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The Runaways

286 customer reviews

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(Jul 20, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

“I love Rock n Roll and I love this Movie!” - Jan Wahl, KCBS AM/FM and KRON-TV, San Francisco

"Rock ‘n' roll fans of every gender and generation will identify with this." - A.O. Scott, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Stewart and Fanning have never been stronger.” –Michael Phillips, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

In adapting Cherie Currie's memoir, Neon Angel, Floria Sigismondi focuses on three figures. Sensing imminent stardom, Sunset Strip impresario Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) brings together blond Bowie fanatic Cherie (Dakota Fanning) with raven-haired rocker Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart). Manufactured bands weren't a novel phenomenon in the 1970s, but the Runaways wrote their own songs and played their own instruments, paving the way for the all-girl outfits to come. With a mother (Tatum O'Neal) in Singapore and a perpetually drunk father, Cherie and her sister, Marie (Riley Keough), must fend for themselves. When the group heads out on tour, there's no adult supervision, leading to drinking and drugging from California to Japan, where the crowds go wild, but just as they're taking off in public, they're falling apart in private. Cherie tires of Fowley's tough-love tactics, while her bandmates resent the focus on their sexpot singer. The best thing about Sigismondi's film is that her risky casting choices pay off: Fanning leaves her little-girl roles behind just as easily as Stewart breaks free from her Twilight shackles, so it's too bad Jett has no back story and that the other players, particularly Sandy West (Stella Maeve) and Lita Ford (Scout Taylor-Compton), don't register more as distinct personalities. Shannon's Fowley, on the other hand, steals the show with his profane performance. For a film dedicated to female empowerment, that may not have been the director's intention, but as Fowley says, "This isn't about women's lib; this is about women's libido." --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

Commentary with Joan Jett, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning
Plugged In: Making the Film

Product Details

  • Actors: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning
  • Directors: Floria Sigismondi
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0034G4P6W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,763 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Runaways" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Jym Cherry on March 22, 2010
Format: DVD
It seems movies about punk rock seem to get the experience right, like, Sid and Nancy, and The Runaways. The bio-pics of the 60's era musician's either focus on the addictions or the music, but punk era bio-pics of the band seem to get both right. Not only does The Runaways manage to tell the story of the band, but also manages to translate the existential experience of the times and the music.

The Runaways follows the myth of the band, The Runaways. Created by Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) a long time Sunset Strip dissipate/denizen with record producer cards in his pocket he meets the teenaged Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) who wanted to start an all girl band. Fowley accommodates her by her introducing her to drummer Sandy West (Stella Maeve) and they go prowling L.A. clubs to find a Bridget Bardot type to front the band and discover the 15 year old Cherie Curry (Dakota Fanning). Fowley soon has them in a an abandoned trailer to practice as he whips them into shape with his "Rock `n' Roll boot camp." The irony in The Runaways was that the band was the creation of the band (like the Sex Pistols owing their existence to Malcom McLaren) both of whom understood the style over substance philosophy of self-promotion and controversy. When The Runaways started discovering themselves as artists they had to fight Fowley who treated them as a product and that he owned them, and they owed their success to him.

As the band climbs to rock stardom, the movie captures at first the freedom and victory the first flash that success provides.
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Startrout on July 25, 2010
Format: DVD
I thought the performances by the two leads were terrific. However, Lita Ford got completely snubbed in this movie. If you didn't know the band and of her legacy you'd wouldn't even remember Lita Ford being in the group after watching this movie. Also, as someone that has seen them live, this movie really down played how raunchy and wild these girls performances really were (sexual behavior, blood, etc). The music was a lot cleaner too (like it was done in a studio) than how it really was, but I guess that's to be expected in a movie trying to be successful with a wider audience. Finally, they indicated sex was going on with the girls, but at the same time, they really steered around it avoiding any specifics (probably to protect the people involved as the girls were under age).

Oh, one other thing that bothered me quite a bit was at the end or the movie they say what happened to Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, and manager (went on to do so and so...). But, again they left out Lita Ford, Sandy and the bass player (who's name escapes me at the moment). That was really a huge mistake in my mind and I'm shocked they did that.

A note on the extras. I listened to the whole movie with the commentary by Joan Jett and the two stars. While interesting, the girls spoke over Joan Jett all the way through discussing their performances and just random stuff (mostly just talking to talk). I really wanted to hear from Joan what really happened through out, but she hardly was given a chance to tell us. Also, they should of asked the other band members to be there as well as their thoughts and memories would have been very interesting.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By R. DelParto VINE VOICE on April 9, 2010
Format: DVD
In the middle of the glitter and glam rock of Ziggy Stardust, sappy contemporary love songs, and upon the threshold of the disco era, a revolutionary genre of music was skirting right behind, the punk era of the mid to late 1970s and a Southern California all girl rock band called the Runaways. Indeed, one of rock and roll history's unsung bands to have emerged in musical history. The film adaptation of the rise and fall of the band is an eye-opening experience, especially for those who may not have heard of the band or may have had a small inkling of exposure of the music of any one of the band members, most famously, Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart), Lita Ford (Scout Taylor-Compton), Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), Sandy West (Stella Maeve), and Jackie Fox; Fox is given the fictitious name of Robin (Alia Shawkat) due to her refusal to use her name in the film. Director Floria Sigismondi captures the decade with the images, the fashion, gender-bender appeal, and most importantly, the music of the Runaways that provide the soundtrack for the film.

The film does a good job showing a by-gone era that has long passed from platform shoes, bell-bottom jeans, and feathered-hairdos that typified the 70s. But the Runaways along with their male counterparts, the Ramones helped the listening public keep abreast with guitar driven rock amidst the dance fever that was riding the wave of the decade. However, fame and success does not come without unfortunate circumstances, ironies, and clichés that are explicitly displayed throughout this fairytale rags to riches story. It is these aspects that make the band's story interesting in two instances.
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