"That son of a bitch WILL fly!"
June 27, 2011 3:24 PM   Subscribe

The Rocketeer: [SLVimeo] Homage To Dave Stevens - "The Rocketeer 20th Anniversary" fan-film by John Banana.
posted by Fizz (28 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Saw this the other day, it's kind of neat. I'd like to see Pixar do a Rocketeer movie.
posted by marxchivist at 3:25 PM on June 27, 2011

Honestly, how did this movie not explode and spawn sequels and merchandising and spinoffs and make everyone involved a superstar? I've been pissed off over that for twenty years now.
posted by Etrigan at 3:31 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

It came out the same week as Terminator 2.
posted by marxchivist at 3:33 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Needs more Jennifer Connolly.
posted by crunchland at 3:39 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Needs more Jennifer Connolly.

At least this way she'd be less wooden and more animated. *ba dum tshh!
posted by Fizz at 3:41 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

I really love The Rocketeer. Although he's been hit or miss since then, I was thrilled to discover that Joe Johnston is the director of the new Captain America. He's a perfect fit.
posted by brundlefly at 3:44 PM on June 27, 2011

It was a fun film, but a weird one to think of as an extended franchise. What would happen next? It would be fun to have a modern-day serial, but I think the budget would be prohibitive (and it was, when paired with box office ratings/returns).
posted by filthy light thief at 3:45 PM on June 27, 2011

Rocketeer is a great film - I love the Peter Travers quote in the Wikipedia article: ""the kind that charms us, rather than bullying us, into suspending disbelief."
posted by Paragon at 3:50 PM on June 27, 2011

I loved that movie. I still remember how he manages to kill off the bad guy, brilliant ending.

Also, it kinda lobbied for sharing: give a gift to your frenemy down the block, kiddies, and have it explode in their face.
posted by Slackermagee at 3:52 PM on June 27, 2011

I was about 10 when I saw The Rocketeer at the cinema, and I haven't seen it since. But I still remember that wonderful opening sequence, where the darkness splits in two and you realise it's the big hangar doors opening.
posted by hnnrs at 4:00 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Rocketeer is not on Netflix instant, Amazon, or iTunes.

posted by device55 at 4:10 PM on June 27, 2011

Joe Johnston, director of The Rocketeer, has a new movie out next month that hits the same sort of themes, only in a much more familiar property.

Being the owner of the sole DVD release of The Rocketeer (a crappy transfer with a widescreen image inside a 4:3 box - black borders all around), I have high hopes.
posted by linux at 4:15 PM on June 27, 2011

I actually bought the soundtrack when it first came out. That's how much I loved this movie.

It was as close as Hollywood would ever get to another Raiders of the Lost Ark, but nobody cared. I must have watched that movie a dozen times in the theater.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:46 PM on June 27, 2011

I adored The Rocketeer, and never understood why it never managed to bridge the gap between modest interest and giant success. I think I saw it 3 or 4 times opening week, and it was gone from theaters pretty soon after that, which was rare back in those days.

But then, there was a huge run of movies which should have been really huge box office successes that never did anything. Labyrinth, Brazil, Blade Runner, The Dark Crystal, Tron... I know there are more... Astounding how so many of the most influential films in the past 25 years actually didn't go anywhere on first release.

Now I'll have to seek out The Rocketeer and watch it again. It has one of Alan Arkin's most charming performances!
posted by hippybear at 4:55 PM on June 27, 2011

Etrigan, while I don't wish to over-romanticise the film, I think that The Rocketeer was made in a way that evoked charm, hope, and nostalgia, needed at least a hint of the same from its audience... and failed to find it. As marxivist said, it came out the same week as Terminator 2: a movie that was apocalyptical, mistrusting, calculating, and quite literally soulless.

It's one of the reasons I think it was a great call to make this fan-film as an animation: Pixar is one of the few studios that could make films like The Rocketeer in the present day.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:59 PM on June 27, 2011

I had a Rocketeer lunchbox when I was a kid.
posted by obvious at 5:03 PM on June 27, 2011

Civil_Disobedient: "I actually bought the soundtrack when it first came out. That's how much I loved this movie."

What a great score, too. I often catch myself humming the theme while I work.

(Also, I loved Terry O'Quinn as Howard Hughes. "The son of a bitch will fly...")
posted by brundlefly at 5:04 PM on June 27, 2011

I adore The Rocketeer (and desperately want to see it released in HD) but don't you dare diss Terminator 2! It doesn't have to be either/or. Both were some really fantastic popcorn cinema. Maybe T2 cleaned up at the box office but let's not be bitter about that; the movie deserved every dollar it pulled in. And no, it wasn't remotely soulless (Schwarzenegger's character may have been, but Sarah Connor and Miles Dyson more than made up for that).
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 5:05 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

There are many people around my age who will laughingly tell how the sight of David Bowie's bulges in LABYRINTH acted like a thump on the ptuitary, and how they went into the film wide-eyed innocents and came out with raging cases of puberty.

I believe there is another, though significantly smaller, group of people who had similar experiences watching Jennifer Connelly in THE ROCKETEER slowly pull on a set of stockings while the camera lecherously panned across her reclining form.

Note there is one common factor here. For a brief period of time twenty years ago, for people at just the right age, Jennifer Connelly really was The Harbinger of Adolescence (Directly or Indirectly.)

The film is also just a lot of fun. However, Disney banked too much on it just as they'd banked too much on Dick Tracy the year before and considered it an embarrassment when it didn't live up to their supermegablockbuster expectations, especially in the wake of Terminator 2. This is a shame, because the film as a period piece is amazingly well done. It just looks right and sounds right. But it didn't have an amazing liquid metal morphing robot dude to make 'em a billion bucks. (Guess that was an oversight.)
posted by Spatch at 5:06 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Rocketeer is one of my absolute favorite comics and one of my favorite movies. I've probably watched it 50 times or more, as my young son insisted we play it all the time years ago. I still pop it in once a year or so and love it even more. The one thing that struck me about the movie is that there is very light profanity and no nudity or leering innuendo. It's a great, action-packed story of a guy just trying to make ends meet having this extraordinary technology drop in his lap... and to keep it out of the wrong hands he rises to the challenge to become a hero. Just plain great. Nice to see it still inspires.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:18 PM on June 27, 2011

However, Disney banked too much on it just as they'd banked too much on Dick Tracy the year before and considered it an embarrassment when it didn't live up to their supermegablockbuster expectations

They'd done that a lot back then. Tron, The Black Hole and The Watcher In The Woods also were supposed to be market-shaking forays into before-then unknown territory for Disney, and they also kind of fell over and died at the box office.

But yeah, as far as this pool of might-have-been movies goes, The Rocketeer was the one which actually fulfilled its vision. There's just too much wrong with all the others. (Well, except for Tron, which is nearly perfect, but nobody else seems to realize it. Damn all you wrong people!)
posted by hippybear at 5:20 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I worked at a dollar cinema when this movie was released. It made it to our theater before T2 did. I watched it several times while it was there. I really did like this movie- the style, the setting, the story, everything. Just a great time and a great movie. I bought the book and raced through it a few times.

Ah, memories. I should find this DVD and own it.
posted by Nadie_AZ at 6:10 PM on June 27, 2011

The film just warn't good enuf.

6.2 on imdb.

I loved the poster for the movie though. So 1930s.
posted by storybored at 6:14 PM on June 27, 2011

The first scenes of him testing out the jetpack are just perfect. Such a joy to watch. Damn it, I still want a jetpack!
posted by silkyd at 8:50 PM on June 27, 2011

Wonderful movie; out of time, really. It was too upbeat and not grim and gritty enough for the time it was made.
posted by rodgerd at 12:14 AM on June 28, 2011

I loved the Rocketeer as a ten-year-old! I saw it in the dollar theaters several times as a kid and scanned the TV guide for showings of it on network television so I could plant myself in front of it. I always desperately wanted toys and just settled with Bee Gee plane models that I built myself.

Related: IDW is putting out a Rocketeer Adventures anthology comic this summer! It's four issues (first one was May 18, second was June 15) and they've gotten a ton of FANTASTIC comics people to contribute! (Seriously: Alex Ross, Mike Allred, Kurt Busiek, Mike Mignola, John Cassaday, Mark Waid, Darwyn Cooke, Geoff Darrow)
posted by sleeping bear at 1:25 AM on June 28, 2011

Dave Stevens took the best of the pulps and mixed them with his own artistic vision to create something special. Stevens also loved Bettie Page and helped bring a renaissance in her work back with his loving rendition of her. He didn't skimp on the details-the planes, the cars, everything-felt right. And a great, slam-bang story that worked.

I'm hoping that wherever he is, he's enjoying himself.
posted by Not The Stig at 4:32 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite movies ever. The art deco streamlined swashbuckling 30s adventure-ness of it is all so fun, and Jennifer Connelly has never looked better.

There was a 20th Anniversary showing at the El Capitan theater last week. I lust after some of the new posters they created, but unfortunately you had to be present (and I couldn't afford them anyway). Alas.
posted by Fleebnork at 10:19 AM on June 28, 2011

« Older Funk Junction: the sounds of Aaron Funk as...   |   Butter cow sculptor, Norma Lyon, passes away at 81 Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments