Bad Reputation is part of the insanely great year for documentaries. While many recent years have had quite a few highlights, 2018 has seen week after week of tremendous documentaries just pummeling audiences. Somewhere between watching Love, Gilda and Bad Reputation, I began to wonder what makes a truly great documentary. Is it breaking new ground or forcing a viewer to change their approach to a known subject? After all, not everyone is going to approach a subject with the same level of knowledge.
Joan Jett has always been a rock star. My entire life has been bombarded by her early solo work to Light of Day and even the Runaways revival that started in the late 90s and carries on to this day. Listening to the stories that I’ve heard in other docs, movies, Wiki pages doesn’t exactly blow my hair back. However, it comes down to the framing of stories shared by friends and Jett herself. You want to be in that world, as everything that happened sounds amazing.
The special features showcase a ton of live performances and Jett’s entry into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. But, the real treat is the music video collection. When you watch a documentary like this, the propulsive appeal is to make you want to dive back into Jett. Her backlog, the music and everything in between just pops at every turn. I couldn’t think of any better way to start a new year.