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 Posted:   Jun 7, 2021 - 1:54 PM   
 By:   JSDouglas   (Member)

Thanks! I'm surprised myself how it turned out. I really thought the theme wouldn't hold up at all but it did better than I thought.

I'm still not totally convinced because Page's theme is so cheery and major-mode focused and doesn't have that wistful yearning of Horner's stuff which I think is probably still a better fit for the film. The slow harp gets it a little ways there, but it can only do so much before you have to change the melody (or add stuff like the Horn intro).

What I should really do is find a clip of the film and try putting this music against it to see how it plays.

If you're thinking of THIS from Heavy Metal, the first 30 seconds do sound reminiscent and actually would be perfect for one of the scenes in THE ROCKETEER where you've got the danger drama of the stunt plane going down and The Rocketeer saves them at the last minute:



That horn fanfare sounds like something out of Zelda - short, quick, and heroic!!!


I was thinking of the theme beginning at 2:09 actually - but your not wrong about the other. That HEAVY METAL score is a damn fine piece of work - I must go and dig out my copy!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 7, 2021 - 3:09 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

I was thinking of the theme beginning at 2:09 actually - but your not wrong about the other. That HEAVY METAL score is a damn fine piece of work - I must go and dig out my copy!

Ah yes, that definitely has the sound of an adventure serial. Such a good score for what was a weird movie!

I added the adapted piece to The Rocketeer - I couldn't really find any suitable intimate moments except the ending. I haven't seen the movie in a while but I'm reminded how great of an actor Alan Arkin is:



Works fairly well - if it was actually scored to picture the timing would have to change, but as-is it's ok.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 7, 2021 - 5:44 PM   
 By:   JSDouglas   (Member)

I was thinking of the theme beginning at 2:09 actually - but your not wrong about the other. That HEAVY METAL score is a damn fine piece of work - I must go and dig out my copy!

Ah yes, that definitely has the sound of an adventure serial. Such a good score for what was a weird movie!

I added the adapted piece to The Rocketeer - I couldn't really find any suitable intimate moments except the ending. I haven't seen the movie in a while but I'm reminded how great of an actor Alan Arkin is:



Works fairly well - if it was actually scored to picture the timing would have to change, but as-is it's ok.


VERY suitable. There should be a transition to an end credits reprise of the heroic setting to send the audience out smiling (and looking for the soundtrack album). wink

One should never underrate Alan Arkin - he is, indeed, a force to be reckoned with - even in a supporting turn as in THE ROCKETEER.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 8, 2021 - 2:16 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

I was thinking of the theme beginning at 2:09 actually - but your not wrong about the other. That HEAVY METAL score is a damn fine piece of work - I must go and dig out my copy!

Ah yes, that definitely has the sound of an adventure serial. Such a good score for what was a weird movie!

I added the adapted piece to The Rocketeer - I couldn't really find any suitable intimate moments except the ending. I haven't seen the movie in a while but I'm reminded how great of an actor Alan Arkin is:



Works fairly well - if it was actually scored to picture the timing would have to change, but as-is it's ok.


VERY suitable. There should be a transition to an end credits reprise of the heroic setting to send the audience out smiling (and looking for the soundtrack album). wink

One should never underrate Alan Arkin - he is, indeed, a force to be reckoned with - even in a supporting turn as in THE ROCKETEER.


Yes! There should be a whole reprise of "Wings of a Hero" - thought Horner does exactly what you're describing with the Wrath Of Khan-esque swell up into full action mode.

I watched "Edward Scissorhands" again and Alan Arkin is great in that too. Small role but very effective! He's great.

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2021 - 6:48 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

One should never underrate Alan Arkin - he is, indeed, a force to be reckoned with - even in a supporting turn as in THE ROCKETEER.

The best line in the movie for me: "Flora Maxwell. There wasn't any point dating nobody after her."

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2021 - 8:19 AM   
 By:   other tallguy   (Member)

One should never underrate Alan Arkin - he is, indeed, a force to be reckoned with - even in a supporting turn as in THE ROCKETEER.

The best line in the movie for me: "Flora Maxwell. There wasn't any point dating nobody after her."


He's got a lot of good little lines. "Are your eyeballs PAINTED on?!?"

"That's just basic aviation, Howard."

As for end credits? Believe me, Horner sent me out smiling. "Rocketeeeeeeer to the rescue!" I played that original CD over and over and over that summer.

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2021 - 8:56 AM   
 By:   GOLDSMITHDAKING   (Member)

One should never underrate Alan Arkin - he is, indeed, a force to be reckoned with - even in a supporting turn as in THE ROCKETEER.

The best line in the movie for me: "Flora Maxwell. There wasn't any point dating nobody after her."


He's got a lot of good little lines. "Are your eyeballs PAINTED on?!?"

"That's just basic aviation, Howard."

As for end credits? Believe me, Horner sent me out smiling. "Rocketeeeeeeer to the rescue!" I played that original CD over and over and over that summer.


Yep.The way Horner did it sent me out smiling big time!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2021 - 9:19 AM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

One should never underrate Alan Arkin - he is, indeed, a force to be reckoned with - even in a supporting turn as in THE ROCKETEER.

The best line in the movie for me: "Flora Maxwell. There wasn't any point dating nobody after her."


He's got a lot of good little lines. "Are your eyeballs PAINTED on?!?"

"That's just basic aviation, Howard."

As for end credits? Believe me, Horner sent me out smiling. "Rocketeeeeeeer to the rescue!" I played that original CD over and over and over that summer.


When I was trying to find an edit point to add my music I kept hearing that "Rocketeeeeeer to the rescue" and I started to realize it sounded like Andy from Toy Story! I wouldn't be surprised if the same actor did the ADR for that.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 12:38 AM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

Thanks for the conversation JSDouglas, I really appreciate the back and forth as we explored the music choices for the film.

Just watched the film again all the way through and it's really great quality. I can't believe Disney made it, but then again it's early-90's Disney, which was a totally different beast, AND under the helm of a former-ILMer with ILM themselves doing the effects.

The cast is great, the humor is really spot-on and self-reflexive, the period-stylings are very subtle, and the gum as a Chekhov's gun is also very consistent, well-established, and not overly-emphasized. The music fits really well and when it comes down to it, the "Wings of a Hero"-style heroism wouldn't have even matched what the movie is about at all (worked great for the TV spot, that's it).

I was pleasantly surprised by how much of the character's arc is NOT wanting to be a hero and regretting ever taking the rocket pack in the first place.

What I did find amusing was the four-note motif for Neville Sinclair / the Nazis - it's the exact same as the four-note Death Star motif in A New Hope. But I know Williams borrowed that progression from older films (wondering if anyone knows which one).

Anyway - quite enjoyable - and was it just me or does the film take place over the course of three days (Oct 14, 15, and 16 - 1938) with the vast majority of the action on DAY 2 (October 15th)? Like seriously, I think pretty much everything in the film from the airshow with the clown up to the Zeppelin finale is all in one day. And then there is a brief third day for the final scene before the credits.

October 15, 1938 was a seriously action-packed day.

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 12:49 AM   
 By:   EdG   (Member)

It does me good to hear so much affection for THE ROCKETEER. There were any number of terrific films released in 1991 and it seemed then that audiences were quick to move on from it in a crowded year.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 1:24 AM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

It does me good to hear so much affection for THE ROCKETEER. There were any number of terrific films released in 1991 and it seemed then that audiences were quick to move on from it in a crowded year.

Yeah the timing was rough for The Rocketeer - both Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and City Slickers came out a week before, then Terminator 2 came out a week-and-a-half after, and Disney followed up later in the year with Beauty and the Beast - and the rest of 1991 was filled out with films by all the major directors: Steven Spielberg with Hook, Oliver Stone with JFK, Jon Singleton with Boyz N The Hood, Jonathan Demme with Silence of the Lambs, etc.

It's crazy to look back and see how many awesome and original movies came out during that time period compared to now.

On the note of the violence though, my guess probably is the movie was confusing to market - it's almost too violent for younger kids, the movie is almost too light and pulpy for adults who might have found a better match in Robin Hood, T2, Boyz n the Hood - so that pretty much leaves it up to the teenage market who probably, once they started summer break, were just aching to sneak into T2.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun seeing it again since the first time many many years ago.

I think right now I appreciate it because there is literally nothing else like it. It's positive, it's earnest, but it's also really smart and holy cannoli there is a lot of violence in it for a Disney film.

Even the cinematography is great - like all the stuff with the airshow - and there are tons of shots that leverage great rack focus between a sign to a character to establish a new scene - basic, thoughtful stuff that I don't really see anymore. Even the opening title getting a "wipe" as the doors open is just a great example of the ridiculously high level of detail that went into this film in even the small things.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 6:27 AM   
 By:   Kevin Costigan   (Member)

It's crazy to look back and see how many awesome and original movies came out during that time period compared to now.


Ah, good memories.

I went to see The Rocketeer on opening day at the Embassy #1 theatre in Times Square, NYC and the theatre was virtually EMPTY. I didn't LOVE, Love it, but I enjoyed it. Looking back now it felt like a very quiet two weeks in which the film came out. I recall the Robin Hood hype in the weeks before and once T2/July came that was all the rage.

I think I got two showings in that year, once with my dad (who was old enough to remember WW2, so he was just as excited as I was) and another by myself. The sound mix was robust and one felt it through the theatre's 70MM six track system.

I got the soundtrack about a week or two before seeing the film (on cassette). God that coda for the End Credits still gives me the chills! I remember playing it for my dad on my Walkman and watched his reaction. I'll never forget how his arms went up in conductor motion. What a feeling we shared!

Years later I spoke with Max Grodénchik (who played Wilmer) at a Star Trek Convention. We got to talking about The Rocketeer briefly, how it should have, could have done better, if only the timing was better. If it were made by any other studio, it might have done better.

In the end I have fond memories of it and a somewhat bittersweet as it came and went during a very quiet season. Almost surreal how much I and my close friends at the time got taken in by the hype of T2. Then that quieted down, of course.

The following year I got a laserdisc player and revisted The Rocketeer in Letterbox. Not a perfect movie, but a beautiful one to look at and listen to. Guess I root for the underdog and my father's energy and anticipation at the time reeled me in. If anything, to me, it's more of a great bonding movie memory with my father and I guess I'll remember that till maybe one day I have kids or introduce it to a younger cousin. The film still looks really good by today's standards

Back to the score. I love it! Every. Single. Note!

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 6:35 AM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

Great post. I also saw it in a somewhat empty theatre opening week. I do remember the massive T2 hype. I still have some of the old cups and promo stuff. I think I lined up for three hours or so to be the first I’m line for T2 at my local theatre.

I got my laserdisc player around 93. Played the hell outta that thing.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 1:38 PM   
 By:   JSDouglas   (Member)

Thanks for the conversation JSDouglas, I really appreciate the back and forth as we explored the music choices for the film.

Just watched the film again all the way through and it's really great quality. I can't believe Disney made it, but then again it's early-90's Disney, which was a totally different beast, AND under the helm of a former-ILMer with ILM themselves doing the effects.

The cast is great, the humor is really spot-on and self-reflexive, the period-stylings are very subtle, and the gum as a Chekhov's gun is also very consistent, well-established, and not overly-emphasized. The music fits really well and when it comes down to it, the "Wings of a Hero"-style heroism wouldn't have even matched what the movie is about at all (worked great for the TV spot, that's it).

I was pleasantly surprised by how much of the character's arc is NOT wanting to be a hero and regretting ever taking the rocket pack in the first place.

What I did find amusing was the four-note motif for Neville Sinclair / the Nazis - it's the exact same as the four-note Death Star motif in A New Hope. But I know Williams borrowed that progression from older films (wondering if anyone knows which one).


Thank YOU Jurassic T. - I learned a lot from our little discussion. I'm happy to read that you gave the movie another turn. Director Joe Johnston really captured (with Horner's help) an elusive quality of a wonderful alternative 'pulp' adventure universe where fiction and reality collide and intermingle with nostalgia for a bygone era - which was part of the graphic novel's great strength.

Horner's affinity for big band music also found a wonderful outlet in this film. Horner does do a bit of his trademark borrowing, but it serves this film's embracing of earlier styles (somewhat as STAR WARS does). At any rate, anyone willing to meet the film halfway seems bound to enjoy it.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 1:56 PM   
 By:   JSDouglas   (Member)

It does me good to hear so much affection for THE ROCKETEER. There were any number of terrific films released in 1991 and it seemed then that audiences were quick to move on from it in a crowded year.

Yeah the timing was rough for The Rocketeer - both Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and City Slickers came out a week before, then Terminator 2 came out a week-and-a-half after, and Disney followed up later in the year with Beauty and the Beast - and the rest of 1991 was filled out with films by all the major directors: Steven Spielberg with Hook, Oliver Stone with JFK, Jon Singleton with Boyz N The Hood, Jonathan Demme with Silence of the Lambs, etc.

It's crazy to look back and see how many awesome and original movies came out during that time period compared to now.

On the note of the violence though, my guess probably is the movie was confusing to market - it's almost too violent for younger kids, the movie is almost too light and pulpy for adults who might have found a better match in Robin Hood, T2, Boyz n the Hood - so that pretty much leaves it up to the teenage market who probably, once they started summer break, were just aching to sneak into T2.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun seeing it again since the first time many many years ago.

I think right now I appreciate it because there is literally nothing else like it. It's positive, it's earnest, but it's also really smart and holy cannoli there is a lot of violence in it for a Disney film.

Even the cinematography is great - like all the stuff with the airshow - and there are tons of shots that leverage great rack focus between a sign to a character to establish a new scene - basic, thoughtful stuff that I don't really see anymore. Even the opening title getting a "wipe" as the doors open is just a great example of the ridiculously high level of detail that went into this film in even the small things.


THE ROCKETEER is always revealing little details like the slow camera truck forward as Secord races to the hanger to get the rocket pack during the airshow. That wonderful beat when the gangsters and the g-men realize they're teaming up. The violence seemed about equal to or maybe a little less than RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

Speaking of violence, after watching a sneak preview screening of THE ROCKETEER back in 1991, my friend an I took the opportunity on the same night to check out LA FEMME NIKITA which had just opened the previous week. Talk about a heavy gear-shift in tone - and music!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2021 - 5:34 AM   
 By:   MikeP   (Member)

For me the movie works due to the almost "gosh & golly" tone. It isn't camp, but it does have a light comic-bookish attitude without being condescending to the material or the audience. It has a loving feel for the retro time period, and a love letter to dashing heroes. When I saw it opening weekend I really enjoyed the movie, but felt Billy Campbell was dull, but I was dead wrong -he's perfect - an "all American" gee-whiz guy next door who isn't the best or the bravest, but by cracky he has the gumption to save the day !

Dalton is great, Connelly is gorgeous and the supporting cast of character actors are fantastic ( seriously, what a cherry picked supporting cast in this movie ! ). And to add to the Alan Arkin love, the way he says "Clifford" just makes me smile. He does so much by doing so little every time he's onscreen.

It's great to have on Blu Ray ( although there are zero features, WTF Disney?? ) and the score is one of my all time favorites.
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Not every comic book type movie has to be like this, but, note to Zack Synder : your comic book movies suck. Every one of them. big grin And that horrid Justice League score . roll eyes

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2021 - 8:07 AM   
 By:   King Solium   (Member)

This is one of my favorite films and scores of all times. A film where I walked out thoroughly entertained with a big smile on my face. Damn it just works on all levels.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2021 - 8:08 AM   
 By:   King Solium   (Member)


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Not every comic book type movie has to be like this, but, note to Zack Synder : your comic book movies suck. Every one of them. big grin And that horrid Justice League score . roll eyes


You're not wrong!

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2021 - 5:14 PM   
 By:   other tallguy   (Member)


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Not every comic book type movie has to be like this, but, note to Zack Synder : your comic book movies suck. Every one of them. big grin And that horrid Justice League score . roll eyes


You're not wrong!


Where is that Mad Max "That's bait" meme...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2021 - 7:37 PM   
 By:   Grack21   (Member)

I got to go to a test screening of this when I was (does math) 12. Loved it then, still love it now, still watch it at least once a year. Still have the free pin I got at the showing.

 
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