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“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
Commentary with Joan Jett, Kristen Stewart, and Dakota Fanning
Plugged In: Making the Film
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I just want to take one star off because of the commentary track, which is done by Joan Jett (the real one, who was heavily involved in the making of this film), Kristen Stewart (the actress who portrays Jett) and Dakota Fanning (who portrays singer Cherie Currie).
Anybody who cares enough to watch this film with the commentary track is probably doing it to hear the real Joan Jett's comments. How many actors provide great commentary? Very few. They are actors for a reason: They can't articulate an original thought very well. They were meant to act out dialogue written by others. Their own thoughts are simply not very interesting. Stewart and Fanning babble on, complimenting each other's performances, laughing at themselves, and recalling things like "it was SOOO hot that day!!!" and "I was SOOO nervous about doing this scene!!!" They seem like perfectly nice people, but they don't have anything interesting to say.
I think most fans would agree that Joan Jett is only as good as the people she's working with. I watch every interview with Jett I can find online, and the sad fact is, most interviewers ask her the same old, predictable questions, and Jett answers them the same way in every interview. Well, at least we know she's honest! But on the rare occasion she sits down with a GOOD interviewer, she is as fascinating as her Queen-of-Rock legendary status would indicate. She's not a raconteur, or a great storyteller, and she refuses to dish dirt, but she can be very funny and surprising.
What I'm saying is, this commentary track should have included somebody intelligent and articulate for Joan Jett to talk with, and Stewart and Fanning just don't do it. They both did a damn good job of acting in the movie, but they have nothing interesting to say, which drags the real Joan Jett's commentary down with them. More often than not, it's HER interviewing THEM, which is just all sorts of wrong.
But for some reason I kept running across the trailer of this movie while looking at previews of movies to check out. So I had to give it a chance due to extreme curiosity. I honestly liked it but it was nothing more than okay for me. Sadly Kristen Stewart acted pretty close to the same as she does in all her movies, maybe a little more determination in her attitude but pretty much the same. Dakota Fanning did ok as well. I feel the director played it safe with picking them as the main characters. They didn't out star themselves and blow me away. They just performed within what they are capable of doing (or seems like).How they acted and what they did seemed about as equal as anything they have done in other movies. I don't mean to seem rude about their acting for those who might get offended by this, its just my honest opinion. When I saw the previews I was hoping for much more from both of them. I was hoping for powerful rock your socks off kind of movie, due to the style of The Runaways. Th trailer ended up being nothing more than a tease.
This movie is just in the middle for me. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't outstanding.
Most recent customer reviews
Cons: disturbing scenes; timeline appears skewed;