Wednesday, April 28, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: "The Runaways"

The Runaways

I just saw the movie The Runaways  the (semi) true life sex, drugs & rock and roll saga of The Runaways, the pioneering all-girl band from the 1970s. Focusing primarily on the personal relationship between lead singer, Cherie Currie, and rhythm guitarist, Joan Jett, the film endeavors to recreate their colorful and compelling story — and in the process, it offers some stellar performances from an amazing cast.

While Dakota Fanning did an excellent job portraying Currie, Kristen Stewart literally became Jett. And I completely agree with my longtime friend and writing colleague, Gail Worley, that there's no justice in the world if Michael Shannon doesn't win an Oscar for his portrayal of the band's lunatic manager, Kim Fowley.

Michael Shannon offered an Oscar-
worthy performance as Kim Fowley.
I thought it was a very good movie, but I didn't love it quite to the extent that Gail did. I'm a longtime Runaways fan and I know their story pretty well. Perhaps too well. As a result, I thought the stories as presented in the film kinda blurred together and they could have been a bit better defined. How did the band get from all of the "Point A's" to "Point B's." Oh sure, I know, but did the typical 16-year-old Twilight fan who came to see the newest Stewart flick get it? 

The music featured in the film was a real treat as well — especially for those of us who grew up during that magical era. Hearing Nick Gilder's "Roxy Roller" during the opening credits gave me chills. And  the original versions of The Runaways songs that were included in the movie still hold up  — sounding as fresh as the remakes recorded by Fanning and Stewart.

Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning
delivered, as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie.
I also got a kick out of the tribute "nod" to legendary radio DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer, near the film's conclusion It was a shame though, that such a longtime iconic figure on the LA scene was so quickly glossed over.

In sum, I did like The Runaways, quite a bit — and I give it four out of five gold (over priced) boxes of Raisinets!

-Christopher Long
(April 2010)

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