Plot: What’s it about?
Small Time tells a nice, sometimes unpredictable story about a young man who recently graduated from High School who decides to sell cars at his father’s dealership. Devon Bostick plays Freddy Klein, he decided to skip College and go jump right into the job market. He lives with his mom, but decides to not only work with, but also live with his dad. Christopher Meloni plays his father Al. At first, Al isn’t too fond of the idea of his son skipping his education, but eventually warms up to the idea. He and his friend/business partner Ash (Dean Norris) quickly teach him the ins and outs of the business. It was amusing watching some of the earlier scenes showing the guys selling random cars to unsuspecting customers. They offer such incentives as free service, or a free grill. We even see them pretend to have other buyers on hold for the very car they’re trying to sell. While I’ve never been a car salesman, my uncle owned a dealership at one point, and a lot of this rings true. I used to see it firsthand when I was younger and would browse the car lot.
One of the more refreshing things about this film is that it treats its premise honestly and respectful. By that, I mean it’s not always predictable and handles several issues honestly, rather than in a sitcom manner like a lesser film might’ve done. As Freddy becomes more successful at selling cars, we also see him growing up too fast. There’s a scene where he treats the secretary at the dealership disrespectfully and his father reprimands him. Clearly, he’s not liking who is son has become – he wants him to be young, enjoy his life more. The latter half of the film gets more dramatic, but it doesn’t feel forced. The story is simply progressing nicely, as it should. There’s even a moment when Al contemplates letting his son go, not because he isn’t selling cars, but for other reasons. Reasons that are best left unmentioned so that viewers can see for themselves. I strongly recommend this film. It’s funny where it needs to be, heartfelt at times, and nicely paced. It’s one of those films that just sort of works its way on you. The cast is flawless and all handle their respective roles honestly. There’s not a false note here. Check it out.
Video: How’s it look?
The transfer (1.78:1, AVC encoded) suits the film nicely. This won’t be mistaken for an overly visual experience, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Colors are nice and bright, the details on the various cars seen throughout the lot show strong details as well. I couldn’t detect any grain or other noticeable flaws. In short: This transfer will satisfy fans of the film.
Audio: How’s it sound?
We get a Dolby TrueHD track, and it also impresses. Since this is a more dialogue-driven film, don’t expect excessive usage from the rear channels, but they kick in on occasion. There is some interstate noise here and there with scenes on the car lot as well as some background banter, but as mentioned, most of what we get here is dialogue. This track suits the film nicely.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You have to look under the set up menu to find that this disc features an audio commentary track. There’s not a special features section, but it’s here for your listening pleasure nonetheless.
- Audio Commentary – We get the Writer/Director Joel Surnow and stars Christopher Meloni and Dean Norris. You will find some decent notes here, mostly stories from the set and shooting. Fans of the film will want to check it out. I wish the disc had more, but that’s all she wrote.