Throwback Thursday Review: A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop

  • Actors: Sun Hunglei, Xiao Shenyang
  • Directors: Zhang Yimou
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes



            The Coen Brothers have had waves of popularity in the United States. Fargo brought them critical acclaim, and O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? brought them box office success. After No Country For Old Men they also had a rise in popularity, but the rest of the time their unique and creative style sometimes goes unnoticed. Internationally, however, is a different story entirely. They have been largely popular overseas even when failing by Hollywood’s standards, so it should come as no surprise to see their debut feature adapted.


            Directed by the legendary Zhang Yimou, A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop is an undeniably successful adaptation of Blood Simple. The dark and seedy modern noir has been changed to a period dark comedy, but essential moments of visual filmmaking are imitated from the original in a clever homage. Although the setting and tone is completely different, there are little winks and nods to the source material. Both films are beautifully shot, though this remake has the advantage of a polished look that comes from years of experience as a filmmaker.


            The film takes place in a remote Chinese noodle shop, which provides for one spectacular sequence in which the noodle is stretched. The wife of the shop’s owner is unhappy and has taken a gentle lover to counter her abusive husband. She plots to kill him while he does the same, all the while double-crosses are a likely risk.


            The Blu-ray offers a spectacular high definition presentation of this beautifully shot film. It is bright and colorful, allowing for all of the detail to be seen. Some of the best moments in the film come from the visuals, and the Blu-ray is the best option for viewing this film for that reason alone. The special features includes over 100-minutes of behind-the-scenes footage in featurettes about various aspects of production. 


    Entertainment Value: 8/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 8/10

    Historical Significance: 7/10

    Disc Features: 8/10



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