Review this movie
Jun 10, 2014American Me: 3/10: In all fairness I have to admit I was expecting more of a gang picture (albeit a serious one) with Mexican overtones rather than a straightforward prison drama.
American Me is a straightforward prison drama.
Nobody in this film emotes and pass the K-Y jelly cause there is more guy on guy action in this movie than in the men's room at a Sex in the City wrap party. Add in the bathroom/drug smuggling scenes and you may be squirming in your seat for more reasons than a slow pace.
In addition a lot of older actors can play characters in their twenties. Even those that have obvious hairline issues (see the later Porky's movies) seem to pull it off. Edward James Olmos is one man who should never even try. He looks like he was born fifty. He also plays the lead with the charisma of a sullen rock.
In addition to the miscasting and sodomy American Me suffers from serious script issues. It simply takes at face value the characters contention that they are king of the world. They are not. It is one thing for the characters themselves to be misguided (as they are most certainly are) but the movie itself seems not to realize what big losers these guys are. Sure they are king of the cellblock. Hurrah, that's like being voted carny of the month.
A good first 45 minutes or so quickly melts into underacted pathos (Nobody emotes in this movie, cause they are all tough guys see.) and misguided plot twists (the whole taking on the mob bit was horribly done). The movie just keeps getting worse and worse.
Oh and Olmos's character writes poetry. Really bad rhyming poetry. Yup poetry and anal sex, American Me is one makeover away from its own Bravo series.… Expand
But Mr. Olmos's direction, from a screenplay by Floyd Mutrux and Desmond Nakano, is dark, slow and solemn, so much so that it diverts energy from the film's fundamental frankness. Violent as it is, American Me is seldom dramatic enough to bring its material to life.
American Me is crafted with heart and conviction and intelligence. It demands no less of its audience. It insists that there are no quick fixes, but that solutions are of the utmost urgency. It demonstrates how the capacity for change resides within each individual.
The movie was mostly shot on two difficult locations: The streets of East L.A., and inside Folsom Prison. It knows these worlds. The language, the clothes, the attitudes, are all shown with the understated conviction of a director who is sure of his material.