Associated Press
Bill Harley will be performing at Timpanogos Storytelling Festival.
A family entertainer in concert and two decidedly adult DVDs round out this look at new releases.

"Yes to Running! Bill Harley Live" — (Round River, 2008, $14.99). Storyteller, stand-up comic and musician Bill Harley is a Grammy-winning children's entertainer who writes children's books, contributes to National Public Radio. Most importantly, he really knows how to speak to kids.

This concert DVD was gleaned from performances at the University of Montana and includes a number of humorous novelty songs as Harley sings to the youngsters in the audience — and their parents, of course — occasionally goading them into singing along while he mugs, warbles and prattles on about the comic foibles of childhood.

The concert audience reacts gleefully, and when you sit down to watch this disc with your children, you'll do the same.

And if you'd like to see him in person, Harley is coming to Orem for the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival that runs Thursday through Saturday. For more information, log on to timpfest.org.

Extras: full frame

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"Joy House" — (Koch Lorber, 1964, b/w, $24.98). French director Rene Clement is best known for his undisputed classic "Forbidden Games," but my personal favorite of his works is "Purple Noon" (the first and best — Ripley— picture).

And this one is also good, providing a nice showcase for '60s heartthrob Alain Delon (who also headlined "Purple Noon"). Jane Fonda, during her French sex-kitten period, and the equally alluring Lola Albright, co-star as women who are decidedly not what they seem.

As the film begins, playboy and low-rent con man Delon has made the mistake of romancing a woman who is married to an American gangster, so the thug sends henchmen to the French Riviera to exact revenge.

After being terrorized, Delon escapes and goes into hiding in a gothic mansion with two strange women (Albright and Fonda), not knowing that they have secrets, too. Double- and triple-crosses follow.

The film sags a bit in the middle but boasts several rousing action and suspense sequences, with no end of flirtatious taunting by the ladies. Oddly, this one was filmed in English, while the French version is dubbed! (The original title is "Les Felins," or "The Felines," which actually makes more sense than "Joy House.")

Extras: widescreen, English- and French-language versions, French trailer (with English subtitles)

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"Deal" — (MGM, 2008, PG-13, $27.98). This lazy yarn stars Burt Reynolds, who sleepwalks through his role as a former poker star who sees something in young card-playing addict Bret Harrison and decides to mentor him.

They win big, they lose big, they have a falling out, they square off in the big tournament finale — but you'll probably be snoozing long before it comes to that.

Shannon Elizabeth, as the token love interest, has a small role with a twist that you can see coming. And professional poker players show up to prove they can't act, while Jennifer Tilly, who is both a poker pro and an Oscar-nominated actress, seems to have forgotten how to act.

If you're a fan of the genre, view "Lucky You" or "The Cincinnati Kid" or "A Big Hand for the Little Lady" or any number of other poker-themed movies before you bother with this one.

Extras: widescreen, featurette (on how to play Texas Hold 'Em), trailer


E-mail: hicks@desnews.com