DVD Review “Castle: The Complete Eight and Final Season”

Actors: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan, Molly Quinn, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever
Number of discs: 5
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
DVD Release Date: August 23, 2016
Run Time: 946 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have been a hardcore “Castle” fan since the very first episode. It is really hard for me to close the book on this series with “The Complete Eight and Final Season”. I feel like this show still had a lot of great life in it. I loved EVERY SINGLE episode and the chemistry between the cast was like no other show I have ever seen. I also fee like even though this season gives the show a fitting ending, I still can’t believe that it is over. I have been a huge Nathan Fillion for years before this show and I can’t wait to see what he is going to do next (other than his upcoming role on “Modern Family”). At least we have these DVD releases to revisit the show forever! (Even though I would have preferred Blu-ray).

Official Premise: Their fiery love affair has kept your pulse pounding week after week for the past eight seasons. Now, the heartfelt final chapter of Rick Castle and Kate Beckett comes to an end as one of the most beloved couples in television history match wits with their ultimate rival in a fight that will define their future. The season begins with a bang as a call from a mysterious stranger puts Beckett on the run and sets off an explosive chain of events. The action heats up when Castle’s daughter, Alexis, joins her father to solve the case of a lifetime. Fresh faces and unforgettable characters from the past join the precinct in a year full of devastating twists and turns. It all leads to the stunning series finale that will keep you on the edge of your seat and close the book on the incredible story of Castle and Beckett.

The DVD includes a collection of special features. There are audio commentaries included on a few of this seasons episodes as well as bloopers and deleted scenes included. “The Great Escape” is a really fun feature that puts the whole cast of the show locked in a room and sets a ticking clock. They have to hone their skills that they have learned from working on the eight seasons of the show to solve mystery and escape! So fun and a great way to see the cast work together on a case on last time! Let’s hope that ABC will eventually release these on Blu-ray or at least a really cool box set collector’s edition.

DVD Review “Castle: The Complete Seventh Season”

Actors: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Seamus Dever, Jon Huertas, Tamala Jones
Number of discs: 5
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
DVD Release Date: September 1, 2015
Run Time: 982 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

It is really rare for a show to last seven seasons and then actually still be good. “Castle” is a show that gets better with each season. The cast rounds one one of the best ensembles for a show on television. Season seven was easily the best season to date. It featured our couple Castle and Beckett finally getting married, which was a great culmination of the seven seasons. I just love how this show was developed over the years and never ceases to include non-stop laughs as well as very intense drama. This show really knows how to blend the two so well. I can’t wait to see what they have planned for season eight. Bring it on guys! No slowing down!

Official Season Premise: The wedding bells are ringing, but will Castle and Beckett really tie the knot? An astonishing turn of events tears television’s most lovable couple apart in a captivating new season of ABC’s beloved and inspired series. Experience every unforgettable moment with Castle: The Complete Seventh Season. On the biggest day of his life, Castle is nowhere to be found…and it’s not because he has cold feet. Now, in a season of brilliant twists and turns, Castle and Beckett take on New York City’s most fascinating cases while they try to solve the mystery of their own relationship. Join them as they hunt for an “Invisible Man,” travel to the Old West and witness the return of their deadly rival, Dr. Kelly Nieman.

Even though ABC has never released this series on Blu-ray, this DVD has some good special features for us hardcore “Castle” fans. There are two audio commentary tracks included. The first is on the episode, “Driven” with Director Rob Bowman, cast Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever, and Writer David Amann. The other episode is “Reckoning” with Nathan Fillion and Michael Mosley, Creator/Executive Producer/Writer Andrew W. Marlowe and Executive Producer/Director Rob Bowman. There is an uncut webmerical for “Raging Heat” included, which is great.

There is an outstanding never-before-seen DVD exclusive music video created by Ryan and Esposito for Castle and Beckett’s wedding called “Definition of Love” performed under the name of Shay-Jean The Dynamic Duo.  Ryan and Esposito are two of my favorite characters ever and this video is absolutely amazing! Next is “The Cast Behind The Cast”, which goes into the shows background and stand-ins for “Castle” and their essential role in the show introduced by the cast. Lastly, there are some bloopers and deleted scenes, which are a fantastic treat for any fan of the show. You can tell that this cast really has a blast on this show.

 

DVD Review “Castle: The Complete Sixth Season”

Actors: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly C. Quinn
Number of discs: 5
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: ABC Studios
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2014
Run Time: 984 minutes

Season: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Castle” is hands down my favorite show on television. The show recently finished its sixth season and yet it shows no signs of fatigue and has never been better. The direction of the show has only gotten better since the hooking up of Castle and Becket. Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic are a perfect couple in this show. They are funny as hell when they have to be and pack some serious drama when in a crisis. Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever also deserve a major shout out because these guys are the back bone to this amazing show. They are a fantastic duo and always steal the show. This season left us off with a HUGE cliffhanger on the day of the couples wedding. I am dying to see where this show goes with the new season starting this month. Keep it up guys! This show is fantastic!

Official Premise: After Castle’s stunning romantic proposal to Beckett, what happens next? TV’s magnetic crime-fighting couple faces a whole new set of challenges as they juggle wedding plans and their most intriguing cases yet in ABC’s “Castle: The Complete Sixth Season”. Beckett’s new job with the Justice Department takes her away from the wisecracking love of her life. But Castle’s devotion to his new fiancee — and her fascinating line of work — jeopardizes her career and creates a chain of events that might separate them forever. Back on the home front, Castle is none too pleased to discover his daughter has seemingly been captivated by, and now living with, her new, free-spirited boyfriend.

“Castle: The Complete Sixth Season” comes complete with all 23 episodes and a great deal of never-before-seen bonus features only available on DVD. Disc 1 through Disc 4 has audio commentary tracks for four episodes. The episode “Need To Know” has a clever Character Commentary with Detectives Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan. “The Good, The Bad & The Baby” has a commentary track from Director John Terlesky, Consulting Producer/Writer Terri Edda Miller, Nathan Fillion and Seamus Dever. “Deep Cover” has commentary with Supervising Producer/Writer Terrence Paul Winter, Nathan Fillion, Susan Sullivan and James Brolin (WOW). Lastly, “In The Belly of the Beast” includes a track with Creator/Executive Producer/Writer Andrew W. Marlowe, Executive Producer/Writer David Amann and Executive Producer/Director Rob Bowman. These are all great commentary tracks and a fantastic way to revisit these episodes.

There are various deleted scenes spread out over discs 1, 3 and 4. “Castle Karaoke” is an extended performance of Seamus Dever singing “What I Like About You” in “The Way of the Ninja”. “Castle in a Day with Stana Katic” gives us an inside look into a day in the life of Castle with actress Stana Katic, which happens to be the big the cliffhanger scene of the season 6 finale. “A Few of Our Favorite Things” features Nathan Fillion, Susan Sullivan and Molly Quinn and other cast and crew share telling us about their favorite things about Castle. Lastly there are some very funny Bloopers included. I just wish ABC would be releasing this show on Blu-ray like “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” and “Once Upon a Time”.

Book Review “Disney Palace Pets: Guess Who Castle Cuties”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Guess Who
Hardcover: 10 pages
Publisher: Reader’s Digest
Release Date: August 12, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Disney is not dumb at all. They released a free app for kids called “Disney Palace Pets”. Parents probably though…”Hey, it’s free”. But I have spent more money in Disney Palace Pets merchandise in the last few months than any other Disney product. There are not only the app but also action figures and other books as well. But let you tell you I love everything that comes out of this series. When I see my daughters face when you interacts with these characters, there is nothing better in the world.

Official Premise: Young Disney Princess fans will have hours of fun listening to the rhymes and guessing which adorable Disney Palace Pet is hidden behind each flap in this enchanting hardcover book that includes sparkly glitter on the cover. With their hug-me expressions, big eyes, and dainty curls, characters such as Aurora’s darling kitty, Rapunzels’ prancing pony, and Cinderella’s playful pup are sure to win everyone’s heart.

This new book,  “Disney Palace Pets: Guess Who Castle Cuties” features our favorite Disney Princesses and, of course, their pets. The text is simple and rhymes well. It also includes sturdy flaps to lift and find these little cuties. This is a not a flimsy book each. I have seen numerous flap books that rip right away but this one is holding up well. I have no idea how my daughter does it but she not only knows ever Princess but also their corresponding Palace Pets. A must have book!

Book Review “Raging Heat” by Richard Castle

Author: Richard Castle
Series: Nikki Heat (Book 6)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Kingswell
Release Date: September 16, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When I think about “Castle”, I always flash back to 2009, where the first season only had 10 episodes and a slim chance of getting renewed. Luckily ABC made the right now as the show is entering its seventh season already, which is a major accomplishment for a TV show. It also developed two fantastic book series around the shows fictional character, Nikki Heat and Derrick Storm. “Raging Heat” is the sixth book in the Nikki Heat series and seriously, I can’t believe it but this series is not slowing down at all. These books are fresh and each are literally unable to be put down once you start.

Official Synopsis: In New York Times Bestselling author Richard Castle’s newest novel, an illegal immigrant falls from the sky and NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat’s investigation into his death quickly captures the imagination of her boyfriend the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jameson Rook. When he decides to work the case with Heat as his next big story, Nikki is at first happy to have him ride along. Yes, she must endure Rook’s usual wild conspiracy speculations and adolescent wisecracks, but after reuniting following his recent assignment abroad, she’s glad for the entertainment, the chance to bounce ideas, and just to be close to him again and feel the old spark rekindle. But when Rook’s inquiry concludes that Detective Heat has arrested the wrong man for the murder, everything changes.

I also just heard word that there are plans for a Derrick Storm spin-off series, I think that would be amazing. Hint hint though, don’t forget my girl now Nikki Heat, that would make a fantastic series as well. When you are reading these books, they really are so visual. I think that is since it comes from the writers of the TV series. They write it so well that they literally jump off the pages. After the cliffhanger of season six, I cannot wait to pick up with the next season in the next few weeks. What I also love about Richard Castle books is that I know that when each season ends we get a Derrick Storm book and when the season begins we get a new Nikki Heat book, so keep them coming guys!

Graphic Novel Review “Castle: Richard Castle’s Unholy Storm”

Author: Cullen Bunn
Series: Castle: Derrick Storm
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Marvel
Release Date: May 13, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When I started watching “Castle” in 2009, I would have thought that it would have still be going so strong now 5 years later. The show just got renewed for a second season. There has been seven (with two more on the way) novels released which were spin off from the show’s characters Nikki Heat and Derrick Storm, as well as three e-books for Derrick Storm. Then I haven’t even gotten to the graphic novels yet. There been “Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm”, “Richard Castle’s Storm Season” and “Richard Castle’s A Calm Before Storm” released in comic book form. I swear every time I think about it I just get so excited with the success that this show has had. “Richard Castle’s Unholy Storm” is the latest graphic novel release based on the series and it is easily one of the best yet.

Official Premise: The best-selling graphic novel saga, based on the world of ABC’s hit prime-time series, continues! Derrick Storm is back. And he has a new, deadly case to solve. When the daughters of four high-powered international businessmen are discovered dead in NY, the NYPD scrambles to bring the murderer to justice. But when a fifth girl is found mutilated in a pool of her own blood, her prestigious French family hires Derrick Storm to run his own investigation and find the real killer. Storm has only one lead – a strange symbol drawn in blood. Storm enlists the help of the beautiful and daring Clara Strike, his CIA handler. Together they uncover a deep web of deception under the guise of mysticism and devotion. And in a race against time, this most unlikely pair unlock a mystery capable of creating global catastrophe!

Ever since I read the three e-books focusing on the character of Derrick Storm, I have been hooked. I love his smart ass attitude and wit. He also proves himself to be extremely sharp as well. I love the style for these graphic novels. I have always had a picture of Derrick Storm in my head and these illustrators completely nailed it. He is ruggedly handsome like you would expect and his CIA operative Strike is drawn quite voluptuous, as you would expect in a graphic novel aimed for guys. Throw in a little spy/detective work and some zombies/vampires and you have me hooked. My only complaint with this release is that I want more and I really don’t want to wait till next year for the next graphic novel. Luckily, we have never episodes of “Castle” and Nikki Heat’s latest novel with “Raging Heat” this ” September.

Game Review “Castle The Detective Card Game”

Designed by: Matt Hyra
Format: Board/Card Game
Cryptozoic Entertainment
Requires 1 to 5 players
10-45 minutes playtime

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Castle” is easily one of the best shows on TV. I love everything about the show from the clever stories to the fantastic cast. When I saw that Cryptozoic Entertainment released a card game based around the show, I knew that I had to give it a go. In the world of high-def video games, this was a welcomed change and I feel that people sometimes forget what it is like to play a actually card game. The game is very easy to pick up and once you get started tons of fun for everyone involved. Highly recommend for any fan of “Castle”. I see myself playing this game quite often over the next few months.

Official Premise: “Castle The Detective Card Game” is your opportunity to gather clues, make deductions, and determine the murderer, just like Castle and Beckett do each week. As a new detective, you’ve been asked to assist on a slew of murders raging across the island of Manhattan. Do you have what it takes to catch a killer?

You can be one of six characters including Castle, Beckett, Esposito, Ryan, Lanie and The Captain, each of them have their own special ability that can be used once per game. The idea of the game is simple, there are a series of suspect cards and one each you place one poker chips on each (heads down) with the word “guilty” or “not guilty” written on them. Each of the suspect card have three investigations that are required to be made before you can confront. The investigation cards are dealt out to each player and on each turn you are able to pick or dispose a card. The deck consists of of eighty-one cards with nine conditions including investigate crime scene, poker game consult, autopsy and more.

The game itself requires 1 to 5 players in order to play and the games can range from around 10 minutes to 45 minutes. In fact, the first game I played, I got three investigation cards that matched the required conditions on a suspect. I confronted that suspect and immediately got the guilty chip, so it is really all luck of the draw there. Other plays I played lasted much longer. The rules of the game vary due to the amount of people playing.

The game may not be the most difficult and complex game to play but there is tons of possibilities and due to the random choices, you can easily play this game many times before it gets repetitive. In fact, I would love it if Cryptozoic would release new suspects and investigation cards as an add-on bonus to this game, that would you can keep it fresh after playing for a while. Also “Castle” fans be aware that if you purchase the “Season Five” DVD, you get a bonus investigation card as well. Have fun!

DVD Review “Castle: The Complete Fifth Season”

Actors: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Tamala Jones
Number of discs: 5
Studio: ABC Studios
DVD Release Date: September 10, 2013
Run Time: 1032 minutes

Season: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Man, do I love “Castle”! It is easily my favorite show on television. The show is so amazing and has shown such amazing growth over its five seasons. I have watched plenty of procedural cop shows and there are literally none of them come close to this show. The writing is like no other show that I have seen on television, the dialogue is so sharp and witty. We have been watching these characters now for the last five seasons and I love where they are taking each of them as each episode progress.  The scales of the episodes are also so large and epic. You would think that a show going into its fifth season would get lazy and repetitive but this show never ceases to surprise you.

The chemistry between Beckett and Castle are amazing, especially this season since they finally get together after four seasons of tension. In fact season five is easily my favorite of season to date. We all know that we want to see Beckett and Castle together, we have been teased with that over the last four seasons. In season five we were delivered that relationship and also given what a cliffhanger. Is Beckett going to take the job in Washington or get married to Castle and stay in NYC.  Seriously, I am getting chills just typing those words.  I can’t wait to see what direction they are going to take this show in the sixth season. Keep up the great job guys!

Official Premise: 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!

ABC Studios has delivered impressive DVD releases for this show ever since season one, though I am always disappointed that it has never been given the Blu-ray treatment like other ABC show’s “Once Upon a Time”. This five disc set includes the amazing 24 episodes of season 5 along with the tons of amazing special features.  Also for an extra bonus we get trading cards for the seasons three and four, which are set to be released this Winter and a special card you can used with the recently released Castle Detective Card Game. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the card game it is amazing and a must have for any “Castle” fan.

The special features are just as epic as this season. There are four amazing audio commentary tracks included. The first on the episode “The Final Frontier” which features Nathan Fillion, Director Jonathan Frakes and costume designer Luke Reichle. This episode is amazing and the commentary is just as good. Fillion is always a blast when he gets the microphone. Next up, is “Target” with Molly Quinn, Susan Sullivan, Executive Producer/Writer David Amann and Director Bill Roe, which is also a must. The next episode commentary is on “Hunt” with Executive Producer/Writer Andrew W Marlowe and Director Rob Bowman join Nathan Fillion and Molly Quinn. The last commentary track is on the 100th episode “The Lives of Others” and includes writers Andrew W Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller as well as editor Marta Evry and composer Robert Duncan.

If those commentary tracks aren’t enough, there is still more.  There are some great deleted scenes included and the bloopers are a must watch. You can tell that these people really have a great time doing what they do on this show. You can also see how well they all get along. There are some great featurettes including “Lot Cops”, which shows Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas going to cop school. Susan Sullivan takes us through the 100th episode in “Martha’s Master Class” and “Your Home Is Your Castle” looks into the set designs for Castle’s loft and Beckett’s apartment. Lastly there also is an Easter Egg included for “The Final Frontier”.

Book Review “Deadly Heat” by Richard Castle

Author: Richard Castle
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: September 17, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Who loves ABC’s “Castle”, raise your hand! It is easily one of my favorite shows of all-time. It is also one of those shows that you are simply not able to turn off even repeat. This show has expanded well beyond just being a high-rated critically successful TV series to a New York Times Bestseller book series as well. “Richard Castle”, who is played by Nathan Fillion (“Firefly”) in the show, has created this continuing universe with the character Nikki Heat, which was spun off from the show itself. “Deadly Heat” is the fifth novel in series which focuses on NYPD homicide detective Nikki Heat and journalist Jameson Rook, based on the characters Castle and Beckett. You might wonder how long can they keep this going before it gets old but this series has never been hotter. I thought that “Frozen Heat” was a great title but it just seems to get better and better.

Official Premise: Determined to find justice for her mother, top NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat continues to pursue the elusive former CIA station chief who ordered her execution more than a decade ago. For the hunt, Nikki teams once again with her romantic partner, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Jameson Rook, and their quest for the old spy and the motive behind the past murder unearths an alarming terror plot, which is anything but ancient history. It is lethal. It is now. And it has already entered its countdown phase. Complicating Heat’s mission to bring the rogue spy to justice and thwart the looming terror event, a serial killer begins menacing the Twentieth Precinct, and her homicide squad is under pressure to stop him, and soon. Known for his chilling stealth, the diabolical murderer not only singles out Nikki as the exclusive recipient of his taunting messages, he names her as his next victim.

The book is such an easy read and if you are a fan of the show you will feel like you are playing out an episode in your head. The book is action-packed, thrilling, sexy and just plain fun. One thing I like about this series is that it does have continuity from the past books but you are still able to pick it up and read without having read the prior four books and can still enjoy. So get ready to laugh yet at the same time bite those nails as you race to turn the pages on this book.  I would also be surprised if you are even able to put this book down, as I literally finished it in one sitting.  It is just one of those that nothing could get my attention away from it while I was reading.  I can’t wait to see what “Richard Castle” comes up with next in this Nikki Heat series and also I would hope to see more novels in the Derrick Storm series as well. The future seems very plentiful for this series.

Studio Ghilbi Blu-ray Giveaway: “Howl’s Moving Castle” & “My Neighbor Totoro” [ENDED]

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To celebrate the release of Studio Ghilbi’s latest Blu-ray releases, Media Mikes would like to giveaway a Blu-ray of both “Howl’s Moving Castle” & “My Neighbor Totoro”. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating your favorite Studio Ghibli film and why? This giveaway will remain open until May 31st at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all fans of Media Mikes, worldwide!! One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

“Howl’s Moving Castle” Official Premise: Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a spell on Sophie. In a life-changing adventure, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and enters a magical world on a quest to break the spell. Featuring the voice talents of Christian Bale and Billy Crystal, Miyazaki’s artistry comes to life with inventive characters, unique storytelling, and richly detailed animation. Your whole family will love this epic fantasy on Disney Blu-ray!

“My Neighbor Totoro” Official Premise: Follow the adventures of Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei as they discover their new neighbor is a mysterious forest spirit named Totoro who can only be seen by the eyes of a child. As Totoro introduces the girls to his extraordinary friends, they embark on the journey of a lifetime. Featuring the voice talents of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, My Neighbor Totoro is an amazing animated adventure the whole family will fall in love with.

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Blu-ray Review “Howl’s Moving Castle”

Actors: Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Billy Crystal
Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Run Time: 119 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

You have no idea how excited I am for this Blu-ray! This is one of my all-time favorite Studio Ghibli films form the amazing Hayao Miyazaki. I don’t even know where to start with this film.  The story. The music. The characters.  everything about “Howl’s Moving Castle” is just amazing. It is one of those films that you can just watch over and over and never get bored. The film gets better and better with each viewing.  Thanks to Disney this film has also never looked better with a stunning new HD digital transfer, and perfect picture and sound! Perfect, that is a great word to describe this film. If you are a Ghibli fan, this is a must have for your collection.

Official Premise: Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a spell on Sophie. In a life-changing adventure, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and enters a magical world on a quest to break the spell. Featuring the voice talents of Christian Bale and Billy Crystal, Miyazaki’s artistry comes to life with inventive characters, unique storytelling, and richly detailed animation. Your whole family will love this epic fantasy on Disney Blu-ray!

Disney is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray and also a DVD of the film.  The 1080p transfer is gorgeous and really well done.  The colors jump right off the screen and if you’ve seen this film it is very colorful! There are two audio tracks included, both which are DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  I have to go with the original Japanese track, which has always been my favorite.  Although, the English dub does have Christian Bale and he does give Howl some great life. Also Billy Crystal brings the funny while voice Calcifer. So I guess they are both good in their own way.  The action is captured well with the audio tracks as is the amazing Joe Hisaishi and his wonderful and beautiful score.

The special features are good but not as stunning as I would have hoped but I will take what I can get.  There is a featurette called “Behind the Microphone”, which shows our cast behind-the-scenes who gave these great characters life.  There is an interview with Pixar Animation Studios Director, Pete Docter, who worked on the US release for this film. There is a fun feature “Hello Mr. Lasseter”, which shows us Hayao Miyazaki visits to Pixar Animation Studios.  Lastly there are the original Japanese TV Spots and Trailers, as well as the original Japanese Storyboards.  ”My Neighbor Totoro” had a great collection of short extras “Behind the Studio”, I would have loved to see that for this release.

Book Review: Richard Castle “Storm Front”

Author: Richard Castle
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: May 21, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Are you a fan of ABC’s “Castle” starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic? Well if you are then you should know that the literary work of author Richard Castle has a life outside the show. “Storm Front” is the latest novel from Richard Castle following “Heat Wave”, “Naked Heat”, “Heat Rises” and “Frozen Heat”, which follow the character Nikki Heat. If you see the trend in the titles, you will notice that this one differs. Last summer we were introduced to world of Derrick Storm with the following short-format eBooks, “A Brewing Storm”, “A Raging Storm” and “A Bloody Storm”. They were great but like I said short. So “Storm Front” is a great way to experience this character in a full length story. What I enjoy most about these books they are a real treat for any fan of “Castle”. But what makes them even better is that if you’ve never heard of “Castle” you are able to pick up this series like it is any other novel.

Official Premise: There’s a storm front coming! Four years after he was presumed dead, Derrick Storm–the man who made Richard Castle a perennial bestseller–is back in this rip-roaring, full-length thriller. From Tokyo, to London, to Johannesburg, high-level bankers are being gruesomely tortured and murdered. The killer, caught in a fleeting glimpse on a surveillance camera, has been described as a psychopath with an eye patch. And that means Gregor Volkov, Derrick Storm’s old nemesis, has returned. Desperate to figure out who Volkov is working for and why, the CIA calls on the one man who can match Volkov’s strength and cunning–Derrick Storm. With the help of a beautiful and mysterious foreign agent–with whom Storm is becoming romantically and professionally entangled–he discovers that Volkov’s treachery has embroiled a wealthy hedge-fund manager and a U.S. senator. In a heated race against time, Storm chases Volkov’s shadow from Paris, to the lair of a computer genius in Iowa, to the streets of Manhattan, then through a bullet-riddled car chase on the New Jersey Turnpike. In the process, Storm uncovers a plot that could destroy the global economy–unleashing untold chaos–which only he can stop.

“Storm Front” follows after the Derrick Storm trilogy, “A Brewing Storm”, “A Raging Storm” and “A Bloody Storm”. So there is some good continuity between the series. The plot is very clever like all novels from Castle and the writing is extremely top notch. Obviously, we know that Nathan Fillion is not writing these books and that is ok with me because he also does not write the scripts to the TV series either. So I think it is safe to say that the ghost writer behind Richard Castle is the show’s own writers. They bring the same wit and sharp dialogue right out of the TV show and you can literally watch the stories action play out like an epic episode of the show. The character of Derrick Storm, our ruggedly handsome agent, is just so sly and you can literally visualize Fillion in his shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nikki Heat, she is amazing but who can so no to a little James Bond-esque espionage thriller. So those looking for more from Richard Castle, don’t worry next up is “Deadly Heat”, which is the fifth book in the Nikki Heat series. It is set to be released September 17th timed with the start of the sixth season of “Castle”.

“Castle: The Complete Fourth Season” DVD Giveaway [ENDED]

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Available on DVD September 11th!

To celebrate the release of “Castle: The Complete Fourth Season”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway 10 copies of this season on DVD. If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite character on the show. This giveaway will be open until September 21st at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

Synopsis:

  • 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.

Talent/Cast:

  • Nathan Fillion (“Firefly”), Stana Katic (”24”), Jon Huertas (“NCIS”), Seamus Dever (“Army Wives”), Susan Sullivan (“Dharma & Greg”), Molly C. Quinn (“A Christmas Carol”), Tamala Jones (“My Name Is Earl”)

Bonus Features:

  • Fillion & Friends: Castle Goes Radio – An exciting chance to follow Nathan Fillion as he makes his long awaited return to guest in the newest installment of the Thrilling Adventure and Supernatural Suspense Hour stage, a.k.a. TASSH, in Los Angeles – but this time he’s not alone as he brings the show’s Molly Quinn and other familiar faces along for some laugh out loud comedy. Fans will get a behind the scenes look as the cast goes through rehearsals and prepares to perform live for a standing room only crowd.
  • Submerged: An In-Depth Look At Stunts – Behind the scenes with the creation of a heartstopping car stunt from development to the final product. This bonus also features interviews with cast about the show’s thrilling stunts.
  • Bowman, Bowman & Castle – A day on set with father and son, director Chuck Bowman and executive producer Rob Bowman, as they work together to create an episode of CASTLE with a unique style and narrative that takes place across two different generations.
  • Audio Commentaries – An exciting commentary, the series’ colorful cast and crew share their on-set experiences.
  • Deleted Scenes – Fans will uncover another level of crime solving through several deleted scenes from the hit series.
  • Bloopers – Hilarious moments from the set of the hit series’ exciting fourth season.

Castle: The Complete Third Season DVD Giveaway [ENDED]

THANK YOU FOR ENTERING, THE CONTEST HAS ENDED. WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EVERY WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

To celebrate the release of Castle: The Complete Third Season and this week’s premirere of season four on ABC, Media Mikes would like to giveaway 10 COPIES of the season on DVD. If you would like to win one of these prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know why CASTLE is your favorite show. This giveaway will be open until Monday October 3rd at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

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 as 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. Crime fighting has never been this much fun! Get on the beat and relive every wild and witty moment in this 5-disc DVD set.

Murder never looked so fun! On DVD, audiences can revisit every crime scene and watch TV’s most unlikely crime-solving duo get the job done! This cool DVD release invites audiences to collect and relive every episode, plus all-new bonus features.

DVD Bonus Features include:
– “Murder They Wrote” – An exciting all-new roundtable featuring series star Nathan Fillion, New York Times best-selling author Michael Connelly and other recognizable names in the world of mystery solving to discuss the genre, tricks of the trade and more
– “Castle Goes Hollywood” – An all new behind-the-scenes look at the season’s episode that takes the series characters to Hollywood
– Cast and Crew Commentary – Back by popular demand, for two episodes
*Episode 301 “A Deadly Affair” With Creator/Executive Producer/Writer Andrew W. Marlowe, Director/Executive Producer Rob Bowman And Actor Nathan Fillion
*Episode 307 “3XK” with Director Bill Roe, Executive Producer/Writer David Amann And Actors Seamus Dever & Jon Huertas
– Hilarious bloopers, deleted scenes, and other gems from Season Three!