Empire Records Reviews
Best role for Renee Zellweger and Liv Tyler. And very young Brandon Sexton.
Wish I could have worked in such a great store back in the day!
The employees of an independent music store learn about each other as they try anything to stop the store being absorbed by a large chain.
The theme of Empire Records is the struggle of man against the greed of the corporate machine. Empire Records is an independent music store that is very lax with its employees, offers many different genres of music, and in general offers a very artistic environment for its customers. The owners of Empire wish to sell out and make Empire into a chain store. Joe, played by Anthony Lapaglia, is the store manager who takes an employee named Lucas, played by Rory Cochrane, under his wing. Together with the other misfits that work at Empire, they try to figure out a plan to save Empire from turning into a dreaded Music Town while dealing with their own personal problems on one very eventful day at the store.
Other important issues that are addressed in this film include depression, Debra (played by Robin Tunney) cuts all of her hair off and tries to slit her wrist, drug addiction, Corey (played by Liv Tyler) is the perfect student who occasionally takes speed to help her stay awake to study, and risky sexual behavior, Gina (played by Renee Zellweger) thinks she will feel better about herself and find love by sleeping around.
Two techniques used in this movie to demonstrate the theme were sound and lighting. The soundtrack of the film is very diverse and alternative which can be compared to the environment of Empire Records. Empire is not your typical music store and the music they play there is not always the most well known. The lighting of Empire can be considered dim and a little hazy at times, which compared to the harsh fluorescent lighting found at a chain store, gives Empire Records an even more unique feel.
for one thing, you never see films anymore where teens are actually fighting for something except for a date to the prom. the characters in empire records, yes, are submerged in their overdramatic romantic escapades, but their main prerogative in the film is to prevent a large corporation from buying out their independent record store. are there films that spark that kind of activist spirit in middle- and high- schoolers today? no. we're going backwards.
also, the humor in this film offers up some absurdist wit, which you never find in teen movies now. a kid glues some quarters to the floor so he can laugh at the poor saps who later try desperately to pick them up. a shoplifting teenager gives the fake name of 'warren beatty'. do kids today even know who warren beatty is? i doubt it.
this film was made in 1995, right before many of the laws allowing corporations to buy and control multiple media outlets were passed. the years since '96 have shown us a homogenization of music and movies, especially in the teen sphere, and it is turning today's teens into a bunch of celebrity-obsessed idiots.
It's the characters. Not the actors, they were all pretty decent. But the characters themselves, and the way they were written. So many of them are initially annoying and of-putting, that I almost was dead-set on disliking them from the start.
As the movie went on, that slowly began to change. I started to see a bit more of the humans beneath these initially shallow characters. It's only deep in a Breakfast Club kind of way, so don't expect a deep study on the human condition. If you can't stomach the characters, you haven't missed very much. But, if you can, there's a mildly interesting (but throughly frivolous) tale to be seen.
Plus, you get to see Renée Zellweger actually looking semi-attractive. Who would have ever guessed that was possible?
I love the fantastic cast and the acting is brilliant with renee, anthony possibily my favourtie characters in the movie! Anthony espescially looks nice doing his drum solo (hot)
Its funny, light hearted and possibliy the most awesome record store there could be if there was one like it to be honest!
worth a watch!!
The story is fun and the characters are fun to watch as they stumble through the situations placed before them.
Anyway, I thought this was a thoroughly crappy movie but it kind of grew on me. The drama parts worked a hell of a lot better than the tired-ass comedy, even if they were cliched and kind of random. The whole movie is structured really bizarrely. I guess it's worth a watch if you have this overwhelming nostalgia for mediocre films of the mid-1990s, though.
Also, I'm in love with Ethan Embry. Why does he not have a career? Hollywood is so cruel.