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Yonkers Joe (2008)

Chazz Palminteri , Christine Lahti , Robert Celestino  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Chazz Palminteri, Christine Lahti, Tom Guiry
  • Directors: Robert Celestino
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001QDBX60
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,938 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Yonkers Joe" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Yonkers Joe: The Premiere
  • Behind the Scenes
  • The Moves
  • The Look
  • MEet Fast Jack

Editorial Reviews

An ode to old time gamblers, now outdated in an age of powerful upscale casinos, YONKERS JOE tells the story of a dice hustler (Palminteri) whose determination to make one last grab for a big score in Vegas is complicated by the reappearance of his estranged son.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars every GAMBLER should see this FILM! February 18, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a terrific film. The inside, tricks of the trade of the gambler are depicted with such realism that I forgot I was watching a movie. Yonkers Joe, played to perfection by Chazz Palminteri can minipulate cards and dice in order to make himself win -- I would defy anyone to try and catch him. What's different about this story is Joe doesn't make a ton of money, he uses his skills to get by until something happens that drives his ambition. I wondered after seeing this movie, if I had ever been conned in this fashion, because I didn't think these types of skilled gamblers would waste their time on small money, back room VFW type poker games. But why not? These people don't care about showing off they just want your money. These are crooked characters who operate outside the law, but when performed and photographed with such honesty and meaning, I understood their motives and was drawn in by them. The story between Chazz and his son is truely moving. If the actor playing Chazz's son isn't really mentally challenged, he's surely the greatest actor on the planet and deserves an Oscar! This is the best movie I've seen all year. In you've ever played poker or shot craps, you have to see this movie.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough watch, great gambling film May 18, 2009
Format:DVD
Aside from the premise that gets repeated everywhere about this being a father/challenged son film, I looked at this as more a gambling film. Once you watch the special features, it was apparent that was the primary intention anyway.

One solid performance by Tom Guiry (who I remember most from Black Irish movie) and a slew of normal performances by everyone else lead up this film about cheats and hustlers making a buck. Chazz as the father, takes over the care of his challenged son that he has essentially ignored for years. Through their trials and difficulties, we see them become closer, all whilst cheating everyone they come across. The filmmakers stressed the importance of the viewer liking the leads, but they were all cheats so it didn't work as well with me.

The special features make this three star film a four though.

15 minute making of documentary; extremely dry and slightly informative.
8 minute documentary on the technical consulting by "Fast Jack"; more touching than the movie, as the old guy gets choked up talking about his past - if you skip the rest, even the movie at least give this a watch.
5:30 minute clip on the look of the film, sets, lighting, etc.
7:30 minute clip on the premier footage and more interviews
But the best: a 6:30 minute look into the moves used in the film...wow. They review the slights of hand and tricks used in dealing cards and playing poker. I watched it in slow motion a few times just to try and figure out how in the heck they were pulling some of those things off. Was fun to sift through.

This was the director's first real film, and he did a decent job. The film quality was average to poor at times, the sound was selectable between 5.1 or 2.0, and the music drowns up too heavily in a few scenes, but seeing all of the background props, tricks and gambling makes for an adequate gaming watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good film October 3, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Always liked this somewhat odd little film. Maybe it's because the acting is so real that it seems to have actually occurred. Love what the two lead actors bring to these roles. Worth checking out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gamble away your good will September 1, 2011
Format:DVD
Yonkers Joe is about a man who has a special talent for cheating when it comes to gambling, and specifically hiding cards and creating fake dice. The bogus dice is actually the main aspect of his cheating abilities. He knows people on the side who can create believable looking phony dice that bare a striking resemblance to the real thing found in casinos.

There's basically two storylines going back and forth throughout the movie. One of them is about, as I mention above, a dishonest man finding his way inside gambling environments where he can sneakily trick even the most professional of gamblers and pull the biggest money-making scams around town. This guy is really good, because on the rare occasions it's discovered that he'd been cheating, he's always able to hide the dice in time and make a clean escape.

The other storyline is drastically different and involves his mentally challenged teenage son and his numerous problems, such as trying to keep his sons anger problems in check, teaching him to respectfully communicate with women, and on one particular occasion, involve his own son in the ultimate gambling scheme.

In fact, the two stories eventually come together near the end and the son gets involved in helping his father win lots of money at a gambling center. Will it be a success? Will his cheating father get away with it? You'll have to watch it to find out.

Overall, Yonkers Joe is a pretty good movie. You have drama with the teenage boy and a little bit of suspense whenever the gambling segments happen. The movie is able to pull off both without any problems whatsoever. Enjoyable.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would Have Been Better as a Docudrama June 3, 2009
Format:DVD
The problem with Yonkers Joe, the con is impossible, the con is impossible, no nobody could ever do that, the con is impossible, nobody has ever pulled that off, never, it can't be done, no you can't go to Vegas, no not Vegas... If Stanley played by Michael Lerner, said that one more time I was going to lose it. Chazz Palminteri, Joe the lead character, over acts more than I've seen in a very long time. The absolute worst moment in the film is the closing scene with him sitting with Janice played by Christine Lahti, talking very excitedly and animated. He's fallen so far out of character it plays like a joke.

This is a movie where the special features are almost better than the film. Fast Jack interview was excellent, he describes the whole film, but in real terms. The film would have played way better if they had simply stuck to the gambling portion, the slight of hand, the play at the table. Fast Jack had some awesome real life tales to tell, for the 7 minute interview. Embellish those concepts, and you could have an one hour 30 minute movie. A sort of Docudrama or documentary about Fast Jack.

The story really fouls up when it introduces Joe's son, Joe Jr. His son is a trisomy 21 adult - 21 years old - who can't stay in a home because he's gotten abusive to the other residents. Tom Guiry does an outstanding job as Joe Jr. He is believeable, and acts very well. His best line is "I have three and you only have two. That's what makes me different." But the problem with the son thread in the story, it just confuses the whole gambling idea. Fast Joe's story could stand on its own and not just be a remake of the The Sting or
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Capable cast -
Michael Lerner and Christine Lahti steal this movie, though Tom Guiry plays a convincing part as Joe's son. Read more
Published 13 days ago by C. Bryan
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film & heartfelt story.
If you like gambling & live or have lived in Yonkers. N.Y., this is your movie to watch.
Chazz Palminteri is a great actor & it is always intense to watch him. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Flo Rose
3.0 out of 5 stars Really Like Chazz Palminteri
Since I'm a fan of "The Bronx Tale" I decided to watch this movie with Chass Paliminteri as he is one of the main characters in Bronx Tale. I really did enjoy the movie. Read more
Published 14 months ago by B. Blume
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice try, but not a film I'd bet on
I wanted to like this film, and did like it at some points, but it has some flaws and ultimately is a bit of a mess. Read more
Published 22 months ago by fra7299
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Movie I've seen in a long time...
Loved this film!! Was suprised that I enjoyed this so much when I read the title about it being about gambling. Read more
Published on March 21, 2010 by Toni Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant and tender film
Robert Celestino's most tender film to date. He brings out the best performances in this moving film about a father's gambling addiction and the tormented relationship with his... Read more
Published on February 8, 2010 by Terry M. Sandler
5.0 out of 5 stars A Heartfelt Movie...
Yonkers Joe is a heartfelt family drama, about a father and a son. It does a great job of sharing with the audience the life of a talented gambler, who is now faced with taking... Read more
Published on February 4, 2010 by Lobna Abdelrehim
5.0 out of 5 stars GAMBLING MOVIE WITH A BIG HEART
YONKERS JOE is a moving portrait of a father-son relationship with tons of cool Vegas cheating scams as the story's backdrop. Read more
Published on February 4, 2010 by Movie Buff
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Great Film!
This film has some of the finest acting you will ever see. The characters in this movie are real and the actors play them with all the truthfullness the script deserves. Read more
Published on February 4, 2010 by Robert Bruzio
5.0 out of 5 stars YONKERS JOE
I saw this film in the theater and now buying the dvd. Rarely do I watch a movie twice. The second time around was even better than the first. One of my favorite films of all time. Read more
Published on February 4, 2010 by Overself
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