Just in time for Christmas, Disney has announced The Rocketeer on Blu-ray in a 20th anniversary edition. Release date is December 13.
The film is a cult favorite, about mechanic and test pilot Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell), his curmudgeonly buddy (Alan Arkin), and his Bettie Page-like girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly) using a jetpack to fight Nazis in Hollywood. One of the bad guys is Timothy Dalton, playing an Errol Flynn-type star with secret leanings. I didn’t realize that director Joe Johnston also helmed this summer’s Captain America: The First Avenger.
The big question is “does this edition have any special features?” The bare-bones DVD release, put out 12 years ago, had just the movie trailer. Fans have been hoping for more ever since. In my case, I’d love to see one of those featurettes that compare the film to its source material, the comics created by Dave Stevens.
Unfortunately, Disney’s official email announcement to press mentions nothing on the subject. They promote “state-of-the-art digital restoration and enhanced high definition sound”, but the description of a single disc at $26.50 US suggests a bargain-priced edition with minimal extras. The only additional elements listed in the announcement are English and French audio tracks and subtitles. I hope that Disney is just figuring out what to add, and better news will follow about bonus features.
Update: I inquired of the press contact if there would be any special features, and the answer I got was “Not this time.” I hope that means that, if reception to this is strong, there will be an enhanced version somewhere down the road, but it looks like this release only has the bonus of upgraded picture and sound.