Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Hi-Def Revelations: The Rocketeer

Last year I finally joined the early 2000s and retired my twenty year old picture tube TV and bought a hi-def, flat screen set. Hey, don't judge. I was waiting to see if all this hi-def jazz was just a passing fad or if it was going to catch on. I ain't no early adopter!

Anyway, the past few months I've been rewatching a lot of my favorite movies in glorious 1080p resolution, and it's been, pardon the pun, eye opening. I'm seeing all kinds of things I never noticed before when I watched films in low-def, like a common peasant. 

For example, here's a high-def detail for you: Most people think the shark in Jaws was just an unconvincing fiberglass robot, but it was actually real! Who knew? At least it looked real in hi-def on my set. Maybe I need to adjust some settings. Never mind.

Another example of previously unnoticed details: Last week I rewatched the underrated 1991 superhero film The Rocketeer. If you've not seen it, drop whatever you're doing and run, don't walk to the nearest video store and rent it. OK, I suppose you could "stream" it or whatever the kids call it these days, but the point is it's a really good film and you owe it to yourself to watch it.

At one point in the film, actor/playboy Neville Sinclair (played by Timothy Dalton) takes the Rocketeer's girlfriend Jenny (played by Jennifer Connelly) to a swanky night spot called the South Seas Club.

Inside the club, they're entertained by a torch singer who belts out her rendition of Begin The Beguine. What the hell's a "beguine," I hear you ask? It's a kind of dance, similar to the foxtrot. Jeez, read the dictionary, why don't you?

Back to my point-- that torch singer is played by a young Melora Hardin, better known as Jan Levinson-Gould of The Office! I guess it makes sense, as Jan tried to squeeze in a song every chance she could on the latter seasons of the show.

Even though this film came out a good fifteen years before The Office, she looks the same here, if not a little older. Maybe it's the 1940s hairstyle making her look older than she was. 

Next on Hi-Def Revelations: I watch a Godzilla film, because I'm starting to suspect the monster may be a man in a suit.

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