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Ghost Canyon

'The Runaways'
(Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, et al / DVD / R / 2010 / Sony Pictures)

Overview: Sensing imminent stardom, Sunset Strip impresario Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) brings together blond Bowie fanatic Cherie (Dakota Fanning) with raven-haired rocker Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart). Manufactured bands weren't a novel phenomenon in the 1970s, but the Runaways wrote their own songs and played their own instruments, paving the way for the all-girl outfits to come.

DVD Verdict: Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning are phenomenal in channeling Joan Jett and Cherie Currie in this Joan Jett-produced and Cherie Currie-inspired biopic of their time together in the 1970s prototype all-girl band The Runaways.

Brutally honest, THE RUNAWAYS transcends itself to become more than a rock 'n' roll movie. It is nothing less than a wistful expression of the truly heartfelt and passionate love shared between Jett and Currie, who allow the audience to look on.

The girls were fifteen years old when they met; Jett was the dominant one and the better musician and composer, but Currie was the sex kitten who brought "The Runaways" playlist to life onstage.

Madonna owes a great, unacknowledged, debt to Currie, and the other girl bands of the '80s openly acknowledge "The Runaways'" profound impact upon them (Michael Steele of "The Bangles" was a "Runaway" for awhile.)

Sadly, Currie became overwhelmed by it all and retreated into drink and drugs. She abandoned The Runaways and ended her musical career, re-emerging years later as a Motivational Speaker and Counselor for teens. She now does chainsaw sculpture. Jett went on to found The Blackhearts and resumed topping the charts with "I Love Rock & Roll" and other songs.

Indeed, it ends with Cherie Currie listening to the radio, whilst doing some chores and she hears Joan Jett & the Blackhearts on the radio, performing that very same song, "I Love Rock & Roll".

I hope they healed their heartbreaking breach. One of the best of its genre, I highly recommend THE RUNAWAYS, and I wish well to Joan and Cherie wherever they may be. [JHM] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Commentary with Joan Jett, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning
Plugged In: Making the Film