Zhao is an aging bachelor who hasn't been lucky in love. Thinking he has finally met the woman of his dreams, Zhao leads her to believe he is wealthy and agrees to a wedding far beyond his ... See full summary »
A pregnant peasant woman seeks redress from the Chinese bureaucracy after the village chief kicks her husband in the groin in this comedy of justice. As she is frustrated by each level of ... See full summary »
Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer remembers him.
In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »
A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband's nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband's heir without ... See full summary »
A pair of whacked-out cartoon-like exterminator/hitmen kill the owner of a burglar-alarm company, and stalk the partner who hired them, his wife, and a nerd framed for the murder, who tells the story in flashback from the electric chair.
China, the 1990s. A young bookseller is in love with a woman. The woman is now with another guy, a rich man. The rich man sends his people to beat the bookseller. In the fight, the laptop ... See full summary »
It might have been better if Zhang had steered away from the Coen Brothers' plot
Zhang's latest is a remake of the Coen Brothers' debut film, Blood Simple. It's a slightly more comic adaptation, set in the distant past in the beautiful Gobi (?) desert. It opens wonderfully with the beautiful colors and impeccable cinematography that have always been a trademark of Zhang Yimou. Unfortunately, when it gets into the Blood Simple plot, it becomes very mechanical. I'd say that it lacks suspense because I know the story, but I've seen Blood Simple half a dozen times and it holds up every time. Every time, the tautness of the plot works. There's just something a little bland about this adaptation. I'd still moderately recommend it for the visuals, and the vibrant opening sequence, where the titular woman (Ni Yan, who is pretty good though she can be annoying at times, too) buys the titular gun from a wacky Persian salesman.
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