Joe Johnston loves to present the American dream.
We are in the middle of a superhero bubble where so many blockbusters are coming out that are part of that Disney or DC wave of comic book films that take on the most famous roles of the funny sites. When I think of my favorite comic films, I think of the landmarks of the genre, the originals, the pillars that held the temple, like Tim Burtons Batman and the original Superman: the movie.
But I am also thinking of The rocket man.
When I was a kid I got my VHS copy of. worn The rocket man. It was a film about outsiders, geniuses, and someone brave enough to take a stand. The hero had no powers, he just had a rocket strapped on his back, a girl he loved, and a desire to kick the butt of a Nazi.
I saw The rocket man long after it debuted in theaters, and it seems like a lot of people of my generation did too. While it grossed nearly $ 50 million at the box office, reviews called it old-fashioned and criticized its sentimentality. And those could be the two reasons I loved it so much. And I know that I’m not alone with this.
Check out this video from The Royal Ocean Film Society and let’s talk after the jump.
How did The rocket man Will you be such a popular movie?
The simple answer to the question is that Disney Channel played the film over and over again for a good part of the ’90s, capturing the hearts and minds of the children who missed it in theaters. These kids got older, showed their kids, and so on.
But it’s not all about – at some point the hopeful attitude and storytelling within the film came back into vogue. We’d seen enough cynicism and the exuberant quality of the story bubbled on the surface.
Directed by Joe Johnston, he took his almost Spielbergic qualities and made a film about the American dream. It was Hollywood-like, about men who had visions of flying. We had characters who were dreamers and romantics. Even Howard Hughes in this movie had a vision and didn’t keep washing his hands. Based on the graphic novel by Dave Stevens, the film was an optimistic look at the life in which everyone in America came together to stop the Nazis in the final act.
All of this was backed up by a wondrous James Horner score.
I love so many things about this movie, but I’ll admit that I’ve come to see some of the flaws. As a kid, I loved seeing the art deco sets and the beautiful people, but I can’t see it today without thinking about how a whole diverse population of non-whites in Los Angeles is completely ignored within the plot. If this is really a pastiche of the American Dream, which I believe, I would like the film to highlight the stories of more Americans. but that is a retrospective note. We can’t get a 1991 movie to meet 2021 standards.
However, we can learn from it. I think the main points of this film are lean storytelling, taking in the subject and the fear of taking on a tone that you haven’t seen in modern movies. Johnston has done this in his films. He’s one of the best directors I’ve ever seen who really digs into the premise of the film and gives the audience what they want.
What does your audience want? How can you give it to them and still surprise them along the way? That’s the challenge in writing and directing. Are you up to it?
Let us know what you think The rocket man in the comments.