Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Castle and Human Target

A couple more DVD reviews for you in one handy dandy post.

Mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) returns for another season to shadow, and bother, NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) in the second season of Castle.

Highlights from the season include the publication of Castle’s first Nikki Heatnovel “Heat Wave,” vampires, the “best case ever” concerning a dead con man who may, or may not, be dead (and may, or may not, be a secret CIA agent), models, a dominatrix (Dina Meyer), a missing bullet, a two-parter involving a serial killer obsessed with Nikki Heat, a murdered bigamist, a Mayan curse, a new boyfriend for Beckett (Michael Trucco), and Alyssa Milano guest-stars as Castle’s long-lost love, and the one who got away, in A Rose for Everafter.

The five-disc set includes all 24 episodes from season two as well as a short collection of extras including a set tour from the show’s sidekick detectives Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas, bloopers and deleted scenes, Fillion spending some time with various members of the cast and crew while on a location shoot, a featurette giving credit to those who play the many, many dead bodies seen on the show, and a pair of music videos from the episode “Famous Last Words.”

Would I like some commentary, or a pre-packapged t-shirt? Sure, but for less than $2 an episode you could do far worse than pick up another season of Castle on DVD.

Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) is a former assassin who now works to save lives as a security specialist by blending into the background, diagnosing a threat, and eliminating it.

Along with former police detective Laverne Winston (Chi McBride) and the unscrupulous Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley), our hero tries to protect various clients by putting himself in harms way. The series is loosely based on the Vertigo Comics series about a detective/bodyguard who assumes the identity of the target as a master-of-disguise (which isn’t a skill set of the TV-character).

The first season includes a runaway train, a princess (Christina Cole) on the run, hidden treasure in a isolated monastery, a hacker (Ali Liebert) with a skeleton key to the Internet, breaking into the Russian Embassy, an crime boss (William B. Davis) and his estranged district attorney daughter (Kristin Lehman), a weapons designer (Kevin Weisman) held captive, a world class assassin (Lennie James), an ultimate fighting tournament, a trip to the jungles of South America, and (in the season finale) the story behind the birth of Christopher Chance.

This season includes plenty of notable guest-stars including Amy Acker as the woman who changed the course of our hero’s life, Lee Majors, Moon Bloodgood, Grace Park, Armand Assante, Tricia Helfer, Timothy Omundson, Peter Wingfield, Courtney Ford, Leonor Varela, and Emmanuelle Vaugier in a recurring role as an FBI Agent who crosses path with our hero.

The 3-disc set includes all twelve episodes, deleted scenes, commentary from the Pilot with creator/producer Jonathan E. Steinberg, producer Peter Johnson, Valley, and McBride, and featurettes on the action sequences of the show, the character of Christopher Chance and creation of the television show.

Human Target is often better than it should be. You’ve got action, suspense, humor, a story-telling perspective that includes fast-forwards and flashbacks, and usually a lovely lady of the week. It’s an awful lot of fun, and definitely worth a look.

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