Thursday, November 17, 2016

Now That Everybody Loves Comic Book Movies, Let’s Watch The Rocketeer

The Future, as envisioned in the ‘50s, was supposed to have jet packs and flying cars and The Rocketeer (1991) exists in an alternative 1938 Los Angeles where we were actually heading in that direction.  From the 1982 graphic novel series by Dave Stevens, The Rocketeer features Billy Campbell, who you may remember as The Outrageous Okona from Star Trek the Next Generation, as Cliff Secord, dashing All-American stunt pilot/flyboy by day and Nazi spy fighting jet pack wearing crime fighter by night. 
Alan Arkin, who made such an impression as the evil bad guy terrorizing Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark (1967) returns in a kinder, gentler role as the paternal mechanic (superheroes always need a father figure) who designs the iconic helmet for Cliff.  In a nice touch, the jet pack itself was designed by Howard Hughes as portrayed by Terry O’Quinn, who would go on to play John Locke from Lost.  Jennifer Connelly, who made her big screen debut as a child actor in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America (1984) also stars as Jenny Blake, Hollywood ingénue and Cliff’s sweetheart (it’s 1938), and Timothy Dalton is featured as Neville Sinclair, Errol Flynn-inspired matinee idol and secret Nazi spy, swashing his buckles in the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Ennis House.
The Rocketeer is a Disney movie, which means at its heart it will be sentimental and nostalgic but the viewer can also expect those signature impressively high production values as they create an all-inclusive world with vintage cars, airplanes, costumes and interior designs.  This also includes a stellar supporting cast for the snappy hard-boiled 30’s dialogue, including veteran character actor Ed Lauter, with an IMDb page with over 200 credits as Special Agent Fitch, William Sanderson, JF Sebastian in Blade Runner (1982) and Sherriff Dearborne in True Blood as one of the airplane cronies hanging out at Hollywood landmark Bull Dog Café, Jon Polito from Highlander (1986), The Big Lebowski (1988), Miller’s Crossing (1990) and The Crow (1994) as Otis Bigelow, and Paul Sorvino as Eddie Valentine, a gangster.  Max Grodénchik, Rom from Star Trek DS-9 is featured as Wilmer, a small time hood who steals the jet pack, hides it in Cliff’s plane and sets the plot in motion, while Tiny Ron, Maihar’du from DS9 stars as Lothar, giant bodyguard to Neville Sinclair.
Director Joe Johnston, who got his start as an effects artist on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), before going on to direct Jumanji (1995), The Wolfman https://goo.gl/h1lDK3 (2010) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).  If you want to see a sentimental portrait of Hollywood in the ‘30’s with jet packs and Nazi sword fights (and who wouldn’t), this is the movie for you.



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).