Monday, August 16, 2010

Review - The Runaways

The Runaways! This is a film based on Cherie Currie's memoir, which I am currently reading.

Something about this film that I was deeply disappointed in was the distribution. I think this could have been a great success that could have really exposed a lot of people to the awesome that is The Runaways. You'd think that with Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart starring, they would have promoted the hell out of this movie. The release was extremely limited and I know there are people who wanted to see it but it was not playing in a theater close to them.

What also disappoints me is that all anyone ever hears about this film is the fact that Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning kiss in it. Yes, yes, it is true! They kiss. Kristen has more chemistry with Dakota than she ever will have with Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner, so take that, Twilight.

But that is not what this film's all about. Yes, there's a great emphasis on the relationship between Cherie Currie (Dakota) and Joan Jett (Kristen), but it's about the band, and Cherie's struggles with fame and her drug abuse. There's so many great parts of this movie to just focus on the kisses they share.

I thought that Dakota did a wonderful job. At first I was like "Lolwut, isn't she like ten? What is she doing playing Cherie Currie?" Her growing up is just weird to me. But she was incredibly convincing in the role and during my second viewing I stopped seeing her as "Dakota" every time she was on screen, but rather "Cherie." Her singing was pretty decent as well, and she absolutely nailed Cherie's stage presence and mannerisms.

Then we have Kristen Stewart. I won't lie, I like her, she's just such a bitch that she entertains me. She doesn't fill me with the same rage that others get when she's involved in something. I thought that she did quite well as Joan, but it took be a bit longer than it did with Dakota to stop thinking "Kristen" every time she came on screen and start thinking "Joan." She also seemed to go in and out of character a lot. At times she was Joan and at other times she was Kristen trying to be Joan. But like Dakota, she completely nailed the stage presence and mannerisms of her role. During the performance scenes more than anything was when I saw her most as Joan, and her singing wasn't half bad either.

I have no complaints about the rest of the cast. Except perhaps that Riley Keough (who plays Marie Currie) looks so much like her mom that every time she came on screen I kept thinking "Oh hey, Lisa Marie- Wait never mind." So that was a bit distracting, but not at all her fault or or the film's, that's just me not getting over my Elvis kick quite yet. I loved Michael Shannon as Kim Fowley. Kim is just a character that was so crazy that I looked forward to his scenes just to see what asshole, crazy move he'd pull next. I enjoyed his character greatly.

The pacing was a bit fast, and at times this made the film confusing, especially for those familiar with The Runaway's time line. The movie was also very watered down compared to what I've read so far in the book. The rock and roll lifestyle is much more explicit in the book, a hell of a lot more sex and drugs.

Over-all, I really enjoyed the film. It made me feel empowered, and gave me the strong urge to learn an instrument and be in a rock band. I would definitely recommend it to others.

As far as the book is going so far? Definitely pick it up. I'm barely to the halfway point and it is fantastic. The urge to be in a band and smash guitars gets even stronger when reading Cherie's memoir, and I will hopefully write a review on it when I finish it.

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