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The Runaways Review

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The Runaways Review

The Runaways, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning

The Runaways kicks off with the audacious sight of a drop of menstrual blood landing on parking lot gravel, and doesn’t let up from there. Making her impressive feature debut, music video director Floria Sigismondi takes the story of the 1970s all-girl band’s rise and fall, and spikes it with enough restless energy, rough edges and hard rock to make you leave the theatre feeling properly buzzed…read more [CBC News]

The performance abilities of the Runaways won respect. The rest was promotion and publicity. The film covers the process with visuals over a great deal of music, which helps cover an underwritten script and many questions about the characters. We learn next to nothing about anyone’s home life, except for Currie, who is provided with a runaway mother (Tatum O’Neal), a loyal but resentful sister (Riley Keough) and a dying, alcoholic father (Brett Cullen). Although this man’s health is important in the plot, I don’t recall us ever seeing him standing up or getting a clear look at his face…read more [Roger Ebert]

Dakota Fanning, Alia Shawkat, Scout Taylor-Compton, Stella Maeve and Kristen Stewart in The Runaways
Dakota Fanning, Alia Shawkat, Scout Taylor-Compton, Stella Maeve and Kristen Stewart in The Runaways

In the mid- to late ’70s, the Runaways, a packaged group of choppy-haired teen-glam feline punkettes from L.A., 
 did for girls playing power chords what the Sex Pistols did for beer-spewing anarchy. Not that they were very popular. (They were huge in Japan…and that’s about it.) If anything, the Runaways seem cooler now than they did then; it’s only in hindsight that they come off as fearless trailblazers rather than as a novelty act. The most entertaining thing about The Runaways, a highly watchable if mostly run-of-the-mill group biopic, is that its writer-director, Floria Sigismondi, has a sixth sense for how the Runaways were bad-angel icons first and a rock & roll band second…read more [EW]

The Runaways Wallpaper The Runaways Wallpaper The Runaways Wallpaper
The Runaways wallpapers

If you love punk rock and the grrl power behind The Runaways’ music, you’ll find yourself bopping along as stars Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning sing their way (pretty decently) through the band’s greatest hits. As Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, the Twilight co-stars acquit themselves well with well-studied characterizations that capture the spirit and physicality of their real-life counterparts, Stewart all hunched and intense and Fanning the picture of ’70s suburban teen ennui with her Bardot hair and platform heels. While director Flora Sigismondi keeps the biopic chugging along by chronicling The Runaways’ rise and fall, their infamous Japanese tour, the brief implied sexual relationship between Currie and Jett, the band’s breakup, and what happened to the two women years afterward, the film languishes at times without a clear sense of momentum to drive the story forward. Still, for fans of The Runaways, Joan Jett, and yes, even Twilight, The Runaways is enough to unleash the wannabe rock chick in all of us… at least for a few hours…read more [Movies.com]

Dakota Fanning stars as Cherie Currie and Kristen Stewart stars as Joan Jett in The Runaways
Dakota Fanning stars as Cherie Currie and Kristen Stewart stars as Joan Jett in The Runaways

Last year when photos of Kristen Stewart surfaced on the internet dressed in character as legendary rock goddess Joan Jett, the music world dusted off the vinyl and spun the reel-to-reel in preparation for the biopic of the Runaways, the real-life ’70s teenage all-girl rock band that broke the glass ceiling of women in rock’n’roll, yet disbanded before attaining the heights of superstardom, at least on this side of the pond. They were “big in Japan,” if that counts.
Today we don’t question the ability of girls to kick ass with Fenders and amps (Courtney Love, Shirley Manson, Die Mannequin), but as we see in the first act when Jett tries to take a guitar lesson, in 1975 it was understood that “girls don’t play electric guitar.” Together with Bowie fan Cherie Currie, who adds a Bardot element to their tough rock quartet, the Runaways, with the help of record producer Kim Fowley, by hook or by crook, attempt world domination…read more [Exclaim.ca]

Dakota Fanning is amazingly raw as Curry, a meaty role that begins when she’s fifteen years old and a rebel, takes her to the heights of rock and roll stardom and straight down to the valley of despond. She’d been desperate to join Jett’s all girl band, shaped by music entrepreneur Kim Fowley but she couldn’t bring herself to repeat the suggestive lyrics or enjoy the down and dirty lifestyle. But it was a short trip from mastering the lyrics and the pose; to everything else Fowley offered including drugs and money. He was an abusive jerk who sent the girls on the road alone because he didn’t like traveling, leaving 16 year olds fending for themselves, as roadies, hotel managers and fans preyed on them. It was a sad life. Curry seems to have been painfully aware of it at the time…read more [M&C]

Michael Shannon stars as Kim Fowley in The Runaways Kristen Stewart stars as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning stars as Cherie Currie in The Runaways Dakota Fanning stars as Cherie Currie in The Runaways
The Runaways photos

Stewart gives as good as she gets. She’s playing Joan Jett, 15, the shag-haired guitarist, singer and songwriter who co-founded the Runaways in 1975 and went on – after the L.A. band dissolved in 1979 – to achieve star status as a solo act. Fanning has it tougher as Cherie Currie, 15, a blond Valley girl molded by Kim into the band’s lead singer and jerk-off fantasy. Cherie is so naive she almost breaks down. In a killer scene early in the film, written and directed by — music-video whiz Floria Sigismondi, Kim preps the girls for life in a man’s game. Rehearsing in a crummy trailer, the girls are hit by bottles, cans, dirt and dog shit tossed by Kim and his toadies. Cherie is told to sell the sexual heat in a song Kim and Joan create for her: “Hello, Daddy, hello, Mom, I’m your ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb.”…read more [Rolling Stone]

The Runaways Poster The Runaways Poster
The Runaways Posters

First time feature director Floria Sigismondi takes a tired rock formula and manages to make it all her own. The Runaways looks fantastic and it’s paced in such a way that it’s always moving, pounding along to the same rock and roll beat which powers its music. It’s the story of tragedy, in Currie, and pure unbridled talent, in Jett. The rock and roll scenes are toe-tapping fun and the tale of an all girl band manufactured, unleashed, and then run aground is as interesting and gripping as it ought to be. The Runaways, as part of a genre which has been done to death, may not contain many surprises but in spite of that, manages to feel fresh…read more [Cinema Blend]

The Runaways Wallpaper

The Runaways, which takes place mainly in Southern California in the mid-1970s, evokes its moment and milieu with affectionate, almost uncanny fidelity. It’s a sun-baked teenage wasteland of muscle cars and hamburger stands, and the two young 21st-century movie stars who play the main characters seem to fit right in. Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, who are Cherie Currie and Joan Jett, lead singer and guitarist for the band that gives the movie its name, were born a long time after the book had closed on the real-life Runaways, but the seriousness and self-confidence with which they tackle their roles goes a long way toward establishing a sense of authenticity…read more [New York Times]

The Runaways info

Director: Floria Sigismondi
Starring:
Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Alia Shawkat, Scout Taylor-Compton, Michael Shannon.
Release Date: Theatrical:
March 19, 2010
Running Time: 109 minutes

The Runaways Video Review [IndyMogul]

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