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Episode #108: The Rocketeer

Listen to Episode 108 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.

SUMMARY - In The Rocketeer, aspiring pilot Cliff (played by Billy Campbell) has his plane shot down in a crossfire between the FBI and mobsters who have stolen a rocket that has national security implications. Before being arrested, the robber hides the rocket at the airfield where Cliff later finds it and plans to use it to make back the money he lost from the plane crash. But, the FBI, the mob and a famous actor are all after that secret rocket.

Screenplay by Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo; Directed by Joe Johnston; and released on June 21, 1991.


The movie starts out strong with great camera work with the planes

And you have explosions, chases, etc.

But most of the movie is exposition and various people running around talking to, or threatening, other people.

There was a surprising lack of rocket usage. When the blue screen effect is a bit blah, that sort of makes sense.

The character of Lothar was a very strange choice. Creating this "super villain" thing in an otherwise grounded world.

We have a charismatic lead and a creepy main villain but the amount of action left a lot to be desired

It does start to pick up near the end, but that comes with a series of plot holes or unplanned coincidences.

It's hard to make a superhero movie, when the main character isn't actually a superhero. But the beginning and ending were strong. Too bad the middle dragged.

Awards Talk: At the Saturn Horror/Sci-Fi Awards, it won Best Costumes (Marilyn Vance) and was nominated for Special Effects (Ken Ralston), Supporting Actress (Connelly), and Sci-Fi Film. It was also part of the MTV Movie Awards quotes montage.


This week we don't have any true crime to talk about so we're talking about all the pop culture items surrounding the movie.

We talk a little about the potential reboot that may still happen at some point.

As you may know, the movie is based on a comic

And in 2019, there was a Rocketeer cartoon semi-sequel.

Surrounding this film, there were a couple action figures and a Topps card set -,sc,i100,=rocketeer

And a couple of video game adaptations.


Nikki 1-5 star scale - 2 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 1 1/2 out of 4

Would you watch it again? - The movie doesn't really have any major flaws but it didn't connect with either of us very strongly and we were bored throughout most of the middle chunk. There are already a few different 1991 Disney-made movies we've covered so far that we would much rather see again before going back to this adventure.

If you want to watch The Rocketeer, as of this recording in April 2023, it’s available on Disney +, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.


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Join us next time for Dogfight available on Kanopy, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD


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