Guest Author - Jamise Grace Liddell
Movie Reviewed: Runaway
Written By: Bill True
Directed By: Tim McCann
Starring: Aaron Stanford, Robin Tunney, Peter Gerety, Melissa Leo, Terry Kenny, Michael Gaston and Zach Savage
Rated: Rated PG for some suggestive material and brief language.
Runtime: 80 minutes
Studio: Filbert Steps Productions
Who among us does connect with the need to escape now and again? Ever think of changing your current circumstance by taking off to create a new life? A small town drama with a big city twist which makes me really appreciate my awesome family. “Runaway” is the tale of two brothers, Michael (Aaron Stanford, "X-Men: The Last Stand") and his little brother Dylan Adler (Zach Savage).
Watching the boys flee from their past and land in a small town while living on the run is a real heart string-tugger. Especially tough, is witnessing the unintentional child abuse of little Dylan, who for his own safety is left to fend for himself in a tacky hotel room for hours and constantly begging his tired over worked brother to let him go out and play.
One of “Runaway’s” strong points is the excellent cast, the film has so many seasoned actors, some in familiar predicaments. “The Hills Have Eyes”, “X-Men: The Last Stand” are just a few of the popular movies in which “Runaway’s “ lead Aaron Stanford has starred. Michael and Dylan’s Mother Adler is played in fine form by “Frozen River’s” Melissa Leo, and the kids formidable papa Jesse is played by the “What movie isn’t this guy in?” character actor Michael Gaston (Inception). One could say the same about veteran actor Peter Gerety ( "Changeling”, “Inside Man” ) and television. Gerety is Mo the playful, caring, undersexed store owner.
Young Zack was in the Kevin Bacon directed Indie film “Loverboy”, I hated the laborious film starring Bacon’s otherwise talented wife, actress Kyra Sedgwick.
Robin Tunney is Carly, Michael’s co-worker and love interest. Tunney stars in the hit television show “The Mentalist” as California Bureau of Investigation Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon. I don’t watch the show to see Tunney. I love the show’s lead, Simon Baker(Something New) and he is the only reason I watch the show. In “The Mentalist” I tolerate Tunney. In ”Runaway”, however, I’ve seen more range, ability and overall great acting out of Tunney in her role as Carly, than I’ve seen all first season on “The Mentalist.”
The strangest casting selection is Terry Kinney (The Good Wife) as Dr. Maxim. Kinney is just strange in that role. Yes, it is all acting, but still it seems he would best portray a sociopath, convict or bank robber as opposed to a caring therapist. I’m just not buying Kinney’s wooden caring act in ”Runaway” and if he were my only choice for a therapist, I’d just talk to myself instead.
This straight to DVD film is has an unhurried, but engaging beginning as it draws you into the life size predicament in which the boys find themselves. “Runaway” is a thought provoking, slow and steady story with strong twists and turns and adult plot overtones. Not a family film, the show is engaging in that it pushes the social outrage button. To say more is to spoil the plot.
Normally, when screenwriters so eloquently pen tale of dysfunctional family situations, I cannot help but to wonder if the catalyst for the subject matter is personal. "Runaway" is worth picking up on Netflix or at Blockbuster. For the plot and at times the cinematography which, in some segments of the film, is most memorable.
Screenwriter and Co-producer B ill True told me about his film, and his tale intrigued me. “Runaway” Director Tim McCann seems especially partial to movies that have a major twists, as evidenced in some of his other film’s like “The Poker Club” starring Johnathon Schaech which I saw at the Phoenix Film Festival in 2008. Schaech, a co-writer of the screenplay, was in Phoenix to promote the film, and very open to audience reaction of his efforts . True shared that he has received all kinds of feedback about “Runaway” and that he too, finds it all valuable.
Runaway reminds me that family is complicated, and some of us are fortunate enough to love the place and the people with whom we spent our formative years in that place we call home. Others are not quite as auspicious and must “Runaway.”