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A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop [Blu-ray] (Sous-titres français)

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dahong Ni, Ni Yan, Xiao Shen-Yang, Honglei Sun, Ye Cheng
  • Directors: Yimou Zhang
  • Producers: Weiping Zhang
  • Format: Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: Cantonese Chinese
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Ages 14 and over
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Feb. 1 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0041KKY9W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,532 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

It looks like a perfect plan: the affair will come to a cruel but satisfying end when a Chinese noodle shop owner plots to execute his unfaithful wife and her lover. But the lover has a lethal plan of his own in this violent tale of adultery and revenge based on the Coen Brother’s debut classic Blood Simple.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is the first Zhang Yimou film I have seen, and I am as much impressed by its technique - dark and single tones to distinguish between the backdrop and the characters - as I am about its attempts to remake the old theme of a love triangle gone bad in an earlier block-buster "Blood Simple". While similar plots appear in many other movies in terms of creating an involved arrangement where a cuckold husband tries to have his unfaithful wife and lover eliminated by a third party only to have it blow up in his face, this one offers us the Chinese rural version. Set in an earlier century, in a remote northern province where the landscape is both barren and hostile, the director makes this tale into something truly nasty in its actions and lethal in its outcomes. This movie is loaded with hate, vengeance, fury, cunning, and a small measure of poetic justice in the end to save it from becoming a complete downer. At the heart of this production is Zhang Yimou's belief that women are definitely at a serious disadvantage in a chauvinistic world where even the law and its enforcers are against them. That doesn't mean that they can't fight back when the opportunity presents itself, even if it be through acquiring the skill of firing a pistol under perilous circumstances. The males in this movie come across as being overconfident, somewhat stupid, and not very clear-thinking, which leads to some very funny moments in what can only be described as black comedy with plenty of slapstick or silliness.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This film was based on 'Blood Simple' directed by the Coen brothers decades back. This Chinese version by Zhang Yimou is not as good. However, Zhang is known for his eye on 'beauty' - he started his film career first as a camera man. As a result this Blu-ray disc delivered stunningly beautiful landscape of the northern part of China. However, a couple of things did annoy me - the overly colourful costumes, the crown-like looks of a couple of characters. I find this totally unnecessary and hence am giving it 3 stars instead of 4. Still, the film is a visual treat.
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Enjoyed the movie, and would recommend to others to watch. First because it's good, and different, and secondly, the PQ is excellent!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e87be40) out of 5 stars 34 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef23210) out of 5 stars Bloody Noodles Sept. 4 2010
By C.Wallace - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is a Chinese film (English subtitles) based on the 1984 Coen brothers' production of Blood Simple. I think both films are excellent and would be hard pressed to rank one above the other.

The basic story: Cheaters are discovered. Cuckolded husband is most unhappy and makes plans. Plans veer off course. People get . . . injured.

The eighties version was set in present-day Texas. The 2010 production is set in a small noodle shop surrounded by a desolate lunar-like desert region. The shots involving this landscape are somewhat surreal and often spectacular. The time may be the 1700's or 1800's; it's when guns were still a novelty in remote parts of China, and people rode their mustangs instead of driving their Mustangs. Time and place are significant factors in the Chinese movie; they are virtually irrelevant in the Coen brothers' film.

Director Zhang Yimou's version definitely has more comedy than the original. There's scarcely a giggle in the dark eighties tale. Related to this, a fundamental difference between the films is the portrayal of the wife's boyfriend. Actor John Getz's Ray is far more believable than Xiao Shenyang's Li. Li emerges as a strangely innocent buffoon. He provides a big part of the comic relief that is lacking in the original. There are also two helpers in the noodle shop who generate grins.

Yan Ni, portraying the Chinese cheating wife, brings a lot more passion to the film than Frances McDormand brought to the original. Sun Honglei is great as the ruthless and greedy police officer, Zhang. M. Emmet Walsh was also great as the slimy, slovenly detective, Loren Visser, who, like Zhang, equates infidelity with opportunity.

You don't have to see the original film to enjoy the recent production. But I did find it most entertaining to compare the two.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef23618) out of 5 stars The Buzz Was Wrong About This Chinese Remake of Blood Simple. April 22 2011
By James R. Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The Hollywood buzz about this movie was mostly negative with lots of comments about it being overly acted and overly directed. Frankly, I found the movie excellent with many flashes of the cast and director's great talent. The location of the Noodle shop on the edge of a great painted desert-like wilderness reminded the audience of an early 2,000 year-old version of the Howard Johnson chain motels and cafes. These inns were placed along roads so that travelers wouldn't starve or run out of water. The only thing that was missing was a series of stone signs reading "Last Water Stop For Two Day's Walk."
The movie was kind of slap-stick Chinese Theater, but it worked fine. Much has been made out of the director's adaptation, actually homage, of the Cohen Brother's movie "Blood Simple," but frankly most people won't even recognize that. This story works just as well in Chinese cinema as it did in America. The humor is funny, the characters are large and obvious, but oh so human. As is the usual case with this legendary director, the cinematography is wonderful. Some of the landscapes are stunning. Over-all the film also has a Clint Eastwood, Italian Western feeling about it. It's kind of a successful chop suey-spaghetti western. It's a very entertaining escape from the boring daily routine.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef23690) out of 5 stars WANG'S SILK ROAD NOODLE SHOP - LAST SHOP FOR 2,000 MILES June 20 2011
By Hui Shen ben Israel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
A WOMAN, A GUN AND A NOODLE SHOP (2009, dir. Zhang Yimou, U.S.A. release 2010) is one of the most delightful, weird and suspenseful arthouse type films I have ever seen. It was laugh-out-loud hilarious yet it had a combined air of Hitchcock and Kurosawa. A remake of the Coen Brothers' first film, BLOOD SIMPLE (1984), NOODLE SHOP got the ancient Chinese treatment, and I've never seen Chinese actors excel like this since they did CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

Set someplace in the Taklimakan Desert in China, along the Silk Route, set around the late 1700s, this is a tale of four young innocents and a nasty, bitter old miser. Wang, the old miser with the fortress-like little mini-village all his own along the Silk Road, keeps almost as a prisoner his young wife of ten years. She is nearly insane with boredom and the desire to flee old Wang. But she is trapped.

In a hilarious rickety train wreck of a story, the restaurant employees (a chubby simple fellow, another young woman, and the rather gay best friend to Mrs. Wang) entertain a group of Persians. The leader (an incredibly goofy Julien Gaudfroy), dressed a bit like a colorful Captain Jack Sparrow, sells Mrs. Wang a pistol. The most powerful weapon in the world, and the sales pitch, haggling and general dialogue is some of the best I've seen. They try to sell her a 6" gun (meaning a typical ship's cannon) and the crazy Persian fires it into the distant desert to show it off.

"I'll just stick with the gun" Mrs. Wang says dryly. The cannon fire brings along a Monty Python detachment of Imperial police, their leader one of the funniest performers I have ever watched. I called him "Officer Cookie Monster" because of his Muppet-like demeanor and his goggly crossed eyes. Absolutely fall-down-on-the-floor. It is his 'best detective' who will play a role in this sad, evil story of four innocent people, an idiot paranoid old miser, a robotic Imperial police officer and a murder scheme.

I will not spoil it further: I have this feeling no one has really seen this film in America. All I can tell you is it is much better than a typical martial arts film - and this one aside from its bit of violence has no martial arts. Never have I seen a Chinese movie so compelling and fun without martial arts or Shao Lin Temple involved.

However, since a lot has been made over the noodle dish that is cooked for the police officers, I can say it is a type of Chinese noodle soup known as ho fun, (and no, I am not joking). This hot-n-sizzle soup is made with wide, flat rice noodles and is as good as it looks in this film. And all the employees except Mrs. Wang display their kung fu when preparing the noodle dough - it makes the cowardly goofiness of their characters all the more tragic.

One additional item: Mrs. Wang does not have a 'lover'. The young gay boy she relies on for friendship and comfort is nothing more than that, though they have plans to escape and get married. The first time you get a gander at this young man, you will wonder how he could possibly be anyone's "lover".

But a lack of proper and deserved hype ruins a film's chances here quicker than the speed of light. This film opened in the U.S. on 5 September, 2010, on 5 screens and pulled in a measly $35,000. In its general release that December, it grossed $190,666. Barely enough to cover Mitt Romney's weekend expenses. Sad, sad, sad.

Shot ... I really do not know where they shot this, its canvas is a gorgeous, Grand Canyon background complete with zebra stripes across the mountains. It gives a deep feeling of really being in that time and place. The Silk Route has been a special area of study for me for over 20 years. This is the first time I've ever seen a movie set on the actual Route.

You cannot afford to miss this film. Though it has gaps that you will never understand, it is so funny and riveting you won't care. Get the DVD, as it will be one of the better additions to your collection!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef23a20) out of 5 stars COEN CLASSIC GOES ASIAN June 30 2011
By Mark Turner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
In 1984 two film making brothers, Ethan and Joel Cohen, bust on the scene with a film called BLOOD SIMPLE. The film offered a philandering wife, a sleazy bar owner and a man who'd kill for money. Stylishly made it put the Cohen brothers on the map and led to a string of hits that culminated last year with TRUE GRIT. It also resulted in being remade in China under the name A WOMAN, A GUN AND A NOODLE SHOP.

The movie this time around changes not just locations but time period as well. Taking place in the not too distant past, a woman purchases a gun during the opening sequence. She is the wife of Wang, the owner of the noodle shop and a woman unhappy in her marriage. As we find out, she was purchased and nightly punished by her husband, Wang. It's little wonder she's taken up with one of his employees, Li.

The movie shifts back and forth from drama to comedy depending on the circumstances and actors involved. Li comes off as a bit of a buffoon, always concerned that the boss will find out about their indiscretion and do him harm. The wife (as she is known) shows less concern and more of a plotting attitude, not planning on killing her husband but still attempting to find a way out of the marriage and into the arms of Li.

As for Wang he appears to be an older man who knows his wealth buys him power. So much so that when he learns of the affair between his wife and Li, he asks a policeman/solider named Zhang to kill them both for a fee. They discuss the amount and Wang goes to his safe to retrieve the money for Zhang who sees just how much the safe holds.

The culmination of these events, the purchase of the gun, the affair, the planned murder and what happens to each of these characters makes for an interesting story. But what makes the film better than most isn't just the tale but the arresting visuals used. The reddish dirt covered hills around the shop, the deep blue skies with pure white clouds, even the night time sequences all seem to pop off the screen with some amazing camera work.

Director Yimou Zhang is well known for his films like RAISE THE RED LANTERN, HERO and HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, each having the same sort of visual appeal. He doesn't disappoint here with some amazing things to see and experience. The colors are the brightest I've seen on film and work well, everything from the costumes to the setting.

The actors all come off good as well; even through the barrier of language (the film is in Chinese with English sub titles). Keeping in mind these characters live in a time very different from our own, they each display characteristics that are original rather than simply playing them as they've been done before.

On the whole I would recommend this movie to anyone who hasn't seen a film from China yet. There is a whole world of wonder to be experienced out there. Forget the washed out visuals seen in tons of poorly made kung fu films in the past, the doors have opened for something different from this country.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef23b58) out of 5 stars A lot of fun Feb. 9 2012
By Kya - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Another film that was showing in selected theaters only - not where I live!!!!! Couldn't wait to get this one after seeing a brief trailer. This movie was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the whole shabang. Easy to watch, great goofy characters, comedy, fantastic landscape, wonderful cartoon costumes, sillyness, and wonders abound. Fast paced beginning - a total improbable romp that is eye poping. Very hollywood, but with a Chinese sensibility.
Recommended for the "noodle dish" acrobatics as well. Made me want to chow down on those darned noodles!
Wonderful cinemaphotography - whats new - Zhang Yimou is an absolute master of cinemaphotography.
Go for it!