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Movie Review: A Woman a Gun and a Noodle Shop

Alternate Title: Blood Simple Re-Imagined

Story: Award winning Chinese director, Zhang Yimou, has paid the brilliant Coen Brothers the highest compliment with this rousing re-imagining of their first film, Blood Simple, made in 1984. This Chinese retake was written by Xu Zhenghao and Shi Jianquan.

The story remains essentially the same. An old, wealthy merchant, pays a gun for hire to murder his young, unfaithful wife and her lover. Along they way, we discover all of the films' characters have their own plans for murder, double crosses, revenge and escape. The best part of the story line has much to do with these plot twists and turns.

An unnamed star of this film has to be the landscape. The noodle shop is somewhere along an isolated trade route in western China. The shop is surrounded by an other-worldly mountainous, sand dune filled vista. The sun drenched hills create stripes of brilliant dazzling colors, light and shadow. An artist's eye for sure.

If you are looking for 90 minutes of celluloid artistry, check out this film and then go rent Blood Simple - or vice versa.

Watch the trailers here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMGBQDpfLnc


Acting: Everyone is terrific including: Sun Honglei (Zhang), Xiao Shenyang (Li) and Ni Dahong (Wang), Yan Ni (Wang’s wife), Cheng Ye (Zhao) and Mao Mao (Chen).

Trivia: Director Zhang Yimou's films often explore the dark side of life in small Chinese rural communities. Most of his films begin with the title displayed in Chinese calligraphy style. He directed the Beijing 2008 Olympics Games Opening Ceremony. Some of my favorite films of his are: Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, The Story of Qui Ju, The Road Home, Not One Less

Predilection: I like Zhang Yimou's films.

Critters: Horses

Food: A wonderful scene of the making of noodles that will go into a yummy soup.

Soundtrack: I do not believe there was any music in this film but the sound design was terrific.

Opening Titles: As usual, the use of Chinese calligraphy in the opening titles is used in this director's film.

Visual Art: Director of photography, Zhao Xiaoding is brilliant.

Theater Audience: About 25 other cineastes.

Weather: Gorgeous

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: 0

Predictability Level: If you have seen Blood Simple there will not be many surprises but that takes away nothing from this fine film.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen. For rentals go for his other films including: Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, The Story of Qui Ju, The Road Home, Not One Less

Length: 90 minutes