Latest DVDs, CDs, books: April 19, 2011


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

DVDS

"The King's Speech" (R): Four Academy Awards, including best picture, went to this fact-based drama about Britain's future King George VI (Oscar winner Colin Firth), who turns to an unorthodox speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) to help rid him of his stutter.

Nicole Kidman, meanwhile, earned an Oscar nomination for "Rabbit Hole" (PG-13), based on David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a once-happy couple (Aaron Eckhart plays the husband) trying to cope with their young son's accidental death. Writer-director Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere" (R) focuses on an aimless movie star (Stephen Dorff) whose 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning) challenges his existential loneliness. Director Peter Weir's fact-based "The Way Back" (PG-13) follows Siberian gulag escapees (led by Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess and Colin Farrell) as they walk 4,000 miles to freedom. And in "Gulliver's Travels" (PG), inspired by Jonathan Swift's classic satire, Jack Black plays the title travel writer, who winds up on an island populated by diminutive locals.

On the documentary front, director Spike Lee returns to New Orleans, five years after Hurricane Katrina, for HBO's award-winning "If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise" (not rated). "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story" (not rated) recalls greats from Hank Greenberg to Sandy Koufax. And "Gas Hole" (not rated) explores the economic and sociological forces behind America's increasing appetite for oil.

Tuning in to TV transfers (all unrated), Clive Owen, Sean Bean and Polly Walker headline a 2002 version of R.D. Blackmore's novel "Lorna Doone," while "The Ernie Kovacs Collection" (not rated) spotlights one of early TV's comic visionaries. Also on tap: "Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure," "Glee Encore," "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air: The Complete Sixth Season" and "American Dad!, Vol. Six."

CDS

Various Artists, "Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers": Some day in the near future, when landfills the world over finally reach capacity, it will most likely have to do with the 347,893 installments of this tedious franchise.

This endless stream of TV tie-in CDs is about as novel and clever as the pet rock.

Seriously, "Glee," sock monkeys think you're old hat.

Your 15 minutes was up, like, 14 minutes ago.

Also in stores: The Belle Brigade, "The Belle Brigade"; Blackfield, "Welcome to My DNA"; Wayne Brady, "RadioWayne"; Gorillaz, "The Fall"; The Head and the Heart, "The Head and the Heart"; The High Llamas, "Talahomi Way"; I'm From Barcelona, "Forever Today"; The Steve Miller Band, "Let Your Hair Down"; Brian Setzer, "Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!"; and Ralph Stanley, "A Mother's Prayer."

BOOKS

"The Sixth Man" by David Baldacci: Former Secret Service agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in to assist in the defense of an accused serial killer awaiting trial in the latest in this series that includes "First Family" and "Simple Genius."

John Flanagan wraps up his Ranger's Apprentice series with "The Emperor of Nihon-Ja," in which Alyss, Evanlyn and Will travel through pirate-infested seas while searching for their missing friend Horace.

Also in stores: "The Dukan Diet" by Pierre Dukan; "Eona: The Last Dragoneye" by Alison Goodman; "Eve" by Iris Johansen; "The Final Testament of the Holy Bible" by James Frey; "Guilt by Association" by Marcia Clark; "Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption -- from South Central to Hollywood" by Ice-T; "Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-Founder of Microsoft" by Paul Allen; "Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom" by Ron Paul; "The Priest's Graveyard" by Ted Dekker; "Quicksilver" by Amanda Quick; and "Reading My Father" by Alexandra Styron.

 

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