“Noah” and “The Other Woman” Headline New Blu-Ray Releases

“Noah” and “The Other Woman” Headline New Blu-Ray Releases

Movies starring Russell Crowe and Cameron Diaz hit Blu-Ray this week, along with a beloved TV show and a classic film from the 1980s.

Noah – Russell Crowe stars in this big-screen retelling of the famous Bible story about a man ordered by God to build an ark and save all the animals. Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, and Emma Watson co-star.

Director Darren Aronofsky takes a small amount of dramatic license with the story of Noah, which upset some audience members who were hoping for a more traditional take than the darker one offered here.

Adventurous viewers, however, will find Aronofsky’s take both ambitious and respectful. Noah is stirring, spiritual, and thoughtful, with a genuine curiosity about the mysteries of faith.

The Blu-Ray comes with an hour of behind-the-scenes features, which explore the difficulties of filming in Iceland, the building of the ark set, and the use of visual effects in the film.

The Other Woman – Cameron Diaz plays a woman who discovers her boyfriend is married to Leslie Mann. When those two find out he’s also dating a third woman, played by Kate Upton, they set out to get revenge.

Although passing itself off as a female empowerment fantasy, The Other Woman actually does its characters a disservice by making them even more unlikable than the cheating louse they have a shared contempt for. The things they do to him are worse than the already-unconscionable thing he did to them. This is the latest in a long line of movies to shamefully suggest that women are emotionally unstable, just a breath away from losing their minds if a man doesn’t love them enough. Nonetheless, it was a box office hit.

Bonus features are a handful of deleted/alternate scenes, a gag reel, and the theatrical trailer.

Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery – David Lynch’s cult TV series comes to Blu-Ray in its entirety. This 10-disc set contains both seasons of the early ’90s ABC series, along with a slew of supplementary materials. The theatrical follow-up, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, is included here, too.

Also in this box set are 90 minutes of deleted scenes, Log Lady intros for each episode, new interviews with Lynch and his cast members, and several hours of never-before-seen backstage material. It’s worth noting that the episodes have been given a new hi-def transfer to make sure they look phenomenal. This is must-own for Twin Peaks fans.

The Big Chill – Lawrence Kasdan’s 1983 baby boomer classic comes to Blu-Ray as the newest entry in the Criterion Collection. The story of old friends reunited for the funeral of one of their own, The Big Chill has a notable cast that includes William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, and Jeff Goldblum.

Known for their first-rate extras, Criterion does not disappoint on this disc. It boasts a new, restored 4k digital film transfer, personally approved by Kasdan, plus a remastered 5.1 soundtrack. A new interview with Kasdan can be found among the extras, along with a reunion of the cast and crew filmed at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. A 1988 documentary on the making of The Big Chill and the original theatrical trailer are also here. Inside the case is a booklet featuring an essay written by writer/filmmaker/actress Lena Dunham (Girls).

Which of this week’s new releases excites you most? Let us know your top picks in the comments section.

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Mike McGranaghan is the film critic for The Aisle Seat. His film writing can also be found at Film Racket and Daily Grindhouse, and his reviews are heard weekly on the radio stations of Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation. He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society, as well as the author of two books, "Straight-Up Blatant" and "My Year of Chevy."