American Me

( 17 )

Overview

The directorial debut of actor Edward James Olmos, the drama American Me, comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Surround. Spanish subtitles are accessible, and the English soundtrack is closed-captioned. Supplemental materials include the award-winning documentary Lives in Hazard. This is a solid release from Universal.
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Overview

The directorial debut of actor Edward James Olmos, the drama American Me, comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Surround. Spanish subtitles are accessible, and the English soundtrack is closed-captioned. Supplemental materials include the award-winning documentary Lives in Hazard. This is a solid release from Universal.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Lives in Hazard documentary
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This searing drama, the directorial debut of star Edward James Olmos, is an ambitious fusion of crime epic à la The Godfather and social exposé. It's a tough balance to pull off, but American Me works because it maintains this agenda by balancing brutal realism with dramatic subtlety. As it charts the way the criminal justice system allows misguided kids to become hardened criminals, the film achieves an impressive sense of tragic grandeur without ever pulling its punches or giving in to cheap melodrama. That said, American Me isn't an easy film to warm up to for more than one reason. The first is its refusal to flinch from the ugly reality of its subject matter; though it is never dealt out in a glorified manner, American Me presents the savage violence of the drug trade with a gruesome, vivid sense of detail that will shock many people. The other reason is that it doesn't give the viewer an identification figure to latch on to; the central characters aren't presented in a way that inspires sympathy, and none of them ever experience an audience-friendly moment of redemption. These factors may limit the appeal of American Me, but it remains well worth the effort for the brave viewer because it is an extremely well-made film. Olmos reveals himself to be quite a stylist behind the camera, making deft use of cross-cutting to amplify the film's level of drama during key sequences and crafting a number of nerve-jangling set pieces along the way (an assassination during a prison film screening is a standout). He also gives a powerful yet controlled performance as Santana, and his work is skillfully supported by an array of distinguished supporting performances, most notably Evelina Fernandez as his ill-fated love interest and Danny De La Paz as a colleague whose faithfulness to his criminal organization comes with a heavy cost. To sum up, American Me is not for every viewer but anyone interested in a powerful, realistic crime drama will find it a rewarding experience.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/7/2003
  • UPC: 025192057427
  • Original Release: 1992
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Surround
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 2:06:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 6,569

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Edward James Olmos Santana Montoya
William Forsythe JD
Pepe Serna Mundo
Danny De La Paz Puppet
Evelina Fernandez Julie
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa El Japo
Daniel Villarreal Little Puppet
Sal Lopez Pedro
Daniel Haro Huero
Domingo Ambriz Pie Face
Vic Trevino Cheetah
Tom Bower Dornan (uncredited)
Panchito Gomez Young Santana
Richard Coca Young Mundo
Joe Aubel Tattoo Artist
Lance August Young Sailor
Paul Bollen Doc
Alex Brown Eddie Johnson
Tony Giorgio Don Antonio Scagnelli
Cody Glenn Older Sailor
Jaime Gomez Eddie
Richard Lee-Sung Restaurant Owner
Roberto Martin Marquez Acha
Ken Medlock Cop
Rolando Molina Cop
Bennie Moore Ronnie Little
Bennie Moore Ronnie Little
Grace Morley JD's Friend
Bob Morones
Dyana Ortelli Yolanda
Manny Perry Arthur J.
Robert Pucci Bodyguard
Don Pugsley Police Officer
Rodney Rincon Shoe Salesman
Robby Robinson Drug Thief
Rafael Robledo El Chucko
Michael Shaner Tony Scagnelli Jr.
William Smith Deacon
Ron Thompson Junkie
Jacob Vargas Paulito--Age 15
Abraham Verduzco Paulito (Age 7)
Technical Credits
Edward James Olmos Director, Producer
Lou Adler Producer
Joe Aubel Production Designer
Richard Candib Editor
Arthur Coburn Editor
Sean Daniel Producer
Brian Frankish Co-producer
Claude Gaudette Score Composer
Jim Halty Stunts
Dennis Lambert Score Composer
Floyd Mutrux Producer, Screenwriter
Desmond Nakano Screenwriter
Chuck Picerni Jr. Stunts
Martin Price Set Decoration/Design
Sylvia Vega-Vasquez Costumes/Costume Designer
Reynaldo Villalobos Cinematographer
Richard Yanez Production Designer
Irwin W. Young Producer
Robert M. Young Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Like Two People
2. Pedro & Esperanza
3. 16 in '59
4. Juvie Hall
5. Folsom
6. The Delivery System
7. Family Business
8. A Job for Little Puppet
9. Freedom
10. Your Business Is Our Business
11. New Shoes
12. Scagnelli's Revenge
13. Which Sailor's Blood?
14. War With the B.G.F.
15. Little Puppet's Wedding
16. People Like You
17. Back to Prison
18. La eMe's Way
19. La Primera Lives!
20. End Titles
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Scenes
   Bonus
      Lives in Hazard Documentary
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Language
         English
         Français
      Captions & Subtitles
         Caption for the Hearing Impaired
            English
         Subtitles
            Espanol
   Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    As anybody has ever been around a prison gang member, whether from the Mexicarma, La Nuestra Familia, the Black Guerrilla Family or the Aryan Brotherhood, and now the Nazi Low Riders, the old saying, "blood in, blood out," relates to all prison gangs and everything they do is very serious, unlike what we hear about these newcomers like MS-13 and the 18th Street Gang. Everybody knows that they are ruled by the foot soldiers in Pelican Bay of the Mexican Mafia. Edward James Olmos has directed the most accurate film about prison gangs and the ruthlessness and ultimately the futility in joining these criminals and fighting them. Even the most powerful man in the most powerful prison gangs is not immune to death from his own, as the movie shows in vicious detail. I know Mrs. Reagan, it would be a much better world if people "just said no!" but the world sadly doesn't work like that. If we are to win some "respect" in the war on drugs, which at times feels like a farce, the only way to win is to address it honestly and not simplistically just say "lock up." Once you are in the game of drugs and gang violence you cannot get loose unless you end up in prison, in a pine box, addicted for life, or turned snitch. Breathtaking film!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    yo must see

    itz 1 of da best gang movies ever made must see no lie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    100% REAL!!!

    eye opening, shocking, with an anti gang style of story telling. recomended for all 15-19 mexican teens. the movie is real and scary but its life if you live in the barrio

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Of the chain gang movie!

    damn well played and writed by Edward J. olmos. So vivid I gave it 5 stars. If there were only 100 stars more to give.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    aaa movie for all to see

    if you feel lost, you need to see that you are really here. this is life for people that you know and love. dont close your eyes. it is life!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!

    Working in a prison in Nevada, i can tell you that this is the most realistic prison movie ever made.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    la mejor pelicula de prisiones

    es la mejor pelicula jamas que eh visto en mi vida te esprica la cruda realida lo que paso y esta pasando en las pintas de california.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    best damn prison movie ever

    you havent lived until u see this movie, shout out to h-town texas

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Must See!!! The Best Prison Movie Ever!!!!!!!!!

    This movie captures you from start to finish, so much that before you know it you'll be quoting lines from some it's heroes like Santana, JD, and Mundo. The way the movie follows Santana's entire life from boy to man is amazing, you actually feel like he is aging before your eyes!!! This is simply a must have!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2002

    One of the best gangsta movies ever made- PERIOD .

    Everyone one from main stars to supporting actors shined in this movie about real life. Very gripping subject matter will keep you fastened to your seat and the screen. Is one of the most under-rated movies of all time. I never even seen it at movie theater, was recommended by friend for a weekend rental and was hooked at begining.Definitely a must own !!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2002

    Olmos does it again!!

    What an inspiring movie about the way an unfortunate prisoner finds himself in war among not only his surrondings, but among his own family! a must see film my hats off to this compelling, moving, movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2002

    The truth is told

    An incredible view from the inside of one of the most feared gangs in prison and on the streets. The acting is as goods as the movies reality and this movie is very real.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2002

    The most riverting and disturbing movie I've ever seen!

    I saw this film on a lark, having been conditioned to see all prison movies as stereotypical and poorly made. But nothing else was playing and the movie poster looked interesting. Boy, was I in for a ride! This movie will shake you to the core and is at times very painful to watch. You really don't watch American Me, you experience it. It has multiple subplots and twists and turns. No bathroom breaks in this movie, you are glued to your seat but in certain scenes, your eyes will shift away. Worthy of an Oscar for best screen play, I am surprised that it was not a box office smash! A lot of folks slept on this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2002

    Still Waiting For The DVD Experience On This One

    This movie is the most realistic of prison movies I have seen in a long time not only does it show the life in prison to the extreme but the outside as well and the srtuggles that come with that freedom, I hope this movie is released on DVD soon I cant wait for the extras

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2002

    It needs to be put on DVD

    This film needs to be put on DVD so that I can buy it, and put it into my DVD collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2001

    One Of The Greatest

    The movie Amercian Me was an excellent movie by Olmos. The main character ''Santana'' is sent to jail and starts to control all drug trade and murder in Folsom State Prison. This movie really only gives a glimpse of what mexican gang life is all about behind bars. I liked it because it shows a lot of what people don't see. It does give some extreme insights on what really happens. The movie goes from Santana being a kid to him being old and all his trials he endures with his two best friends ''J.D.'' and ''Mundo.'' And i liked that it shows betrayal and loyal and it gives you a good idea on who to trust.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews