Friday, June 27, 2014

Flick Pick: The Rocketeer

The Rocketeer
(Disney, 1991)

A near-perfect adaptation of a comic book into a film (which is a very tiny club), but hampered by spending a decade in development hell, due to the meddling of studio heads, and generally getting so over-sanitized and tied into the Disney name it was all but killed at the box office.
A great (and original!) story, it was shot to perfection by Joe Johnston, and peopled with perfect casting choices from then-unknowns Bill Campbell and Jennifer Connelly, to the truly hiss-worthy Timothy Dalton as the villain, and Terry O'Quinn as the best Howard Hughes that's ever been done on screen. If the studio execs had possessed the wit to leave this as a flick aimed at teens and young adults under the Touchstone label, rather than trying to pimp it into a vehicle to sell toys and getting it branded as a kiddie flick in most people's minds, it might have done much better with audiences. The number, and caliber, of current talents angling to get into some whispered remake is proof enough that there's nothing wrong with the story, just the number of "geniuses" at HQ who nearly destroyed this by following Hollywood Maxim #1:
"We change it because we can."
Despite that almost total kiss-of-death, even though not enough people went to see it, the movie came out looking great.

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