Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Standards of Living – review

If you take one part Twilight Zone and one part David Lynch movie and filmed the results with an iPad2, you might come up with something similar to Standards of Living.  Written and directed by Aaron Mento, Standards of Living is a strange tale that explores the topics of healing and reparation in a very bizarre manner. This movie will leave its audience perplexed. Is it a sci-fi story that with an ambiguous ending?  Is it a hellish nightmare?  Could it be both?

Peter, played by Scott Yarborough, is a failing comedian.  Out of the blue he gets a call from Mr. Randall, played by Bill Ferris, for a private show.  When he arrives he finds out that Mr. Randall is not interested in Peter’s comedy.  Mr. Randall has a unique power that allows him to make objects vanish, and then reappear “improved” ten minutes later.  He wants to try his powers on Peter; what will happen if Peter is to vanish?

Considering the fact that this is a feature length movie filmed on an iPad2, it really shows a lot quality.   The sound has an odd echo every now and again which is sometimes distracting.  The use of minimal sets is very much like other “bottle movies” which leave audiences feeling uncomfortable and claustrophobic.  In this case it works very well to the movie’s advantage.  In terms of showing and not telling it does a decent job- but in a perfect world there would be multiple angles.

The story itself is very intriguing.  The concept is bold and original but the ending seems to go into a bizarre direction. Still, it takes chances were it needs to and attempts to be a decent conversation starter at the same time. The odd aspects to the movie do give it a great deal of charm.  While it might not be an Oscar contender, it is certainly one of the better low budget films I’ve seen in a long time. 

Standards of Living does a lot more than just go for a quick gimmick.  It shows a lot of skill and will have you thinking about it long after the credits roll. It is a fun movie worth checking out.  If you have a spare moment to watch something different you will likely enjoy the bizarre story and twisted concepts.  It can be streamed at this website:

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