In the 90s, comic book movies weren't as simple as pulling from Marvel or DC Comics. They weren't the biggest movies in the world at the time, so things like The Rocketeer had the chance to be made. The movie was based on the character created by Pacific Comics. Director Joe Johnston has made his mark on the modern superhero movie with Captain America: The First Avenger, but The Rocketeer really lent itself to his strengths as a director. It is a glitzy, fun, B-movie, pulpy action adventure and the type of thing we simply don't see in the modern comic book movie landscape.
The Rocketeer benefited from a great cast that included Jennifer Connelly, Paul Sorvino, Alan Arkin and Timothy Dalton. Sure, many of the story elements and beats in the movie feel familiar and not all that surprising, but watching it now, it is surprising how well it holds up. The movie centers on a cocky stunt pilot who discovers a jet pack, puts on a fancy helmet and becomes a superhero with those two simple things alone. If you have never seen The Rocketeer, do yourself a favor and check it out. If you have seen it, you probably have a special place for it. At the very least, it is a fun and different look at what a superhero movie can be.
There is little argument over what the best Batman movie sequel of all-time is. Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight will pretty much be sitting comfortably in that spot for the foreseeable future, but Tim Burton also made himself damn fine Batman sequel. Batman Returns is strange, dark, different and still holds up today as a very good Batman movie. It was also that last time we would see Michael Keaton in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, and he still may be the best person to ever play Bruce Wayne. Batman is still up for debate, but something about Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne really works.
There is so much to love about Batman Returns. Danny DeVito is perfectly cast as The Penguin and his execution is going to be hard to rival if the role is ever recast on the big screen. There is also the delight of seeing Michelle Pfeiffer in her prime as Catwoman. Anne Hathaway did a fine job in The Dark Knight Rises, but again, the Batman Returns version of Catwoman is tough to top. There is also the excellent supporting cast that includes Christopher Walken and even Paul Reubens. Tim Burton is very hit/miss when it comes to his directorial efforts, but Batman Returns remains one of his finest moments and is still one of the finest and most interesting live-action Batman movies ever made.