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Latest DVDs, CDs, books: May 03, 2011

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


“The Green Hornet” (PG-13): Ne’er-do-well media heir Britt Reid (Seth Rogen, who also co-scripted) teams up with his father’s assistant Kato (Taiwan pop star Jay Chou) to form a masked crimefighting duo in a spoofy update of the radio and TV favorite featuring Cameron Diaz.

Elsewhere on the recent-release front, “The Dilemma” casts Vince Vaughn and Kevin James as business partners whose friendship is threatened when one discovers the other’s wife may be cheating on him — and wonders whether he should tell. And Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” gets a Latin beat in “From Prada to Nada” (PG-13), as spoiled Beverly Hills sisters (Camilla Belle, Alexa Vega) find themselves penniless — and forced to move in with their estranged aunt (Adriana Barraza) from East L.A.

Turning to movies that never played local theaters, the road-trip drama “My Own Love Song” (not rated) stars Renee Zellweger as a wheelchair-bound ex-singer and Forest Whitaker as her traveling companion. Stellan Skarsgard takes on the title role — a gangster — in the deadpan Norwegian comedy “A Somewhat Gentle Man” (not rated). And the documentary “Sync or Swim” (not rated) dives into the Olympic sport of synchronized swimming. Topping today’s Blu-Ray disc debuts: Gregory Peck in the Oscar-winning World War II drama “12 O’Clock High” (not rated); Ingmar Bergman’s bittersweet comedy “Smiles of a Summer Night” (not rated); and a double bill starring Las Vegas favorite Tony Curtis, “Houdini” (not rated) and “Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies” (G).

Two other local favorites lead today’s TV-to-DVD transfers (all unrated) with “Penn & Teller Bullshit: The Complete Eighth Season,” plus “Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Second Season,” “According to Jim: The Complete Third Season,” “Boy Meets World: The Complete Fifth Season” and “Melrose Place: Sixth Season, Vol. One.”


Beastie Boys, “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two”: They’re older and wiser and they don’t hesitate to let you know it.

The Beastie Boys have become hip-hop’s elder statesmen, and on their excellent latest disc, and first in seven years, they embrace their roots rather than try and change with the times.

As such, “Hot Sauce” somehow manages to sound equally familiar and fresh.

Also in stores: Architecture in Helsinki, “Moment Bends”; Blind Boys of Alabama, “Take the High Road”; Brandi Carlile, “Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony”; dredg, “Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy”; Dwarves, “The Dwarves Are Born Again”; Fleet Foxes, “Helplessness Blues”; Aretha Franklin, “A Woman Falling Out of Love”; Jennifer Lopez, “LOVE?”; Musiq Soulchild, “MUSIQINTHEMAGIQ”; Stevie Nicks, “In Your Dreams”; Donny & Marie Osmond, “Donny & Marie”; RuPaul, “Glamazon”; Sixx: A.M., “This Is Gonna Hurt”; Various Artists, “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 38.”


“Dead Reckoning” by Charlaine Harris: She’s back! Telepath Sookie Stackhouse faces more problems in this series installment after witnessing the firebombing of the bar where she works and discovering that her lover and his “child” are plotting to kill their vampire master.

James Patterson also has a series installment out this week. “10th Anniversary,” the latest in the Women’s Murder Club series, finds Sgt. Lindsay Boxer investigating the disappearance of a newborn baby.

Also hitting shelves: “American Outlaw” by Jesse James; “Bite Club” by Rachel Caine; “Caleb’s Crossing” by Geraldine Brooks; “The Delta Solution” by Patrick Robinson; “Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?” by Steven Tyler; “From This Moment On” by Shania Twain; “The Hot Gate” by John Ringo; “If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t)” by Betty White; “If You Were Here” by Jen Lancaster; “Illusions” by Aprilynne Pike; “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business” by Dick Van Dyke; “Normal Gets You Nowhere” by Kelly Cutrone; “Sixkill” by Robert B. Parker; “The Throne of Fire” by Rick Riordan; and “The Wedding Shawl” by Sally Goldenbaum.

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