A blend of a Chinese period drama with some Western flavour. The film's tone isn't clear too: thriller, black comedy/farce mix. It definitely picks up as the events unfold, beautifully peaks towards the end. On the bad side, some of the characters are quite annoying.
A Chinese remake of a Coen Brothers classic. What's not to love? Best way to describe this film is as a 'nourish live action cartoon'. Wonderful camera and sound work and the lunacy of the premise maintains its integrity throughout. Any longer this film would have been a dud. So tip of the hat to the editor.
Beautiful architecture and costume like in most of his movies. Ambient and the day times in that bare landscapes project the narrative to another realm. Acting is superb and grotesque. Each grimace lingers on in ponders about (Chinese opera?). I love houses in his movies.
If you've seen Blood Simple and you liked Blood Simple, forget about it if you want to enjoy this. It is essentially the Yimou equivalent of a pantomine - lush colour visuals, graceful movement, ropey acting (Li is painful) and a tone that veers from manic farce to tense melodrama when the occasion arises. This isn't Yimou's best film, the night scenes drag on, but a nice taster to his style meshed with Coen grit.
The great Zhang Yimou makes a very disappointing remake to the Coen brothers Blood Simple, resetting it a nonspecific Chinese setting of the past. The tone is all wrong and there are no characterizations to speak of. All in all, a bad idea. http://eddieonfilm.blogspot.com/2011/02/not-same-old-song.html
Love the location photography of this film, but the rest is not very well done and the characters seem like something out of a Wong Jing movie. In some ways, it is the ultimate Coen brothers film combining the Western suspense of No Country for Old Men with the caricatures of The Ladykillers.
Only redeeming quality of this film, for me, is the aesthetic. There are some gorgeous shots, impressive locations, and beautiful lighting, but every character is annoying (especially the wimpy boyfriend...couldn't even stand watching his scenes throughout the middle-early end of the film), and the dialogue is cheesy. Laughed, maybe, twice. 2.5/5.
Yes, the comedy is over the top and the beginning of the film had me hating it, but there isn't much comedy and the rest turns out to be quite good, so... A fun watch for sure. Blood Simple is a comedy in its own way too so I'm not too sure why someone would be so disturbed that a comedy remake of Blood Simple was made...