Rocketeer Blu-ray Review

Studio and Year: Disney – 1991
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Genre: Sci-fi/Adventure
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French
Starring: Billy Campbell, Alan Arkin, Jennifer Connelly, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino, Ed Lauter, Terry O’Quinn, James Handy, Jon Polito, Margo Martindale
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Music by: James Horner
Written by: Danny Bilson & Paul De Meo
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 13, 2011

Film Synopsis (courtesy of imdb):

The discovery of a top-secret jetpack hurls test pilot Cliff Secord into a daring adventure of mystery, suspense and intrigue! Cliff encounters as assortment of ruthless villains, led by a Hollywood screen star who’s a secret Nazi spy (Timothy Dalton). With the help of his actress girlfriend, the young pilot battles enormous odds to defeat his foes, who are anxious to use the device in an evil plan to rule the world! The dangerous misson transforms the ordinary young man into an extraordinary hero!

My Take:

The Rocketeer is a period superhero film that combines action, adventure and romance via a 1930’s style narrative taken right from the pages of writer/artist Dave Stevens’ comic.  After a very long wait since the LaserDisc era, finally Disney released this movie properly in all its glory (the DVD was a botched release).

I saw The Rocketeer in the theater back in the day and bought the LaserDisc immediately when it was released more almost two decades ago. The Rocketeer is fun, wholesome family entertainment which serves as an homage to film serials of a bygone era.

This Blu-ray presentation is filled with solid video transfer considering the age of the movie.  In context I’m inclined to give 10/10 for video but in relation to other releases, especially new releases, I can only give an very solid 8 out of 10.  The audio track is the element that truly steals the show.  After experiencing only two-channel PCM Dolby Surround on the LaserDisc, the DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio sound really impressive in theatre room. Dialogue is very clear with some harshness of the LaserDisc Dolby Surround mix have been tamed without the need of global THX re-EQ post processing.

Also considering the $20 MSRP price, it is truly a must for any fan of a movie that showcases the era Rocketeer is portraying.

Equipment used for this review:

Anthem MRX-700 Receiver
DSpeaker Antimode 8033s Subwoofer Room EQ
Grandviewscreen 96” 21:9 matte-white 1.0-gain screen
PSB Century 300i (front and surround speakers)
PSB Image C5 (centre speaker)
PSB Subseries 300 (subwoofer)
Panasonic PT-AE7000U projector
Panasonic BDT-310 BD player
Ultralink Ambiance MKII speaker wires
Viewing room is as per THX and SMPTE recommendation with 45-degree Field of View

Audio: 9/10
Video: 8/10
Storyline: 8/10

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