Blu-ray Review: The Rocketeer 20th Anniversary

The Rocketeer Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Disney | DIRECTOR: Joe Johnston | CAST: Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino, Ed Lauter
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 12/13/2011 | PRICE: Blu-ray $26.50
BONUSES: trailer
SPECS: PG | 109 min. | Adventure | 2.35:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

The RocketeerBefore director Joe Johnston made the adventure film Captain America: The First Avenger, about a normal guy who becomes a superhero against the Nazis, Johnston made another movie about a normal guy who becomes a superhero against the Nazis, and in that film, the hero could fly. Yep, 1991’s The Rocketeer, based on the graphic novel by Dave Stevens.

The Rocketeer stars Billy Campbell (Ghost Town) as Cliff, a pilot who finds a prototype jetpack and becomes a flying masked hero. But movie star Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton, The Tourist) also wants to get his hands on the jetpack and uses Campbell’s girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly, The Dilemma) as leverage. Before he knows it, the Rocketeer is fighting Nazis and trying to save the girl, not to mention the day.

Despite the question of why Cliff’s legs don’t burn when he’s flying with the flaming jetpack, the movie is a fun period piece with 1930s styling, lots of adventure and a stunning Connelly who looks as beautiful as ever. The Rocketeer isn’t a perfect film — it definitely has its share of corn — but it’s a squeaky clean family film that’s not a bad way for to spend a couple hours.

The 20th Anniversary Blu-ray offers a really nice high-definition rendering of the movie. Connelly’s red lips pop off the screen, and the art-deco sets make you want to step inside. While the sound won’t blow away viewers, it’s fine, with decent separation and clear dialog.

The downside of the disc is the special features menu, which offers just the film’s trailer. For a 20th Anniversary release, we expect more, but the original DVD didn’t have anything extra either.


Buy or Rent The Rocketeer 20th Anniversary
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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.