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A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop

review by Zach B.



MPAA Rating: R (Some Violence)

Running Time: 90 Minutes

Starring: Sun Hoglei, Xiao Shenyang, Yan Ni, In Dahong, Cheng Ye, Mao Mao, Zhao Benshan

Screenplay by: Xu Zhengchao, Shi Jiaquan
Based on the motion picture "Blood Simple" 

Directed by: Zhang Yimou



Studio: Sony

Retail Price: $38.95

Features: Creating A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 2.40:1 Widescreen 1080p High Definition, Chinese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scene Selections (16 Scenes)

Released: February 1st, 2011


"A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop" is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer, with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. This is another visual stunner from Zhang Yimou, and this transfer does not disappoint. Colors are warm and bright, especially the jade greens and reds. Detail is superb, especially the threads you can see on the costumes and designs within the sets. Fleshtones look accurate, and the film also really shines in exterior shots of the orange landscapes. The image itself is mostly clean too, althought there is some shimmering. The picture quality is very sharp here, and it's impossible to be anything but drawn in. 


"A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop" is presented in a Chinese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. One thing is clear: this track is loud. The more action-packed aspects of the movie are incredibly discrete, be it swords swinging, gunfire and explosions. Sound effects such as horses galloping and even characters putting items on furniture make an impression. The sounds do have bombast at times, and as a result, that .1 LFE does its job well. Dynamic range is excellent, and dialogue is always clear and easy to hear. When called for, this can be a pretty enrapturing mix.

English subtitles are included.


The center piece is Creating A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop. Essentially a series of behind-the-scenes footage focusing on different aspects of the production, when taken together they pieces total 2 hours. For an overview of making a movie like this, it can be interesting: there are your usual pieces that focus on the actors, the script, casting and the director. But there are also pieces on the actors challenging themselves on the set, the first day of shooting, the styling of the costumes, dancing and make-up and much more. Some of these mini-documentaries are better than others, and since a lot of it is edited footage from the set and production, it can be dry at times. It was smart to present each topic as a small morsel, so for those who want to learn more about the movie — or just one aspect over the other — can take it in bit by bit. 

Also included is the film's Theatrical Trailer.


I have to hand it to Zhang Yimou: it takes a certain audacity to remake a Coen Brothers movie, let alone make it into something very unexpected. Not all of "A Gun, A Woman and A Noodle Shop" works, but you have to admire Yimou making this movie his own. The film is gorgeous and sounds wonderful on Blu-ray, and the 2 hours worth of on-the-set footage and interviews gives a well-rounded overview of the film. The movie will be best enjoyed by those who are familiar with "Blood Simple." With that in mind, this is worthy of a rental for novelty's sake.