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VINE VOICEon December 21, 2005
My husband's an airplane buff and I'm a retro fan, so there was much to please in this fun and exciting Disney entry about a 1930s racing pilot and his older mentor who find a stolen rocket pack hidden in their old airplane. Turns out our hero Cliff Secord is just the guy to fly the rocket pack (invented by airplane mogul Howard Hughes)--but when the thieves return to claim it, Cliff's beautiful girlfriend, aspiring actress Jenny Blake, is endangered. The 1930s look is captured perfectly, from the interior of a fancy nightclub to the homely hominess of the local pilots' hangout, a bulldog-shaped diner. Timothy Dalton, as the swashbuckling (and sinister) Neville Sinclair is a super villain. My personal favorite of all the characters is Peevy, Cliff's mentor, played with appropriate irascibility by Alan Arkin.

The original DVD release was quite dreadful, with artifacting and other visual problems, so this new Blu-Ray "Anniversary Edition" is a welcome addition. Well, there's good news and bad news. The good news is the picture and sound are both beautiful. The blacks are black, the colors are vivid. I still detected what I thought were a few minor specs of "dirt," and there is a bit of graininess in certain scenes, such as the one where Jenny is dancing with Sinclair at the South Seas Club. The sound is deep and rich, showing off the theme music to wonderful advantage. It's quite beautiful. (And compared to the original DVD release, it's like choirs of angels singing!) The simple menus are a cute retro metallic based on the Rocketeer helmet.

The bad news is that this "Anniversary Edition" has not one extra except for the theatrical trailer. No commentary, no "Making Of," no nothing. Disney certainly has the "Making Of" special...I watched it! Again, they've gone cheap on something that doesn't fit the "new" Disney that consists of cheaply animated kids' series. Isn't one of the delights of Blu-Ray that you can place so much extra information on the disk? Incomprehensibly, there is even an "info" choice on the "bonus features" menu that has a disclaimer about commentary and extras!!!

Not to mention that the menu is persnickety as the dickens; I had to go back to the beginning of the DVD about three times to get out of submenus because I kept getting the message "This operation prohibited."

The only good thing about the paltry extras is that we don't have to suffer through the seeming hundreds of "commercials" Disney stuffs on its other disks. This pretty much goes directly to the main menu.

I love this film, so I gave it five stars. However, the "anniversary release" treatment gives Disney a big fat ONE star. Phooey.
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on January 17, 2002
In pure Disney fashion, The Rocketeer is a hearken back to traditional heroes of the old days. Based on a comic book with classic retro styling, it about a regular guy who is burdened with an extraordinary piece of equipment that gives him the ability to fly. Luckily he's a pilot. The story is solid, if not clichéd. In the late 1930's, a young pilot who is a winning hopeful for a plane race gets his hopes shot down when his plane is damaged. He and his top mechanic stumble on a jetpack. From there, things get going. Everyone seems to want this thing. The pilot soon finds himself, as well as everyone around him, in danger. Throw in The Nazis, a charming but snake like actor/villain, a large speechless bruiser, the mob and Howard Hughes (not the real man, just an actor playing him) and you have a busy movie that keeps a pace and riddles you with adventure. Joe Johnson is a great director, recently doing the 3rd Jurassic Park movie and making it a hit as well. His handling of this movie is well balanced. Bill Cambell, who plays the young pilot, is perfect as the hero in all his square jawed leather jacket glory. Jennifer Connelly, in one of her first screen appearances, is gorgeous and smart as his actress girlfriend. Alan Arkin plays his wise and brilliant mechanic. And of course you have to have a villain, in this case, it is James Bond...I mean Timothy Dalton, the former James Bond by the time this movie was made. He does a very good job of playing the villain in the traditional sense. No stretching of talent in this film, all actors are not required to strain themselves. The movie is fun to watch and never dull, good special effects lend to this as well. I recommend it although there isn't much on the DVD, but I doubt this will ever become a special edition 2 disc set, so go ahead and get it now.
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on December 17, 2017
I remember watching this movie as a senior in high school and I think Jennifer Connelly was the first actress I fell in love with. (I suppose I live a sheltered life) its a fun movie with great visiual effects. I personally love that time period. Im glad i was able to find it on blu-ray.
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Loved this movie as a child, and I feel it has aged well. Yes, an adult -- and even children-- will find the movies flaws, they are easily ignored when the movie is as fun and enjoyable as this one is. While a pity that those flaws prevented a sequel, this movie is a classic and is enjoyable for people of all ages.
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on May 9, 2008
Just as I remembered it at the theater.

Having grown up in the lead generation with television, I have a great fondness for the the movies, and movie serials of the late 1930s and early 1940s (Flash Gordon, Don Winslow of the Coast Guard, etc.) which were pretty much all that was available in the way of TV programming then.

The Rocketeer reflects the simpliticy, moral values, and conviction to triumph over the Axis powers that drove these pictures. You knew if our fate was entrusted to a lanterned jaw hero in jodpurs, riding boots and a leather bomber jacket, everything would turn out right.

And unlike the orginal serials, the acting in the Rocketeer is pretty good. Timothy Dalton makes a particularly smarmy villian, and Alan Arkin a great 'Mr. Science' side-kick (look out Dr, Zarkov). Both leads are also very good.

While this was not the crispest DVD I've seen, I certainly found it more than acceptable.
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on July 17, 2017
Great movie, so glad that the BluRay version finally came down out of the stratosphere! Can't believe Disney never took this concept & ran with it to the tune of a tv series, but what are you gonna do?
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on September 18, 2017
Excellent blu-ray transfer. A must-see film for Frank Lloyd Wright fans!
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on December 13, 2017
Always loved it. had it on VHS. Glad to see it on DVD. The quality of the recording wasn't what I would have liked, but still love the movie.
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on January 22, 2018
Fun film wish they had made more. Even by today's standard the affects hold up strong. I'll take the Rocketeer over Captain American any day.
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on December 7, 2017
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