DVD reviews: 'Noah' and 'The Other Woman'

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Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan," "The Wrestler") directs Russell Crowe in the biblical tale about a man chosen by God to build an ark before an apocalyptic flood arrives.

The movie has moments of beauty and power -- a sensational sped up dramatization of the six days of creation -- and some silliness, too. In other words, liberties are taken.

It rests on the burly shoulders of Mr. Crowe, and he is more than up to the task, delivering one of the strongest, most natural performances of his career. It reunites him with "A Beautiful Mind" co-star Jennifer Connelly as his wife, here called Naameh.

The epic threatens to sink under the weight of a couple of storylines involving human enemy Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone) that seem designed to gin up the tension and entertainment value. It loses its moorings before its 138-minute running time, but it's an ambitious, worthwhile undertaking.

Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief suggestive content.

Blu-ray extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes "Iceland: Extreme Beauty," "The Ark Exterior: A Battle for 300 Cubits" and "The Ark Interior: Animals Two by Two."

’The Other Woman’

Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton star in this comedy as two women who discover their boyfriend is married and join forces with his wife (Leslie Mann) to plot revenge.

Although "The Other Woman" wants to be about female friendship and empowerment, it's a story about three women who allow their lives to revolve around plotting revenge against a man. Kate (Ms. Mann) and Carly (Ms. Diaz) turn into Lucy and Ethel or "2 Broke Girls," hiding in the shrubs with binoculars to spy on Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

It's regressive and unfunny, and watching someone get punched in the already bloody face seems a cheap and excessive way to get laughs. Or try to.

Rated PG-13 on appeal for mature thematic material, sexual references and language.

Extras include a gag reel. Also, on Blu-ray: deleted scenes.

Also this week, by Rick Bentleyof The Fresno Bee:

 "Herzog: The Collection": The 13-disc box set includes 16 films and documentaries by the influential director.

■ "Five Dances": Broadway star Ryan Steele makes his big-screen debut.

 "Lullaby": A man decides to take himself off life support. Richard Jenkins stars.

■ "Secret State": Gabriel Byrne and Charles Dance star.

■ "Shark Week: Predator of the Deep": Discovery Channel's look at the sea creature.

■ "Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume 30": Includes "The Black Scorpion" and "The Projected Man."

■ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection Party Van": Includes all 10 seasons on 23 DVDs.

■ "Grace Kelly Collection": Includes "Dial M for Murder," "The Country Girl" and "High Society."

■ "Eyes Wide Open": Documentary captures reactions of travelers to the Holy Land.

 "Dragonwolf": Two assassins become bitter rivals.

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