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American Me/Empire Double Feature

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Product Overview

Life on the streets can be tough, but going to prison for life is even worse! This cautionary theme is prevalent throughout this exclusive Universal Studios' Double Feature. This single DVD includes the harrowing films American Me and Empire!

American Me: In what The Hollywood Reporter calls "a brilliant debut" award winning actor Edward James Olmos sets the screen ablaze with his directorial bow - a powerful, stunning examination of a Latino crime lord, set against a backdrop of prejudice and hopelessness. Olmos starts as Santana, a youth from the streets of East Los Angeles, who becomes the leader of the Mexican Mafia behind the gates of Folsom Prison. With his two childhood friends, Santana rules the prison with an iron fist, continuing a vicious cycle from which there is no escape. After serving his sentence, Santana is back on the streets for the first time since his teenage years. But he learns life on the outside is as rough as it is behind bars. For the harsh reality of barrio life and his blood stained past will not give Santana the chance to turn his back on his former way of life. With a vehement anti-drug and anti-gang theme, American Me is an explosive and unforgettable epic.

Empire: This powerful, gripping action-thriller features John Leguizamo in a riveting performance the Los Angeles Times hails as "superb". "One of the best performances of the year!" The gritty streets of the South Bronx meet the white-collar world of Wall Street in Empire, a hard-hitting story about the pursuit of fast money and the high price of greed. Featuring Denise Richards, Isabella Rossellini and rap superstars Fat Joe and Treach. Empire is a high-intensity, urban thrill-ride!


Studio Universal
SKU 204086882
UPC 025195006095
UPC 14 00025195006095
Format DVD
Release Date 3/13/2012
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1/2.35:1
Cast & Crew
Denise Richards - [Empire] Actor
Edward James Olmos - [American] Actor
Edward James Olmos - [American] Director
Evelina Fernandez - [American] Actor
Fat Joe - [Empire] Actor
Franc. Reyes - [Empire] Director
Isabella Rossellini - [Empire] Actor
John Leguizamo - [Empire] Actor
Pepe Serna - [American] Actor
William Forsythe - [American] Actor
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review [American] There is a scene late in "American Me" where a police squad car pulls up at a bus stop where a man and woman are standing. It is late at night. The couple have attended a wedding, and are in formal clothes. A cop gets out of the car, looks at the man, and asks him if he has done time in prison. Just like that. Is there a sad aura of some kind, that allows a cop to look at a man and know he has spent most of his life behind bars? "American Me" tells the story of the man at that bus stop...Edward James Olmos, who directed the movie and plays Santana, says the film is based on a true story. That doesn't mean much to me; by the time the movies finish with them, true stories are as fictional as any other. What I felt watching "American Me," however, is that it is based on a true situation - on the reality that street gangs and prison, mixed with the drug sales that finance the process, work together to create a professional criminal class.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
Review [Empire] Crime doesn't pay -- on-screen, anyway. That's the message we've been told time and time again in countless dramas from the 1931 classic Public Enemy to the 2002 dud Paid in Full. So what makes Empire different? The fact that it focuses on the shadowy connections between the underworld and high finance, a relationship rarely explored adequately, if at all...While not a classic by any standard, writer/director Franc Reyes' debut does paint an engaging portrait of the rise and fall of Vic Rosa...Even though its plot runs straighter than a line of cocaine, Empire does offer a few enticing bumps along the way. Richards downplays her usual idiot-vixen persona, often dressing modestly and actually acting from time to time...Leguizamo does a first-rate job as a second-rate Scarface whose Icarus-high ambitions cause him to flame out. But the best is Sarsgaard, who channels John Malkovich as the creepy but compelling Jack.
Reviewer Tor Thorsen
ReviewRating 7
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Annlee Ellingson, Box Office Magazine [Empire] Victor is a great character, played with macho zeal by Leguizamo.
Chris Gore, Film Threat [Empire] An entertaining, colorful, action-filled crime story with an intimate heart.
James Berardinelli's ReelViews [American] Gut-wrenching, brutal, and powerful...gripping, and not easily forgotten.
Scott Weinberg, [American] Worth seeing for Olmos' performance alone.

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