UPC 14: 00043396353459
It's 1975 And They're About To Explode.
"A rich and surprisingly old-fashioned musical biopic, The Runaways has neither the bloat nor the blather of your average Hollywood treatment of stars on the rise. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
|A coming-of-age biopic about '70s teenage band the runaways.|
"The strength and beauty of The Runaways are that it tells the truth. Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"The Runaways isn't just about rock 'n' roll; it IS rock 'n' roll, as loud, sexy, sometimes sloppy and ultimately exhilarating as the music can be. Steve Persall, St. Petersburg Times
The story of the groundbreaking '70s female rock group the Runaways is recounted in this River Road Entertainment production focusing on the duo of guitarist/vocalist Joan Jett (portrayed by TWILIGHT's Kristen Stewart) and lead vocalist/keyboardist Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) as they navigate a rocky road of touring and record label woes under the malevolent eye of abusive manager Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) during their teen years. Acclaimed video artist Floria Sigismondi directs from her own script, with Scout Taylor-Compton co-starring as guitarist Lita Ford.
The Runaways - DVD Review
filmcritic.com DVD Reviews
Published on: 7/20/2010 5:00 AM
|It's 1975. Enter teen Joan Jett (a grunged-out Kristen Stewart), who wants nothing more than to rock, dude. As the movie dutifully informs us, she lurks in seedy L.A. bars begging to be discovered... and basically, she abruptly is, by producer Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon, perfectly cast), who gives her a shot, hooks her up with drummer Sandy West (Stella Maeve), and starts his Runaways rehearsing in an abandoned trailer out in the woods -- where mysteriously there is plenty of electricity for the amps....read the full review
Cast & Crew
3 stars out of 5 -- "It's a natural born hit....What makes THE RUNAWAYS unique is what made the band itself special: the way they predicted the punk revolution not only musically but by being crafted as an act of provocation."
"THE RUNAWAY burst with energy, youth, excess, female empowerment, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll....The vigor and pace is electric..."
Los Angeles Times
"Writer-director Floria Sigismondi, who cut her teeth in the music video world and is making her feature debut, used her shoestring indie budget to great effect, creating a grainy documentary feel..."
"[T]he film is anchored by a trio of strong performances....Time and place are potently depicted, down to the glittery eye shadow, Farrah Fawcett 'dos and stacked platform heels."
"Stewart nails Jett's sinewy swagger....The film shows that the Runaways were authentic -- if packaged -- stars who were out of their depth because they were ahead of their time."
"The 'Cherry Bomb' scene is a raunchy blast of rock history. And Fanning and Stewart, who do their owns singing, seize the moment."
3 stars out of 4 -- "[A] swift, stylized, coming-of-age film about the germinal 1970s all-girl rock band, begins with an audacious, punk-rock florish..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "Shot in grainy, saturated colour, mid-1970s California is conjured up in all its sun-baked glory."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Good period detail alone provides amusements....The soundtrack and atmosphere are a blast."
Sight and Sound
"[A] subtle little movie....Most of director Floria Sigismondi's career has been in music video, from which she brings useful skills."
3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] painstaking recreations of hazy disco-era dive bars, faded roller rinks and seedy motels, plus a ballsy performance by Kristen Stewart."
Salon.com 8 of 10
It was entirely possible to be a teenage girl in 1975 and have no idea who the Runaways were. But even if you'd never heard them, you wouldn't have had any trouble understanding what the Runaways were about: This was a bunch of tough-looking Los Angeles girls who may have been brought together by a sleazy, exploitative impresario named Kim Fowley. Nonetheless, their raggedly sensuous sound was a "no" rather than an acquiescent "yes," the sound of not waiting around for life to happen. They were neither the first nor the last all-girl outfit to refuse to wait around -- the Shangri-Las had gotten there before, and Sleater-Kinney would come later, to name just two. But the Runaways' brash charisma was specific to its era: With their jagged feathered hair and satin jumpsuits, they were girls you wanted to be, less sugar and spice than glamour and sweat...My hunch is that a lot of viewers who have watched Fanning grow up in the movies -- many, but probably not all, of them men -- are going to feel uncomfortable seeing her in a role that eroticizes her so frankly. But I think that discomfort speaks to the noisy shout of freedom that the Runaways sounded themselves: At what point is a little girl allowed to be not just a young woman, but her own person? Someday she's going to demand the keys to the car, and not just literally...That unspoken restlessness is everywhere in The Runaways, in the way Stewart captures Jett's slightly hunched, long-legged stride, and in the way Fanning's Cherie takes the stage during a show in Japan, wearing a creamy satin bustier and stockings, to sing the band's jailbait-heartbreaker anthem "Cherry Bomb." As the real Cherie Currie did, Fanning (who does her own singing in the film) wraps the microphone cord around her leg, only to unwrap it and whip it around again, a snake-charmer routine that's also an obvious challenge: You think you want this, but can you handle it? That challenge isn't just a sexual come-on: It's a basic question about how to move forward the business of living. Teenagers aren't ready for life, which is exactly why they want to jump in and get on with things. The Runaways is all about taking that leap -- and being OK with the bruises after the inevitable fall.
- Stephanie Zacharek