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  dispatch: sxsw

The Runaways Is A Bomb, And Not A Cherrybomb

 

IT’S GENERIC Sigismondi’s script reduces the male-female world to two unsophisticated halves. All men are sex-driven pig dogs. There’s Cherie’s alcoholic dad; The Runaways’ abusive and megalomaniacal manager; countless dickhead musicians who don’t want girls playing electric guitars; and even Cherie’s boss at the end of the film tells her not to take business calls on personal time.

The women aren’t any better. They’re either completely subservient to man-slaves—like Cherie’s sister who stays at home to care for their dad, Cherie’s mother who moves away to follow her future hubby to Indonesia—or they’re snorting drugs, getting fucked, or throwing shit (like, totally rock and roll). But even the rocking and rolling seems mostly reactive (i.e. because of the abuse) rather than coming from some deeper character.

Plus, the film has all the stock scenes: Currie accuses her actress mother of being fake, gets stood up by dad on her birthday, deals with a sister who’s jealous of her success, gets sexually exploited by fashion photographers, and ends up tragically washed up on drugs. The writing telegraphs everything that’s going to happen just before it does, and does it in the most unexciting way possible. All scenes that you’ve watched in other movies re-heated and served with a side of music.

 
By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Mar 20, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

  • 14 Comments
    • Chris Porter
      Chris Porter

      Funny considering everyone else has given it and Dakota’s performance raving reviews.

      Mar 20, 2010 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lisa23
      Lisa23

      Finally, someone saw the same crap I saw! I graduated in 1977 so I can tell you my friends and I didn’t like them because the message was a hate of men not a celebration of Rock-N-Roll. I know Heart and Stevie Nicks weren’t in an all girl lesbian band but these woman shaped our lifes! Not to mention we had some great male bands.

      Mar 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      bad writing flat characters and Kristin Stewart tend to go together. You can’t have one without the other 2.

      Mar 20, 2010 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WarpedRecord
      WarpedRecord

      I don’t care, I’m seeing it anyway. But I suspect you’re right, and you sound like a fan. Music biopics inevitably aren’t geared toward the band’s fans but a new generation with different priorities (not always musical ones, either), and this looks like another casualty.

      I’m glad you mentioned “Edgeplay,” which would have been perfect had it featured:
      1) Joan Jett
      B) Actual Runaways music

      Mar 20, 2010 at 11:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • big_red737
      big_red737

      * SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT *

      Saw this movie yesterday. I liked it but it wasn’t great. I thought the performances by Stewart and Fanning were very good but the script was not. I agree that it was a bit flat. There was very little mention of back stories, little mention of other band members and it went from the band playing gigs in bars and roller skating rinks, to getting signed, to touring very quickly. We did not see the rise in their fame or recognition so it felt odd and unauthentic that they were already this famous. I thought the music was good, Stewart and Fanning did their own singing and pulled it off well, I thought.

      Mar 21, 2010 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric C.
      Eric C.

      Wow, I just came from the movie. Watched The Runaways. What a movie. You should never will (or at least this week) watch any romantic comedy again. It is a waste of your brain cells.
      The director of photography Benoit Debie in charge of the camera- his work is is a masterpiece! The close captures of let’s say dog’s poop. A high heel cracking the pill, Dakota’s character fainting in the elevator, the car (!!!) genius) that take them on the tour parked up the ramp, as if it was a warning ,a symbol of quick possibility of falling back. That film can be watch just to learn what professional cameras can do, pure art, .What a vision- close view into the eyes of the musicians. Art at the highest. The director Floria Sigismondi—deserves an Oscar. She does not exploit the girls. That famous for being famous kissing scene is nothing, done in shades, nothing to it. Believe me ,I was afraid for hard core heterosexual scenes with drugged musicians – that did not happened either .
      The best actor for me—is Michael Shannon, or maybe his role is just well written. Dakota is superb. Kristen is almost too pretty to be a real butch, compose , stoic. Clear leader. When she smiles- all that upper middle class girl , child comes out. She looks very innocent. Very believable. The girls were not monsters but regular girls. The camera, yes, I am In love with the camera crew- shots from above, angles. As for emotions: I have cried twice and laughed about three times. I was glued to the chair. Too bad it is R rated. All girls should see it. And if the girls sung themselves- the are gifted. It gives you felling of being at the concert. I do not know who sung what because voices bland together. It is such emotional drama, elegantly made, energizing but without sentiments. Real life story objectively presented. Real music movie. Too short for me.

      Mar 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • benni
      benni

      hi to e bietiful

      Mar 22, 2010 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill
      terrwill

      Had a friend, Dennis who got hooked on the Runaways a few years back. He got a tat of a cherry to show his devotion to all things Joan Jett, however it came out looking like a tomato….. : p…….Unfortunatley Dennis (only 22) is proof that AIDS still does kill our community and he passed away………He would have been in his glory with this movie……. :’{

      Mar 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Klarth
      Klarth

      I’m sorry. @ Terrwill

      For myself, I want to hear Kristen Stewart utter that line anout selling the music. I really do.

      It’s too bad that this film ended being a letdown. I wonder if it’s because the material was mishandled, or actually too accurate, as Lisa23 suggests.

      Mar 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Maniac
      Maniac

      this film, as it has been said many times before, is NOT the story of The Runaways. it focuses on the relationship between Currie, Jett, and Fowley. and regardless if it seems like the typical rock n roll movie, that shit really happened, its not just some made up script, The Runaways went through all that shit, and they still kicked ass. The Runaways were the 4th most popular band in japan, behind led zepplin, abba, and kiss. Theres no questioning how good they were. The main point of the movie is to follow your own path, to not let other people dictate your life. if you want the real true story of The Runaways, read Cherie’s book, i have and it really is a story of survival. the movie was amazing, for the 2 years it depicts of the runaways life, there are some really cool events that would have been awesome on screen, but otherwise, it is an epic movie.

      May 7, 2010 at 9:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Maniac
      Maniac

      oh, and @ Eric.C, Dakota and Kristen both did all their own singing and Kristen played guitar, there were no voice overs.

      May 7, 2010 at 9:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GODD
      GODD

      @Lisa23: Lisa 23 is typing this same crap on every page about The Runaways. Makes me wonder if this dumb bitch is Lita ” The Loser” Ford.

      Jun 8, 2010 at 3:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PgUp1965
      PgUp1965

      This movie is NOT a biopic. This movie is NOT the Joan Jett story. So, if you’re looking for a biopic or the Joan Jett story, keep waiting. This is based on Cherie Currie’s time in the Runaways. Only an idiot would call this movie a “biopic”. I was a fan of the Runaways and first saw them when I was 13. While I found this movie very interesting, a lot was lacking. I know it’s impossible to put 3.5 years into a 100 minute movie, so it’s forgivable that so much is missing. Anything shorter than 8 hours of fast-paced cinematics would still not show the big picture. My older brother would go the Rodney’s and I remember him talking about Joan Jett like she was a rock star and that was before the Runaways even started. Whether they know it or not, those chicks inspired a lot of kids (mostly boys) to start bands. I know a lot of guys gave them shit, but, those same boys were going home and trying to start bands because they were secretly inspired. Those chicks also scared the crap out of a lot of guys, too. Sandy just looked like a “don’t fuck with me” kinda girl with those huge drummer arms. Jett had a reputation for turning guys down while a the same time being buddies with Aerosmith, Sid Vicious, The Ramones and seemingly, scary dudes like Darby Crash and Johnny Rotten character. She was nice and talented, but, pretty much hung with a circle of guys that were considered dangerous, heroin addicts and alcoholics. She had a stigma surrounding her as being a tough girl and anytime you heard about a musician being murdered or suicide, you find out they were good friends with her; like when Sid allegedly killed his girlfriend and overdosed or when she produced the GI album for The Germs and later Darby ends up OD on heroin. Girls hated her for hanging out with their crushes and boys hated her for not being interested. To put it nicely, Lita and Jackie were stuck up bitches and nobody cared about them.

      Jun 8, 2010 at 4:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pati
      Pati

      I have to disagree with your review. I just watched the movie recently and thought it was well done(not over the top/ in your face)
      I thought the filming was good, the acting was good(not overt-seemed real) Sure there are cliche’s but life is full of them.
      I’m in the same age group as HJoan Jett so I felt the scenes felt uite real to me.
      I hope it made folks realize it takes guts to do something as brave as being in an all girl rock(especially in the 70′s)
      Takes guts if your a guy too.
      I’m not gay but found the movie’s girl scenes erotic and lovely…and real.
      You don’t have to hit people over the head to make a point-DO YOU?
      Enjpy the movie with an opened mind.

      Jul 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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