“I want my Yankles to be Jewish first, a baseball team second”.
There are two ways to look at the obscure, hardly heard of, Yankles film. One is that it is a film about baseball. Two, it is a film about spirituality. Of course going into the film I didn’t know which way was up. It’s basically the story of a Jewish baseball team, a disgraced baseball player, and of course a hefty dose of Jewish culture. Being that all I saw was a film about baseball I scratched my head at the thought that there isn’t a whole lot of baseball in the film. You see the team practice, win games or lose games, but always in the final seconds of each respective game. The whole, second chance down on his luck loser formula has been done time and time again in sports movies so most of the film went over my head as I ducked the seemingly generic premise.
Partway through the film a Rabbi tells a story about the village he lived in and the time he went to the post office run by a polish man who gave him more stamps then he paid for. It was an interesting story that was intriguing enough to remember and which worked as the biggest pay off of the film by the time it ended. So, yes, The Yankles is a story about baseball, but first it’s a story about faith, and going at it any other way would be a waste of your time. Though I didn’t fall in love with the film I did think it does what it aims to do and does it very well, despite fooling you into thinking it is a mild mannered formulaic film that’s been done to death. Well worth checking out.
PICTURE AND AUDIO QUALITY:
Despite a fair amount of grain, something that seems to be a fence sitter issue, definition suffers on a miniscule, ignorable level. There are only a few semi-soft scenes that seem to lose sway due to an overabundance of natural light in exterior scenes. Still, it’s a pretty impressive picture, especially for a film that seemed to have little to no promotional campaign. Kudos to Magnolia for giving it the works. The Yankles also boasts a vivid color palette of rich deep greens, boisterous reds, and other memorable high quality color schemes that help make the most out of the picture as it slowly but surely reaches revelation in it’s main purpose. All in all a pretty decent release for Blu-Ray enthusiasts.
Audio is pretty straight forward, not a lot of immersion seeing as the film is dialogue heavy without much use for rear or side channel support. LFE output is minimal at best. It’s basic function is to deliver the films dialogue driven message showing real life only during one of the films musical moments. No, the film is not a musical, but there is a bit of singing as a cultural result.
~Deleted Scenes: A little over 16 minutes of deleted scenes. Some interesting, some not.
~Behind The Scenes
~Extended Musical Scenes
~Yankles Baseball Cards
~Commentary w/ Co-Writer/Director David R. Brooks and Co-Writer/Producer Zev Brooks