Rock star Lita Ford is to be honoured with Guitar Player magazine's Certified Legend Award at an all-star charity gig in Los Angeles later this month (Mar14). The rocker will take part in the second annual Rock Against MS All-Star Benefit at the Whisky a Go-Go on 26 March (14), alongside Steve Stevens, Gilby Clarke and Cherie Currie - and she'll pick up a very special accolade at the event.
Guitar Player magazine bosses will be there to present Ford with their top award, inspired by Chet Atkins' phrase 'Certified Guitar Player'.
The first award was handed to Les Paul in 2003 and recipients have included Duane Eddy, Dick Dale, Lee Ritenour and Joe Perry, among others.
There were very few concretely good movies this year (I’m pretty sure The Situation has written more books than there are worthwhile flicks from 2010). Whenever one like Inception or Black Swan or Toy Story 3 came out and totally blew our minds, we were so thankful because it meant we didn't have to keep sucking the marrow out of mediocre movies in hope of getting one drop of enjoyable cinema. Finally there was somewhere we could turn for definitive and dependable entertainment! However, the supreme goodness of movies like Inception and Toy Story 3 cast a shadow over the majority of this year's releases and the coming of the new year and award season means some unlucky films will be forgotten. Here are the top ten movies we're most likely to forget ever existed once the clock strikes 12 on New Year's Eve and we're making out with a doorman.
A leap year happens only once every four years and a movie about a leap year hardly ever happens, so it’s no wonder this “romantic comedy” starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode isn’t in the forefront of your mind. Also, it was released way back on January 8th, so it’s had a lot of time to collect dust on the shelf with Peabody, whose eyes are vacant of your love. AND ALSO, Leap Year was about a woman who comes across as utterly unlikable based on how she perpetuates the belief that women can’t be the ones to propose marriage over the course of her quest to prove otherwise. In other words, a movie that seeks to redefine marital traditions, but ends up reinforcing them in the end? In 2010, the year where people are proposing to their spouses via viral videos? Unbelievable.
The Killer Inside Me
Not to be confused with the good movie, I Know Who Killed Me! TKIM starred Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba and was about the old wives tale of a Texas deputy sheriff who sleeps with a prostitute and her allure turns someone into a serial killer. If that plot alone doesn’t make it a nondescript movie, perhaps knowing that critics were careful enough to note the poor musical score will solidify things. At least things ended well for Affleck, who managed to follow this pointless flick with one of the most hated and deception-based movies of the year!
The Wolfman was one of, if not the only movie this year that dealt with werewolves. That alone should mean we’d be most likely to remember when Benicio Del Toro played a man who was bitten by a werewolf when he went back to his hometown in search of his brother’s killer. But because Benicio looks like a werewolf when he’s walking to the dry cleaners, this films place in this year’s cinema roundup seems totally hazy. Not even the presence of Emily Blunt and Anthony Hopkins made this movie stand out, which again is quite telling since it was the only movie this year about the guys on our flannel sheets!
Cop Out had Bruce Willis playing a police officer who was planning to pay for his daughter’s wedding by selling a very expensive and collectible baseball card, but when it is suddenly stolen he enlists the help of his cop friend and “memorabilia-obsessed gangster,” played by Tracy Morgan, to help him retrieve it. Despite featuring a widely favored and totally under-cast Morgan, the method of getting us to care about a baseball card by making it worth the price of an innocent girl's dream wedding was cheap and transparent and therefore deemed unworthy of our neurons by our neurons.
Ah yes, Legion: the movie that was supposed to encourage us to consider how fragile the human race is, despite appearing in theaters during a period in history when we're so resourceful that we're downloading apps on our iPhones to tell us which restaurants have bathrooms that aren’t reserved just for patrons. In Legion, God loses faith in humanity and sends a bunch of angels to kick-start the Apocalypse. Humanity is saved only by Paul Bettany (which isn’t entirely unbelievable in real life either), when random strangers are trapped in a diner with him and he restores their good-nature.
Greenberg was a Noah Baumbach film starring Ben Stiller, who played a New Yorker that moved to Los Angeles to do the most annoying thing to watch someone do onscreen: GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER. While house sitting for his brother, Greenberg starts to feel something for his brother’s assistant, which while sweet does not make his existence (no matter how fictionalized) on the planet any harder to resent.
Ryan Reynolds played Jeff Daniels’ imaginary superhero friend and Emma Stone played some weird teenage girl that was friends with Daniels somewhere in Long Island. I swear I’m not leaving anything out. Except Lisa Kudrow.
In Repo Men, Jude Law and Forest Whitaker played members of “The Union” that repossess the highly efficient mechanical organs from the unwell people who’ve failed to make the necessary payments on them. After Law’s (or former soldier Remy) heart fails on the job, he receives one of “The Union’s” organs but is naturally unable to pay for it. He then finds himself fighting his ex-partner, who has been assigned to reclaim the device inside him, to keep the organ (and his life). Why “The Union” was smart enough to have people to repossess the organs from those who couldn’t make the payments but dumb enough to loan the organs out to people that couldn’t pay for them was beyond all of us.
This was the movie that resulted in Joan Jett and Cherie Currie briefly emerging from their igloos of gold records to defend Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as legitimate actresses. It made you buy a guitar that you're currently trying to figure out who to give to for Christmas.
You either loved or hated MacGruber, but chances are you forgot it was made the second Joseph Gordon-Levitt explained what a "kick" was in Inception. It was based on the series of SNL sketches that were also headed by Will Forte (which were actually quite hilarious) and was excellent in that it juxtaposed serious actors like Val Kilmer and Ryan Phillippe opposite noted comedians and SNL alumni. The worst and saddest thing about this movie was that it came in a year where we were basically so starving for good movies that when something revolutionary came along (like Inception), this flick was instantaneously pushed to the side way before it should have been.
The 16 year old shot to fame aged seven in drama I Am Sam, before going on to land starring roles in children's favourites Charlotte's Web and Coraline.
But Fanning was keen to tackle more hard-hitting roles, and was overjoyed to win the leading part in the rock biopic.
She tells America's Parade magazine, "I can be sweet little Dakota Fanning, and then I can be totally different in the movies.
"A big reason I wanted to do The Runaways was to do something unlike anything that I've done before. I'm ready to have people see me in a different way than like the kid in I Am Sam.
"You have to kind of grow up. Everyone has to do it. I am doing it through films, which may be more difficult but it's what I love to do."
I love it when a film surprises me; it’s my favorite thing about being a critic. This year’s South by Southwest film festival saw the regional premiere of The Runaways a biopic of the titular all-girl rock band from the late '70s starring Dakota Fanning as lead singer Cherie Currie and Kristen Stewart as guitarist Joan Jett. Having despised the Twilight films and doubting seriously that Stewart could act her way out of a paper bag I expected to hate this film. But what I saw from her turned out to be the biggest surprise of the festival.
I have to admit I was completely wrong about Stewart’s ability to play the goddess of punk. Stewart clearly did her homework because she is fantastic. It’s not just the eerie physical resemblance; Stewart inhabits Jett with every movement she makes. In her first few scenes the lines coming out of her mouth sounded more petulant than rebellious and I was worried. But as the movie progresses the character begins to communicate more with movement than with words and it is phenomenal. The strongest part about her performance is that she captures Joan’s raw uncompromising love for rock music.
Fanning plays Cherie with such fearless discovery that it’s impossible to take your eyes off her as she slowly discards her suburban shell and embraces the rock diva within her. Every decision she makes seems designed to reject the cutesy teen girl archetype which parallels the struggle of this pioneering punk band. Then again has anyone ever doubted the abilities of Fanning? We can try to keep her locked in a child-actor box and criticize her inflated sexual awakening but that viewpoint is not only hypocritical it criminally underestimates her talent.
As well-crafted as Fanning's and Stewart's performances are the actor who really steals this movie is Michael Shannon who plays the band's producer Kim Fowley. To say the real Fowley was a larger-than-life personality doesn’t even scratch the surface of his presence. He is a whirlwind of vulgarity and an unstoppable publicity genius. Shannon approaches the role with the kind of uninhibited mania that most actors aspire to but few can pull off without drifting into caricature. Fowley may be outrageous but Shannon keeps the character just grounded enough that given the frenzied zeitgeist of the late '70s you have no trouble believing this guy really existed just as he appears on screen.
As impressive as its performances are The Runaways is by no means a perfect film. Its storytelling and framing of events mimic the paint-by-numbers formula of the standard rock rise-and-fall tale strictly adhering to the basic biopic beat structure right down to the requisite montages. The biggest disappointment about the film is it fails to illustrate clearly the rift between Cherie and Joan that developed after the band broke up. The eventual estrangement is only touched upon at the end when we're told it resulted from of a personal falling out between the two women. It is strikingly incongruent to the events we’ve seen and demonstrates a real weakness in the script. As a result the ending feels abrupt and unsatisfying.
Currie, who is portrayed by Dakota Fanning in the new film, admits there was a sexual assault that inspired her whole look, but Sigismondi didn't want to dwell on an incident before the rocker formed the band with Joan Jett.
The rock star reveals, "There were particular reasons why I cut my hair into a (David) Bowie haircut. That was because when my twin sister's boyfriend found out I was a virgin, he decided to take my virginity at force. I cut my hair kind of in retaliation of that.
"But the filmmakers felt that I would be losing my innocence too early in the film."
Currie admits it's one of the only things about the new biopic she takes issue with: "I thought, 'Why is she (Dakota Fanning's Currie) just cutting her hair?' It didn't make sense going from this surfer girl to this tough chick without an explanation."
The 16 year old used her own vocals to portray Currie in the upcoming movie, which co-stars Kristen Stewart as singer/guitarist Joan Jett.
But the actress insists fans shouldn't get there hopes up for her music debut, insisting she'll only ever sing on the big screen.
She says, "I never thought of myself as a singer. I've always been kind of self-conscious about singing but I've realised if I'm playing a character I can do it because I kind of get to hide behind her a little bit. But just as Dakota Fanning, I would pass out."
"I loved the outfits, I kept most of them. Cherie gave her corsets away and we had them remade for the movie, (so) I'm going to give her one and I think that will be really cool." DAKOTA FANNING is keeping her costumes from new movie THE RUNAWAYS and plans to give one to CHERIE CURRIE, the singer she plays in the film.
The pair puckered up for a same-sex smooch during the film, about the 1970s rock group and featuring the Twilight actress as Joan Jett and Fanning as her bandmate Cherie Currie.
And Stewart, 19, admits she was restricted by working practice regulations when they filmed the kiss, because Fanning was so young.
She tells Access Hollywood, "She was 15, and I wasn't allowed to grope her. I'm actually not kidding, there are major restrictions that I don't remember (from) when I was younger.
"I don't want to give anything way. It's a really passionate, hardcore scene."
The songs will be part of the soundtrack of Runaways - Music From The Motion Picture, alongside tunes from David Bowie, MC5, The Stooges, Sex Pistols and Joan Jett.
It's the first time either actress has contributed to the soundtrack of a movie.
Stewart, who portrays Joan Jett in the film and Fanning, who plays Cherie Currie, have revamped The Runaways' Queens of Noise and Dead End Justice together, while a solo Fanning has re-recorded Cherry Bomb California Paradise.