Rocket Compulsion (2010)

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Released 5-Apr-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio
Deleted Scenes-6 featurettes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 50:18
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gregory J. Read

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Simon Nasht
Gregory J. Read
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $19.95 Music Carlo Giacco
Leanne Cole
Gracie Otto

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Paperbark Films is a Sydney based film production company founded by Greg Read which has produced a number of documentaries and local feature films such as Redball. Greg is currently producing his first major feature film, The Eye of the Storm starring Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis, based on Patrick White's novel. It is being directed by Fred Schepisi and will be released in the cinemas soon. Before I knew what Greg did, I knew him as a guy I had chatted to on Saturday morning soccer sidelines while watching our kids play. One Saturday, Greg had a large burn on his hand and when I asked why he told me about an accident he had had while filming the documentary which is the subject of this review. He had tripped while filming and directing at the same time and had placed his hand on the extremely hot rocket pack being worn by David Mayman. I told him about this website and promised to review his documentary when it was released on local DVD. And here it is, released by Roadshow Entertainment, Rocket Compulsion.

     Anyone who has grown up with or developed a fascination for flying will love this documentary which follows the story of Australian entrepreneur, David Mayman, who decides that he wants to build a rocket pack and fly across Sydney Harbour (or a part of it at least). It is worth noting that more people have walked on the moon than have piloted a rocket pack untethered. It takes a lot of training and money to build and fly a rocket pack. The fuel is very unstable, developing extreme temperatures and liable to explode. The one factory in the world which made the fuel, hydrogen peroxide, blew up and was not rebuilt during the making of the show. This fuel is required in order to generate the thrust needed to power the rocket packs. They can only store enough fuel for flights of around 30 seconds.

     The documentary explains how rocket packs work, the process and technology involved and the difficulties involved in flying them. There are many setbacks for Mayman along the way including injuries, fuel supply problems, issues with the pack built for him by a Mexican engineer and more. He gets the help of two of the pioneers in the field, Bill Suitor, one of the earlier pilots (who did the work on James Bond film, Thunderball and the flight at the LA Olympics) and designer Nelson Tyler. The film culminates in his attempt to fly across part of Sydney Harbour near the Opera House.

     This is a dramatic and exciting documentary which will appeal to lovers of flight and aeroplanes.

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Transfer Quality


     The video quality is very good. The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. The shadow detail was very good. The colour is very good. There were no other artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English which were clear and easy to read.

     There is no layer change during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is very good. This disc contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 256 Kb/s.

     Dialogue was clear and easy to hear. The music is dramatic and suits the material well. The surround speakers were not used. The subwoofer was used for music support.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     The extras consist of sequences which were probably filmed for the documentary but cut to achieve the required run time.


     The menu included music.

Flying a Rocket Belt (2:03)

     Bill Suitor discusses the challenges involved in flying a rocket belt.

Rocket Belt Dangers (2:47)

     Bill Suitor talks about the dangers involved including burns, crashes and more.

Eric Scott's Royal Canyon Flight Attempt (5:17)

     Footage of a recent attempt to fly across a 1500ft Canyon in Arkansas. Exciting stuff.

The History of the Rocket Belt (3:29)

     Short featurette on the origins of the rocket belt which was designed for the US Military by Bell. Doesn't really tell the whole history, more the genesis.

LA Olympics Rocket Belt Flight (3:47)

     Bill Suitor and Nelson Tyler discuss their joint effort to do a short flight during the opening ceremony of the LA Olympics. Unfortunately there is no footage of the actual flight, only stills.

James Bond Thunderball Rocket Belt Flight (3:14)

     Bill Suitor discussing the work he did for the James Bond film Thunderball and the challenges of shooting and making it look like Sean Connery did the flight himself. Again no actual footage of the flight.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This documentary is only available locally at this time.


     A dramatic and exciting documentary about an attempt to fly a rocket pack over Sydney Harbour.

     The video quality is very good. The audio quality is very good. The extras are worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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