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The Rocketeer
#36
As for him not flying that much, I remember liking the narrative decision to not have him super psyched to put that thing on, because I'm a pussy and I'd be the same way. And the comic was having fun with so many other things than him flying that I didn't expect a ton of flying setpieces in the film.

The shame is they really didn't even try to give it the feel of the comic, and instead it felt plastic more like Dick Tracy (which I didn't enjoy, and which is on now, which is why I started thinking about The Rocketeer. Side discussion: Dick Tracy: Biggest waste of the best supporting cast ever?)

The best things in the film end up being (and remain) Timothy Dalton and Alan Arkin. That said, I'd be curious to rewatch it for the first time since 1991.
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#37
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson

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.

I would agree with this statement. I remember being super pumped up to see this and I left the theater very disapointed. Havent seen it since but I guess I should since 16 years later my appreciation level for movies is alot more robust.

It did have the "Hot Chick from Career Opportunities" which gave it some clout back then; I suppose.
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#38

The Rocketeer is one of the very best superhero movies in existence.



I didn’t realize this until I watched it again last night and, having allowed the recent Superhero Knockout to come and go without offering this movie a single saving vote, I thought that this rambling post would be apt penance for my crime.



It’s almost twenty-three years old(!) but the movie remains as fun and handsome as ever. Imbued with the same spirit as the early Indiana Jones movies (which isn’t surprising, given that the director of this movie was also involved with that franchise), The Rocketeer tells the story of a simple aviator called Cliff Secord who discovers Howard Hughes’ prototype jetpack and fights Nazis.  If you’ve never seen the movie and that single line summary doesn’t pique your interest, you should check your pulse because you may already be dead.



I won’t argue that Billy Campbell delivers an Oscar-winning performance – indeed he’s outshone by many of the cast here – but, as the handsome, charmingly-affable lead, he’s absolutely fine. Opposite him is a twenty year old Jennifer Connelly who has probably never been more beautiful. With looks that have always suited period pieces and playing a character modelled on Bettie Page (though named Jenny here, her character in the comic that this is based on is called Bettie in tribute), Connelly manages to be both America’s Sweetheart - as sweet as the deserts served in her character’s diner - and a sex symbol that sizzles through the screen whenever she appears. It doesn’t take much imagination to wonder why she would be pursued by two men.



Of course, she’s just one amongst a fantastic cast, ranging from Terry O’Quinn’s Howard Hughes and Timothy Dalton as the Nazi version of Errol Flynn (most of his lines are endlessly quotable, none-more-so than his declaration that “It wasn’t lies! It was acting!” when revealed as a Nazi spy), through to Paul Sorvino’s sausage-fingered mobster and Alan Arkin as the ever-dependable father figure. Tiny Ron Taylor’s brutal henchman Lothar – a tribute to screen legend Rondo Hatton – is the icing on the cake.



Much like the Indiana Jones movies, The Rocketeer is a tribute to the pulpy, escapist adventures that filled the screens in the 30’s and 40’s where strong-jawed heroes fought against the odds and did the right thing. Cliff isn’t a man driven by angst, compelled by revenge, chosen by destiny or set on a path by higher powers. A series of events puts the jetpack in his hands and he uses it to fight evil because that’s just the type of guy he is. He’s an old fashioned hero in an old fashioned movie; and yet nothing here feels stale. Period movies tend to age gracefully and that’s certainly the case with this movie – it looks far younger than it’s age.



The Rocketeer is incredible fun; seemingly aware that it’s set in a world that could only exist in movies – a world where Nazi soldiers wait to be summoned from the shadows in Hollywood and even hardened criminals can turn on a dime and become heroes when their country is at stake. The dialogue is fantastic, with throwbacks to the screwball comedies of the period setting (witness the fumbling conversation between Cliff and Jenny where the former assumes that latter has heard of his heroic exploits only to discover she has no idea what he’s talking about), and the set-pieces are perfectly paced and designed, right through to the climactic battle on a Nazi zeppelin.  The flying sequences are surprisingly believable, even with twenty-two year old special effects holding our hero up.



I understand that they’re looking to reboot The Rocketeer but I honestly can’t think how you can improve on this. It’s fantastic entertainment and should have been the start of a great franchise; perhaps a nineties version of Iron Man. We can partially blame Terminator 2 for the movie’s demise, arriving on the big screen only two weeks later and slaughtering everything around it, although it was probably also too old-fashioned and naïve for an audience with a taste for the likes of Batman. Of the two, however, I’d definitely say that The Rocketeer has aged more gracefully.



Whilst there has yet to be a definitive blu-ray release of the movie (2011 saw the release of The Rocketeer 20th Anniversary Edition which was sadly lacking in bonus material), the movie is still worth checking out if you’ve never seen it.

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#39

My feelings for The Rocketeer can easily be summed up by its final shot:  here's a pulp style super-hero story about a guy who can fly, and the last thing we see is an airplane on the ground.



So yeah, my feelings haven't changed much in six years.

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#40
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post

Saxon, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.


I made your response Star Wars-y.  To fit the continuity of the thread, of course.  I'm a little bored tonight.

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#41

I agree with everything in this article about there being only one heir to the Indiana Jones movies.



Quote:

That heir is The Rocketeer, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this month. Here is a nostalgia trip that is both better than you might remember, and genuinely wonderful. To revisit The Rocketeer  directed by journeyman filmmaker Joe Johnston, is to step back even further in time than to the early 1990s. The film’s hero, Cliff Secord, may not initially suggest an analogue to Dr. Henry Jones Jr. He’s most at home at the airfield where he first discovers the jetpack that gives him the power of flight in ways that even his prized Gee Bee plane can’t. Cliff would probably be lost in one of Indy’s archaeology classes at Marshall College, but his daring, adventurous spirit and thrilling transformation into a makeshift hero in the Golden Age Of Hollywood fit right into the ethos of the first three Indiana Jones films.


..(The) confluence of archetypes—Nazis, mobsters, movie stars—is one of many aspects of old-school serials that The Rocketeer gets right, much like the Indiana Jones films. Certain sequences and character arcs are equally similar: The set piece at the South Seas Club—where Neville oozes charm toward Jenny before Cliff, in his Rocketeer outfit, comes to save the day—is reminiscent of the opening sequence of Temple Of Doom; the climax on a Nazi zeppelin recalls a similar scene in The Last Crusade. Neville Sinclair’s death scene—after he wrests away the jetpack from Cliff and puts it on, he fails to notice a fatal gas leak in the battered device—isn’t quite as horrific as the villains’ death scenes in the Indiana Jones movies, yet it represents a similar conclusion from a storytelling point of view: Sinclair, like Belloq or Mola Ram, allows an unquenchable thirst for power to consume him, and loses his life in the process.
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#42
AThis movie is just so damn great. I need to give it a revisit in the near future.
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#43

I will never forgive my mother for ripping off a piece of the back of the Rocketeer comic book adaptation to make a grocery list..i retrieved it, then taped it back...



-window cleaner


-paper towels


-hot dogs




HOLY SHIT, YOU COULDN'T REMEMBER THAT?

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#44

I remember my mom angrily tossing my stack of Nintendo Powers.



"NOOooOOOOoo!!!!"



Or maybe it was a Michelangelo action figure.  His forearm broke off.




When it comes to grocery lists, it's easy to just forget what you needed when faced with an entire supermarket of choices.  I find myself forgetting things I didn't write down pretty easily as I've gotten older.



But tearing my child's precious comics?  NO!!!!

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#45
Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

I remember my mom angrily tossing my stack of Nintendo Powers.



"NOOooOOOOoo!!!!"



Or maybe it was a Michelangelo action figure.  His forearm broke off.




When it comes to grocery lists, it's easy to just forget what you needed when faced with an entire supermarket of choices.  I find myself forgetting things I didn't write down pretty easily as I've gotten older.



But tearing my child's precious comics?  NO!!!!


Nintendo Powers could be regarded as childhood gold simply for their articles dedicated to screenshot level breakdowns that help you find the goodies you had missed... Electronic Gaming Monthly were also relics to me, Gamepro came third.



If going to the grocery store is a plan, then I quote Phillipe in The Way of the Gun



'I think a plan is a list of thijngs that don't happen"



Because if you think that cart is going to resemble whatever list you made prior to, then you are sorely mistaken.

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#46
Quote:

Originally Posted by Call Me Roy View Post


'I think a plan is a list of thijngs that don't happen"



Because if you think that cart is going to resemble whatever list you made prior to, then you are sorely mistaken.


YOU JUST GOTTA BELIEVE!!!

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#47

"Until that day..."

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#48
AAhhhh Electronic Gaming Monthly. Those were such a treat when you'd see a new issue out at the magazine rack at the grocery store. I wish to god I still had all mine.

I didn't have many Nintendo Powers. Except for one that I remember VIVIDLY because it was the most metal cover to a video game magazine I'd ever seen. It was for Castlevania I think and it was one of the oldest issues that they put out..
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#49
AFound it!

Damn....still pretty cool actually..

[Image: 400]
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#50
AClearly they missed an opportunity by not subtitling the game BRING ME THE HEAD OF DRACULA.
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#51

When viewed small, it ends up looking less like Castlevania and more like Captain Phasma: Vampire Hunter... which is immediately more than Forwakens did for her.



Also, The Rocketeer is pretty good.  I don't think it approaches anywhere near the 'successor' of Indy movies at all despite having a lot of the same fun trappings as those.  So much great stuff in the movie, but as a whole never all that thrilling.  It was definitely a movie that excited me more in concept than in actuality... even when I was a kid.

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#52
AThe only strike against it is that cheesy, high school play prop skull in the corner. The rest looks pretty cool to me. That Dracula face is some legit nightmare fuel.

Anyhoo....out of The Phantom, The Rocketeer or The Shadow....what's the general consensus on which is best? Probably The Rocketeer right? But they've all aged into pretty cool fun movies. Nice throwbacks to a different era. Good clean Indiana Jones-ish adventures without actually ripping off Indy.

I feel like there's another one I'm forgetting..
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#53
A[quote name="duke fleed" url="/community/t/98452/the-rocketeer#post_1919109"]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.[/quote]

See, Sky Captain lost me about halfway in, but I DO have Rocketeer as 1/2 of a double-feature in my house:

Part 1: The Rocketeer
Part 2: Captain America: TFA

They're spiritual cousins by the same director, and I swear I'm still waiting for my flashback Cap film where Secord and Rogers team up to take out a Nazi plot.
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#54

Yea that IS pretty damn metal.. I still remember the soundtrack turning ominous whenever the sun went down.. "What a terrible night for a curse.." I believe the subtitle went..



I want to say I still own Wizard issue #6 with the Incredible Hulk tearing up the Wizard robe that they at that time used to incorporate into every cover.. Artwork by Sam Keith, tooth gap and all!!

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#55

Oh man, it's like a totally different duke fleed from a different era!

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#56
AWow, just looked up Billy Campbell on IMDB. For someone who's worked very regularly since The Rocketeer, he hasn't done a whole hell of a lot that I recognize.

Rocketeer was great, but I haven't seen it in decades. Saw it in the theater freshman year of high school upon release, then a whole lot maybe a year later on cable. Probably not since. May have to rewatch.
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#57
Quote:

Originally Posted by neil spurn View Post

Wow, just looked up Billy Campbell on IMDB. For someone who's worked very regularly since The Rocketeer, he hasn't done a whole hell of a lot that I recognize.


I recommend ENOUGH. Forget everything you thought you knew about Billy Campbell.

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#58
ABut Jennifer Lopez gives me cramps.
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#59

Billy Campbell had a great recurring role in the Syfy show The 4400 (basically Heroes for people with brains). He also played Ted Bundy in a TV-movie a while back, and was the male lead on a great but short-lived drama series called Once and Again.



Also... in the new Rocketeer film the part of the Rocketeer, like that of Marion Crane, will be played by a black female pop star.

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#60
AAte lunch at the Sci-fi Drive-in restaurant at Hollywood Studios today. Look what was hanging on the hallway wall...

[Image: 400]
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