Why Empire Records baffles me

Empire Records is a testament of changing tastes. I didn’t see this movie in it’s prime back in the 90’s early 2000s when it would have impacted me. I saw it a couple of years ago when I was living alone in a trailer house I bought. At the time I thought it was one of those hidden gems I missed out on. Upon second viewing I am scratching my head wondering what I ever saw in this film.

For starters the acting is all over the place. Some of it is terrible, some is passable none of it is good. The story doesn’t make a lick of sense. The scenes feel like they are just cut together without any rhyme or reason. It reeks of 90s MTV. I just didn’t get into it the second time.

This has happened before. I would watch a movie and become instantly enamored with it. Then years later when I try to revisit said movie I question my own sanity. I did this with Ghost World. To this day I can’t figure out what I ever saw in that film.

I don’t mind growing older. My tastes are bound to change. I think I must have been going through a 90s nostalgia phase when I watched it the first time because that’s the only explanation I have for walking away impressed. This movie did nothing for me on my second viewing except make me miss going to Hastings to brows the CD section.

Once the nostalgia wore off I realized there was nothing there. Likely because I didn’t see it when it was new I don’t have nostalgia for the specific film just the time period. I can honestly say I have little nostalgia for the 90s though. I listen to music from my youth because that’s what you do when you turn 40. I don’t, however, reminisce the good old days. I hated the 90s during the time I lived through it. I was happy to be rid of that awful decade.

I don’t know what got into me the first time around but I can honestly say I am glad the spell was broken. I doubt I will ever revisit this movie again. It did nothing for me the second time and I expected to enjoy it. I went in remembering how much I liked it. But then I sat there pondering my own existence for watching such rubbish.

Sometimes you have to leave a movie in the past. This is one of those films. If you missed out on it during it’s first run chances are you missed it entirely. It doesn’t work in todays world. I kept thinking there were far too many employees for such a small record store. Even back in the day I would have felt it was over staffed. I don’t remember Hastings having that many employees and it was a much larger store.

Then there is the Hastings factor. Obviously there was a store called Music Town which was likely a stand in for Sam Goody. I didn’t care for how oppressed the workers acted being bought by a chain. They made it sound like working for a corporate store would ruin their ability to have good times. I have worked for franchises and I have worked for mom and pop shops and I can tell you there is no difference other than the franchise you don’t have to wonder if they are going to make payroll.

I didn’t like this movie upon second viewing. This is a rare case of falling out of love with something I once enjoyed so much I bought a physical copy on DVD to enjoy it again and again. I don’t even know what happened to that DVD but I assure you it won’t be getting popped into my Playstation console anytime soon. Maybe I was drunk the first time I watched it? I don’t know but all I can say is I will avoid it like the plague going forward.

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Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos. If you like my writing please consider helping me survive. You can support me directly by giving money to my paypal: thetransformerscollector@yahoo.com. If you prefer CashApp my handle is @Stephaniebri22. Also feel free to donate to my Patreon. I know it's largely podcast-centric but every little bit helps. Find it by going to www.patreon.com/stephaniebri, Thank you.