The Yankles (Blu-ray Review)

The-YanklesRemember my Blue Like Jazz review when I talked about how most of the time religious films are usually bottom of the barrel bad?  Well, this is surely one of them.  The Yankles wants to be the Jewish rendition of Bad News Bears.  The film feels very paint by numbers but is unable to paint those numbers very well at all.  Yes, this is a very low budget film, but absolutely nothing shines through.  The drama, the humor, the religious message, the baseball all falls flat on its face in an embarrassing fashion.  This isn’t anywhere near the “so bad it’s good” realm.  It’s in the complete boredom “please please please end!” genre of movies.

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Charlie Jones is a major league baseball player dealing with alcoholism.  When his fiancée leaves him he goes out on a binger and picked up his third DUI.  After spending some time in jail, Charlie is released early on good behavior, having to do 192 hours of community service.  Struggling to find work and reconnect with his now deeply faithful ex fiancée, the world has changed before his eyes.  His ex fiancée’s brother goes to a Jewish orthodox yeshiva school and they’re trying to get a team together.  With no team wanting Charlie, and him wanting to stay in baseball, he takes on the task.  However, the team is so bad, can he whip them and his life into shape and win even just once game?

This movie is basically the Bad News Bears variety, just now its Jewish men studying to be rabbis instead of inner city kids.  Every twist, every turn, every character struggle and resolve is so stereotypical and overdone cliché it’s almost painful to watch unfold.  This movie doesn’t just have these things going happening it does them absolutely piss poor.  Its pretty bad that my sister looked at the box, jokingly made up some plot on what this movie was about based on the cover and some pictures and was absolutely right on the money.

The performances in the film are pretty dreadful too.  The line readings are incredibly awkward and it feels like some people were pulled from the street.  Now add that to the cliché riddled script and you have yourself the recipe for an insulting film.  This was tough to sit through and get to the end.  It’s not a drama, it’s not a straight out comedy and certainly not a dramedy.  It just doesn’t know what it is.  It’s a religious film that I almost think the writer doesn’t know too much about the religion.  It’s a baseball film that I don’t think knows too much about baseball either.  This would fit the bill for a Hallmark Channel movie, but saying that is almost an insult.

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Magnolia’s 1080p MPEG-4 AVC picture looks pretty solid in the 2.35:1 frame.  Detail is above average and colors are bold.  The image is a bit washed out and a little too vivid looking, but that may be source related.  It’s a good picture that does the trick if you actually are wanting to see this movie.

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The sound is good and clean but begged to be bigger in the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track.  There are some loud baseball games but the audio stays mostly to the front.  You would think they would want us to feel like we’re at the game instead of just watching it on TV, but alas it all stays in the front.  There’s some good left to right action with the front channels.  It’s a suitable track, but should have been a lot more.

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  • Commentary with Co-Writer/Director David R. Brooks and Co-Writer/Producer Zev Brooks
  • Deleted Scenes (16:06) – Scenes and parts of scenes that were removed from the final product
  • Extended Musical Scenes (10:38) – Longer renditions of musical numbers featured in the film
  • Behind the Scenes (11:17) – Raw footage taken on set during the shooting and planning of scenes in the movie.
  • Yankles Baseball Cards – Character bios
  • Yankles Trailer

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I’ll make no secret I had the hardest time sitting through this one.  Within minutes you’ll know every beat and every resolution that is going to come from this movie.  That’s not necessarily the end of days by itself, but the fact that this is a poorly written, acted and produced movie makes it even worse.  The film also feels like it’s not even up to snuff or knowledgeable on its own subject matter.  Magnolia brings a solid presentation with a couple supplements, but none of it is worth your time.



Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

2 Responses to “The Yankles (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    A ZERO? Worse than Troll 2?! LOL

  2. Brandon Peters

    I was gonna go with .5, but i slapped myself. I didn’t enjoy 1 frame of this.