Thursday, August 19, 2010

Run away

I won't waste too much of either of our time writing about The Runaways.

It's really like a faster-paced version of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story in being a string of rock 'n' roll biopic clichés strung one after another.

Anyone interested in learning about The Runaways should make the effort to see the documentary Edgeplay: A Film About The Runaways, reviewed here. Anyone looking to experience their music and energy should pick up something like The Best of the Runaways. Anyone looking for a good movie for their evening should just look elsewhere.

Like almost all biopics, this seemed largely focused on whether they could gather a competent cast, and they succeeded there, although that's literally all they managed to get.

Although frankly Dakota Fanning struggles with sounding raw enough to sound like Cherie Currie vocally. She just doesn't get past her vocal training to sound like those records. I'm sure she'd sound great in a production of South Pacific, though.

The whole thing left me embarrassed for the real people, especially Joan Jett. She supposedly refused to participate in the fascinating Edgeplay because of some discussion of Curie and her having sex and because of some inflammatory discussion of Kim Fowley's behavior. Here, she endorses this movie in order to play sidekick to Currie, who didn't even stick with the group to the end, in a movie in which she and Currie's affair is played for maximum softcore lesbo juiciness and Fowley is made out to be little more than a lecherous clown.

I'm not sure what's happened to her career in the interim, but I feel bad about it. If she's endorsing this, it must be in a bad, bad place.

Even more offensive is the way Lita Ford and Sandy West, not to mention any of the actual people who played bass for the group, are completely non-entities here. Edgeplay makes clear that West was the heart of the group, so it's especially ugly to see her so harshly dismissed from the story.

At this point, I'm happy to leave this forgotten, until a movie about Ford, Michael Steele, Jackie Fox, Peggy Foster, Vicki Blue and some member of the Sandy West estate all take turns kicking writer/director Floria Sigismondi in the ass turns up. That might be worth seeing.

UPDATE: Adding a link to Runaways bassist drops cherry bomb by Michael Dwyer. "'I have issues with [The Runaways],' Tischler-Blue says. 'I've been contacted by a few of the actresses in the movie. They told me they loved Edgeplay, they watched it religiously to get a feel for the girls and their nuances, what their characters were about. That made me feel good.

"'But with the movie, the slant is the Joan-Cherie relationship. I feel like they could have honored Sandy's memory a little better.'"

Lita Ford's comment is also priceless.

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