Tag line : It’s 1975 and they’re about to explode.

Why I watched it : Well it’s about the Runaways, whom I love, plus it’s part of my Kristen Stewart Frenzy, and I wouldn’t miss K.S. & Dakota Fanning reunited after Twilight 3 !

Who is in it :

Written and directed by Floria Sigismondi (director of many music videos)

Executive producer: (among others) Joan Jett

Director of photography : Benoit Debie

Music Consultant : Kenny Laguna (who worked with JJ when she performed with the Blackhearts and at Blackheart recods)

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Joan Jett : Kristen Stewart (Panic room (2002), Twilight (2008))

Cherry Currie : Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds (2005), Twilight – New moon (2009))

Kim Fowley : Michael Shannon (Fred from Grounghog day (1993), Revolutionary Road (2008))

Sandy West : Stella Maeve

Lita Ford : Scout Taylor-Compton (Fairy in Charmed (1998-2006), Halloween I, II & III (2007-2011))

Scotty : Johnny Lewis (You probably know him from Sons of Anarchy (2008) I know him from Malcolm in the middle (2000-2006)& Quintuplets (2004-2005))

Cherie’s dad : Brett Cullen (Is it just me or having Dakota Fanning & Kristen Stewart in a movie with a Cullen funny?)

Rockabilly Saleslady : Antonella Sigismondi (Let’s keep it in the family ?!)

What it is : Music biography  ?

What it is about : A classic boy meets girl story, they fall in love get married … Well it’s about the Runaways, obviously ! For those in the back who have no idea what I’m talking about it’s 1975, Joan Jett meets Cherie Currie and the girls and it’s all about the music : Cherry Bomb, Do you really want me, I love Rock ‘n Roll and so on and so forth! The story of the rise and fall of the best girls-only rock band !

What I liked about it : It looks true, it sounds true and it is true ! Based on the book Cherie wrote (“Neon Angel”)and knowing that Joan Jett gave was there during the shooting, we can bet the story is faithful to what truly happened as proved with the scene in Tokyo with the crazy fans or their money problems. I’m not so sure about the scene where Jett & Currie kissed but it serves the movie a bit, showing how linked the 2 girls are.

The characters are really intense, like the girls in real life I guess, but sometimes it feels a bit to strong to be true … I wonder who we have to thank for that : mother nature for creating such crazy girls or the writer for putting it down on paper…

Cherie Currie is really feminine all the time and from the beginning, opening on her periods, then with the heels (there are any close ups on her shoes), the dress as she rehearses Fever in her bedroom or the concert in corset and stockings… On the other side your have Joan who’s a real guy, swearing like a sailor, buying a men’s jacket and kissing girls.

The manager is a bit hard to believe… he is a bit too much of a cliché : the crazy clothing, the Bowie make up, the dog collars, but a genius nonetheless : creating Cherie Bomb of the top of his head at the audition, trying to motivate them to get better anyone he can think of, even if it means throwing rotten tomatoes at them while they play, to prepare them for what they might face outside… even though he rips them off any chance he gets.

On the downside, I think it is kind of a shame the story only focuses on Joan & Cherrie, learning a little more about the other would have been refreshing.

I have to admit that between Panic Room ad Twilight, and even though I love her, I was starting to wonder if miss Stewart was capable of a facial expression ! The shy/embarrassed look can only get you going for so long but here she finally is allowed to let go ! And let me just say this : seeing her laughing or the scene where she gets mad at the studio around the end is just exhilarating and kind of liberating … It’s really nice to see her breaking free of whatever was holding her back … just for that I can’t wait to see Welcome to the Rileys !

Quotes :

Kim Fowley (to Cherie Currie): “I like your style… A little Bowie, A little Bardot, and a look on your face that says “I can kick the shit out of a truck driver””

Soundtrack : I wasn’t lying about the « it sounds true » part … Fanning and Stewart have covered a couple of songs and it is amazingly resembling. The real Joan Jett even said that when she first heard their cover of “Cherie Bomb” or “Dead end justice” she thought it was the original Runaways song ! I agree with Empire, the Stooges’ “I want to be your dog” for the kissing scene is just a tad too much but other than that it’s great. David Bowie, Iggy and the Stooges, the Sex Pistols … I expected the soundtrack to be Runaways-only, but it isn’t and i appreciated it …

I like the end credits on “Bad reputation”… good conclusion !

Trivia : Joan Jett regreted that the end of the film that reveals only the her fate, Kim Fowley’s and Cherie Currie’s and not Sandy West’s who died just before the film went into production.

The producers only managed to buy the life story rights for Cherie, Joan, Sandy and Kim Fowley. Lita Ford and Jackie Fox declined to grant the producers their life story rights.

The girls spent a month rehearsing and recording The Runaways’ songs before starting to shoot.

Advertisement : The poster is arranged like the 70’s poster with the « Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett » part. Lot of emphasis on the actual Joan Jett involvement in the project as part of the promotion, to accentuate the « true-story » side I guess.

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