The Rocketeer is now available on Blu-ray. Based on a comic book series by the late Dave Stevens, the film tells the story of a young pilot who gets ahold of a top secret jet pack and uses it to fight Nazi‘s and rescue Jennifer Connelly. So basically a mixture of every dream I had at age 12.
The film is directed by Joe Johnston, better known for last summer’s Captain America: The First Avenger. That film’s success probably had more to do with this Blu-ray release than the “20th Anniversary” milestone quoted on the cover. But however it happened, it’s nice to finally get The Rocketeer in high definition.
How does it look? Good, if not great. Certainly the picture is miles above the previous DVD release, but it is still a bit washed out compared to other Blu-ray transfers from the early 90’s. But the sound is excellent; as good as I’ve ever heard the film.
The only real disappointment with this release is that it contains the film, a trailer, and nothing else. I know The Rocketeer wasn’t a huge hit for Disney, but certainly they could have sweetened the package a bit for the die hard fans. Any behind the scenes clips or deleted scenes would have helped make it a better value than the previous DVD, which also featured zero special features. To call it the “20th Anniversary” edition and feature just the trailer is kind of a cruel tease.
Still, how does the film hold up after all these years? It’s still slightly corny, but a lot of fun. By making the movie an earnest slice of pre-WW II nostalgia, Johnston gave it a timeless feel, respectful of it’s comic book roots and engaging to audiences of any age. Hopefully, this release will help expand The Rocketeer’s devoted fan base, and by the time the 30th Anniversary rolls around, we’ll get some extras we can celebrate. The Rocketeer is available in stores now, with a SRP of $26.50.