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Area residents' 'Yankles' film makes it to DVD

David and Zev Brooks, from Westminster and Fountain Valley, made the comedy-drama about an Orthodox Jewish baseball team.

June 06, 2012|By Jenny Stockdale
  • Brian Wimmer plays a former professional player on parole who finds himself fulfilling his mandatory community service by coaching The Yankles, a baseball team predominated by Orthodox Jews.
Brian Wimmer plays a former professional player on parole…

David and Zev Brooks discovered some recent truth in a line from the 1989 big-screen baseball classic "Field of Dreams": "If you build it, he will come."

This past Tuesday, the American film distribution company Magnolia Home Entertainment released the brothers' award-winning 2009 independent film "The Yankles" on DVD andBlu-ray, bringing their first attempt at filmmaking into the home theaters of viewers across the country.

On a late-night conference call last Thursday from their New York City hotel room, the filmmakers — David, a Westminster resident, who directed the film, and his older brother Zev, a Fountain Valley resident, who was its executive producer — reflected on the gamut of their film's success with fatigued delight.

"We're thrilled that a big company like Magnolia saw the same vision we had," David said. "All I've ever wanted as a filmmaker was to have the opportunity for a wide audience to see this, and now we'll have that across all platforms."

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"The Yankles" is a 115-minute comedy-drama about an Orthodox Jewish baseball team looking for leadership and a washed-up ex-pro ball player-turned-coach looking for a chance at redemption after losing his career to a series of bad alcohol-induced decisions.

According to the film's synopsis, Charlie Jones (played by Brian Wimmer) finds himself on parole, fulfilling 192 hours of mandatory community service by coaching the Yankles, a college baseball team of mostly Orthodox Jews. As it turns out, Jones leads the team of unusually uniformed ball players to the College World Series — their individual sidecurls swinging as they round each base for the win.

The story the Brookses built has had diverse audiences of "Jews, non-Jews, men, women and children alike," laughing, smiling and sometimes verklempt in theaters around the world. As the synopsis reads, "[It's] about real people with real problems and real needs, and promises to be meaningful and provocative movie entertainment."

"That was the goal," Zev said. "We have no doubt anymore that the majority of audience members are going to like the film. Like a good joke, it's all about the timing. And it was the right time for a movie like 'The Yankles.' It delivers the right amount of humor with a respectful representation of the Jewish faith."

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