A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop Blu-ray Review

Following a flashy presentation from a Persian seller, Wang’s wife (Ni Yan) proceeds to buy a gun to get rid of her fears of her husband. Meanwhile, the local law enforcement is coming near after hearing a loud explosion that was caused by a canon demonstration. Once they arrive, the captain introduces Zhang (Honglei Sun), who is the lead investigator in the area. Quickly, Wang (Dahong Ni) meets with Zang who lets him know that his wife is cheating on him with LI (Xiao Shen-Yang). Immediately, Wang offers Zhang to get rid both his wife and her lover, but little did he know that Zhang had different plans.

The film is directed by Zhang Yimou and is a remake of the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple. Somehow, even being a remake and some hailing it as a movie that makes the Coen’s film look like it fell short, I just couldn’t exactly see how it could be any better. The film features the photography that has come to be representative of Zhang Yimou’s style. It features all the flair with the bright colored costumes and quirky comedic dialogue. Everything as far as detail is meticulously planned, from the hair do, to the style of the wardrobe. The picture just simple screams Zhang. Personally, I think a lot of planning went to the way the picture looked rather than how the story was written and executed.

I was honestly expecting a lot more than what was delivered. The film seemed to drag for too long at times and it pacing was simply too slow. Perhaps, making the film shorter could of helped the production. The characters felt detached from the grander view of things, it’s like they were all just busy trying to achieve a corny role that just simply didn’t fit with the themes of the story. I admire the neat look and theme of the film I just didn’t quite appreciate the way everything turned out. The film never quite achieved that flow that its theme required and its participants never truly fit in either. Zhang Yimou can very well be a good director, but the film felt short of what was advertised.

A Woman A Gun and A Noodle Shop arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 2.40:1. Colors are vibrant and eye popping. Whether the greens, the reds, blues, and even the various layers of orange and brown in the mountains appear with great brightness. Black levels are deep and inky. Flesh tones appear natural and lifelike. A very thin layer of grain falls atop the film. Some banding is detected and prevents the film from having a perfect score, but regardless the film looks fantastic in all aspects. Kudos to Sony.

A Woman A Gun and A Noodle Shop arrives on Blu-ray with a Chinese (Cantonese) 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout with great directionality.The track doesn’t feature many thrills, but the few gun shots and the sole explosion in the very first chapter offers enough power from the bass to make it sound believable. The rest of the small sounds are handled properly by the track. It’s a good presentation, it does not exceed nor is a let down.

Creating A Woman A Gun and A Noodle Shop – This piece can be played in segments, but I would recommend you playing it all together. Together it’s about 2 hours long and it covers the casting, wardrobe, story, characters, shooting location, etc. Some segments feel repetitive, but many offer plenty of behind the scenes look.


BD-Live Functionality

After the high praise and the trailers that glorified the movie it was obvious that high expectations were building. The film lacked in almost every aspect. It may have been based on the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple, but it was so short of everything that was promised. The characters and the story simply felts dis-attached from anything the filmmakers were trying to achieve. The Blu-ray features a beautiful video transfer and an audio that handles everything thrown at it. The supplements should give you a better perspective of the planning of the movie with almost 2 hours of content. I suggest a rental before you buy.