The Rocketeer

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This poster hung on my wall in my little room back in the early nineties. I was a child so having a superhero on my wall wasn’t anything strange but something about the art decco style of this poster I absolutly loved. What I didn’t know then was that this poster deliberately echos the 30’s estetic of the times which arguably made this poster the most adult contempary peice of art in my room and made it stand out next to my Batman and Ninja Turtles movie poster.

This is of course a promotional poster for the movie of the same name that came out 1991. If you are familiar with the character then come on in and make yourself at home. Chances are we would have good conventions. If not let me introduce you to Cliff Secord. He’s a little slice of nostalgic americana. He’s a stunt pilot and one day he happens to come a across new fancy gadget that can make a man fly without a plane. But the nazis want it for themselves thinking such tech could win them the war. To keep it out of the wrong hands he uses it effectively turning himself from “Joe Everyman” into someone extraordernary. This jet pack technology basically becomes his only advantage over enemies and obsticles that and his quick thinking and gung ho bravery make him the nemesis to any evil doer out there.

Essentially this film is like an Indiana Jones/Iron Man hybrid and if that excites you, you should deffinetly give it a watch. The movie is based on a comic book that came out in the 80’s. The comic it’s self was made to resemble the pulp comics of the 30’s and 40’s so it was very stylised. I knew nothing about the comicbook as a kid, I went into that theater expecting adventure and got it in full. Crazy thing is the movie still works today. It was released by Disney so somethings they 0db805e1bc3aad452f81b34a69fe6341toned down from the comic. Most notably Cliff’s girlfriend in the comic was Betty a actress/pinup model that was the spitting image of Bettie Page (google her and thank me later). But in the Disney movie she is Jenny an aspiring actress played by a very young and equally stunning Jennifer Connelly. The film doesn’t particularily need that aspect, it works fine without it! So imagine my¬† supprise when I found this shot in the only comic I ever found of the hero. Needless to say my 8 year old mind was more then delighted. Anyway, where was I? The film feels like a classic. In fact I heard that the director Joe Johnston got the job directing Captain America because of this film. So there’s that.

rocketeer2-posterI am aware that the film didn’t exactly make the kinda dough the studio was hoping for meaning the proposed sequels were scrapped. After watching the movie again I can totally see a reboot working today. Something that feels like a “spiritual-sequel” to the original, you know reference the events of the last film a bit and not focus too much on the “origin” just keep it simple and light but up the stakes. I found this pic online and I had to share it. I don’t know if this is an actual promo or fan made but this teaser is mouthwateringly good. I just know a hit movie is in there somewhere. In closing I just wanna add that when you find an obscure jem that you love chances are there are others out there who know where you’re coming from and if you make enough noise maybe the studios and or franchise holders just might see us and give us what we want! They want to give us what we want. They wanna make money. Support your passions by letting people know what your into! If any of this sounds awesome do yourself a huge favor and give this one a watch!

The Rocketeer (1991)

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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

A couple years ago a friend sent me a funny youtube video. It was a really elaborate short film that is so we crafted I don’t wanna give away the whole thing. Anyway years later the same filmmaker managed to make a full leangth feature film based on the idea of that short film.

It’s tough to talk about this film without a certain amount of spoilers. so i’ll keep it light. The film centers around the legend of Santa Clause as seen through the traditions and culture of northern scandanavia. If you tilt your head just right you have the makings of a good horror movie. The director shoots his film as big as any Hollywood blockbuster giving the reletively simple and contained story a more epic large scale feel.

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The acting is good each character conveys what needs to be shown to have us, the audience, give a crap.

The thing however that will either make or break this movie for most viewers is whether they feel like reading subtitles. The film is a finnish movie with only handful of dialogue spoken in english. Luckily though the film is very visual and allot of information is adequately portrayed. I can only assume that watching it without subtitles you would still get the gist of it but be confused in certain areas. At any rate, this fact shouldn’t scare you. just check it out and afterward you can tell everyone you watched an awesome finnish movie!

This film is truely unique. Being exposed to this as an american should really put you in both familiar and unfamiliar territory at the same time. By barrowing america’s cinematic language it’s easily accessable yet the story takes place far away, way up north and Santa looks pissed!

But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a Santa slasher movie, which I guess is sub genre now. This is a far cry from films like Silent Night, Deadly Night and Santa’s Slay (the last one being a throw away joke title for a fake movie in Ernest Saves Christmas that Hollywood just had to turn into a real film starring some wrestler as an Evil Santa, I think. Does that qualify as Meta?) No, this film feels more like a kids movie with balls. The main character is a child who believes in Santa but after studying old books about his peoples folklore surrounding the character he fears being considered naughty by him and the cruel and perhaps lethal punishment he would face. He becomes over cautious and rightfully paranoid. Naturally, as in most kids movies, no one believes him until the all hell breaks loose. It’s not a gorey film at all but it doesn’t shy away from blood or the sight of dozens of mutilated animal corpses. Heck if you look hard enough you’s find full frontal male nudity! Sounds like Christmas at Michael Jackson’s house. BOOOOOOO! Hiiiissss! What too soon? Seriously though imagine watching a kids movie that flat out becomes a bad ass action movie! Well sorta. With a bigger budget allot more could have been done in the final act to amp up the action and thrills but as is the film is still great with some fun moments telling the audience that it is self aware.

I say if you don’t feel like watching It’s A Wonderful Life again and want to see something really different, yet entertaining. Give this one a try! Wanna wet your appetite just search for Rare Exports 2003 and 2005 on youtube and checkout the two short films that inspired the feature!