Corona & Take Out

Here’s the amusing Corona headline of the day, from “Drive-in theaters make a comeback amid coronavirus.” Maybe it will lead to a baby boom… Here’s one from “China promotes bear bile as coronavirus cure.”… The latest Gallup poll shows 60% of Americans approve of the president’s handling of the crisis. That includes 94% of Republicans and 60% of Independents, and just 27% of Democrats… Some folks have super genes, as this headline from FN will attest: “101-year-old Italian man born during Spanish flu pandemic survives coronavirus.”

Friday night’s movie fix, courtesy of Netflix, was a micro-budget production from 2004, Take Out. It’s the story of a Chinese immigrant who owes his backer several hundred dollars that he must come up with before the night is out, or pay even more than the 30% interest he’s being gouged for. Homesick, missing the wife and child he won’t see for at least another two years, he works delivery for a take out joint to raise the money to bring them to the states. His sympathetic co-worker allows him to assume all the day’s orders when he learns of the situation. Naturally, it pours most of the day. The guy works his buns off. I enjoyed the portrayal of how the business was run. Most of the principal cast has no other credits. Even the star, Charles Jang, logged only three more, the last in ’06. They were fine, realistic. I’d guess it was shot mostly by a hand held camera. Back in the day it was called cinema verite. Its jumps and sharp swings are at times jarring. Most of the camera work is in so close I wasn’t sure if it was filmed in Manhattan until late in the narrative. The strongest aspect is the complete lack of political correctness. It is easy to anticipate the climax, as the proceedings are mundane until then except for an amusing scene involving a customer in a bad mood. Sean Baker and Shih-Chin Tsou share directing and writing credit, the latter’s only ones in those departments. She has worked with Baker in other capacities on two of his most recent efforts. I wonder if she’s his Mrs.. Baker seems to specialize in such productions. Made on a budget of only $3000, it returned $69,000+ worldwide. It is the second of ten titles listed under his name at IMDb. Although Take Out is only an average film, it is as good or better than many whose costs were in the millions. Many critics hailed it. It runs less than 90 minutes and the Chinese is subtitled. I believe it would appeal almost exclusively to cinephiles rather than the average movie fan, although children of immigrants should relate to it. 468 users at IMDb have rated it, forging to a consensus of seven on a scale of ten. I’ll go with six. Here’s a still, Charles Jang to the right:

My Amazon Author page:


Read Vic’s Stories, free:



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.