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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INDIANA JONES OF THE SKIES!
When I first saw this film back in the early nineties i was captiviated, just like the original Superman film, you really believe a man can fly but this time with a "Rocket" strapped to his back! Bill Campbell plays Cliff Seacord a daring test pilot in the 1930's who stumbles upon a experimetnal rocket, that just so happens was invented by famous aviator "Howard Hughes"...
Published on 1 Dec. 2002 by alexsaunders69

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big gopher....
Cliff Secord crashes his plane after being hit in the air in a shoot-out between gangsters and FBI agents in a car chase; completely broken, his best friend and mechanic 'Peevy' tries to fix an old plane to raise some money in an exhibition show.

Cliff finds a package hidden by one of the gangsters with a rocket with belts and they find that the device allows...
Published 15 months ago by Corey Newcombe


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INDIANA JONES OF THE SKIES!, 1 Dec. 2002
This review is from: Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
When I first saw this film back in the early nineties i was captiviated, just like the original Superman film, you really believe a man can fly but this time with a "Rocket" strapped to his back! Bill Campbell plays Cliff Seacord a daring test pilot in the 1930's who stumbles upon a experimetnal rocket, that just so happens was invented by famous aviator "Howard Hughes". Off course there is always a baddie and this takes the form of Timothy Dalton who plays a Hollywood actor. He actually plays a very nasty piece of work! And then you have the lovely Jennifer Connelly as Cliff's longtime girlfriend called "Jenny" funny enough, the writers must of been stuck for a name?
The action is breath taking especially the flying scenes as they are very fast paced and believable. There is also some humour in the film which helps. Rocketeer was actually based on a graphic novel of the same name and so has some comic book violence but nothing too graphic. Rocketeer has everything you'd want in an action film, love, good and evil, chases, and a whole load of fast and fantastic flying! as its said in the film "Rocketeer to the Rescue"
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rocketeer: Excellent 30's Period drama!, 31 Jan. 2006
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This review is from: Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
There are very few Comic movies which capture the essence of it's source (and in this case surpass it). Rocketeer is set in 1938 with the Nazi's beginning to reveal themselves as a threat to the US. Cliff Secord is not the obvious hero, rather he has heroism thrust upon him as he normally does plane stunts now he must fight abnormally large men (Lothar), gangsters and a pack of Nazi Officers led by (I wont ruin it!). The result is an action packed period epic ideal for younger audiences an older alike much like the action serials of the 50's. The atmosphere of 1930's America is captured in art as well as prose perfectly (much like The Untouchables) add an impeccable musical score from the same guy who brought us Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan, and you've got an immensly enjoyable movie if a tad light by todays standards of violence. It's outlook is very optimistic with a few cheesy one liners. All in all an ideal Sunday movie for all the family. It was recently rated as being the most true movie based on the original comic (the suit is identical to the comic version). The poster is regularly voted as one of the best in movie history also. released in 1991 (UK) it had to contend with Terminator2 and was billed by Disney as a family movie, among over unfortunate events hence it failed to leave a mark but has a large niche following. "Rocketeer to the rescue!"
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why oh why didn't this become a franchise?!, 4 Jun. 2006
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Mr. Gareth I. Davies "giddig" (Dudley, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
Rocketeer Returns! Rocketeers Returns Again! These could have been great sequels but it wasn't to be. This had everything going for it. Great characters, great action, great story, great score. It has all the ingredients to make a great summer film. I do not know why it didn't do better and lead to the hoped for franchise. Having read the Dave Stevens graphic novels (comics) it is a very faithful adaptation perhaps only second (or even equal to) how faithful Sin City was. It is a proper 'Saturday Matinee' style adventure that the Indiana Jones comparison stands up to. "Rocketeer to the rescue!"
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I may not make an honest buck, but I'm 100% American. I don't work for no two-bit Nazi., 1 Jun. 2012
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Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
Rocketeer is directed by Joe Johnston and co-written by Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo and William Dear. It is based on Dave Stevens' comic book The Rocketeer. It stars Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton and Paul Sorvino. Music is scored by James Horner and cinematography by Hiro Narita.

It took eight years to get to the screen, with many rewrites, changes in personal, changes in setting and etc, the only thing consistent was Disney's inconsistency. Once out the film received generally positive reviews but posted only a small profit, in the wake of a Tim Burton inspired reinvention of the Super Hero genre, Rocketeer fell away into cultdom, sequels planned were shelved and its reputation remains to this day one of being a misfire. Unfair say I! Rocketeer is a lovingly crafted adventure film, nodding towards the serials of the 1930s, it's awash with period Hollywood delights, Art Deco imagery, has a damsel in distress, square jawed heroics, Nazi villains, wonderful effects and a blunderbuss Zeppelin finale. Backed by beautiful smooth tone photography and an evocative heart stirring music score, it's a family friendly blockbuster that ticks all the requisite boxes. The quality of the action sequences still hold up today, and Johnston, who wanted the job big time, directs with a knowing grasp of the setting, and crucially he never once loses a grip on tone and pacing. There's no self parody here, no deep Fruedian dissection of the main character, just a honest to goodness good against bad axis, with a romantic cause deftly wafted over proceedings.

The role of Cliff Secord (Rocketeer) proved hard to cast, where Vincent D'Onofrio turned it down and "name" actors such as Dennis Quaid, Emilio Estevez, Kurt Russell and Bill Paxton auditioned for the part. Paxton, it's believed, was very close to getting it as well. Disney wanted an A list man, Johnny Depp and Kevin Costner were mooted, but Johnston had a feel for unknown Billy Campbell and managed to convince nervous Disney heads that he was perfect. Much of the scorn that has flown towards Rocketeer has landed at Campbell's door, again, this is unfair. It's hard to tell if one of those A list actors could have made the character work better, for it helps in this instance to not have a familiar face propelling the adventure. There's an innocence, an awkwardness to Campbell's portrayal that just sits right for a guy stumbling upon a rocket pack and finding himself submerged in a chase and harry battle against bad. He also has the looks, a handsome dude who creates a homespun based chemistry with the sensuous Connelly. It's Dalton's movie, though, he's having a devil of a time as the chief villain. Modeled on Errol Flynn and the spurious notion that he was once a Nazi spy, Dalton has the looks, the gusto, the moustache twirling shiftiness and a voice perfect for such material. A roll call of great character actors fill out the support slots, with Terry O'Quinn, Paul Sorvino and Ed Lauter particularly striking the right chords.

A smashing piece of escapism, no pretensions or ideas above its station. The willingness to tap into the basic premise of a comic book actioner and entertain in grand Hollywood terms, to be applauded. And I do, and I do love it so. 8/10
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beem�s Gum and Jennifer Connelly too, 5 Jan. 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
Bill Campbell well known for his portrayal as Delbert Mosley in the HBO alien adventure "Out There" (1995) plays the witless hero, based on the comic book by Dave Stevens, in this flight of fancy accompanies by a well seasoned and recognizable entourage.
It is the 1930's. Pilot Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell) and his mechanic partner Peevy (Alan Arkin) want to fly in the nationals. Little did they know that they would cross paths with the number three box office star Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton) whom for some nefarious reason wants to pilfer a (back-pack) rocket designed by Howard Hughes (Terry O'Quinn).
Well it seems that Cliff got his hands on the rocket, but Neville knowing the Cliff has it, has got his hands on Cliff's girl Jenny Blake (Jennifer Connelly). So will they make a trade or is there something greater at stake?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big gopher...., 14 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
Cliff Secord crashes his plane after being hit in the air in a shoot-out between gangsters and FBI agents in a car chase; completely broken, his best friend and mechanic 'Peevy' tries to fix an old plane to raise some money in an exhibition show.

Cliff finds a package hidden by one of the gangsters with a rocket with belts and they find that the device allows man to fly.

Meanwhile, his beloved girlfriend and aspirant actress Jenny Blake succeeds in an audition to make a small part in a movie of the great actor Neville Sinclair.

During a flight exhibition, mechanic Malcolm has an accident, and Cliff uses the rocket to save him, being called Rocketeer by the public.

With his picture in the front page of the newspaper, Cliff is chased by the FBI, the gangsters and the German spies that abduct Jenny.....

Way ahead of its time, but maybe a little too soon after the last crusade, the Rocketeer was the second most original film of a very weird 1991 blockbuster summer.

It's fun in the sense that it was ignored on its initial release,and has been ever since. This was Disneys big release in 1991, and this film is like the first POTC film flopping, they threw a lot of money at this, and somehow, all the marketing did nothing.

It harks back to the films of the thirties, where all the bad guys were slick,a nd the good guys were just too good for their own good.

And this is where the film falters. Where Indiana Jones had the swagger and the attitude, Secord is all happy and apologetic, and very bland at times.

Thank heavens for Dalton, who steals the show as the dastardly villain, who goes from smooth to outrageous Nazi in a matter of seconds. It's pure pantomime stuff, but it works in this.

The effects are okay, and Johnston can do this era in his sleep, the direction is flawless, as is the cinematography.

It's a shame about the bland lead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rocket Man, 31 Dec. 2013
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
An Early 1990's movie, this is a relatively faithful adaptation of a graphic novel entitled The Rocketeer.

Drawing inspiration from cliffhanger cinema serials of the 1930's/40's, it tells of Cliff Secord [Bill Campbell], a down on his luck pilot with a glamorous aspiring actress girlfriend Jenny [Jennifer Connelly]. When Cliff chances upon a jetpack, it might be his chance to make it big and give his girl the life she deserves.

If it wasn't for the FBI. The Mobsters. And the Hollywood movie idol [Timothy Dalton] who wants it for very nefarious purposes...

Those who have read the original will find it true to the spirit of the source material, although things are changed and expanded on to push it out to movie length. Also in the original Cliff's girlfriend was Bettie, inspired by the legendary glamour model Bettie Page. Which probably wouldn't have cut it for a would be summer blockbuster family movie, so she just becomes would be actress Jenny.

Attempting to capture the spirit of those old cliffhanger serials with action and adventure and shoot outs and fisticuffs, plus mobsters and Feds with trilbys and pistols, this has some glorious period detail and the feel of the time is absolutely perfect.

The two leads are surrounded by experienced character actors, and come across initially as being perhaps slightly too young for the roles. But they both do grow into their parts as the movie progresses.

The first half does take a little while to get going, as there is a lot of set up and exposition to get in. But there are some excellent set pieces in the second. Credit to Paul Sorvino here for magnificently keeping to the tone of the movie - which is played straight and serious, but not too much - by delivering one line in particular which could be very cheesy but works fine.

This being a film from the early 1990's, the visual effects have dated somewhat. A lot of the back projection for the flight sequences is painfully obvious. And Timothy Dalton's accent does tend to wander at times. But he provides excellent villainy so that's only a minor complaint.

What this does have in it's favour as well is a superb score. The main theme in particular superbly capturing the feel of the time. Of daredevil pilots in their flying machines performing daring feats. Just because they could.

You'll believe that, just like them, a Rocketeer could fly. So it's a bit of a shame this didn't quite manage to do that at the box office and become a franchise. It still remains though a good adaptation of the source material and a fun bit of escapism.

Cult tv fans look out for appearances from Terry O'Quinn, years before he got Lost. And Eddie Jones, a few years before he was Jonathan Kent in the New Adventures of Superman.

The dvd is widescreen. The picture doesn't appear to have been restored in any form when transferred to this medium, but it looks fine.

This being quite an old dvd it has nothing at the start, and indeed goes straight into the opening of the film. Press menu on the dvd remote to bring that up.

It has the following language and subtitle options;

Languages: English, French, Italian.

Subtitles: English, Dutch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great not-to-be-missed movie!, 17 Dec. 2011
By 
Back in the day we were treated to movies like this every weekend at `Saturday Morning Pictures' - Dashing heroes, gorgeous damsels in distress, scenery-chewing baddies and lots of exciting stunts. Twenty years ago Joe Johnston invigorated the template with this wonderful (and tragically underrated) movie. The thrilling plot is supported by one of the industries finest scores (James Horner), extraordinary art deco sets and a fine cast.

At last, Disney has provided the blu-ray print we all craved - great colour, sharp as a razor and fabulous sound, and it's region-free, so will run on UK blu-ray players. Thank you! Now how about that sequel?!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Blast Off for a Good Time!, 11 Mar. 2015
When Cliff Secord stumbles upon a rocket pack stashed away in an airplane, him and his friend Peevy soon find themselves on the run from gangsters with ties to the Nazis.

I saw this back when I was a kid and it’s still one of my favorite superhero flicks, namely because it’s historical, has a very human superhero, and is about flying. I mean, who doesn’t want to fly? Better, who doesn’t want to think they can somehow piece together a rocket pack, strap it on and take to the sky?

What makes this superhero movie different is it’s not about a guy going around and helping people while trying to juggle a secret identity and, later, ultimately facing off against a supervillain. Instead, it’s about someone who has something the bad guys want and spends all his time running from them, occasionally helping people along the way. So while true the standard superhero “ingredients” are there, they’re presented outside of the standard formula thus setting this flick apart. Couple that with it taking place in the past during a simpler time—a classier time, too—and you’ve got a memorable movie.

I like how they also blended real life history into this, namely bringing in Howard Hughes as the designer of the rocket pack. Very cool. Throw in a Nazi as a main villain and you’ve got some solid Good vs Evil going on. Speaking of which, Timothy Dalton as Neville Sinclair the Nazi was awesome. He was super evil in this and once you found out who he really was you just hated the guy. You gotta love villains you can hate and feel justified in doing so.

There was certainly a pulpy feel to this movie, which is good, as the Rocketeer is an old time hero, a pulp hero, in fact. They kept that element alive, even so far as having him go up against a giant goon with a unique visage. Reminded me of the Dick Tracy villains. Sweet.

If you dig pulp heroes, The Rocketeer is definitely recommended viewing. Go see for yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moments of Greatness, 2 April 2008
By 
T. Williams "Maranatha!" (North West, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
There is much to like in this film but it does drag when Cliff (the hero) and his love interest Jenny are put together. The special effects are very well done and when the story does get going it is a lot of fun. I was particularly pleased with the homage to Rondo 'The Creeper' Hatton (Tiny Ron as Lothar) and Timothy Dalton's Errol Flynnesque villain. Alan Arkin puts in good support and it is a shame that the film did not do enough business to warrant a sequel. Still, with Hollywood running out of ideas the serials may make a comeback.
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Rocketeer [DVD] [1991]
Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] by Joe Johnston (DVD - 2001)
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