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Kitsch
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PostSubject: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:27 pm

Our goal is to compile as exhaustive a list of positive The Runaways reviews as we can.

If you notice we've missed a review or come across a new one, please post it in The Runaways forum and we'll be sure to add it.

This thread is locked and for reference only.

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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:27 pm

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Stewart gives a spot-on portrayal of Jett, effortlessly capturing both the look and, more importantly, her renowned rock star attitude. Stewart even learned to play all the songs in the film on the guitar to ensure that her performance was as authentic as possible.

Source: Badger Herald


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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:28 pm

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The film’s best performance, though, belongs to Kristen Stewart. Like Adventureland before it, The Runaways proves Stewart is being wasted in Twilight-land (although I’m sure her accountant would disagree with me). Although the film is technically Currie’s story (it’s based on her memoir, Neon Angel), Jett will most likely be the character the majority of the audience gets behind, as she most fully embodies the “girls can rock, too” mentality that the movie preaches. Stewart has become Jett, perfectly capturing her physical mannerisms and sneering attitude. Cynics will say that this was the perfect role for Stewart anyway, as it’s close to her supposed real-life awkward surliness. But just watch the film, and pay attention to Jett’s own moments of both uncertainty and rock-queen posing. This is a performance…and it’s a superb one.

Source: 411mania
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:29 pm

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If you were wondering why “Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll” is the ubiquitous mantra for rock music, look no further than The Runaways, a film based on lead singer Cherie Currie’s 1989 memoir, Neon Angel.
...As Jett, from the way she holds her androgynous frame as she saunters about to her aggressive and intense nature to the way she peers through her bangs and smirks, Stewart nails it.


Source: UMW Post


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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:44 pm

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veteran music video director Floria Sigismondi's feature debut gives the story a buzzing, underdog energy, transcending the genre's well-worn basics due principally to a pair of nervy impersonations: Kristen Stewart as shag-coiffed, slouching guitar goddess Joan Jett, whose will and ambition can't be denied by a teacher's refusal to let her plug into an amp...

But the plot's focus on Currie rather than Jett is a serious imbalance, particularly given the magnetism gap between the two young actors' characterizations; Fanning's spacey waif can't carry much weight opposite Stewart's persuasive, working-class leather siren, who's capable of both confronting Fowley and teaching her drummer how to masturbate with a showerhead.

Source: Slant Magazine
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:46 pm

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Those of you with a Twilight astigmatism won’t like reading this, but here it is anyway: Kristen Stewart is a modern day James Dean. She gives the kind of performance in The Runaways that hasn’t been seen on screen since his death. The Runaways is her Rebel Without a Cause and what’s more that disaffected, rebellious persona seems to be one which, as it did with Dean, carries over into her real life. In person Stewart is every bit as tousled and seemingly disaffected as she is playing a rock and roll icon on screen. She’s absolutely brilliant as Joan Jett, it's the role she was born to play...

Source: Cinemablend
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:52 pm

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... but the story's natural focus should logically be Joan Jett, the band's darkly compelling guitarist and most productive songwriter. Turning her into a supporting character throws the film off.

Fanning and Stewart do their own singing here (Stewart took guitar lessons, too), and they're really good — songs like "I Love Playin' With Fire" and "I Wanna Be Where the Boys Are" are as rousing as the original Runaways tracks. Fanning has nailed down the perfect lost-angel presence for her portrayal of Cherie (compare it with old Runaways concert footage and you can see how close she's come to the original model); and while Stewart spends a lot of time slightly off to the side, she makes herself felt in every sequence in which she figures. Her ambiguity — as a friend, as a lover — is fascinating, especially in a scene in which Joan is lying on top of Cherie, breathing pot smoke into her mouth, and the camera looks up into her dark, otherworldly eyes, wondering what she's wondering, and what she sees coming.

The picture's conclusion is unusually moving. Very few words are said, but in showing us a woman who won't stop following her dream and another woman who can't come along, it says everything.

Source: MTV
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:56 pm

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Stewart in short-cropped dark hair and dark clothes is the movie's driving force as Joan Jett. The movie never appreciates Jett's musical passion and savvy, but it does capture her burning ambition.

Source: Hollywood Reporter
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:00 pm

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Jett's unique blend of allure and threat, apathy and determination, gets a mumbling hyper-naturalized take from Stewart—more Brando than Bella Swan. Her performance is largely internal—risky, considering that the built-in audience that probably made the Twilight star appealing to producers might not know what to make of the actress playing a character with so much going on in her head. Fanning tacks the other way, bravely embracing the physicality of her role, but unable to nail its emotional complexities. (In other words: Stewart's performance makes you forget the baggage of the actresses' personal celebrity; Fanning's foregrounds it.)

Source: Village Voice
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:03 pm

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...So this isn't an in-depth biopic, even though it's based on Currie's 1989 autobiography. It's more of a quick overview of the creation, rise and fall of the Runaways, with slim character development, no extended dialogue scenes, and a whole lot of rock 'n' roll. Its interest comes from Shannon's fierce and sadistic training scenes as Kim Fowley, and from the intrinsic qualities of the performances by Stewart and Fanning, who bring more to their characters than the script provides.

Another new movie this week, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" from Sweden, has a role for a young, hostile computer hacker. Stewart has been mentioned for the inevitable Hollywood remake. Reviewing that movie, I doubted she could handle such a tough-as-nails character. Having seen her as Joan Jett, I think she possibly could.

Source: Roger Ebert
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:11 pm

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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...

...One suspects Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, who have never been stronger or freer on screen, were able to bring all sorts of private, teen-idol Sturm und Drang to bear on these real-life teen idols.

... The band's story is a show business fable of razor-thin lines, between rock stardom and teen exploitation; between the right amount of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll (Jett figured that one out) and too much (Currie didn't, though she lived to tell about it all in the book "Neon Angel").

Stewart's Jett is paradoxically less mannered than some of her other screen portrayals, perhaps because Jett is such a righteous embodiment of teen fearlessness, as opposed to the heroine of the "Twilight" saga, a symbol of Waiting and Wanting. "Girls don't play electric guitars," Jett's music teacher informs her, chuckling.

The component parts of "The Runaways" are familiar — rehearsal scenes, backstage trysts, onstage triumphs — but it has an exceptional hangout factor. The characters and the performers simply are good company, even in extremis.

Source: Chicago Tribune
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:26 pm

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Stewart.... evokes the deceptive angel-face of Elvis '56 while simultaneously summoning the leather-wrapped sneer of a Keith Richards or Sid Vicious.

... There is also nothing but an end-note credit about Jett's post-Runaways success as leader of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, a group arguably more deserving of rock hall honours and its own movie (with Stewart once again playing Jett, hopefully).

But Fanning and Stewart are the deserving stars of the film, nailing every last look and lick, holding their own even as Shannon savvily attempts to nick every scene.

And as Sigismondi and Jett have been quick to point out, The Runaways isn't a band biopic, it's a story about the corrosive allure of rock 'n' roll that also happens to tell part of the story of an influential female rock band. To this we can say rock on and ch-ch-ch-check it out.

Source: Toronto Star
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:28 pm



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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:33 pm

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“The Runaways,” which takes place mainly in Southern California in the mid-1970s, evokes its moment and milieu with affectionate, almost uncanny fidelity. It’s a sun-baked teenage wasteland of muscle cars and hamburger stands, and the two young 21st-century movie stars who play the main characters seem to fit right in. Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, who are Cherie Currie and Joan Jett, lead singer and guitarist for the band that gives the movie its name, were born a long time after the book had closed on the real-life Runaways, but the seriousness and self-confidence with which they tackle their roles goes a long way toward establishing a sense of authenticity.

Joan, a sullen, skinny glue-sniffer who suggests a young, androgynous Keith Richards

Joan, who clearly loves Cherie (the kiss between Ms. Stewart and Ms. Fanning has become grist for talk-show chat), is also her rival and foil. Joan is the backbone of the band, and the one most able to turn Fowley’s advice into a program of professional success. And Ms. Stewart, watchful and unassuming, gives the movie its spine and soul. Cherie may dazzle and appall you, but Joan is the one you root for, and the one rock ’n’ roll fans of every gender and generation will identify with.

Source: A.O. Scott - NY Times
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:02 pm

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The problem with "The Runaways," a street-level snapshot of the creation of the groundbreaking '70s all-girl rock band, is that they went with the wrong girl.

Instead of training the lens on the Runaways' artistic rebel who hung around and became legend, rocker Joan Jett, played with serious punk grrl power by Kristen Stewart, the movie focuses on the one who actually ran away, lead singer Cherie Currie, a kohl-eyed and sullen Dakota Fanning.

The good news is that Stewart is absolutely spot on as Jett; fighting convention in studded leather jackets favored by biker bad boys and shredding an electric guitar when folk rock or sugary pop was more the fashion for femmes. It was a smart choice for Stewart, who was in danger of having her career eclipsed by Bella, the pale troubled teen she plays in the "Twilight" series

Source: Los Angeles Times
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:06 pm

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Jett done perfectly
Stewart... is the revelation here. She has made a meticulous study of Jett - of her posture, her manner, her expressions, even in the way thoughts cross her eyes. And she has Jett's stage manner down, the way this seemingly shy person assumes total authority when she gets up to play. The visuals help - the costuming and art direction are spot-on.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:09 pm

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The Runaways is a warts and all — especially the warts — musical bio-pic about the ensemble that gave Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie their start. It lives and dies on the backs of three performances — Kristen Stewart is a ferociously sexy and butch Jett, Michael Shannon is a flamboyant and feral Fowley, and Dakota Fanning does her best to hang with them as the unhappy and confused 15 year old lead singer, Currie, Miss “Cherry Bomb” to a generation.

They swim, and Sigismondi’s film does too, as long as it is following their Fowler-fueled rise. The energy flags as the movie slumps into the downside of their arc — the inevitable egos and drugs and family problems. This is also where the movie is most focused on Fanning, who gives her most adult performance but is still not on a level with Stewart or Shannon.

Stewart loses her lip-biting winsomeness and brings the heat as Jett. And Shannon, with all the best lines, walks off with the movie.

It’s not great cinema any more than The Runaways were “the biggest thing since The Beatles” (Fowley’s pitch). But it is a well-acted and vivid re-creation of a dark, downbeat era when “girls don’t play electric guitar,” and you had to be someone pretty tough and pretty special to try it.

Source: Orlando Sentinal
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:14 pm

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...Stewart gives the better performance in “The Runaways.’’ ... she hunches in on her guitar like a boxer entering a protective crouch, and her voice has a husky, cut-the-crap directness. She owns the movie with a swagger all the more believable for not being overplayed.
... And when “The Runaways’’ gets to the scene where Jett finally moves in on Currie with a lascivious sneer — a kink in the boredom of the road — it’s like a “Twilight’’ of the rock ’n’ roll demi-gods. For all the lip-service “The Runaways’’ pays to the lead singer, its heart is with Team Joan.

Source: The Boston Globe
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:17 pm

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Kristen Stewart, who proves once again that she is going to have a fine acting career long after she stops playing Bella Swan in the "Twilight Saga." As guitarist-songwriter-vocalist Joan Jett, who would go on to solo fame fronting the Blackhearts and with rock anthem "I Love Rock N' Roll," Stewart is positively fierce. Her role isn't as showy as Fanning's, but Stewart gives Jett the kind of emotional weight and sheer joy of rock that the film needs.

The concert scenes are thoroughly convincing with Fanning and Stewart doing their own vocals. When they launch into "Cherry Bomb," the band's first hit, in one scene, it is an astonishing replication of the power of rock 'n' roll.

It may be, as Fowley says near the end of the film, that the Runaways "were a conceptual rock project that failed." But as a film about a certain time and place in rock history, "The Runaways" largely succeeds.

Source: San Jose Mercury News
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:20 pm

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Kristen Stewart ("Twilight") plays the young, ambitious Joan Jett, by far the most successful member of the band after it broke up. Stewart just plain nails the role -- she's tough, she's hungry and she loves playing rock star as much as she loves playing guitar. Stewart makes you want to watch the movie.

By the film's end, you really wish you'd seen Kristen Stewart starring in "The Joan Jett Story." Now that would rock.

Source: Detroit News
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:24 pm

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Stewart's Jett is the backbone, the one who really wants it, the one born for the life of a rock star. The movie's high point comes after a period of lonely introspection by Jett as she realizes her dream of the Runaways is fading, and the movie gives way to the sizzling guitar intro of "I Love Rock N' Roll," a hit a few years later for her and the Blackhearts.

Source: Associated Press
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:29 pm

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Then there's the two stars of the film... Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. They are absolutely fantastic.

Kristen Stewart is amazing to watch - there's a shyness that reads as alienation perfectly in this film. Kristen is beautiful, but in a soft way, she doesn't project a ferocious lover, instead she comes across as that girl that might suddenly start making out with you in a club... but who could take or leave you. She's breaking the rules and discovering who she is along the way in the film. She plays Joan as a girl coming into her own. At the start of the film - she's a bit lost. Doesn't know how to play the guitar, but she has songs in her head. She can hear them, she just isn't quite capable of getting them out there. When Michael Shannon's Kim Fowley begins building a band around her - the pieces fall in place - and the only person that can hear the sound in her head better than her is probably Kim.

Source: Ain't It Cool News
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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:55 am

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A reserved young woman in interviews, Stewart’s swagger, street smarts and sultry, powerful energy transform her into the rock icon that is Joan Jett. The actual Jett said once that she mistook Kristen’s cover of her song, ‘Playing with Fire’ as her own. She nearly outshines Dakota Fanning’s innocent Cherie Currie, who the film is supposed to center on.

If you are a fan of The Runaways (the band), I doubt you’ll be disappointed by this comical, yet dark depiction of what really happened in 1975. If you are not a fan, I don’t doubt you’ll be humming the hit single ‘Cherry Bomb’ by the end credits.

4.5 out of 5




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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:18 am

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...The way Dakota Fanning's role is stereotyped produces no sympathy, giving Kristen Stewart the opportunity to steal the spotlight and definitely win recognition as one of the best actresses of her generation.
Because of this contrast generated by a wrong handling of both the rise and fall of the band, and some approximations that will bother the purists of the smallest portion about music, The Runaways fails to be the rock bomb it was expected to be. We find some compensation in the way it shows this new form of feminism, held by the rough portraits of teenage girls, and in the physical performances of Fanning and Stewart, who let their emotions on edge with great talent. As in this last scene, where the phone conversation underlines all the nostalgia for a lost paradise.

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PostSubject: Re: The Runaways Reviews   Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:29 am

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...While Stewart's Twilight fans may wonder why she isn't front and center, she clearly is the movie's spine, its agile strength. As an actress, Stewart is already strong enough to be generous with her costars. (Speaking of, watch for a same-sex kiss between the leads!) Filmed with a 1970s punk edginess by music-video director Floria Sigismondi, the movie recalls a time when a schoolteacher, refusing to give Jett a lesson she wanted, tells her, "Girls don't play electric guitar." While some things have changed, this is an anthem to those young women who wouldn't take no for an answer.

Source: US Weekly
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