85) A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (2009) Dir: Yimou Zhang Date Released: September 3, 2010 Date Seen: March 4, 2012 Rating: 3.75/5
Why wasn't there more of a fuss about this one when it came out? There are obviously a number of things about this movie that are directly lifted from Blood Simple, though exactly to what extent I hope to see for myself when I rewatch the Coen brothers' stellar debut.* For instance, I can't help but be irked by the Noodle Shop screenwriters' direct lift of Blood Simple's unforgettable hand-through-the-wall bit.
But A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop is also very much its own thing. It's a bit more uptight and also a bit more surreal than Blood Simple (though perhaps it's just surreal in its own way). The virtually dialogue-free scenes and the weird camera tricks, mostly using negative image filters, that Zhang had his DP use here are put to great use in the film's unique panoramic desert scenes. So yeah, the combination of flamboyant costume and surreal setting did a lot to offset the implicitly square and highly moral character of Zhang's update. It's a curious experiment, one comprised of weird disproportionate parts. But I liked it, mostly. Not really sure what to make of it though...One thing I can say for sure: I don't think I'll be able to soon forget that one shot of the back of the then stone-dead cuckold's head.
*Let's ignore Crimewave, please and thank you.