New On Netflix: Empire Records

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Empire Records was a film almost everyone discovered through its soundtrack, a collection of rockin’ ’90s tunes by rockin’ ’90s bands. The film itself makes up for its weak non-plot with some rather outlandish flourishes, including a hyperactive record store employee hallucinating that monster rock group Gwar is talking to him on the television; a middle-aged record store manager beating up one of his teenage employees because he gambled away the store’s money at a casino, and Renee Zellweger having wild sex with a rock star on top of a copy machine after he doesn’t respond to Liv Tyler‘s more subtle romantic advances (by stripping down to her underwear). Yes, Empire Records is an incoherent and ultimately rather weird movie, though it remains an oddly irresistible homage to the power of music (and has become quite the period piece, as we don’t really have things called “record stores” much any more).

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