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The Rocketeer
#1
So there's been a resurgence of discussion about this on the boards lately, and I just want to say, it absolutely holds up. This was one of the movies -- probably the first movie -- that I was ridiculously obsessed with, and so when I watched it again recently, I went in wondering if it was going to be another victim of nostalgia.

It wasn't. Of all the films made in the RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK mold, this is one of the best. It's a movie that's goofy, silly fun, which admits the ridiculousness of the concept but also manages to take that concept seriously.

You can tell that everyone from Billy Campbell through Alan Arkin through Timothy Dalton are just having a ball playing these roles, although my favorite character in the movie has to be Paul Sorvino's Eddie Valentine. When he pulls the switch on Neville Sinclair after discovering that the movie star's in cahoots with the Nazis ("I may not make an honest buck, but I'm 100 percent American"Wink, I get this big grin across my face. It's great.

Terry O'Quinn does a great Howard Hughes, and honestly, I remember this being the film that kickstarted my adolescence. I know people love Connelly in LABYRINTH, but she's about ten million times hotter here.

It's a shame that this didn't do better at the box office -- it deserved at least one proper sequel and a Vista Series DVD.

I mean, it's got mobsters vs. Nazis. How can you not love that?
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#2
Plan on watching this and The Shadow with friends soon...Haven't seen it since it hit theaters.
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#3
It's a movie about a guy who can fly ... who then flies twice in the entire film.
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#4
I adore this movie. You're right Rath, it completely holds up. It's so ligt on its feet, so perfectly paced, and acted so wonderfully. As a youngster, Timothy Dalton was Neville Sinclair long before I knew he had been James Bond. I loved Lothar, and I'm with Rath, Sorvino's "I may not make an honest buck..." line is my favorite moment of the film.

And I don't know that I've ever liked a James Horner score better than this one.
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#5
Amen......

Does deserve alot more love then it gets, not to mention its quite true to the comic, and has the best teaser poster of all time.

I havent bought the bare bones dvd, due to the fact I am crazy and thought Disney would gives us a 15th anniversay disc last year, but hey maybe we can get a petition going and send it to BVHV.

Also proably my second best theatrical experiance as I saw it at a drive in opening night, with Dick Tracy playing before it. I was 8 at the time, also this duo is also proably why I love Art Deco so much to this day.

And The Shadow is the shit as well, it was the last film to die in the one indie comic knockout which says something.
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#6
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson

It's a movie about a guy who can fly ... who then flies twice in the entire film.

So you don't like it? Because that's one of the common quips made about this movie, but I never felt like the lack of lying was a detriment. The story and the characters more than hold their own, and the stakes are so high that when he does fly, it makes an impact.
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#7
Also, he flies more than twice in the movie. Not counting the plane sequence at the beginning of the film, Secord actually puts on the rocket pack and flies at least three times -- the mid-air rescue, the escape from Valentine's club, and the end. Beyond that, the action in the film is so well done that you don't need every action set-piece to be a flying sequence.
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#8
No, I didn't like it.

And if you're going to call the film The Rocketeer, yes, you do need most of your action set-pieces to be flying sequences.
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#9
Look, I think the film is over-loved, but I'm not going to get into a huge debate about it. It didn't strike me the way it struck you guys. So I'll leave you all be.
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#10
Right, because good-natured debate is the last thing we need on the boards.
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#11
Was about to respond but Rath and Stew beat me to it

There has to be fans casue over on the Hot Blog in a recent post about the value of Hollywood artifacts this was included

$23,000 Hero costume w/rocket pack from The Rocketeer

http://www.mcnblogs.com/thehotblog/a...uch_stuff.html


I have real one of these babies stored away, and stare at it every time I am home as Im still in school
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#12
Quote:

Originally Posted by RathBandu

Right, because good-natured debate is the last thing we need on the boards.

To be honest, I saw the film twice back in the 80s and haven't seen it since, so I'm not really equipped for a worthwhile discussion. I just remember not liking it and am baffled by the extreme adoration it receives. I'd just be the crotchety old man pissing in the punch bowl. It wouldn't be much of a debate.
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#13
Okay, that's a fair argument. I can get behind that.

Except for the part where the film came out in 1991. Your powers are weak, old man.
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#14
Quote:

Originally Posted by RathBandu

Except for the part where the film came out in 1991. Your powers are weak, old man.

No, they're so good I actually saw it before it came out. Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them.
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#15
It's a movie that never really takes its premise seriously. What Raiders gets right is its conviction. Rocketeer is way too knowing and full of Hollywood in-jokes. Great poster though...
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#16
Seeing a movie you didn't like, and seeing it again before it came out? That's much too vulgar a display of your powers.
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#17
I was reckless back then. Ask Yoda.

Okay, okay, enough derailing.

I will say the score is probably the finest bit of neo-classical scoring not done by John Williams in that era.
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#18
Quote:

To be honest, I saw the film twice back in the 80s and haven't seen it since, so I'm not really equipped for a worthwhile discussion. I just remember not liking it and am baffled by the extreme adoration it receives. I'd just be the crotchety old man pissing in the punch bowl. It wouldn't be much of a debate.

Yeah, I'm not a fan, either. Surprising as I love Connelly and usually go for the campy comic book-ish films (for example, I really like The Shadow and The Phantom). This one just didn't do it for me.
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#19
Great film. James Bond as a Nazi is enough for me. It's way better than The Shadow.
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#20
I heard the score on Cinemagic the other night, and it brought back so many great memories. I own the barebones DVD, butit rarely gets a spin because while it still retains many of the great moments I remember, I lost that childlike wonder long ago.

Of course, if Disney were to give this a SE, I just might find a reason to try to regain that wonder.
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#21
I still remember getting into a pretty hardcore fight with a friend when I was ten. He kept telling me it was Bill Campbell. I kept saying it was Bruce. That was a nasty scuffle.
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#22
Bruce Cambell as the Rocketeer would be too great for words. I like the yokel charm that Bill brings, however.
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#23
Man, that poster is fantastic.

I really dug this film. It's a wonder that it doesn't play on cable more often, but when it does, I always try and catch it.

Was this based on a comic, or was it just an original (!) idea someone had?
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#24
Yeah its a lot better than The Shadow. I liked The Shadow but that film was a dissapointment whereas The Rocketeer was a fun and terrific adventure film.

Saw The Rocketeer and then right afterwards saw a sneak screening of Terminator 2. Great double feature for a 12 year old.
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#25
Quote:

Originally Posted by WayDen

Man, that poster is fantastic.

I really dug this film. It's a wonder that it doesn't play on cable more often, but when it does, I always try and catch it.

Was this based on a comic, or was it just an original (!) idea someone had?

It's based on a comic published by Dark Horse and created by Dave Stevens, who took his inspiration from the Commando Cody serials of the 1940s.

Fun fact: the love interest in the comics was Betty Page.

Also, I love this movie. That's all I got.
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#26
My friend had this great Rocketeer costume his mom made for him, I was so fucking jealous. Two 2-liter bottles painted silver, a gallon milk jug cut in a certain way to make a helmet, it was fucking killer.
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#27
I think that the Rocketeer and Sky Captian And The World Of Tomorrow make a perfect double feature. Both are great retro pulp fantasy films where the heroes perform unbelievable acts of derring do that should have wowed audiences more then they did. If not for the box office failure of Sky Captain Robert Rodgiguez or his replacement Kerry Conran (directer of Sky Captain)would have directed John Carter in: A Princess Of Mars based on Edgar Rice Burroghs Pulp series John Carter of Mars.
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#28
Quote:

Originally Posted by duke fleed

I think that the Rocketeer and Sky Captian And The World Of Tomorrow make a perfect double feature. Both are great retro pulp fantasy films where the heroes perform unbelievable acts of derring do that should have wowed audiences more then they did.

Ugh. Apples and oranges. "The Rocketeer" feels like a real movie with special FX at a minimum. "Sky Captain" is distractingly fake video game.
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#29
Actually, Oranges are very similar to Sky Captain and The Rocketeer, when you smash an orange it becomes Pulp.

Both films are set in the same era,have heroic leads that save the world while performing feats that no one else can do. Why is Sky Captain a fake video game. They both have actors. But..Kerry and Kevin Conran developed a state of the art program to re create the late 1930's.

While Jude Law's films seemingly do not make that much money, he is a fantastic lead actor and was great as the Sky Captain.
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#30
I'd like a special edition of this movie with that badass art deco poster as the cover. Failing that, Jennifer Connelly can drop around and talk about the movie with me. Then we'll talk about Argento's PHENOMENA. Then we'll get around to THE HOT SPOT.

What? ROCKETEER? Ah, whatever.

ETA: This is actually a very cool movie, and Joe Johnston's an underrated director.
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#31
This was one of the first movies that I saw in the theater. I think I still have the cup that Pizza Hut (I think) gave out where the lid was shaped like the helmet.
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#32
I have one of those cups too.

I have to agree with Rath, as I was a wee 7 years old back in '91, and I was totally obsessed with this movie, along with Dick Tracy, and the impending Terminator 2. I haven't seen my bare bones dvd of it in a while, but after reading this thread, I'll give it a spin. In addition to having one of those cups, I also have a book on it, and the comic adaptation.

Timothy Dalton, and Paul Sorvino are tops in this film. So is Terry O'Quinn as a dead on looking Howard Hughes.
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#33
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris O.

Fun fact: the love interest in the comics was Betty Page.

Fun Fact: I'm imagining Connelly in Betty Page style pictorials right now and it's giving me a Pocket Rocketeer (aero-dynamic helmet and all).

EDIT: Oh yeah, I love this flick.
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#34
Funny story: I was so obsessed with The Rocketeer when it came out, my dad eventually let me track down the original Dave Stevens comic book. It was, how shall we say, a little more "adult" than the film (of course, I was seven at the time, so I had not yet gained an appreciation for cartoon boobies). Once my dad found out what was in it -- about three hours after we bought it -- I never saw it again.
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#35
So this thread finally made break down and buy the bare bones dvd.

And wow its even better then I remember it from my last viewing 3 years ago, one thing you can say about Johnston is he knows his pacing, I appreciate it much better know that I am an adult. Dalton is better in this than any of his Bonds and I dare say Hot Fuzz as well. The mattes and flying sequences hold way up thanks to Johnston's ILM background and the zeppelin is a million times better than Crusade. I forgot about the great Nazi cartoon and also Dalton's death taking out land from the Hollywood sign. Arkin with hair takes a while to get used to, and the only complaint is not enough Connely. Also forgot its 2:20 : 1 wide, The pictures pretty good on the DVD but a little soft, so pretty please Bog Iger re release this thing and tout the shit of it cause it will sell.
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