Review: Oldtimers

Written and directed by Brian Quintero, two associates finally get together during the holiday season to reminisce on their past glory days and hash out their differences. Starring: Conrad Coates, Julian Richings, Christopher Cordell and Natalie Dale.

A hugely satisfying choice that filmmakers can make is to add a lingering darkness in the background of an everyday scene. To cover the story with a cloud of mysterious potential, so that viewers can feel there’s something coming even if they don’t know what it is, it’s enticing and fun. That’s what you get with Oldtimers the writing and direction let you know that there’s something off here, these are not two ordinary gentlemen and it’s done in a brilliant manner. The progression and tone are dead on, right where you want them to be to tell a story that has patience but doesn’t move slowly and reveals itself at the right pace. One of the other interesting elements that Brian Quintero adds is a refined edge to the way the character’s present themselves, feeding into the mystery.

Embracing that encroaching darkness is also handled extremely well by the cinematography (by Brian Gregory) and direction. There’s a sharpness to the aesthetic, going for a richer colour that helps to set things at unease. Having that great visual quality simply enriches the atmosphere, especially when it’s working with great dialogue. The film has a bleak sense of humour which only rears its head occasionally and strikes the right balance to play alongside the tension and suspense, rather than overtaking or distracting from them.

The refined and composed feel to the film is in no small part thanks to the performances from Conrad Coates and Julian Richings. They both do an excellent job of bringing to the table endless potential, introducing these characters as polite, friendly people but leaving the door open for so much more. The chemistry and competitive feel between them is fantastic and it only improves as the intensity ramps up and they start to butt heads. It grows naturally, they both have a great presence and they’re really enjoyable to watch.

Oldtimers is fun, smart and excellently shot. It moves with a slick confidence and reveals itself slowly but surely in the most satisfying fashion. It’s dark and richly shot, adding a suave feel with an edge. Led perfectly by the terrific duo of Conrad Coates and Julian Richings. There’s a black comedy thread running throughout while it fills its atmosphere with tension and suspense. Brian Quintero is really firing on all cylinders with this one and creates a highly entertaining and memorable short film.

Verdict: ✯✯✯✯½ | 9/10

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