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American Meth


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Product Details

  • Actors: Val Kilmer
  • Directors: Justin Hunt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 30
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Rivercoast
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010DRYNC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,577 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Meth" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

American Meth is more than a movie, it's a movement. Not only does it explore the devastation this drug is unleashing on America, it looks at how it dismatles an American family. More importantly, American Meth plants a seed. Audience members around the country, around the world, are left with a sense of duty, that something must be done to help in the fight, and they are the people to do it.

Amazon.com

In this even-handed exposé, former broadcast journalist Justin Hunt examines meth use throughout the Western US, traveling from Portland, OR to Roswell, N.M., and a number of blue-collar stops in between. Narrated by Val Kilmer, who played a meth-addicted musician in 2002's The Salton Sea, the director backtracks to the birth of amphetamine in the late-1800s, which leads to methamphetamine in the early-1990s, before returning to the present (as fellow New Mexico resident Kilmer notes, Adolf Hitler was a regular user). For the most part, Hunt focuses on addicts, police officers, politicians, health providers, and social workers. As one man, who lost a friend to the drug, poetically laments, "It's the devil's serum, and it leads you nowhere but into hell." Kalispell Police Chief Frank Garner agrees. As he puts it, "There is nothing good to say about it, and all the bad stuff you've heard is true." He adds that meth is "worse than all the other things I've seen come before it." Hunt concludes by spending two weeks with James and Holly, a New Mexico couple battling addiction while raising four children. Funded in part by Hunt's non-profit American Meth Education Foundation and shot over 16 months, American Meth feels like the work of a first-time filmmaker. It moves quickly in the beginning, but the pace slows once James and Holly enter the picture. Still, Hunt's debut offers an eye-opening look at a serious issue. In addition, songs from the soundtrack are available on a separate CD. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

She isn't humanized by her family.
pickwickfirestorm
The documentary style itself is formulaic and pedantic, but it does make a genuine attempt to inform viewers about the dire perils of methamphetamine use.
GV
As someone who knows about this stuff from personal experience trust me when I say its complete BS.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By sneaky-sneaky VINE VOICE on April 3, 2008
Format: DVD
A first-time film-maker gets the benefit of the doubt for what is ultimately a very well intentioned and necessary documentary narrated by Val Kilmer. "American Meth" moves along smoothly in the beginning and takes in a fair cross-section of America, interviewing both addicts, law enforcement, and others who clean up or otherwise try to alleviate the mess. Justin Hunt's documentary explains the history of its subject drug, names those who invented and refined it, and provides snippets like the fact that Hitler was a regular user. There is also an outstanding rundown of meth ingredients that many people will have never heard of, including lithium batteries and lightbulbs! Unfortunately the narrative hits a wall in the form of James and Holly, two excuse-making addicts, and the show devolves into reality tv that strongly resembles "Big Brother" shot in a double-wide. Unfortunately there are four children involved, with all of the males sporting outrageous mullets, and much yelling and waving of arms is awkwardly subtitled as a way of explaining each argument and counteraccusation. This was the STOP button for me. Threaded throughout the documentary and available separately is an excellent soundtrack, a redeeming feature that you can take with you. Documentarian Justin Hunt will learn from his first venture, and will be back in the future with greater things.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DRYAN on May 14, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This is a MUST HAVE VIDEO for those who know people that use meth or care about or children's future !!! I have a friend that has been addicted to meth for 20 yrs and watching this showed me that we have to help those children caught up in the homes of theses addicts or they will become just like their parents or worse. Her daughter has nothing to do with her neither does her family , due to her ongoing drug habit. Please talk to your kids about drugs and ways to say NO to drugs use.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alessandra Sulpy on April 11, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
A hard-hitting documentarist he is not. The film was mediocre in the first half... some interviews with people either taking or fighting meth, all of whom are way too aware of the camera and all say the exact kind of thing they expect they should be saying ("30 seconds. 30 seconds" or "I'm gonna stop and really focus on my family" yada yada). The latter half of the film focuses waaaaaaay too long on the despicable trailer family, and we see less evidence that meth is the cause of their problems than simply being horrible, filthy people. In short, the documentary would have been wandering and poorly executed for even a sophomore film class.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By pickwickfirestorm on May 24, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Like most reviewers, I would point out that the film seems to be separated into two parts. The first is much more from a perspective of law-enforcement, ad agencies trying to get kids not to try meth the first time, and a sickening view of the ingredients of meth; including kitty litter, lighter fluid, batteries and drano. This just proved to me that as drugs have become harder to get (particularly marijuana) people will try anything to escape their reality.

The second part of the film seemed like happenstance for the filmmakers. They ran into a young couple with four children who were willing to open their homes to the cameras. Obviously, it was hard for the filmmakers to turn down such an invitation right into the lives of meth addicts with children, but it was never really edited later to try to make the transition a little more seamless.

Nevertheless, the time with the family stood in stark contrast to the numbers and law enforcement officials and the ad campaign people and govt. officials. Here were the real people choosing to do this drug. There is a sense of hopelessness hanging over the house, and the wife seems suicidal. I don't think she cares much about going onto or off meth, she just wants to die. Since she can't overtly kill herself because of the children, it does seem possible she is trying through other means. Particularly not doing one thing to take care of her cancer. There is a deep depression at work here, and I'm surprised the husband is strong enough and thinking clearly enough to deal with some of this effectively. But the job is far to much for him. Just keeping up with the day to day would be too much These people need help and guidance.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jaki Gilbertbiedron on July 30, 2009
Format: DVD
As other reviewers have mentioned, this documentary feels very preachy and more like a scare tactic then educational. It moves along adequately well until you meet the 'meth couple' from white trash h*ll. Think mullets, dirty trailer, and 4 unkempt children who are severely neglected while the addicted parents sleep or constantly argue. It just feels uncomfortable after a while and looses focus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte Montgomery on February 12, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This film was a bit outdated. Meth is a large problem in our area and our Drug Task Force does all they can, but when the criminals get to the justice system they just get a slap on the hand. Almost all Meth now is shake and bake so this film was before we had this issue.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marian M. Matsunaga on May 1, 2008
Format: DVD
"American Meth" Might just open some eyes that were totally oblivious to the problem this country has, regarding this VERY dangerous "drug", and it's effects, not just to the user, but on society, as well. There are interviews of "former" Meth users, in states that one would not associate with this sort of thing. From Montana and Wyoming, to Utah. The cities these people live in, are more aptly referred to as "Towns"! Not the first place one would look, to see the epidemic.

We are introduced to some "former" users, and their viewpoint on their progress to kick the drug. A question is asked of them, about the current Anti-Meth Campaigns being put forth by the respective states, if they are effective. The answer is NO.

Then we see interviews of Law Enforcement Officials, Social Workers and City Leaders, with their views on how to eradicate Meth from Society. There is one Deputy, in Multnomah County, Oregon, who has erected a site online, that one can see the physical effects of Meth. This drug has everything one could look for, if they want to look 40 years older than they actually are!! It's a sobering view of the damage this drug causes. The Website is: facesofmeth.us

Then we are privy, somewhat, to the private lives of James and Holly, Husband and Wife Meth users, with four youngsters, living on the fringes, because of their habit, and the bad decisions made, because of it. As another reviewer states, this segment begins to look like a "Reality Show", because the segment is so heavily edited. We do, however, get to see Holly going door to door, bumming money, to buy the drug, then the immediate effects of the drug, in front of her family!
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