>> Friday, March 19, 2010

I have to admit, I feel a little conflicted--I mean, on one level, I totally want to see The Runaways if anyone shows it in Charlotte (the movie opens today in "select theatres," but not here), on the other hand, I'm not surprised that the movie seems to be getting some mixed reviews, or that the positive reviews seem to be grading on sort of a curve, giving the movie points just for being about The Runaways.

Which I can't wholly fault, since it would be the main reason I'd want to see it in the first place. Honestly, rock biopics mostly suck; frequently even the "good" ones stand out mainly for their soundtracks. And when you're talking about The Runaways as a band... well, let's face it, a lot of the coolness was kind of inchoate. What I mean is: take "Cherry Bomb" for instance: it's not actually that good a song, depending mostly on a sleazy, exploitative joke that puts the song perilously close to being a kind of hentai novelty song--except it's being performed by Joan-Fucking-Jett and Lita-Fucking-Ford, thank you very much, who would go on to be two of the baddest-ass femme rockers of all time, and that's not to knock Cherie Currie or any of the other women who managed to hold their own on stage with Ms. Jett and Ms. Ford.

Which brings us sort-of-indirectly to another sort-of awkward issue with this movie: there's already been a bit of titillation over Kristen Stewart (who plays Joan Jett) and Dakota Fanning (as Cherie Curie) getting romantic in The Runaways. Thing is, I can get actual porn (it's why DARPA invented the Internet, true story), and the fact that these scenes feature Stewart, who I've actually only seen in Panic Room and Fanning, who I've only seen in War Of The Worlds, really doesn't mean shit to me.

Finally, a near wash: yes, there's Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat, who is made entirely out of concentrated, superdense awesome, but she plays a made-up character because The Runaways' real bassist during that era, Jackie Fox, didn't give her consent to the project. I think Shawkat's presence outweighs her character being bullshit, but....

I dunno. Another Runaways' bassist, Vicki Blue, made an award-winning documentary I haven't seen called Edgeplay: A Film About The Runaways. Maybe I should just rent that and chase it with Jett doing "Bad Reputation" in URGH! A Music War. While I think about it, here's a post-Cherie Currie Runaways kicking some ass with "Wasted," from 1977's Waitin' For The Night. Enjoy:


vince Friday, March 19, 2010 at 9:56:00 AM EDT  

Edgeplay is an excellent documentary (in my opinion as a big Runaways fan), and the soundtrack isn't half bad, either.

Eric Friday, March 19, 2010 at 10:47:00 AM EDT  

Vince, I don't know if The Runaways will make it to your neck of the woods, either (it may have a very limited release), but if you see it before I do, let me know if it's any good.

Meanwhile, I'm adding Edgeplay to the rental queue if it isn't already there!

Nathan Friday, March 19, 2010 at 12:31:00 PM EDT  

Unless it totally tanks in limited release, it should see wide release everywhere in the not-too-distant future. Limited releases are usually just a strategy for getting some word-of-mouth going before wide release.

Dr. Phil (Physics) Friday, March 19, 2010 at 10:54:00 PM EDT  

Or you can just rent Light of Day and revel in the excellent performance of a 1987 Joan Jett.

Dr. Phil

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