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the rocketeer or THE ROCKETEER!!!...So Which is It?

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the rocketeer or THE ROCKETEER!!!...So Which is It?

Old 07-06-01, 06:01 PM
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Help me out here, guys. Yesterday, I bought the DVD of THE ROCKETEER for crazy-cheap at Wal-Mart. Yeah, I know it's not 16 X 9, but I love the movie more than I hate it being non-anamorphic. So here's my quandry...I'm looking through different reviews on the 'Net and I come across these two:

DVDVerdict:
The audio here suffers a bit as well. Although I usually prefer films to be offered in the original soundtrack configuration, this is a film I feel would have benefited greatly from a newly remastered 5.1 remix. With everything that goes on on-screen, a 5.1 mix would have increased my enjoyment level by a factor of two. With everything that transpires in the air and things swooping about, there could have been directional effects flying around the room. Instead, the disc is saddled with only a 2.0 track in English and French. When will Disney learn? I honestly don't know.

DVDFile:
The Dolby Digital audio is very good (the box incorrectly lists Dolby Surround). I was pleasantly surprised that BVHV took the time to create a five-channel discrete soundtrack for the film. (Or was this left over from a laserdisc release?) The outstanding score by James Horner (one of his very best) is reproduced nicely, but with a small hint of distortion I found unusual in a film from '91. The sound effects could have used an additional octave of bottom end. Entertaining surround effects are applied occasionally. The dialog is never masked and is reproduced clearly throughout.

Huh?!?!?!?!? What?!?!?!?!?!?! Come again?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Now I know there is only one edition of this title on DVD, so which of these reviewers was sleeping on the job? I only have Dolby Pro-Logic capability currently (flames not welcome here), but I would like to know if I will have Dolby Digital 5.1 playback from this title in the future. Can anyone confirm this for me one way or the other? Thanks in advance...


Old 07-06-01, 06:36 PM
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...from the DVD Movie Guide review of The Rocketeer:

"Much better is the film's Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Disney have been guilty of the old bait and switch in regard to some of their DVD packaging; a number of discs advertise features that aren't there. The Rocketeer also offers a mistaken listing on its case, but for once the error favors us. The box indicates that the movie appears just in Dolby Surround, but it indeed offers a full Dolby Digital 5.1.

The Rocketeer appeared before the advent of DD and DTS at the time when 5.1 mixes became standard. As such, it's more modest than we'd expect of a similar movie made today, but it's still a pretty good mix. The forward soundstage is nicely broad and well-defined, with a lot of audio that emanates from the side channels and some excellent panning as well. The rears also seem pretty active; they generally reinforce the music and effects, but a few split surround effects also pop up back there and the surrounds add a lot of life to the mix.

Audio quality seems good but unspectacular. Dialogue sounds reasonably natural and clear, with no intelligibility problems. Music appears bright and vivid, though it could use some more bass. Effects can be a bit thin and bland, however; gun shots lack heft, and the rocket blasts tend to be a bit distorted. It's still a relatively strong track and one that helps balance the poor quality of the picture.
"

. . .


Old 07-06-01, 06:42 PM
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...and the Cinema Laser review has this to say:

"While the packaging lists Dolby Surround, the DVD actually contains a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. Dialogue reproduction is clean and clear, plus the mix offers some nice directional effects across the forward soundstage. Other than providing ambience and fill, the surround channels tend to be somewhat subdued. James Horner's delightful score is pleasingly rendered with a nice musical lilt. Bass reproduction is pretty good, but not overwhelming."

. . .
Old 07-06-01, 06:49 PM
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Okay, DVDVerdict, go stand in the corner and don't come out until I tell you!

Thanks, Hendrik, that's great news...
Old 07-06-01, 07:02 PM
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...just to make absolutely sure...

"Now here's where the movie really suprised me. The box lists this as stereo, but it's a Dolby Digital 5.1 extravaganza I tell ya. My sub has never worked so hard. Every time the rocket is powered, so is the sub. Great sound. For a movie nearly ten years old, this sounds like it was made last week."

...that was DVD Authority speaking! (Looove that movie, by the way!!!)

. . . . . .
Old 07-06-01, 07:15 PM
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This is totally a 5.1 track. It seems like DVDVerdict didn't even listen to the film -- they just read the back of the box and wrote a review. Sloppy.

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