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" Job’s wife is my favorite character from the Bible because she chose death over life with that obsequious masochist "
— Larry David, Whatever Works

MRQE Top Critic

Pearl Harbor

A new epic DVD allows audiences to revisit the film and rethink their skepticism —Marty Mapes (DVD review...)

One of the stars of Pearl Harbor

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There’s plenty of visual talent on display in Zhang Yimou’s A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop, but that doesn’t mean the movie’s any good.

Doesn't even work as a comedy
Doesn’t even work as a comedy

Zhang has taken on the oddball task of remaking the Coen brothers’ debut movie, Blood Simple. Zhang already has done his version of film noir with the gorgeous Ju Dou (1990). Maybe that’s why so much of this strange hybrid seems to be straining to be different.

Zhang treats his characters as pawns in an antic comedy that’s reliant on slapstick, overly broad acting, devious plot twists and cartoonish directorial ploys. Some of the terrain surrounding the noodle shop is astonishingly sparse, but this story about a woman trying to free herself from a beastly husband — the owner of a noodle shop in the middle of nowhere — lacks the sexy allure of noir, the undertow of eroticism and even the sustained fun of good comedy. Zhang is too talented to make a movie that’s totally without interest, but this one’s a miss.