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16 of 16 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A steampunk Iron Man
Customer Video Review     Length:: 4:17 Mins
The Rocketeer has almost all of the right parts to make it orbit the moon and back, but coughs and splutters and only manages a brief soar. The period setting in the golden age of Hollywood and a pre-war America has all of the innocence and wholesomeness you would expect from that era. The excitement of then-new technology leading to a high-tech...
Published 9 months ago by Inspector Gadget


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16 of 16 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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11 of 11 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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rocketeer: Excellent 30's Period drama!, 31 Jan 2006
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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6 of 6 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A steampunk Iron Man, 30 Sep 2013
By 
Inspector Gadget "Go Go Gadget Reviews" (On the trail of Doctor Claw) - See all my reviews
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Length:: 4:17 Mins

The Rocketeer has almost all of the right parts to make it orbit the moon and back, but coughs and splutters and only manages a brief soar. The period setting in the golden age of Hollywood and a pre-war America has all of the innocence and wholesomeness you would expect from that era. The excitement of then-new technology leading to a high-tech future is hinted at, but is slowed down by the plot like a sprinter wading through melting tar.

Cliff Secord is a stunt pilot (played by the charisma-free Bill Campbell, who I have never heard of) who discovers a prototype jet pack designed and disowned by Howard Hughes himself. Cliff, and his friend Peabody (a much more likable Alan Arkin) experiment with the jet pack, but never make any solid plans for it. The movie loses altitude here. Instead of soaring into the stratosphere by giving a thrill ride into this new invention the movie too often deviates into a sub-plot with Jennifer Connolly as the girlfriend and Timothy Dalton as the villain, and the best thing about it.

What the Rocketeer should have done is establish the new-found jetpack within the first 10 minutes, given us about 20 minutes of the origins of Secord as a new superhero, and then spent the remaining 80 minutes fighting villains. It is so frustrating that every time the movie should finally take-off it cuts away to a story that drags it to a halt.

The production design and special effects are all top-notch. The pre-CGI sequences of the Rocketeer jetting around the sky don't look bad despite coming in at the tail end of the optical effects era. The anamorphic Panavision photography is extremely high-key, and this perhaps is a fault. If the film were a little more rough around the edges it might have worked in its favor. James Horner's twee, sweet-natured, treacle score was a misjudgment though. Silvestri or Goldsmith could have improved on it, but I guess that they were far too busy in 1991.

Despite its shortcomings it is a shame that the Rocketeer did not end up being as popular as the Mummy or Zorro series. Although Bill Campbell really does look like Brendan Fraser, who was also in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which featured Timothy Dalton as a spy pretending to be an actor - exactly what he is in this movie. Weird.

It's easy to see why it has gone on to be a cult favorite, and it is still worth checking out.

The Blu-ray looks great in 2.35:1 1080p with DTS HD-MA sound. Sadly, the only extra is a trailer. I don't think Disney is fond of this film.
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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
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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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my all time favourite movies, 18 April 2012
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Eric W. Harrison "ericharrison42" (barnard castle uk) - See all my reviews
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first things first this Blu-ray is american but it will play in a british machine but ordering it from the US does take longer so you will have to wait for about a week for it to arrive.
but the transfer is pretty good you can tell it was made twenty years ago but compared to the dvd it is a marked improvement and i think it's worth the money.
as far as the story goes it's a good old fashioned action romp a pilot finds a rocket pack and he has nazi spies and gangsters after him,a great movie for all the family to enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Rocketeer, 3 Mar 2010
This review is from: Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
A great family film with a good story full of action and humour aswell. Timothy Dalton is cast as the dashing bad guy and the emerging actress Jennifer Connelly looks absolutely stunning. I recently bought this film for my son and he thought it was great.
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Rocketeer [DVD] [1991]
Rocketeer [DVD] [1991] by Joe Johnston (DVD - 2001)
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