Of this past week’s new releases I was the most excited for The Runaways. I know what you are thinking, “that Twilight girl is in it so it must suck.” Get over yourself. While I don’t understand the craze behind Stephanie Meyer’s empire, I’m not going to fault the actors for it. In any case, the cast of The Runaways is filled with brilliant actors. Dakota Fanning is no hack actor. After seeing Kristen Stewart’s dead on performance as Joan Jett, I’m convinced she’s no hack either. I can’t wait for “Welcome to the Riley’s.” Enough of this justification, on to my review.
The Runaways were the first all girl rock group. They broke down the gender walls in the rock n roll scene and proved that girls could rock as hard (if not harder) than the boys. Based off of the book “Neon Angel” by Cherie Currie, the movie focuses on Cherie’s rise to fame and eventual downfall. The movie does nothing to glorify to Sunset Strip music scene with its shady characters, drugs and sex. The truly shocking thing is that Cherie was only 15 when she started in The Runaways, and was exposed to the seedy side of the music business. The producer who put the group together, Kim Fowley, is certifiably insane. Michael Shannon (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) nailed this performance. Just look for Kim Fowley interviews on youtube and see for yourself. He may have known what he was talking about, and he knew what he had when Joan Jett said she wanted to start an all girl rock group, but that does not make him any less insane. The line between genius and insanity is a very thin one.
The movie focuses more on Cherie and Joan, but the other members of the band are just as important. While most did not stay in the spotlight after the group broke up in April of 1979, there is one that fans of 80s music will remember – Lita Ford. Lita, played by Scout Taylor Compton (Zombie’s Halloween) is there in the background screaming for some spotlight.
What I loved about this movie was the director’s vision. Floria Sigismondi, best known for her work on music videos for Bowie, Manson, and Crystal Method, adds some interesting style to the movie. The scenes in the clubs and all the scenes involving drugs felt like music videos to me. The drug scenes were fast cut and leave the viewer feeling edgy and confused.
I could go on and on about this movie. The 70s style, the 70s music, the great soundtrack… but I won’t. This is definitely worth a watch and for any fan of music I’d say buy it. You want to know more about The Runaways go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Runaways
Last Quote: Sixteen Candles
Today’s Quote: “Pig stink! They'll eat you alive out there! Rock 'n' roll is tough music played in tough venues! Men don't like to seem women anywhere but in their kitchens or on their knees - let alone on stage with guitars. Now, buckle up and get ready for bootcamp, babies - you're gonna be trained like the Viet fucking Cong.”