Made in Chinatown (2021) Movie Review

Made in Chinatown – Easy Watch Comedy


Director: James Lew, Robert Samuels

Writer: Mark V Wiley (Screenplay)

Starring: Tony Darrow, Vincent Pastore, Raymond J Barry, Lo Meng, Jay Kwon, James Lew, Shuya Chang

Plot: Goodfellas meets Ip Man when a young Chinese nobody sets out to become a Don in the Italian Mafia. It turns out that earning respect, finding love, and discovering his identity doesn’t come so easy. He’ll have to fight his way to the top.

Tagline – To find love, earn respect, and save his family… “Vinny” Chow joins the MOB

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Made In Chinatown starts as the tensions between the Italian Mafia leaders Amadore Condimento (Pastore), Al Capella (Darrow) and Chinese Triad leader Hung Phat (Lo) start to return a boiling point in New York. Vinny Chow (Kwon) grew up in the middle of the two neighbourhoods, becoming drawn to the Italian culture over the Chinese one, making friends on both sides.

Vinny looks to try and get his way into the Mafia, only getting rejected along the way, until Amadore wants to hire a Chinese guy to be part of the Mafia to go against another circle, Vinny becomes that man.

Thoughts on Made in Chinatown

Characters & Performances – Vinny Chow is a Chinese man born and raised in New York between Chinatown and Little Italy, he has been drawn towards the Italian culture, always dreaming of being part of the mob and earning respect. He finds himself being used by all sides for the play for the area, where he learns he might not be ready for the gangster life. He is more of a hapless figure in this world, never looking like he could get into the world, with nobody taking him seriously. Newcomer Jay Kwon does give us a strong comedic performance, where he will always act seriously, despite the situation being more of a comedic moment. In the supporting characters we do get the generic Italian mobster figures, playing into every stereotype under the sun, we have the love interests that lead Vinny down his different paths, but no major characters stands out as more original than Vinny.

StoryThe story here follows a young Chinese man that wants to become part of the Mafia and finds himself caught between a war between the Mafia and the Triads, with both sides not sure what his angle for trying to be part of the mob is. This is a story that will play into the stereotypes of the gangster figures, with one man trying to break that, trying to be different and never being taken seriously. It does play out like a series of misfortunes for Vinny, which will play into the laughs, rather than letting us take anything too seriously. This doesn’t go into as much depth as it could as we dive into the opposite world, or even what the battle is truly about, but it will give us the early entry point that Vinny might be around.

ThemesMade in Chinatown is a crime comedy that will play into the wrong type of person trying to play into a stereotypical character, in this case a Chinese man trying to be part of the Mafia. The New York setting will help keep us understand how close the two worlds might end up coming, when it comes to seeing how they will collide in the future. The comedy is mostly deadpan reactions to certain things happening to Vinny, with a few moments of slapstick when it comes to the fighting.

Final Thoughts Made in Chinatown is an easy to watch comedy playing into the gangster stereotypes.

Made in Chinatown is available on Amazon Prime Here from 18th August

ABC Film Challenge – Sports – G – Gloves Off (2017) Movie Review

Director: Steven Nesbit

Writer: Brad Moore, Steven Nesbit (Screenplay)

Starring: Brad Moore, Greg Orvis, Ricky Tomlinson, Paul Barber, Denis Van Outen, Laurie Kynaston, Alexei Sayle

Plot: This is the story of Doug, a fantastic fighter but not so fantastic businessman, who must save his beloved gym by training a gentle giant for a bare-knuckle fight.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Low Key Dodgeball

Story: Gloves Off starts as we meet gym owner Doug (Moore) a once great fighter, who has turned his life to helping people train, with his close group, Mick (Tomlinson), Albert (Barber), Riz (Silva) and the newest member Donny (Kynaston), he has been struggling to keep the gym open, with cooperate men wanting to turn it franchise, unless Doug can raise the money to keep it open.

Doug has the support of his friends, with a plan that Donny’s Uncle Nosher (Orvis) being trained to fight to raise the money, can the unlikely crew take on the cooperate crew and save the gym.

Thoughts on Gloves Off

Characters – Doug is the down on his luck gym owner, he has lost his daughter to an ex, he has no money or a home left, all he has is the gym, which he is about to lose. He must come up with a plan to save his gym, his friends and move on with his life once again, proving he was always a great fighter. Nosher is the slow-witted gypsy that is selected for the fight, he must learn discipline, the one thing that is difficult to teach him. Mick is one of the regulars in the gym, used more for hanging out, he always has a plan without taking any centre stage in the events. Albert is the oldest member of the gym, he has years of experience when it comes to boxing, something he will always use to teach people to improve.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are solid enough, Brad Moore in the leading role does make us believe his down on his luck figure, while the rest of the cast do bring us laughs along the way.

StoryThe story here follows a down on his luck gym owner that must make money to save his gym and is joined by his loyal members. This story does seem to use the same concept as Dodgeball, only it does keep everything a lot calmer, it does show how loyalty will keep groups of people together as they look to take a stand against people who are trying to take advantage of them. It is a series of trying to prepare for a fight which will be against the odds, we know how it will end and it is more the journey getting there, with Doug needing to learn about his friends.

ComedyThe film does use comedy to get laughs along the way, only it not everything gets a crazy as it could do.

SettingsThe film does use the settings to show use the beat down gym the cooperate offices and how the gypsies travel to make money with a code of honour.

Scene of the Movie – The big fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is trying to be funnier than it is.

Final Thoughts This is a sports comedy that doesn’t hit the highest points easily, though it does have a good message about getting on with your life.

Overall: Fun comedy.