One of the best cinematic comic book adaptations, The Rocketeer was supposed to be the summer of 1991's big hit, but the vastly entertaining movie didn't find a big audience. Thankfully, this Walt Disney DVD release gives the fun, exceedingly good-natured movie a proper showcase, and the film has built up a large fan base over the years. Expertly directed by Joe Johnston and shot by Hiro Narita, the DVD looks great in this widescreen letterboxed format, which also shows off James D. Bissel's extravagantly retro production design. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround audio track sounds robust coming out of a stereo system or out of a television set. This edition doesn't come with any worthy DVD extras, but a future edition is sure to point out The Rocketeer's many in-jokes and homages to classic Hollywood films, old rumors, and actual history.
Rocketeer has to be one of the best adaptations made to date. Like "Superman: The Movie" before it, you will believe a man can fly... with a jet pack strapped to his back. Everything about this movie just worked. It does get a bit cheesy in some parts, but I think it adds to the prestige of the movie and the time it was featured in. It does suffer from some minor technical issues (like they never actually refuel the jet pack at any time), but plot holes will always exist in any movie. Most of the effects still hold up today, though now with high res TVs, a lot of the effects are much more apparent. Still, you won't be disappointed .
I still remember watching this movie as a a child. The story is fun with just the right amount of cheesy dialogue. The casting is perfect, and for lovers of the golden age of cinema, this is not just reminiscent of, but is also a perfect homage to the films of old. What a great movie!
This excellent movie is a nod to "Radar Men from the Moon" from the 1950s. Set in Hollywood in 1938, where two gangsters from the Eddie Valentine gang steal a rocket pack from millionaire Howard Hughes and hide it at an airfield. When the rocket pack is found by stunt pilot Cliff Secord and his mechanic, Peevy, the adventure begins. It's a movie for the entire family, with plenty of action, adventure, and espionage. In my opinion, it never achieved the recognition it deserved. Well worth a movie night for anyone!
If this movie were made twenty years later, if would probably make half a billion dollars. It's fun, and exciting. The characters are a little goofy, but well developed and the choice of having a Clark Gable type movie star being a spy was unique and interesting. It isn't a perfect movie, and the more bombastic effects are lacking even by the era standard, but it is a great piece of nostalgia and can actually play a playful prequel to the MCU.
Don't let twenty years of rust scare you off. The Rocketeer may not be as thrilling as it once was, but it remains one of the best comicbook adaptations of the '90s and a high-flying suerphero adventure sure to rope in plenty of fans, new and old. Disney's Blu-ray release isn't too shabby either. A suite of look-back extras would have made the 20th Anniversary Edition absolutely irresistible, but the film's excellent video transfer and decent lossless audio track makes it worth purchasing regardless.
The Rocketeer is a superb comic book movie. Adventure, romance, suspense, quality villainy, and excellent heroics: what more could you ask for? Well, since this is billed as the Anniversary Edition, you might expect some bonus features: maybe a commentary track and a making-of featurette... but all you get is the theatrical trailer and the feeling that Disney has an evil sense of humor. The movie remains fantastic, and the price is okay, but the Anniversary Edition label in this case is utterly worthless. There's no reason to think Disney will ever release a version of the film that includes the desired extras, but I remain hopeful. Four stars for the film, none for this particular edition.