Blu-Ray Review: The Rocketeer

rocketeer bd art 816x1024 Blu Ray Review: The Rocketeer

I was severely disappointed with The Rocketeer when it first came out in 1991.  The previews looked great but when I watched it on the big screen, it was flat.  There was no excitement to the story and I expected more cool scenes from it.  I figured I would give it another chance since I liked Captain America (same director, Joe Johnston), 20 years later…damn I’m old. For the most part, I still feel the same way about the movie.

Set in the 1930’s where aviation is taking off, The Rocketeer is about a down on his luck pilot that accidentally recovers a top secret jetpack.  There’s espionage and a unique villain, a Hollywood actor.  He’s trying to recover the jetpack and give it back to Germany.  The movie has the right pieces to make it Indiana Jones-esque but somehow it just doesn’t click.  The movie is supposed to be intentionally cheesy but I think the filmmakers were just lazy.  There were plenty of scenes that was just “coincidences” and they probably thought they can get away with it because it’s over the top.

The special effects is decent and the movie is really exciting when The Rocketeer is flying around, stopping bad guys and rescuing damsels in distress.  Aviation pioneer, Howard Hughes, was the most interesting character in the movie.  He was funny and arrogant.

The movie is watchable but I can see why it the movie flopped at the box office.  Lots of great ideas but mediocre execution.

Grade: C+

The high def transfer is presented in 2:35:1 ratio.  The movie is fairly old and transfer is okay.  There’s plenty of edge enhancements and the unintentional grain is obvious, even during the bright day scenes.  The transfer is still better than the DVD version because of the natural colors and great details that can be seen because of the high resolution.
Grade: B

For a 20 year old movie, this is pretty damn awesome track.  The rears are frequently used, especially during the action scenes.  This is a very active track so even though the main characters are just talking, you always hear cars honking or other characters talking in the back.  I was impressed.
Grade: A

Even though the package says “20th Anniversary Edtion” it has no extras at all.  I was confused.
Grade: F

Rocketeer is a movie that has some great scenes but the plotting of the movie makes it feel uneven.  The movie’s 1930 setting adds grandeur and adventure to the movie.  The video transfer is decent but the audio track is great, sadly there are no extras.
Overall grade: B- (not an average)

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