Empire

( 3 )

Overview

A man who has made good in an illegal business discovers going straight is a more complicated matter than he imagined in this urban drama. Victor Rosa (John Leguizamo) is a drug dealer who has made a small fortune selling a heroin-based drug cocktail he's concocted called "Empire." Victor doesn't see himself as a dope pusher; instead, he considers himself an entrepreneur and a businessman who is simply making the most of the economic opportunities presented to him in the ghetto. Through his girlfriend Carmen ...
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Overview

A man who has made good in an illegal business discovers going straight is a more complicated matter than he imagined in this urban drama. Victor Rosa (John Leguizamo) is a drug dealer who has made a small fortune selling a heroin-based drug cocktail he's concocted called "Empire." Victor doesn't see himself as a dope pusher; instead, he considers himself an entrepreneur and a businessman who is simply making the most of the economic opportunities presented to him in the ghetto. Through his girlfriend Carmen (Delilah Cotto), Victor makes the acquaintance of Jack Wimmer (Peter Sarsgaard), an upscale investment banker who admires Victor's business savvy and street smarts. Victor is interested in getting out of drug dealing and into a legitimate business, and when Jack offers Victor the chance to buy into a new business, Victor eagerly accepts and makes a good profit in the deal. After this, Victor is all the more enthusiastic when Jack gives him the opportunity to invest in a much bigger project; the price, however, is more than Victor can afford, and he has to borrow from another high-stakes drug dealer, La Columbiana (Isabella Rossellini) in order to make the nut. It isn't long before Victor learns La Columbiana is not a good person to be in debt to -- and that Jack may not be all he imagined him to be. Empire marked the directorial debut of dancer and choreographer Franc Reyes; the supporting cast includes Denise Richards, Sonia Braga, Ruben Blades, and rapper Fat Joe.
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Special Features

Cómo se realizó "Empire"; Escenas adicionales; Estreno de "Empire" en Los Ángeles; Avance de la Banda Sonora de "Empire"; Tráiler cinematográfico en Español; Y mucho más
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Are Wall Street’s high-powered financiers any less ruthless or corrupt than the violent drug dealers who control entire neighborhoods in the Bronx? That’s the question forcefully posed in this gripping, innovative crime drama written and directed by promising young filmmaker Franc Reyes. John Leguizamo, a well-liked comic and an underrated dramatic actor, portrays Victor Rosa, an upwardly mobile Puerto Rican mobster who’d like nothing more then to move into a Manhattan penthouse with his lovely girlfriend, Carmen newcomer Delilah Cotto. He thinks his chance might be just around the corner after meeting Wall Street hotshot Jack Peter Sarsgaard, the smooth-talking boyfriend of Carmen’s college chum Trish Denise Richards. Jack convinces Victor to launder drug money in a promising investment, which doesn’t quite pan out. Without giving away too much of the convoluted plot, we’ll just say that Victor doesn’t take to market losses with the passivity of most investors. Leguizamo pulls off the neat trick of engendering audience sympathy for a basically unlikable character, a hard-as-nails tough guy a killer, in fact who yearns for a respectable life with the woman he loves. Sarsgaard is deliciously smarmy, and Richards makes an alluring and amoral femme fatale. Empire will strike some viewers as a cross between GoodFellas and Wall Street, and justifiably so. This is a deftly written, skillfully played, and endlessly fascinating movie that thumbs its nose at genre conventions. The plot twists and turns with invigorating heedlessness, and you’ll be glued to your chair from first scene to last.
All Movie Guide
Overreaching from its title onward, Empire has a lot more ambition than ability to deliver on it. The film borrows liberally, though not skillfully, from Martin Scorsese's template for crime drama, and it owes a specific debt to Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way, with John Leguizamo substituting for Al Pacino as the Latino gangster trying to get out. To be fair, Empire does flirt with big ideas, and has real desire to give the mob movie a 21st century urban makeover. Its distinct chapters give it that epic quality, as the plot starts with the intense cauldron of gangland politics, then pulls off a radical shift in tone to the gangster's movements within yuppie society. Empire conjures both ends of Leguizamo's criminal spectrum with credibility, from legit street characters to a smartly seductive white savior (Peter Sarsgaard) dangling the carrot Leguizamo can't resist. The film even has the odd good sense to cast Isabella Rossellini as a matronly drug lord with acid in her veins -- one of several inspired supporting performances. It's Leguizamo, himself usually a supporting actor, who weakens under the weight of the movie, much as he did trying to carry Spike Lee's sprawling Summer of Sam. But he can't be blamed for the movie's hasty third-act collapse, which shrinks director Franc Reyes' deliberate build-up into a scant, single-scene payoff. The climactic clash between the financial world and the underworld -- a focal point of the film's ad campaign -- gets swept under the rug, and a stillborn epic whimpers to a finish at a miniscule 85 minutes.
Entertainment Weekly
Between bursts of automatic gunfire, the story offers a trenchant critique of capitalism. Bruce Fretts
Los Angeles Times
Leguizamo ... gives one of the best performances of the year in a lead role in an American movie. Kevin Thomas
San Francisco Chronicle
A gangster movie with the capacity to surprise. Mick LaSalle

Between bursts of automatic gunfire, the story offers a trenchant critique of capitalism. Bruce Fretts
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/18/2003
  • UPC: 025192316128
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Español, Français
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Leguizamo Victor
Peter Sarsgaard Jack
Denise Richards
Vincent Laresca Jimmy
Delilah Cotto Carmen
Sonia Braga
Isabella Rossellini La Columbiana
Granville Adams
Rafael Baez Jay
Ruben Blades
Anthony "Treach" Criss
Stracy Diaz Gina
Fat Joe Tito
Nestor Serrano
Technical Credits
Franc. Reyes Director, Screenwriter
Steven Beer Executive Producer
Daniel Bigel Producer
Ruben Blades Score Composer
Robert B. Campbell Executive Producer
Jill Footlick Executive Producer
Peter C. Frank Editor
Ted Glass Production Designer
Evan Lamberg Executive Producer
John Leguizamo Executive Producer
Michael Mailer Producer
Kramer Morgenthau Cinematographer
Frank White III Art Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Créditos Iniciales [2:19]
2. El Empresario [3:13]
3. Problemas [4:59]
4. Respeto [3:38]
5. Carmen [5:58]
6. Jack y Trish [4:56]
7. Una Bala en la Espalda [5:10]
8. Guerra [5:42]
9. Algo Seguro [6:12]
10. Soho [4:35]
11. El Nuevo Vic [5:50]
12. Inversionista Intelligente [3:51]
13. La Colombiana [4:08]
14. La Manera Jimmy [7:58]
15. Una Charla con Trish [3:18]
16. Jimmy Tiene Que Morir [7:53]
17. Engañado [8:03]
18. La Venganza [5:42]
19. Las Consecuencias [2:08]
20. Créditos Finales [3:30]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Película
   Escenas
   Material Extra
      Cómo Se Realizó "Empire"
      Escenas Eliminadas
      Estreno de "Empire" en Los Ángeles
      Avance de la Pista Musical de "Empire"
         702 - "I Still Love You"
         Rachel - "Best Thing"
         Mobb Deep - "Beyond White Lines"
         Jose - "J.O.S.E."
         DMX - "Fame"
         India.Arie - "Slow Down"
         Ironclad - "I Seen It All"
         India - "Welcome to My Empire"
         Jon Secada - "My Life (Through the Spirit in Your Eyes)"
         Luis Fonsi - "Amante"
         Angel Lopez - "As I Stand Alone"
         India - "Te Invito a Mi Imperio (Welcome to My Empire; Spanish)"
         Jene - "I Will Remember Your Smile"
      Trailer Cinematográfico en Español
      Notas de Producción
      Reparto y Realizadores
         John Leguizamo
         Peter Sarsgaard
         Denise Richards
         Isabella Rossellini
         Delilah Cotto
         Treach
         Fat Joe
         Franc. Reyes
      Material Incluido en el DVD-Rom
      Recomendaciones
   Idiomas
      Idiomas Hablados: Español 5.1
      Idiomas Hablados: English 5.1
      Idiomas Hablados: Français 5.1
      Subtítulos Para Personas con Problemas Auditivos: Ingles
      Subtítulos: Ingles
      Subtítulos: Español
      Subtítulos: Français
      Subtítulos: Ninguno
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Seen that... done that...

    An uneducated Puerto Rican drug lord from the Bronx is looking for a way out of the drug game so that he and his family can live a better life. In the process, an up tight white business man betrays him. This was called Carlito's Way the first time I saw it. I've got to be totally honest ... As a Puerto Rican from the Bronx, I'm tired of movies like this that support these stereotypes of our people. I'm also tired of the stereotypes these movies create for white people in this country. This movie has been done before and (I personally think) creates more problems in the long run. This holds especially true for young latinos who look at this movie as some source of inspiration.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Another of Leguizamo's diverse characters ...

    In this movie John Leguizamo's character is different than say from Moulin Rouge or Ice Age. It has a lot of action and drama in it. The end is SOOOO sad. It is a great movie! If you want to see something exciting and leaving you on the edge of your seat this is definently the movie for you!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SO MUCH ACTION!

    This movie isn't for the viewer who has a problem watching violent, bloody action scenes. It's a realistic look inside the world of a bigtime drug dealer in the South Bronx. The soundtrack is HOT. The action is constant. There is nothing pretentious about this movie, and that's what makes it great.

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