Sunday, August 15, 2010

Currently Watching

Title: The Runaways (IMDB, Amazon, Wikipedia)

The Runaways is the bio-pic based on rock ‘n’ rolls first all-girl band. The film stars Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie, both of whom completely became these real life characters (Stewart is scarily spot-on as Jett). The film was beautifully shot and the performances were excellent, but the pacing was a bit slow. There were times that the film dragged on, but the ending was very satisfying.

The best part of this film for me was the music. I’d known The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb” and Joan Jett’s hits from the 80s (plus I got the CD that she put out a few years ago) but I’d never realized how really freaking great her music was/is. Jett wrote or co-wrote all of The Runaways’ music and has also done a ton of her own records with her band the Blackhearts and this film showcased some of those songs that I’d never heard. Needless to say I will be getting some of her CDs, solo and with The Runaways, very soon.

Title: Youth in Revolt (IMDB, Amazon, Wikipedia)

Youth in Revolt is a coming of age film staring Michael Cera as Nick Twisp, a teenager who is desperate to lose his virginity. Twisp is a bit of an outcast and thus has had no luck with the ladies, until his mother and her boyfriend take him to a trailer park in a small town, where he meets Sheeni Saunders, played by Portia Doubleday, who becomes the love of his life. Shenanigans ensue, including a healthy dose of lawbreaking, before Nick finally gets his moment to shine. The film is based on a book of the same name.

I like Michael Cera a lot. He is probably destined to get forever typecast in playing the loser / indie rock kid in high school, but he does it exceptionally well and I have felt a bit of a bond with quite a few of his characters; that having been said, this movie made me a bit uncomfortable, not as uncomfortable as Suberbad but uncomfortable nonetheless. The part that bothered me was the fact that it seemed to me that Nick’s greatest desire was to get laid. Now I’m sure this is probably quite realistic, but it made the character seem a bit unlikable to me. Not that I wasn’t a crazy horny loser teenager because lord knows I was, but at the end of the day I wanted someone to hold and love more than I wanted to get some. Then again I grew up on all of those John Hughes films and truly believed in that kind of love that can conquer all, so films that are just straight up about kids desperate for sex kid of bother me (hence my un-comfort with Superbad, but I must say that Cera’s character was by far the best in that film). I guess I’m just naive or maybe a diehard romantic.

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