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Old 11-23-2010, 11:03 AM   #1
Dig Site 1138
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Question The Rocketeer

Personally, I really like "The Rocketeer". Admittedly, it's a little slow getting started. But come on, it's got a guy with a rocket pack, a cool art deco helmet, dames in distress, Nazi spies, gangsters, a nod to Rondo Hatton and Errol Flynn conspiracy theories, and even a big, honkin' zeppelin!!

What's not to love??
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:15 AM   #2
Montana Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dig Site 1138
Personally, I really like "The Rocketeer". Admittedly, it's a little slow getting started. But come on, it's got a guy with a rocket pack, a cool art deco helmet, dames in distress, Nazi spies, gangsters, a nod to Rondo Hatton and Errol Flynn conspiracy theories, and even a big, honkin' zeppelin!!

What's not to love??

I saw this in the cinema when it first came out - it was a second choice movie since our first choice had sold all available seats.

I hated it at the time. I remember being bored senseless and waiting for it to end.

I haven't seen it in years, but would probabaly enjoy it if I saw it now.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:05 PM   #3
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Wel it's not a masterpiece, but I found it enjoyable. My favorite is Timothy Dalton's delicious turn as a villain. He really seemed to enjoy the part, and I've never liked him as a leading man anyway. His playboy/traitor/overall royal-bastard portrayal of the character was fun and pitch-perfect to my sensibilities:


"It wasn't lies, Jenny. It was acting!"
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
I saw this in the cinema when it first came out - it was a second choice movie since our first choice had sold all available seats.

Montana, I have to ask: What movie was it you wanted to see?
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy's brother
Wel it's not a masterpiece, but I found it enjoyable. My favorite is Timothy Dalton's delicious turn as a villain. He really seemed to enjoy the part, and I've never liked him as a leading man anyway. His playboy/traitor/overall royal-bastard portrayal of the character was fun and pitch-perfect to my sensibilities

I think Dalton really shines in this flick. I also really enjoyed Paul Sorvino. I love when the gangsters turn on the Nazis because they may be crooks, but they're AMERICAN crooks!
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
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I loved it as a kid and there's still loads to enjoy. There are a few patches where not quite enough is going on, but the tone is right and it looks and sounds great. I really like the soundtrack, actually.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:39 PM   #7
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Nobody better ever say The Rocketeer is a bad movie in my presence. I love that movie. And, yeah, I love the soundtrack too. One of my best friends played the young nazi who falls out of the zeppelin. His line to Timothy Dalton, "You -- Actor!!" was improvised.

For me, of those retro pulp/serial films of the early to mid 90s, The Rocketeer stands above the others. I love The Phantom and Dick Tracy and The Shadow (the lesser of the bunch). But The Rocketeer is the best. Shame they don't make those kinds of films these days. Maybe Captain America will be similar.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dig Site 1138
Montana, I have to ask: What movie was it you wanted to see?


It was Robin Hood, followed by City Slickers
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Horse
It was Robin Hood, followed by City Slickers

City Slickers is an awesome movie. I love the sequel as well!
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:52 PM   #10
Montana Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dig Site 1138
Montana, I have to ask: What movie was it you wanted to see?

I think it was Terminator 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Horse
It was Robin Hood, followed by City Slickers

It wouldn't have been City Slickers, as I could never stand Billy Crystal.

We 'd already seen Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves another time, and remember rushing out the cinema before "Everything I do..." could play. (It was like the exodus from a cinema back when they used to play the national anthem!)
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
It wouldn't have been City Slickers, as I could never stand Billy Crystal.

What you just typed will forever blemish my view of your character!
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:22 PM   #12
Montana Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Jared
Nobody better ever say The Rocketeer is a bad movie in my presence. I love that movie. And, yeah, I love the soundtrack too. One of my best friends played the young nazi who falls out of the zeppelin. His line to Timothy Dalton, "You -- Actor!!" was improvised.

I didn't "get it" at the time. My mates were saying, "But it's based on a graphic novel..." Though it just felt really silly back then, and being a second choice movie I was compelled to sit though it.

Since then I've been into pulp beyond Indy, so, as I said it deserves another appraisal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Jared
For me, of those retro pulp/serial films of the early to mid 90s, The Rocketeer stands above the others. I love The Phantom and Dick Tracy and The Shadow (the lesser of the bunch). But The Rocketeer is the best. Shame they don't make those kinds of films these days. Maybe Captain America will be similar.

The Phantom
was my favourite of that bunch, and also the old Captain America movie.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonsome Drifter
What you just typed will forever blemish my view of your character!

Ha!

I've never watched a Billy Crystal movie. A trailer with Billy Crystal in it is bad enough!
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:11 AM   #13
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The Rocketeer is a movie I want Disney to revisit, and turn into a franchise. One of my favourite Disney movies. And Jennifer Connelly looked awesome in this, not like the swizzle stick she looks like now.

I'm hoping with TRON Legacy coming out, and the suits at Disney see its success, I hope they revisit some of their older great movies in their library - like Black Hole!
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dig Site 1138
Personally, I really like "The Rocketeer". Admittedly, it's a little slow getting started. But come on, it's got a guy with a rocket pack, a cool art deco helmet, dames in distress, Nazi spies, gangsters, a nod to Rondo Hatton and Errol Flynn conspiracy theories, and even a big, honkin' zeppelin!!

What's not to love??
I love this movie and I want to buy it someday.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:25 PM   #15
Lance Quazar
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While the movie looks great on paper*, the execution is just a bit flat.

The pacing is pretty slack and, unfortunately, though I think Bill Campbell is a decent actor, he really just didn't bring much presence or charisma to the role. It was a pretty flat performance.

The tone of the movie is so featherweight that it's impossible to really take any of it seriously. Even light-hearted adventure fare needs to have a whiff of gravitas to it, or why bother?

I like so many things about the movie - the period setting, the story, many of the supporting characters. But it's too soft to really engage us.

I really enjoyed Roger Ebert's take -

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" used the old adventure serials as an inspiration. This movie uses them as a model."

Well-put.

*recently, I have gotten into the Rocketeer comic books, which are delightful. And definitely edgier than the watered-down, Disneyfied film.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Quazar
While the movie looks great on paper*, the execution is just a bit flat.

The pacing is pretty slack and, unfortunately, though I think Bill Campbell is a decent actor, he really just didn't bring much presence or charisma to the role. It was a pretty flat performance.

The tone of the movie is so featherweight that it's impossible to really take any of it seriously. Even light-hearted adventure fare needs to have a whiff of gravitas to it, or why bother?

That would explain why I remember being bored first time round.

Whether the subject is fantastical or not, if it's featherweight it holds little interest. There has to be something in a movie beyond a visual spectacle, meaning characterization to lend an air of purpose. That would be where the Indy movies stand out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Quazar
I like so many things about the movie - the period setting, the story, many of the supporting characters. But it's too soft to really engage us.

There are some movies that have a cool premise and cool visuals, but you just want to shake some life into them. That was my initial Rocketeer experience. I just wanted the movie to be over quickly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Quazar
*recently, I have gotten into the Rocketeer comic books, which are delightful. And definitely edgier than the watered-down, Disneyfied film.

For anyone into 28mm miniatures, Bob Murch of the Canadian "Pulp Figures" company made a selection inspired by the Rocketeer.

http://www.pulpfigures.com/cat.php?r...42261290667767







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Old 11-25-2010, 10:35 AM   #17
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Montana Smith, I would seriously urge you to revisit The Rocketeer. I think you'll love it. As to it being featherweight, you'll have to point out to me how The Phantom is not featherweight.

Lance, I too agree with the Ebert quote. But I don't see how it's a criticism. I haven't read his review, just the quote you offer. Maybe in context it is a criticism, but I'd call that a description. The Rocketeer is more true to the spirit of old serials, is very lightweight compared to Raiders of the Lost Ark. I think Joe Johnston, who did a lot of work on the Indy films, and directed The Rocketeer, intended for it to be just that. Why does every adventure movie that comes out have to be exactly like Raiders of the Lost Ark? Now, you can fairly say, "As a matter of taste, I prefer an adventure film with some seriousness in the concept." Fine. But there must only be a handful of adventure films you really like, if that's the case. Right?

IMO, Joe Johnston is possibly the most under-appreciated director in Hollywood. The Rocketeer is a classic. Hidalgo is terrific fun, as is The Wolfman.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Stephen Jared
Montana Smith, I would seriously urge you to revisit The Rocketeer. I think you'll love it. As to it being featherweight, you'll have to point out to me how The Phantom is not featherweight.

The Phantom had a long comic book heritage, going back to the genuine '30s pulp era, which lends background weight. The Rocketeer was just trying to have too much fun, to the point where none of it mattered, and it was no longer even fun.

The Rocketeer, like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, just failed to engage. Unlike some movies which have instant appeal, or visuals and actors that stick in the memory positively. The Rocketeer had at least one thing over Sky Captain, it wasn't submerged in that grimy brown retro look!

If the DVD crosses my path I'll pick it up to re-evaluate the movie, but it's not something I'd go out of my way to do. Which is exactly my intention with Avatar. Some films just appeal or grab you, and some just don't.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:26 AM   #19
Montana Smith
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Just saw this. Bettie Page as a Rocketeer:

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Old 02-08-2011, 04:41 AM   #20
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Classic homage. If Captain America is anything like this, then were in for some good old fashion WWII fun!
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:05 AM   #21
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Classic homage. If Captain America is anything like this, then were in for some good old fashion WWII fun!

Agreed. It's like classic nose art from a wartime aircraft.

As long as Captain America doesn't wear the suspenders. Though, if he did, he might put the Germans off their guard long enough to bring about a swift victory!
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:28 PM   #22
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I have fond memories of seeing this in the cinema when it came out. I got it on DVD recently and I think it's aged well, I still enjoyed it. It's easy going fun. Jennifer connolly is still gorgeous in it, Timothy dalton does a very slimy turn as the villain and I loved the rondo hatton styled henchman.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:44 PM   #23
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Hovitos Warrior From 1991 Jeffery Katzenberg's response to my Rocketeer criticisms

I had such high hopes for this film. Loved Dave Stevens art and books. And I wanted it to be the next Raiders series. But I sat in that movie - it wad sneak preview in a Sunday evening. And no one ever applauded at any if the hero scenes. The biggest killer was when the rocketeer runs up the stairs with the US flag behind him and heads off to get the girl and stop the Nazi zeppelin. Crickets. Crickets.

It fell flat. Plus most folks heard the name Disney and thought lame kids movies. This was early 90s and they were making a comeback with animated films but folks I knew heard superhero Disney and thought Condorman.

So I wrote to Disney and said they screwed up a great potential franchise. What I got back cane from Jeffery Katzenberg himself! Read on..., wonder if GL responds to crystal skull hate mail?




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Old 02-27-2011, 12:31 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Drifter
City Slickers is an awesome movie. I love the sequel as well!

Legend of Curlys gold was legendary
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:07 PM   #25
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Why do so many people hate The Rocketeer?

Mitchell states the same thing Montana does: it's not Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Is it possible that Raiders of the Lost Ark was so good that it ruined the adventure movie genre? If the lead isn't as compelling as Indy, we're disappointed. If the action isn't as riveting ...

I'm talking about old fashioned adventure, not video game-inspired things like Prince of Persia.

On one hand, if you don't like it, you don't like it. I don't want to suggest anyone force themselves to like something. But I wish every adventure didn't have to compare to Raiders. If you love westerns, do you not want to see a lot of westerns? Or do you decide The Searchers is the best; I'll just watch that over and over and over for the rest of my life. This is not in any way a criticism of anyone. I'm just lamenting the fact that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull can't be compared to many similar movies made in the last ten years. For me, there aren't enough Rocketeers or Crystal Skulls. They used to be common. If you were around in the late 30s, 40s, or 50s, (maybe even the 80s), you could see a number of adventures each year and each of those releases had the advantage of an audience that couldn't point to a DVD of an earlier film sitting in their bookcase and saying, "That one's better."

Additionally, each film should be judged based on what it set out to achieve. I don't think The Rocketeer actually intended to be Raiders of the Lost Ark. Did it want to capture some of the same 30s adventure serial spirit? Yes, and it did, I think.

Sky Captain failed, IMO, because it only loved the look of old fashioned adventure. Any heart-filled, adrenaline-pumping sentiment was stomped on with corny jokes. The filmmakers seemed like they were embarrassed by romance and heroism. God forbid, they should be revealed to be geeks! But that's where I critique it, I think fairly. It would be unfair of me to say, not as good as Raiders.

@Mitchell, I can't believe JK wrote you back. That's amazing. It's also cool that you cared enough to send him a letter. I disagree on the Disney logo though: I think it should have informed audiences to expect lighter fare than Raiders. Can you imagine -- Walt Disney Presents Raiders of the Lost Ark? No. Therefore, people should have known to expect something different, something with a lot more levity.
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