DVDs, CDs and Books, July 19, 2011

A look at some of the DVDs, CDs and books hitting stores this week:


"Limitless" (PG-13): Facing an uncertain future, a failed writer (Bradley Cooper) finds his life changed forever when he discovers a secret drug that enhances his mental abilities -- and plunges him into intrigue.

In "Take Me Home Tonight" (R), it's back to the '80s as an underachieving MIT grad (Topher Grace) hopes to connect with his secret high-school crush (Teresa Palmer) at a Labor Day bash. And in the French comedy "Potiche" (R), a submissive 1970s trophy wife (Catherine Deneuve) takes command at her husband's umbrella factory after workers go on strike; Gerard Depardieu plays her former flame.

Turning to movies that never made it to local theaters, great white sharks menace hapless humans in Australia's fact-based "The Reef" (R), while "Desert Flower" (R) follows an African nomad's journey to top-model status. Leading today's documentary debuts: "Dumbstruck" (PG), which profiles ventriloquists, including Mirage headliner Terry Fator; "Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune" (not rated), about the '60s protest singer who once (briefly) rivaled friend Bob Dylan before committing suicide in 1976; and "Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird" (not rated), with everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Tom Brokaw reflecting on the beloved novel and its equally beloved film adaptation.

From the vintage vault: the at-long-last DVD debut of the 1975 charmer "Hearts of the West" (PG), starring Jeff Bridges as a naive wannabe writer who becomes a B-movie cowboy star in '30s Hollywood. Topping the TV-to-DVD transfers (all unrated): "Melrose Place: The Complete Sixth Season," "The Girls Next Door: Season Six," "Doctor Who: Season Six, Part One" and "Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series."


3 Doors Down, "Tired of My Life": These dudes are "Tired" all right.

Fans of watered-down radio rock rejoice, here's another one from this by-the-numbers, platinum-selling band.

If you dig safe, predictable rock, you should definitely get a "Life."

Also in stores: Cold, "Superfiction"; Kidz Bop Kids, "Kidz Bop 20"; George Lynch, "Kill All Control"; Tim Robbins and The Rogues Gallery Band, "Tim Robbins and The Rogues Gallery Band"; Shonen Knife, "Osaka Ramones: Tribute to the Ramones"; Ricky Skaggs, "Country Hits Bluegrass Style"; They Might Be Giants, "Join Us"; and 311, "Universal Pulse."


"Portrait of a Spy" by Daniel Silva: A deadly bombing draws international operative Gabriel Allon into another terrorist hunt, this one focusing on an American-born cleric who's plotting a new wave of attacks.

And in "Burnt Mountain" by Anne Rivers Siddons, fond memories lead to disturbing discoveries for Thayer Wentworth after she uncovers secrets about her mother and husband that will forever change her life.

Also hitting shelves: "Always Something There to Remind Me" by Beth Harbison; "The Big Switch" by Harry Turtledove; "Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer" by David Roberts; "Happy Birthday" by Danielle Steel; "Justice" by Karen Robards; "Killed at the Whim of a Hat" by Colin Cotterill; "Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Dominion" by Eric Van Lustbader; "Split Second" by Catherine Coulter; and "Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and Life" by Mike Leach.