The Runaways (Blu-ray)
I’m your CH CH CH CH CH CHERRY BOMB! This lyric will be stuck in your head long after you watch the film. It will depend on you if you find it annoying. I for one dug it, along with most of The Runaways’ music. Unfortunately, THE RUNAWAYS the film offered much less in terms of storyline.
In 1975, a young Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) is defying societal norms by playing electric guitar as a female. She meets up with flamboyant music producer Kim Fowler (Michael Shannon). The two of them like the look of very inexperienced 15- year-old Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) and enlist her as the lead singer to form one of the first all teenage girl rock bands called The Runaways. Their quick rise in fame leads to drug abuse and sexual exploration to Cherie’s final departure.
The performances here are top notch. While I’m not the biggest fan of Kristen Stewart in the TWILIGHT films, she does show some promising talent as Jett. Dakota Fanning is the true lead in the picture proving once again that she is a real force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. When most child actors hit an awkward stage in their teenage years (I’m looking at you Haley Joel Osment), Fanning flourishes with a gritty exposing performance as Currie. The major stand out is Michael Shannon who gives another scene stealing Oscar worthy performance as Fowler.
The music is terrific and is played throughout the picture. The use of color and visuals in cinematography are also very good. The entire feel of the film has great potential. However, everything else about the film felt very surfaced never delving deep enough into the characters and their story. Even though the film is called THE RUNAWAYS, the story is based on Cherie Currie’s book “Neon Angel” a biography of her two-year time with the band. I would have liked to seen more of the rest of the band and their relationship or at least gotten more in depth with Cherie’s feelings and what her motivations were.
I can never fully get into biography stories of famous musicians because they almost are nearly all the same, lacking any original storyline worth telling. It’s not that I think they are bad, it’s just I find them uninspiring. THE RUNAWAYS has a lot of talent working for it, but lacks too much substance and direction in story to propel it to anything great.
Video: (1080p High Definition/ 2.35:1) The picture looks great and uses an interesting color pallet that really comes through giving a strong feel of the time period.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD MA) The music is fantastic and sounds great on the surround sound, however it does drown out the dialogue so the sound levels are too uneven.
Commentary with Joan Jett, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning: The three of them give a fairly interesting and fun-listening commentary. Fanning being the youngest doesn’t speak too much, Joan Jett is informative on what was and wasn’t true from the film and Kristen Stewart is definitely the most candid, monopolizing most of the conversation using a surprisingly filthy potty mouth. Stewart also reveals a lot of over-protectiveness for Fanning and her adult scenes.
Plugged In: Making the Film (15:37): A typical featurette with interviews from Joan Jett, Cherie, actors, director and several other filmmakers discussing the process and how great the movie is.
The Runaways (2:19): A trailer of sort, but with the actors and filmmakers promoting the film as clips are shown. All are snippets from the previous featurette