it! I have a lot of brothers, so I had to survive when I was growing up. In that way, I’ve had a lot of practice and I find it easy to do physical stuff. I really love it, and I’d love to do more of it. I want to do action films one day. I want to go and hang from wires, and jump off bridges, and hang on bungee cords. I’ve always really loved it.

 

What are your main priorities when you’re not working?

STANA:  The most important thing for me in life is to explore and to live as fully as possible, to be as fully engaged and fully alive as I can be.

 

Have you reached the point where you are recognized wherever you go now?

STANA:  No, I’m not fully there. Occasionally people recognize me. When I went to the Oscars, somebody asked me to sign their program, which was really nice and very flattering.

 

Can you tell us about the environmental project you’re involved with?

STANA:  Sure. I started a scheme called The Alternative Travel Project and the idea behind it is very simple: that by making a small change in your own life, you can affect the world. If a big group of people decides to make a decision together, the ripple effects across the globe can be life altering.

 

Are your Castle co-stars involved with the project?

STANA:  I recorded a series of videos with Seamus Dever, who plays Detective Kevin Ryan on the show. We gave up our cars for seven days to see what would happen. The idea was to ask people across the globe to go car-free for just one day – and it worked. People began writing in to pledge their own day without a car. And now it’s cascading into something bigger because schools want to be a part of it, too.

 

Are you proud of the effect the project has had so far?

STANA:  Absolutely. It’s wonderful because people are discovering new ways of traveling and it’s opening up different lifestyles to them. We have a school in Romania that goes car-free every Friday, and we’ve heard beautiful stories from places like Columbia where they have had car-free days for years. We have supporters across the globe in countries like Belgium, France, England, Saudi Arabia, Japan, all over North America and Latin America. Everyone is trying to give up cars for a day. There’s even a girl in Michigan who started traveling to work on a surfboard everyday. It’s really neat.

 

What are your ambitions for The Alternative Travel Project?

STANA:  My end goal is to hopefully change the experience of travel and lifestyle here in Los Angeles. I want to start on a small scale with L.A. and then maybe encourage people across the globe to have that same experience in their own cities. For Europeans, it almost seems absurd because not traveling by car is ingrained in their culture. But Los Angeles is a really car-centric society, so for us to find ways of traveling without automobiles is a little more difficult.

 

What do you like to do during your downtime?

STANA:  On set, I might read in my trailer. I’ll put on some music or watch a DVD. And if we have a lot of time off from the show, I’ll go and travel. I read a lot of film projects, too. I’m always looking for the next movie I would like to do during our Castle hiatus, so that takes up a lot of my time.

 

What are your favorite books?

STANA:  I have a number of favorite books that I have talked about in the past like Zorba The Greek and The Master And Margarita. I just finished a book called City Of Refuge by Tom Piazza, which is about the hurricane floods in New Orleans. It’s a fascinating read.

 

What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?

STANA: I love everything from classical to independent music, as well as folk music from across the globe. Today, I’ve been listening to The Raconteurs, Florence And The Machine and U2. I listen to whatever you can possibly imagine. I really, really love music. It’s an important part of my day to just sit down and listen to some extraordinary compositions. I love it. It’s the perfect way to relax.

 

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!

NATHAN FILLION AND STANA KATIC RETURN FOR SEASON THREE OF “CASTLE,” PREMIERING SEPTEMBER 20 ON ABC

September 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

When the new season of “Castle” begins, Beckett hasn’t heard from Castle since he left for the Hamptons months ago to finish writing his second Nikki Heat novel, “Naked Heat” (on sale September 28). The most Beckett, Ryan and Esposito have seen of Castle is a bookstore standee of him advertising an upcoming book signing. So when Beckett and her team burst into a shadowy apartment on the trail of a murderer, the last thing they expect to see is the real-life Castle standing over a dead woman’s body holding a gun! As Castle protests his innocence, Beckett has no choice but to arrest him on suspicion of murder, on the Season Three premiere of “Castle,” MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

A review screener and clips from this episode will be posted at www.abcmedianet.com.

“Castle” stars Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, Stana Katic as NYPD Detective Kate Beckett, Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers, Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle, Ruben Santiago-Hudson as NYPD Captain Roy Montgomery, Tamala Jones as Medical Examiner Lanie Parish, Jon Huertas as NYPD Detective Javier Esposito and Seamus Dever as NYPD Detective Kevin Ryan.

Guest Cast: Michael Rady as Evan Murphy, Charlene Amoia as Ana Marie, Gino Cafarelli as Dean Carbino, Justice Gamble as bartender, Lisa O’Hare as Kitty Canary, Craig Gellis as Earl Moreland.

“A Deadly Affair” was written by Andrew Marlowe and directed by Rob Bowman.

“Castle” is produced by ABC Studios. Andrew Marlowe is creator/executive producer/writer, along with executive producers Rob Bowman, Laurie Zaks and David Amann.

“Castle” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound. A TV parental guideline will be assigned closer to airdate.

“Naked Heat” (out September 28) is the thrilling sequel to Richard Castle’s “Heat Wave,” which spent 16 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list when it was published last fall. This is Castle’s second mystery novel to feature Nikki Heat, a tough, sexy and professional detective based on NYPD Homicide Detective Kate Beckett, with whom Castle solves crimes and trades barbs from one case to the next. The two are no strangers to innuendos and unfulfilled sexual tension while trailing murderers.

For more information on “Castle,” visit ABC.com. Viewers can also follow the show via http://facebook.com/Castle and Twitter: Castle_ABC

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!

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