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The Rocketeer Blu-ray Review

“The Rocketeer” is THE best comic book film to date.

After pilot Cliff Secord comes across a rocket pack, his life is turned upside down when the FBI, gangsters and a shady actor (Neville Sinclair) and his “brute man” henchman are hot on his tail trying to get the rocket pack back. To make mattersworse, Cliff’s possession of the rocket pack poses a threat to the ones he loves including his girlfriend (Jenny). However, Cliff cannot simply hand it over as the consequences could be catastrophic. So what can Cliff do? He can try to use the rocket pack to help others and become a hero.

20 plus years ago, I remember sitting in the theater waiting with bated breath for a showing of “The Rocketeer” to start. The trailer, the helmet, the poster, the tie-ins, the marketing- all of these things hadcaptured my imagination. After seeing the film, I couldn’t have been happier with the end result. This film was the quintessential comic book film and I loved every minute of it.

Looking at the film 20 years later, the film is even better in my eyes. In the past, I was too young to catch all of the homage to Rando Hatton, the “star” cameos, the 1930’s references, and the clever alternate history concepts involving Howard Hughes and Nazis. All of these things just put a big grin on my face. It doesn’t hurt that the film boasts one of the best scores ever recorded, incredible production design (especially with the Bulldog Café), brilliant special f/x by ILM, and a perfect ensemble cast. Underrated/underused lead actor Bill Campbell is a perfect Cliff and I can’t imagine anyone other than Jennifer Connelly playing Jenny. The best casting, however, has to be Timothy Dalton as Neville Sinclair. This is a great, meaty villain role and Dalton nails it.

Summary: I could continue to shower “The Rocketeer” with praise, but you really need to see it for yourself. Run out and buy this Blu-ray disc. You can thank me later.

Video/Audio:

After a horrid DVD transfer, I was really hoping Disney would come through with the Blu-ray release of “The Rocketeer”. Thankfully, they went above and beyond any expectations I have. The film has never looked better than it does in 2.35:1 1080p. From the opening shots of the airfield to the scenes atop a zeppelin, the picture quality is flat out stunning. I simply couldn’t be happier with the video quality.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track is equally impressive. Everything from the cooling of the rocket pack engine to James Horner’s epic score sounds crystal clear.

Aside from a theatrical trailer, there are sadly no other extras on this disc. One would think that a disc celebrating the film’s 20th anniversary would at least have a commentary, featurettes, interviews, etc. but alas no. Hopefully, there will be an extra feature packed edition sometime in the near future.

December 22, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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