The Rocketeer
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Product Description

In the 1930's an adventurous young pilot discovers a rocketpack that turns him into the Rocketeer, then must fight off bad guys who want the pack for a weapon.
Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Rating: PG
Release Date: 3-SEP-2002
Media Type: DVD

Based on a retro-styled comic book hit of the '80s, this Disney film was meant to launch a whole line of Rocketeer films--but the series began and ended with this one. That's too bad, because this underrated Joe Johnston film has a certain loopy charm. The story centers on a pre-World War II stunt pilot (Bill Campbell) who accidentally comes into possession of a rocket-propelled backpack much coveted by the Nazis. With the aid of his mechanic pal (Alan Arkin), he gets it up and running, then uses it to foil a plot by a gang of vicious Nazi spies (is there any other kind?) led by Timothy Dalton. Jennifer Connelly is on hand as the love interest, but the real fun here is when the Rocketeer takes off. There's also a nifty battle atop an airborne blimp. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews:

  • Great movie, terrible transfer
    This movie is clearly a five star film. It's exciting, fun, adventurous and great for kids, but also for adults! The photography is great, sets and costumes are authentic, and the acting is first rate. HOWEVER, this has got to be the worst DVD transfer I have ever seen. It looks to me like they took a widescreen 72 mm print and projected it on a screen, then rephotographed it on 35 mm... no kidding. Nearly every letterbox film I have goes from one side of my flat panel monitor to the other. This one is well within all 4 sides of my monitor... and the color is milky and faded and there is a grainy character to the picture. The sound is clearly stereophonic and wonderful... so why Disney can put out an amateur transfer like this is beyond me. Having said that, the film is not expensive and I still recommend it.... but Disney needs to re-release a clear transfer of this wonderful film. I will be worried about the quality of future Disney and Miramax films on DVD if this is how they are going to be released....more info
  • Nice!
  • Perfect Superhero Movie
    I've watched the growth of superhero films from the serials of the 1930's, '40's and '50's all the way up to the recent teriffic films coming out of the pages of Marvel comics. (DC comics is sorely behind with only 2 Batman movies, 1 Watchmen movie and a lame Superman sequal.) When all is said and done, however, it's always the top notch ROCKETEER that I come back to. To me, it's a perfect film. There's not one thing I'd change about it, and it's always a treat to take it off the shelf, stick it in the DVD player and transport myself back to the late 1930's with the daring pilot Cliff Secord, the beautiful actress Jenny Blake and the dashing and villianous Neville Sinclair!

    And as gangster Eddie Valentine says, siding with the G-men against the Nazis..."I may not make an honest buck, but I'm 100% American!"...more info
  • Superb!
    All I have to say is that I enjoyed this movie from the beginning to the end and that it is an awesome movie. Truly superb!...more info
  • Thirties adventure serials revisited
    This movie is modeled on the adventure serials so popular in movie theaters decades ago. The setting is the mid-thirties, with Nazi bad guys, G-men who talk just right, romance, gangsters, espionage, and heroism. A top secret government project is stolen from the research labs of Howard Hughes and the thieves hide it in the hanger of a young pilot named Cliff Secord. While they are fleeing from the feds, the thieves shoot up Secord's plane and he crash lands.
    The project is a personal rocket pack and Secord finds it. With his ace mechanic friend PV, they test it and learn how to use it. During an emergency when the pilot of an old plane loses control, Secord dons the rocket pack, flies up and rescues him. This creates a sensation and causes the Nazi spies and gangsters to
    take an interest in him. The main German spy is an actor and Secord's girlfriend is an aspiring actress with a bit part in a movie the spy is starring in. Once the spy realizes the connection, he woos the girlfriend and kidnaps her.
    There is a climactic battle at the end where the gangsters, G-men and Secord join forces to battle a group of German troops over control of the rocket pack. Of course the good guys win, with a daring rescue performed by Howard Hughes flying an experimental plane that is essentially a helicopter. Hughes shows his appreciation by giving Secord a plane to use in the national competition.
    What makes this movie work is the casting and the ways in which the characters stay within their roles based on the timeframe of the movie. All stay within the thirties and Jennifer Connelly is sultry, but within the bounds allowed at that time. My favorite character was Alan Arkin as the ace mechanic PV. He is able to solve some of the problems with the rocket so that it can be used. Timothy Dalton, classic bad guy mustache included, plays the charismatic, yet ruthless German spy to perfection.
    Some movies are just fun to watch, and this is one of them. With the people on both sides of the good guy/bad guy divide drawn from the cliches of the thirties, there are no surprises in their actions. Nevertheless, the movie rises above that and delivers entertainment beyond the cliches....more info
  • One Of Disney's Best Action Films. More Character Development Would've Been Nice, Though.
    Walt Disney's "The Rocketeer," based on the graphic novel by Dave Stevens, is a very well-made action-packed thriller. Featuring then-little-known Jennifer Connelly (who made her film debut as a cute little girl in Sergio "The Man With No Name Trilogy" Leone's "Once Upon A Time In America") and two-time James Bond Timothy Dalton ("The Living Daylights" and "Licence To Kill;" see my review on them), the film centers on out-of-work pilot Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell) trying to handle his woes and his actress girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly) when all of a sudden, his life takes a startling turn. That's all the plot detail you'll get from me. The performances in this film are excellent, from Campbell as the titular character, the always beautiful and reliable Jennifer Connelly and Timothy Dalton. Great score too.

    Walt Disney Pictures knows how to make a good action movie for kids and adults, as the violence is enough to keep adults interested and at the same time, non-graphic for the kids. However, I HAVE to say something, with profound apologies to Walt Disney Pictures if I offend them in any way, as I completely enjoy their movies. One part of a scene had me thinking "This is starting to look a bit like a porn movie," though I knew that Disney wouldn't even attempt something so outrageous, which would tarnish their family-friendly image, so firmly established by Walt Disney himself almost 100 years ago. I can handle it, but just thought I'd point this out, in case young kids are interested in seeing this action-adventure film. Rated PG for some violence and mild language....more info
  • The Rocketeer
    The Rocketeer is one of those movies I find myself drawn to about once a year if not more. Mainly because of the interesting story, beautiful and unusual airplanes, good acting, excellent costumes and props, and a great film score by James Horner. It all really makes you feel you are visiting California in the 1930s. The story centers around a pilot named Cliff Secord, delightfully played by Bill Campbell, testing a Bee Gee racer for the National Air Race. When gangsters running from the police and government agents shoot up his plane. They leave an unexpected present in the hanger, a rocket pack. He ends up trying it out with the assistance of his mechanic Peevy, wonderfully played by Alan Arkan. It turns out the rocket pack was stolen from Howard Hughes, well played by Terry O'Quinn (John Locke on "Lost").

    An Errol Flynn like movie star, Neville Sinclair, mischievously played by Timothy Dalton and a gang boss, Eddie Valentine, nicely played by Paul Sorvino want the rocket pack. Lots of action as Cliff and Peevy try to keep it from them long enough for Cliff to save his girlfriend Jenny Blake, wholesomely played by Jennifer Connelly, from the clutches of the Nazis. I was always disappointed they didn't make a sequel or two. Who knows maybe new life will be breathed into this series as happened with the Batman movies. I hope Disney will distribute a cleaned up copy on Blu-ray with several extras. My original Disney DVD was not the best of transfers. It contains blemishes that are not typical in Disney DVDs in recent years. Only fair quality DVD but with lots of replayability. If you enjoyed this catch The Shadow.

    CA Luster...more info
  • Great Adaptation!
    This movie is SO AWESOME and not one second boring!...more info
  • Very good movie!
    This is a very good movie because of some of its true facts, great lines, action, and special effects. GREAT!...more info
  • Why Can't Disney Still Make Movies Like This?
    Seriously this movie is amazing. I really wish Disney still made movies of this quality. A great movie from my childhood as well. Just too good....more info
  • Quality Adventure Movie
    Great adventure movie with ample comedic flourishes has title character squaring off against Nazi scumbags in the World War II era. With a high-caliber performance with great subtle comedic timing by Bill Campbell, a shining performance by Jennifer Connelly as the Rocketeer's actress-girlfriend, and a great showing by Timothy Dalton as the lead villain, at turns charismatic and sinister, and thrilling aerial sequences. Kudos to the effects and cinematography teams. Title character is a tad on the cocky side for my liking but within acceptable limits; a good thing since I've long tired of action movies where the brash jerk of a 'hero' ends up with mega-babe with the heart of gold, a role Connelly certainly plays well here. Still, what Jennifer fanboy can help but feel just a twinge of jealousy when her character ends up with any of the lead male characters in her movies? Ah, the price of being constantly enamored with on-screen lovelies. Honestly though, this is a great film, recommended both to fans of action-comedies like "Back To The Future", "True Lies", and "The Fifth Element" as well as fans of more serious adventure-exhilirators like "Spider-Man, "Lethal Weapon", "Indiana Jones" and "Speed". Suitable for the wee ones, a great viewing for all ages together....more info
  • An Excellent Science Fiction Flick
    The Rocketeer is an excellent science fiction film. It begins when a pilot played by the underrated actor Bill Campbell finds a rocket suit. Turns out that the suit was created by scientists working for Howard Hughes who is working with J. Edgar Hoover on a project to combat the Nazi threat. Timothy Dalton shines as the evil Nazi spy and Paul Sorvino plays a most convincing Mafia boss. The action is fast and furious and is never dull. The music and acting are great too.

    My rating: 5 out of 5...more info

  • Amazing!
    The Rocketeer is probably one of the best movies ever made because of its action, stunning special effects, and great cast. This is a must see adventure which will leave you on the edge of your seat from the start to the end! A must see!...more info
  • Great movie but big mystery...
    I loved this movie and the soundtrack as well when it was released in 1991. The plot, acting, script in this movie was very well done, kept the action, romance, time period, etc. going all at the same time. Why this movie didn't do great at the box office, I'll never know but since, I've cringe at poor movies who do make sequels (i.e., Batman 4 after a so-so Batman 3). Great action/super hero movie. Unique and a classic!...more info
    This is one of the most coolest, fun filled movies I have ever seen because of everything that it has to make it a great movie. Simply GREAT!!!!!!...more info
  • Amazon and The Rocketeer
    Just simply, great prices and excellent service. Not much more I can say other than that I will continue to do business with Amazon....more info
  • Top Notch Movie... So-So DVD
    I ordered "The Rocketeer" over a year ago and finally had chance to watch it this past weekend. I haven't seen it in several years, and I must say, it's even better than I remembered it! Billy Campbell is terrific and Jennifer Connely glows. Alan Arkin is a reliable sidekick... and Timothy Dalton positively shines as the villain of the piece! The movie has a Saturday matinee feel to it, but with top-notch production values. It also has a great sense of humor. It's one of the best movies that no one saw. Too bad. I was disappointed with the picture quality of my dvd. Is this common for this particular release, or did I get a lemon? Also would have like to have seen some additional extra features. I know I saw a featurette on creating the rocket-pack scenes somewhere many years ago. Regardless... This is one movie I'm really glad to have. I'll be watching and re-watching it for years to come....more info
  • Great adventure with a comic-book feel
    "The Rocketeer", Disney's 1991 adventure film based on the successful comic book by Dave Stevens, is tons of fun. In spirit and execution, it resembles the 1999 Universal film "The Mummy". Both movies have a 1930s sensibility (perhaps because both are set in that era) with regard to pacing, action scenes, and cinemetography.

    There are no shades of grey here. The villains (Nazis) are pure evil, and the heroes are purely good. Jennifer Connelly and Bill Campbell shine as the "good guys", and Timothy Dalton turns in a devilish performance as the turncoat actor Neville Sinclair.

    The only downside to this family-suitable adventure is the paucity of scenes featuring Campbell in the "Rocketeer" costume and backpack. With its huge budget, you'd think Disney could have squeezed in some extra eye-popping footage of the titular character in action. But be assured, when he does appear, and the action begins to heat up, you will be on the edge of your seat, reaching for the popcorn....more info
  • "The Rock-a-who?"
    "The Rocketeer" is a wonderfully nostalgic gem of a movie that giddily embodies the spirit of Old-Hollywood adventure. Unfortunately, its charms were completely lost on this jaded generation. It wasn't a big box office success and thus squashed the producer's hopes of turning "The Rocketeer" into an ongoing series, something that I will forever be upset by.

    Set in 1934 Los Angeles, director Joe Johnston ("Jumanji", "Jurassic Park III", "Hidalgo") has created a truly flawless, old-fashioned adventure. Our hero is Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell), a flying ace who comes into possession of a stolen rocket pack designed by Howard Hughes (Terry O'Quinn). They don't know where it came from, but they soon find out that both the feds and the mob are looking for it and are willing to kill for it. While they decide what they are going to do with it, Cliff is forced to use it to rescue a pilot in trouble during an airshow. He straps on the jetpack and a helmet designed by his friend Peevy (Alan Arkin) which not only protects him, but serves as a handy superhero-identity-concealer.

    Cliff barely manages to rescue the pilot, while hundreds of awe-struck spectators cheer him on. He quickly makes headlines, and tinsel town is aquiver with rumors of "The Rocketeer". Everyone knows about him, except for his girlfriend Jenny (Jennifer Connelly). When he tells her "I have a secret. I'm the Rocketeer!" she confusedly responds "The Rock-a-who?"

    The main villain who wants to get his hands on the rocket is handsome, charismatic film star Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton), an obvious parody of Errol Flynn. This parody of Flynn and the film's ability to tie together many aspects of 1930's-40's pop-culture is its greatest strength. Drawing heavily on Hollywood icons, then-contemporary world events, and on aviation history, you'll find yourself completely immersed in this 1930's world and wishing you could've lived then. ...more info
  • I miss Disney's 30's/40's period films, this ones my fave!!
    Ahh back in they late 80's early 90's when Disney had a whole string of period movies. Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Dick Tracy, and of course Rocketeer. These films were so much fun and just great to look at. The sets, the costumes everything. The Rocketeer is one of those films that takes me back to being nine years old, thats how old I was when it came out, and just being really excited about everything. Great great film, but it deserves a special edition come on Disney!!...more info