Take Out

Overview

Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou make their feature debut as writer/directors with the documentary-style DV drama Take Out. Korean-American actor Charles Jang stars as Ming Ding, a Chinese illegal immigrant struggling to make ends meet working as a deliveryman at a take-out restaurant. His day begins when he is rousted, beaten, and threatened with more violence by two men over an 800-dollar debt, which he incurred because he felt obligated to send some money back to his wife and child in China. Ming scrapes ...
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Overview

Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou make their feature debut as writer/directors with the documentary-style DV drama Take Out. Korean-American actor Charles Jang stars as Ming Ding, a Chinese illegal immigrant struggling to make ends meet working as a deliveryman at a take-out restaurant. His day begins when he is rousted, beaten, and threatened with more violence by two men over an 800-dollar debt, which he incurred because he felt obligated to send some money back to his wife and child in China. Ming scrapes together what he can. His co-worker, Young Jeng-Hua Yu, lends him some money, and offers to forgo his deliveries for the day so Ming can make more cash. The film follows the stoic Ming, who speaks little English, over the course of the day as he interacts with the cooks and restaurant manager Wang-Thye Lee, an actual employee of the restaurant where Take Out was filmed, and races in the rain on a multitude of deliveries on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, interacting with a broad spectrum of New Yorkers. The filmmakers made Take Out on an extremely low budget, even by indie standards, using the Internet to find their cast, and shooting at the restaurant during business hours with a skeleton crew. Take Out was shown at the 2004 New York Asian American Film Festival and at the 2004 Nashville Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize.
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Special Features

Audio Commentary with Directors Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou and Actor Charles Jang; ; Cast and Crew Interviews; Two Deleted Scenes; Charles Jang's Audition for Ming Ding; Theatrical Trailer; Stills Gallery; Optional Chinese Subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Take Out is a fine example of digital video's virtues. This fascinating, sharp-witted, and moving drama would probably never have been funded on a 35 mm budget, and its bare-bones black-and-white videography and fly-on-the-wall improvisatory feel exemplify DV's ability to capture all manner of everyday human interaction with intimacy and immediacy. Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou, who co-wrote and co-directed Take Out, use a deceptively simple setup and a documentary style to fully immerse the audience in Ming Ding's (the excellent Charles Jang) world, and it's a way of life that few viewers have probably taken the time to contemplate. Anyone who doesn't work in a service job is more likely to identify (or try to resist identifying) with the deliveryman's varied Upper West Side customers. These interactions are important to the movie's viewpoint, but at its core is what goes on inside the little takeout restaurant. There, the closeness of the camera and the sharply etched performances (particularly the comically scene-stealing turns of Wang-Thye Lee and Jeng-Hua Yu) give the movie a vivacious clarity. In these scenes of people working and going about their daily lives, Take Out is vibrantly true-to-life in a way that few fictional movies manage. Baker and Tsou hedge their bets, cramming the movie's final third with a bit too much incident. A couple of plot twists strain credulity, but the filmmakers end things on just the right note. With antecedents dating back to Italian neorealism, Take Out still manages to feel wonderfully fresh. It's independent American filmmaking at its most vital.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/1/2009
  • UPC: 738329066321
  • Original Release: 2004
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled / Dubbed
  • Time: 1:27:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 78,072

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charles Jang , Ming Ding
Jeng-Hua Yu
Wang-Thye Lee
Justin Wan
Technical Credits
Sean Baker Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Producer, Screenwriter, Sound/Sound Designer
Tsou Shih-Ching Director, Editor, Producer, Screenwriter, Sound/Sound Designer
Isil Bagdadi Executive Producer
Eva Huang Makeup
Michael Sergio Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Take Out
1. Debt [7:35]
2. Time to Work [8:40]
3. Taking the Deliveries [9:10]
4. Weight Loss [5:34]
5. Psycho [7:50]
6. Breakdown [3:49]
7. Waiting Forever [1:41]
8. Bruise [6:12]
9. Wrong Apartment? [7:29]
10. Philosophy [6:00]
11. A Couple of Bucks [8:41]
12. Closing Up Shop [7:51]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Take Out
   Play
   Chapters
   Extras
      Audio Commentary
         Directors Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou and Actor Charles Jang: On/Off
         Cast and Crew Interviews
         Two Deleted Scenes
            Original Opening Scene
               This Played at Take Out's Festival Premiere, but was later cut for pacing
            Hangin' In The Take Out
               An improvised scene with a group of teenagers, also cut for pacing
         Charles Jang's Audition for Ming Ding
         Theatrical Trailer
         Stills Gallery
   Subtitles
      English
         English Subtitles: On
         English Subtitles: Off
      Traditional Chinese
         Traditional Chinese: On
         Traditional Chinese: Off
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