I saw three films this weekend, each in its own way a study in the obvious. The Runaways
is probably the best (a surprise to me), but in the end it wasn't as juicy as some of the better Behind the Music
episodes on VH1 (e.g., Styx
). Cherie Currie
starts off innocent (ignoring her rape by her twin sister's boyfriend), meets guitarist Joan Jett
and their oleaginous tongued producer Kim Fowley
, gets seduced by drugs and the rock and roll lifestyle, then burns out. The narrative borders on incompetence (amazingly, given the well-worn string of clichés) and leaves out most of the best stuff from the documentary Edgeplay
, but as a series of videos involving teenaged sex set to good music with some saucy theorizing from Fowley, it ain't bad.
I'm a fan of Paul Greengrass
' Bloody Sunday
and United 93
, where, in both films, he used our real world knowledge of the moribund finale to build tragic suspense. In Green Zone
, however, he and screenwriter Brian Helgeland
assume that the audience has no knowledge of the past 7 years, and that all the discoveries made by Chief Miller (Matt Damon
) add up to a suspense thriller. Had the film been made in 2003, it would've been brave, but instead it just plays out like a special ops version of Forest Gump
in Iraq, where one guy discovers all the truth behind the war. Miller goes chasing the MacGuffin (here called Magellan, a manufactured source providing a Judith Miller
-type reporter with a bunch of phony info), only to discover that the war was started on false pretenses. Spoiler alert!
Evidently, there were no WMDs as promised, and thankfully this soldier reveals the whole sordid story to various media outlets via an email. As the Chief says, lie about this, and people will begin to question us when we decide to kill people again in the future. Well, he doesn't quite say that, but that's pretty much the moral of the film. Alternatively, I'd suggest the real world moral is lying works.