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A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (2010)

Sun Hunglei , Xiao Shenyang , Zhang Yimou  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sun Hunglei, Xiao Shenyang
  • Directors: Zhang Yimou
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041KKY9M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,123 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop" on IMDb

Special Features

Creating A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop

Editorial Reviews

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.

By all rights, Zhang Yimou's remake of Joel and Ethan Coen's first feature shouldn't work, but it does--marvelously so. It's not that Blood Simple is a masterpiece, though it's very good, but that the two filmmaking entities would seem to have little in common. Zhang even moves the action to feudal China, where noodle shop owner Wang (Dahong Ni) browbeats his unnamed wife (Ni Yan, beautiful and feisty) and coworkers Zhao (Ye Cheng), Chen (Mao Mao), and Li (Xiao Shen-Yang, sweet and jittery). When traveling merchants drop by while Wang is away, his wife buys a pistol--in a sequence so over the top it threatens to derail the entire picture. Wang, meanwhile, pays patrol officer Zhang (Honglei Sun, in a tightly coiled performance) to spy on her and Li. After the officer confirms his suspicions about their affair, he offers more money for Zhang to take the couple out of his misery, but Wang doesn't count on the double-crosses that will ensue. Zhang intends to rob the man blind, except he doesn't know the combination to the safe, unlike waiter Zhao, who isn't as dumb as he looks (prominent teeth and a tiny topknot only reinforce the impression). Despite a tone that veers between slapstick and suspense, A Woman offers the stunning visuals that characterize most Zhang works, like House of Flying Daggers. The desert--which doubles as a graveyard--is gorgeous in its desolation, while the shop setting is ingenious in its construction. And the ending is truly transcendent. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Noodles September 4, 2010
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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars COEN CLASSIC GOES ASIAN June 30, 2011
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked this in the theater
I liked this in the theater, and like it still on the smaller screen. It is a great addition to my growing Asian movie collection. I will look for more by the director.
Published 3 months ago by Darlene R. Coombes
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done!
Lengthy movie that was able to flesh out all the characters so you were able to know and identify with each one and know what their function was in the movie.
Published 4 months ago by Michael F. Menaglia
4.0 out of 5 stars Really silly and fun
A really silly and fun film based off Blood Simple. A comedy that is bright, very stylized and beautifully shot. Read more
Published 5 months ago by N. Kader
5.0 out of 5 stars Odd
This is an odd movie,I expected more marshal arts action but the story was ok without it .And shipper done great, got item as described and on time.
Published 8 months ago by cyndylu
5.0 out of 5 stars funny, thrilling and beautiful
a very funny film.
a thriller.
and beautifully photographed.
the Coen brothers should be proud of this adaptation of their film.
Published 8 months ago by George J Kunze
4.0 out of 5 stars Three shots and your out (spoilerless review)
Director Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers/HOFD) switched more than daggers for a gun in this Chinese black comedy. Read more
Published 9 months ago by A customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Woman, A Gun & a Noodle Shop
This is a great movie - by that I mean it's funny, and it's interesting, and it gives you a view of a country and culture American's aren't that familiar with. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sha
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny movie,little in action
I enjoyed the comedy but the action was lacking for me.It kept me interested and I did'nt fall asleep.So I did like it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by 50GMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Having read too many reviews, I'm still not certain --
whether "Blood Simple" is a comedy; an over-the-top/pushing the envelope suspense-drama-murder-mystery; or both (I don't see anything funny in it). Read more
Published 18 months ago by JNagarya
5.0 out of 5 stars A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop
I needed to watch this for a compare and contrast college assignment, comparing Blood Simple, by the Coen Brothers. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Vickie Burns
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