Kata (Katrina Gibson) and Ana (Melida Prado) are best friends growing up on the streets of L.A. To pass time they steal cars, hang out with their fellow gang mates, and compete in dance contests against rival gangs. When Ana gets pregnant by a member of a rival gang, she must choose between the street life and a life where she leaves it all behind, including Kata, to raise her child.
The urban drama is a genre that may have been maxed out early on. We had amazing trendsetters in Bo…z N the Hood, Menace II Society, and Juice, as well as good recent installments such as Baby Boy. There’s not much else to do anymore other than mug at the camera and twist some caps. That’s why Living the Life falters, through no fault of its own, but by coming in so late in the game. The cast is talented and give realistic performances, and certain moments ring true with an art- house vibe, but ultimately the movie can’t one-up its predecessors.
Living the Life is presented in non-anamorphic widescreen. The colors are bleached out, but to good effect to better demonstrate the L.A. environment. However, I feel that this was unintentional. The picture could use a lot of improvement, as it is never crisp or full, and always seems out of focus. Most of the scenes are filmed at night in dark places and colors fade and blur instead of being deep and rich.
The disc comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, which is pretty efficient. Music is handled very well, and some sound effects resonate to the surrounds. However, the dialogue levels go from clear to inaudible and sometimes crackle. One scene had me laughing because the soundtrack music is played so loud you cannot understand what the actors are saying.
A Spanish track is also included.
The only extra found on this discs is a trailer for the film.
Living the Life is well made, well acted, and well directed. You’ve seen it all before, and done better, but the film’s elements may effect you in other ways the previous movies haven’t. If you enjoyed other films in the genre, Living the Life may be worth it. Just don’t expect to learn much about the movie by way of its supplemental material. What you personally take away from it will be the only extras this disc has to offer.
Special Features List