4 stars for Sean Baker's style, not the story, which is mundane and predictable-A day/night in the life of a guy who delivers Chinese take out in NYC. But after Baker's brilliant TANGERINES, I wanted to see this and am pleased that MUBi presented it. In TAKE OUT, we see the development of Sean Baker's "street-style verite", and when his next film comes out, I will be first in line to see it.
this movie was like "The Stunt Man" - the relatively banal forward momentum of the main character with his relatively unknown past make it way more tense than a so-called thriller. I REALLY liked watching the craft (WORK) of the food preparation and the expressive mumbling faces of those who dont matter - far more enticing & beautiful than gritty-grit poverty lust imagery or nice clean polarized lens minimalism
As a no budget film maker I am extremely excited to see an artist craft so much out of so very little. The story is pretty straight forward but there's a lot more to get out of this film other than story alone. The most you can ask of any good movie is to take you to a world outside of your own - and this film definitely delivers (stupid pun intended) on that.
A film that becomes more engrossing every minute. It's fascinating to compare this to Tangerine which has a similar narrative drive but enhanced with music, stylish camera moves and more extreme characters.
"Most filmmakers working w/ digital video try to achieve a 'cinematic' look, but [here] the video looks like video. The camera records the squalor and the splendor of its [NYC] setting sharply and clearly.... Tsou & Baker smartly use that clarity to smudge the line between documentary and fiction. [This] is the kind of small-scale, precisely realized drama that values the little moments." - Noel Murray,
AV Club 3.5
The kinetic camera style and slash editing clash nicely with Charles Jang's (mostly) lethargic "Sad Sack" performance. One would not think that a film about a take out delivery guy racing against time to deliver enough orders and make enough tips to help pay off his loan shark debt could be so engrossing...but it is.
Contemporary cinema verite and very well done...what is a simple narrative opens up into a moving story of the struggles of an immigrant in the 'promised land' of the USA and particularly NYC. As viewers we get an illuminating look at the dull but difficult life of a delivery guy trying to earn a living in a country that promises much with the false allure of making it financially separates him from home and family