This story about a day in the life of an independent record store, truly a threatened species, screeches with the sound of teenagers falling apart emotionally every five minutes. The script, which feels like an old guy's i... more »dea of how kids talk and think, concerns the young employees of a Delaware music shop faced with imminent extinction. While the ship is sinking, the staff indulge in tantrums, depressions, and run-ins with low self-esteem. There's a lot of noise in this thing, but not a lot is really said. Rory Cochrane has the best part as a secretive guy who loses the store's proceeds one night while gambling, Anthony LaPaglia is the adult boss and unofficial dad to the others, Renée Zellweger plays a promiscuous girl, and Liv Tyler is OK as a lovestruck sweet thing trying to get up the nerve to express her feelings to a fellow employee. --Tom Keogh« less
This is really fun little movie. Lightweight, funny, fast-paced, and with relatable characters. If you live for music you'll appreciate this film more than the average viewer, as this is a celebration of the kind of people who would live inside a record store if they could. This movie still feels fresh and youthful, showing that the director managed to capture something authentic about '90s youth culture. It's also nice to see actual teens and 20-somethings playing themselves, instead of 30-somethings attempting it.
Not a serious film, this will make you feel good on a lazy evening when you have nothing better to do. Even the scariest/heaviest part of the film is unbelievable mild, especially in comparison to real world news in the past few years (you'll understand the part I'm talking about when you watch it).
The actors do a great job and really make themselves into vivid characters, bringing vibrance to the fun and snarky script. I recommend this specifically to music lovers, but I think anyone would find it a pleasant watch.
"If you are a fan of the ORIGINAL Empire Records, DON'T buy the Re-Mixed Fan version... it's a big dissappointment. There are added scenes in the movie, and some of the BEST lines are changed. Example: When Rex is leaving the store and says "Why don't you all just fade away." Yeah, he doesn't say that in this version. I was very dissappointed when I saw this, b/c die-hard Empire fans DON'T want the best lines changed, so this really isn't a "fan re-mix" b/c it changes stuff the fans LOVE!!! Definitely just buy the regular DVD or VHS version... it's much better as an original, not a re-mix!!!!"
A fun romp
A music fan | 06/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film got terrible reviews...plain and simple. Why? Because it wasn't aimed at film critics ...at all. The film is an experiment in teen flicks along the lines of "The Breakfast Club" it chronicles the lives of a bunch of angsty, depressed, manic teens over the course of a single day, finding odd little ways to tell each of their stories. It definitely accomplishes this goal, using "Rex Manning Day" as the vehicle for delivering half a dozen life stories without telling a boring narrative. Granted, it's doesn't have the most original plot, or Oscar caliber acting, but it the film does what it sets out to do, and for this reason, earned its cult following. Watch this film and you will find yourself quoting lines and recalling scenes. If you're looking for a fun romp with a story that will neither bore you, nor tax your mental reserves, this is a great flick--lots of fun, quotable dialogue, and of course, great music. Both Cochrane and Embry give memorable performances as the night manager, turned well meaning felon turned philosopher and the happy go lucky stoner respectively. The story line is a tad incongruous and disjointed and some of the characters are stereotypical in their attempts to shatter the stereotypes, but if you go in to this movie with the expectations that it's just going to be a fun flick, you'll be satisfied."
Movie you can watch AND dance to
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 02/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the sort of movie I do housecleaning to, because I can zip and dance around with a broom as I watch. Teeming over with great music (mostly rock, but other genres as well), "Empire Records" is a delightfully funny and endearing teen comedy, definitely a cut above average. "The time to hesitate is through," quotes Lucas (Rory Cochrane), employee at Empire Records, when he finds that Empire is about to be sold to the massive chain "MusicTown." So he gambles away nine thousand bucks (the store's, not his) in an effort to increase the money and save Empire. Needless to say, his boss Joe (Anthony Lapaglia) is very, very angry -- since the money Lucas lost would have enabled him to buy a partnership in owning Empire.The next day has an aging pop star, the arrogant Rex Manning (Maxwell Caulfield) coming to Empire for a signing. Virginal superstudent Corey (Liv Tyler) is planning to have Rex as her "first time," while her best pal A.J. (Johnny Whitworth) is planning to tell her how he feels about her. Lucas catches a very hostile young shoplifter (Brendan Sexton). There's also depressed Debra, and crazy Mark and Eddie. And as dark personal secrets spin out of control, the employees become determined to save their beloved music store. "Damn the man! Save the Empire!"Any movie that stars primarily teens is going to automatically be spat on by critics. But "Empire" knows it's not a serious movie, and it's happy that way. After all, people dance on the rooftops, shoplifting is a contact sport, and customers are pirouetting in the aisles with the clerks. Realism? Who cares? It's funny and cute. There's some romance (most of it is kept low-key, like Debra and Berko), a seduction or two, and about five seconds of violence.The reviewer who said this was one of the most quotable movies ever is right: there are dozens of lovely lines in here. Best of those is A.J. rehearsing his profession of love: "You make me feel like a bath. You're like vanilla ice cream -- FRENCH vanilla ice cream!" Not to mention Joe's, "He's the man, I'm the idiot, you're the screwup, and we are ALL losers." And I love the soundtrack, teeming over with the Cranberries, the Gin Blossoms, Better than Ezra, and dozens of others. Hard metal, rock, ballads, and so on -- some of it is background music, some of it has the cast singing and dancing along, and "Sugarhigh" is performed by Coyote Shivers and Renee Zellweger at the end.The actors are also quite good. Anthony Lapaglia plays Joe with endearing frustration and crabbiness; Caulfield is good as the arrogant, slightly effeminate Rex. Liv Tyler swings between girlish sweetness and very occasional violent rage; Whitworth is cute and insecure as a guy who can't get the words "I love you" out of his mouth. Renee Zellweger is also great in an early role, never making the promiscuous Gina 2-D or slutty. And Rory Cochrane is great as the extremely dignified, human-fortune-cookie Lucas. Coyote Shivers (Tyler's real-life ex-stepfather), Robin Tunney, James Wills, and Ethan Embry (as the endearingly crazy Mark) round off the cast. The main sour note is Sexton, who is rather flat and over-the-top as Warren.Overall, "Empire Records" is a wonderful light teen comedy, not stupid or gross, just cute. And it's a must for fans of good rock. (And if anyone can tell me what band did that "I want some money" song, I would be very grateful)"
I loved the bonus features.
Karen K. Hart | Austin, MN United States | 01/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Empire Records, despite all the angst, always leaves everybody I've watched it with in a cheerful mood. I loved the additions to the remix. I was pleased that so much extra footage was integrated in the film and felt that said footage helped explain a few things better. A word on the sound--thus far I've only watched my DVD once, at somebody else's house, so I don't know how it will play with my system. But it seemed like the volume was really pumped up for all the songs--so if we had the volume at a decent level to hear the dialogue, I felt like my ears were getting blasted when the music came on. Still, that may be a pro rather than a con for people who really want to rock out. There are lots of nice touches here--this is a great update for people who own/have viewed the previously-released version of the movie, and newcomers will be able to enjoy it as well."
Forget other teen flicks, this is it
Ross McRae | Western Australia | 05/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, so you've seen 'can't hardly wait', you loved 'Clueless' and 'the breakfest club', ohh, and 'never been kissed' made you cry, well forget all that, this is the best teen movie around. All my friends and I were obsessed with it when it first came out, I mean who hasn't dreamed of working in a record store? I mean all of our parents don't buy us Jeeps. This movie rocks, it has heart and all of the characters arn't either perfect or dogs, they are teens, or actors showing how it was when they were teens. A great ensemble teenage film that you can't be cynical about, and if you are then you are just upset that this movie is just too cool for you. So the plot happens in a day, who cares that is the point! This movie rocks, and will change your expectations. I wish there had been more nineties teen movies like this, this is great and so is the music (esp. sugarhigh, a party fave.) Get it, turn it up and just enjoy."