Top 6 Picks: Etta James CD, Harry Potter DVD, King James Bible documentary, and more

An anthology of Etta James' earliest recordings, a newly released DVD of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1,' the movie 'The Book That Changed the World: The Amazing Tale of the King James Bible,' and more recommendations.

Etta James: The Essential Modern Records Collection.
Balloon doodles,
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 DVD

Balloon doodles recently ran a competition for drawing doodles on balloons. The winning entries are a creative tour de force of what can become of a lowly balloon. Click on "showcase" and scroll through deer, tigers, dogs, and a masterly family portrait.

Behind the comedy

HBO's intriguing hour of comedy shoptalk, Talking Funny, is occasionally R-rated for four-letter words, but mostly it's an engrossing look inside the minds of serious comedians as they deconstruct their art form for one another. Produced by Ricky Gervais, it includes Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Louis C.K. Airs April 22 on the premium cable channel.


Even before she became a music superstar, Etta James was making great music, and this is demonstrated on a new compilation of her earliest recordings, Etta James: The Essential Modern Records Collection. Featuring funny songs like "The Pick Up" and "Shortnin' Bread Rock," this collection shows a playful side of James that is often underappreciated. As this album makes clear, the singer of the ballad "At Last" can also tell a joke.

A story of friendship and triumph

Academy Award-winning film The King's Speech, a remarkable movie about a remarkable friendship between King George VI and Lionel Logue, an unorthodox speech therapist, comes out on DVD and Blu-ray April 19. Features include a commentary by director Tom Hooper, special film footage of the real king, and a featurette on the making of the film.

Intrigue and mystery behind a Bible translation

The Book That Changed the World: The Amazing Tale of the Birth of the King James Bible, just out on DVD, melds a costume drama worthy of "Masterpiece Theater" with the mystery of a "Ghost Hunters" episode. Who knew that the story of a book that's been called the greatest work of English literature and how it came to be could be so entertaining? A 9/11-like "Gunpowder Plot" to blow up the king and Parliament? Humorous banter and clever put-downs? A quest for the king's hidden tomb? It's all topped off with sonorous narration from John Rhys-Davies ("Indiana Jones," "The Lord of the Rings") who surely was born to read from this Book of Books.

Prep for Harry's finale

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 arrives on DVD April 19 in time for many fans to brush up before the grand finale in July – in 3-D. Extras include additional scenes, featurettes about the stars' lives, as well as an enhanced Blu-ray mode interactive feature that prepares viewers for the final battle during the conclusion of the saga.

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