Posted in *Recommended, Reviews

DVD Review: Children of Invention [Recommended]

Children of Invention (2009)
directed & written by Tze Chun
starring Cindy Cheung, Michael Chen, Crystal Chiu
note: this review concerns the deluxe dvd which has commentary tracks and deleted scenes

Update: DVD can now be purchased or rented at most major movie stores and online.

My first thought after the credits began rolling was, “hey this is a really good film.”  I had read good reviews of it but the basic plot of the film didn’t exactly interest me.  That plot is about a single mom who disappears after being caught up in a ponzi scheme leaving her two young children alone to fend for themselves.  I liked the movie so much that I ended up watching it all again with the director & cast commentary which was actually pretty funny at times.  I can’t remember the last time I even rewatched a film let alone with commentary.

The child actors were great.  It reminded me so much of the way syblings act and talk to each other.  The young girl in particular is very cute.  The actress who portrayed the mother was also really good.  What is seen on screen feels very much like a real family.  That makes it very easy to become invested in what happens to them.  If I were to level one tiny complaint about the film, it’s that the ending felt somewhat abrupt but upon further reflection I think it was just me wanting to see more of these characters.

I’m no video expert with eagle eye vision but I thought the video looked pretty good.  I also liked the music that played during various sequences during the film.  There was a certain mood that the music evoked that immersed me in the film more.  It’s hard for me to describe that mood but the words nostalgia and enchanting come to mind.

The deleted scenes were also very intriguing.  There’s one subplot that was dropped which I’m glad didn’t make it in film but was interesting to see nonetheless.  There was another scene of the mother getting very upset which I think verbalized a lot of what is perhaps mostly implied in the film.  The director also offers his commentary on why said scenes were deleted and he makes a convincing case in all instances and I think the last deleted scene he ends off with a hilarious “that’s why it was deleted…thank god.” or something along those lines.  The director sounds like his own harshest critic.

I definitely recommend this film to anybody.  On a completely random note I’ve been mispronouncing Tze Chun’s name on the radio.  It’s pronounced Zee-Chun…good thing I listened to the director commentary.  Catch a screening or buy a dvd or get your library to buy the dvd if you’re poor.  Check out the official site for more info and/or purchase the dvd.



Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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