The Runaways (2010)
My Synopsis: Bella and Dakota have all but grown up and the only vampire is a record exec. No surprises.
Comments: I have always been a sucker for movies based on real life rock-stars. Maybe it's the historical elements, the nostalgia, the love of the music, the debauchery... you know I'm not really sure what it is but there's something about Val Kilmer's Jim ('The Doors' -1991- brilliant) and Mark Walberg's Ripper ('Rock Star' -2001- surprisingly awesome). It's even more brilliant when the lead actor takes it upon themselves to become their character and sing all the songs themselves (i.e. Kilmer and others), which is why I have actually been looking forward to a Janis Joplin movie starring Pink (who has proven she is a voice replica, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsoxuKhYZeY). So the idea of film based on the book written by first lady of punk Cherie Currie about the 1970's all girl band The Runaways I was more than interested. I mean, this is the band that spawned Joan Jett and Lita Ford. The baddest assed chicks of rock and roll! But as time progressed I was getting less and less interested upon discovering Kristin Stewart ('Twilight') and Dakota Fanning ('War of the Worlds' and, you guessed it 'Twilight') were playing the title roles (Joan and Cherie). Teenagers playing teenagers in the drug addled world of sex and rock and roll is one thing, but these two are the spokespeople for the vampire loving emo kids of America! Then, of course, the movie opened nearly no-where (granted, saved me a ten spot) and was impossible to find elsewhere. Until the other night of course, when I somehow managed to make it through all 106 minutes.
Plot: Greedy record exec brings four attention starved teenagers together into a punk rock band and pimps them out until they are used and abused beyond recognition.
Same old story, slightly different view. The only good things about this movie are the depictions of 70's rock and roll lifestyle (seen it) and that Dakota actually sings. Yes, this is good, she sounds really close to Cherie. Other than that this movie is about Joan Jett's drive for rock super stardom and Cherie Curries sinking into druggy depression. I was disappointed that Lita Ford wasn't really explored beyond her bad attitude. She was the maven of heavy metal after all. I had a hard time believing that Kristin or Dakota had a clue of what drugs even were much less how it felt to be on them and the sexual escapades were clumsy. All I really understood is that Joan Jett was gay. Surprise!
So I gave this one 3 out of 5 chords, allowing it one point for being musical, one for Dakota actually singing, and one for a hell of a choice in lead actors. Beyond that if you want to know anything about The Runaways I suggest checking out any of the links below and downloading their most popular song “Cherry Bomb.” If your whole goal is to see Kristin and Dakota in a pedophiles cross dressing dream maybe the movies for you. But, spoiler alert, there's nothing to see. Take that you sickos!
For more on The Runaways (the real band)