Greetings from Spockgirl Musings, where logic rules, but the frailties of
human nature, genetic inadequacies and hormonal imbalances wreak havoc.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Joe vs the Volcano

Movie Review:

The image above and in the previous post was from this movie, a Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan pairing from 1990, which was written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, who for some reason I remember as the writer of the film "Moonstruck" starring Cher and Nicolas Cage. If details such as this remained embedded in my brain for years, then it is a given that the writing must have made an impression on me. Funny thing... even though I remembered these tidbits, I had forgotten that I had the movie... on VHS.

The basic premise is that a man struggling with the drudgery and meaninglessness of his life and office job, thinks he is going to die and accepts a job offer of jumping into a volcano. If I recall correctly, the main character, Joe, played by Tom Hanks, goes through three transformations, and on an interesting note, Meg Ryan plays three different roles. The movie itself is rather silly, but at this point in my life, the underlying theme is rather meaningful to me.

A few things that stood out in my mind for whatever reason, were a couple scenes involving a daisy, a couple signs: "Home of the Rectal Probe" and "Artificial Testicles Prototype", the scene of defiance in the office, the shopping sequence, in particular the dialogue in the luggage shop (as well as the inlaid floor in the "vault"), and the following lines: 

"Hi Joe. What's with the shoe?" "I'm losing my sole."

"You have some time left.. you have some life left... My advice to you is... live it well."

"You look like a bag of shit stuffed in a cheap suit. Not that anybody could look good under these zombie lights. I can feel them sucking the juice out of my eyeballs."

"Listen... haven’t you got anybody?" "No... but... there are certain times in your life when I guess you’re not supposed to have anyone you know... certain doors you gotta go through alone." "You’re gonna be alright."

"Why do you keep calling me Felix? My name’s Joe." "I’m calling you Felix because I do what I want."

"And I’ve been doing some soul searching lately .. been asking myself some pretty tough questions.... You know what I found out? I have no interest in myself. I get bored out of my mind." "Well what does interest you?" "I don’t know... courage... courage interests me."

"It’s always gonna be something with you Joe..." "Yeah." "I wonder where we’ll end up?" "Away from the things of man... away from the things of man."

Yes...  it IS a romantic comedy, but this... this is just what I took from it when I watched it last time. Oh... and Abe Vigoda plays the chief of the inhabitants of the island where the volcano is situate. Yes... the movie IS silly.. and funny...  but I saw more than just that.


Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for Joe Versus The Volcano I wouldn't have come across your blog so that's another reason to like it.
I like the urban fairytale aspect of this film and 3 Meg Ryan roles for the price of one is good value in my book.
As I've said previously I like your movie reviews and hope you do more in the future:)

Spockgirl said...

I'm not very pleased with how I presented this. However, I had started it a while ago, and put it together last night when I wasn't exactly ... let's just say I was not very "awake".