As you may have noticed, my name is Tony Lantz and you are currently scrounging around the cutting room floor. With this column I hope to give smaller independent movies a chance to shine as well as bring other films to light that you may have either forgotten about or passed over upon their release.
Empire Records (1995) PG-13, 90 min, Comedy/Drama/Music
Empire Records is a movie that focuses on a record store and the employees who work there. It’s not just business as usual at Empire Records, it has come to the staff’s attention that their little slice of heaven is in danger of being absorbed by a major chain and they will stop at nothing to save their store, and in the process they find out about themselves and each other.
I saw this movie for the first time in high school and fell in love with everything about it, the characters, the plot, and the soundtrack. Every component fits so perfectly together that if you removed any small piece it wouldn’t be the gem that it is.
While some would argue that the characters are simply stereotypes of youth in the 90’s, I think that it adds to their appeal. In the 90’s, just like now, a lot of kids weren’t fully aware of who they were and as such became the stereotypes they tried so hard to separate themselves from. For that matter, some of us still aren’t entirely sure.
Whether you see yourself in “A.J”, the troubled artist, Mark the wannabe rocker or possibly you’re more like Deb who’s trying to find her way, or perhaps Joe & Lucas who take different routes, but are just trying to keep everyone together. Maybe you even see yourself in Corey constantly trying to make the grade and get approval, and if no one else, Warren who’s just trying to find where he belongs.
It’s both a coming of age film and 90 minutes of pure nostalgia. I highly recommend checking it out, and if you do, be advised, they’re open ‘til midnight.
For more information on “Empire Records” go to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112950/