I love the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple and I find many of Zhang Yimou's films gorgeous, so why am I not more excited about this new trailer for the director's period comedy drama remake of that film, A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop (aka A Simple Noodle Story)?
Zhang lists the Coens' debut film as one of his all-time favorites so it doesn't seem like a stretch for him to tackle retelling the tale and changing the setting dramatically. The new clip is gorgeous -- the images are breathtaking -- but early reviews of the film have mentioned that the whole thing plays out as a "dramedy" with distinct drama and comedy segments, creating an uneven tone. There's hip-hop dancing too -- but hey, a dance number worked for Takeshi Kitano at the end of Zatoichi, so maybe it will work here as well.
One thing everyone seems to agree on is that this is a marked departure from the filmmaker's previous work. By moving the story from Texas to China, the whole vibe of has shifted -- although many critics point out the film does cross into the familiar dark territory in the second half. I think that's my issue with the trailer -- the beautiful images seem at odds with the Blood Simple I know and love. The original is a beautiful film, albeit in a different way than this one -- more understated and less flashy. Of course, if you're going to remake something classic, it's better to go in an entirely new direction -- and the Coens loved it.
Check out the trailer below. Sony Pictures Classics will release A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop in limited locations on September 3rd. The question is, will you be seeing it?