Take Out

Take Out

100%

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Take Out Reviews

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Rico Z

Super Reviewer

December 16, 2008
Stay away from this movie at all costs. There is absolutely no redeeming quality this film possesses. It's repetitive, slow-paced and very dull. What could've been an interesting character study of illegal immigrants and their integration into the American society, instead, turned into a ho-hum attempt at creating a slice-of-life picture that makes you want to slice your wrists instead. "Tedious" would be a step-up for this. "Boring" is more like it.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

August 28, 2010
In "Take Out," Ming Ding(Charles Jang) has been threatened by loan sharks he is in debt to. If he does not pay them $800 by the end of the day, they will double his debt. And they leave him something to remember them by. The first $500 is easy enough and his co-worker Young(Jeng-Hua Yu), who has dreams of bigger things than delivering Chinese food, gives him another $150. He also helps out Ming by giving him his deliveries for the day, and therefore his tips, because he also really does not want to be riding a bicycle in the rain in Manhattan, not exactly a bike friendly place.

"Take Out" takes a realistic approach in its depiction of immigrant life in New York City with its digitally shot footage at street level. The immigrants are here trying to make a better life for themselves but also in many cases, like Ming's and Young's, leave family behind. So, in the new country, they have to work together to survive. What separates Ming is that he has borrowed money from loan sharks to pay off his family. That's what gives the movie its driving force but also puts it at odds with its otherwise naturalistic approach.(By comparison, "Clerks" did well by just depicting one ordinary day in the life of a convenience store.) That's not to mention that we do not have any way to measure how well Ming is doing through the day(His previous record is $90.) which leads to a good deal of repetitiveness and a predictable buildup to something I could see happening a mile away.
Charles D. Borg
July 11, 2014
A hidden gem! You probably haven't even heard of it but it's not to be missed. The gritty, yet beautiful cinematography, coupled with the seemingly improvised acting and dialogue make for a raw, docu-style film experience that is unforgettable.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

August 28, 2010
In "Take Out," Ming Ding(Charles Jang) has been threatened by loan sharks he is in debt to. If he does not pay them $800 by the end of the day, they will double his debt. And they leave him something to remember them by. The first $500 is easy enough and his co-worker Young(Jeng-Hua Yu), who has dreams of bigger things than delivering Chinese food, gives him another $150. He also helps out Ming by giving him his deliveries for the day, and therefore his tips, because he also really does not want to be riding a bicycle in the rain in Manhattan, not exactly a bike friendly place.

"Take Out" takes a realistic approach in its depiction of immigrant life in New York City with its digitally shot footage at street level. The immigrants are here trying to make a better life for themselves but also in many cases, like Ming's and Young's, leave family behind. So, in the new country, they have to work together to survive. What separates Ming is that he has borrowed money from loan sharks to pay off his family. That's what gives the movie its driving force but also puts it at odds with its otherwise naturalistic approach.(By comparison, "Clerks" did well by just depicting one ordinary day in the life of a convenience store.) That's not to mention that we do not have any way to measure how well Ming is doing through the day(His previous record is $90.) which leads to a good deal of repetitiveness and a predictable buildup to something I could see happening a mile away.
kingofthecorn
December 29, 2009
(**): Thumbs Down

Not as compelling or rewarding to watch as I was hoping.
TijsG
October 31, 2009
I like 'subtle cinema' but you can overdo it :) 90 minutes without seeing any emotion on the face of the main character is too subtle for me. I really couldn't identify with Ming.
buzzmaster
October 16, 2009
This movie shows why the public can't trust critics. Take a single, hand held camera and try to film a "documentary" at a local beehive of activity, this time a Chinese take-out. You realize half way through filming that the film is just plain dull after the first 10 minutes. So you decide to do a docudrama. Now you need a story. Back to film school. Get a central character and a plot. Make it sad, easier to do. The plot is as thin as a middle school classroom writing assignment. It has a beginning, but no middle, a predictable climax (lame as well), and a totally unlikely conclusion. But now your movie is only 40 minutes long. OK, go ahead and shoot an hour more tedious footage retelling the sad fate of food delivery and personalities buying Chinese food. Add in subtitles to make in artsy.

Like Chinese food, I hope my memory of it will be over soon. Here's something to consider,... Rotten Tomatoes gave it the same score as "Wizard of Oz". This time Rotten Tomatoes earned a "splat".
K G.
September 16, 2009
Is this some kind of cruel joke? Apparently.
Nico P.
September 5, 2009
One of the creators of 'Take Out,' who happened to live above a Chinese restaurant, originally hatched a plan to present a mosaic of New Yorkers as seen through the eyes of bike-bound Chinese delivery men.

But director Sean Baker came to realize that a more compelling story was taking place underneath his Manhattan home: that of the delivery men themselves.

As so Baker and co-creator Shih-Ching Tsou set out (and succeeded) at producing cinéma vérité that at once captures the bustling, sweet-and-spicy chaos of a busy Chinese restaurant; the dreary, monotonous days of the delivery men, and most importantly, the fragile forlornness of undocumented Chinese immigrants who've just arrived in New York City.

The core of the film is a day in the life of delivery man Ming, who you watch as he visits nearly two dozen different New Yorkers ("think of it as the General Tso?s Chicken meets '24,'" Jennifer 8. Lee writes).

The directors sought to shine a light on the ordinary-yet-extraordinary lives of a class of people who many Americans interact with often but spend no time considering. And in Ming's story we find the deeply admirable traits of so many immigrants -- a willingness to charge through days of long, unglamorous work for a noble, largely selfless cause -- earning money that is immediately sent out of the country to provide for one's family.

And indeed, after seeing the film, you won't think twice about tipping well the next time you order in.
Sebastien C.
September 2, 2009
Don't say I didn't warn you -- this movie is a critic's darling and a tedious bore. Prepare to watch a guy deliver food and get mistreated.
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