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Joe Versus The Volcano

4.6 out of 5 stars 618 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Joe Versus The Volcano (DVD)

Tom Hanks stars as Joe, a squashed bug of a guy under the heel of ahideous corporation, working in an awful office with bad air, bad lightand lousy coffee...Then everything changes in this romantic comedy aboutcourage and a man's soul ... of a man coming back to life on a journeythat takes him halfway around the world. To the edge of great delight.To the brink of an exploding volcano.

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Special Features

Music Video: Eric Burdon, "Sixteen Tons"Music Video: Eric Burdon, "Sixteen Tons"Music Video: Eric Burdon, "Sixteen Tons"Music Video: Eric Burdon, "Sixteen Tons"Music Video: Eric Burdon, "Sixteen Tons"Music Video: Eric Burdon, "Sixteen Tons"Music Video: Eric Burdon, "Sixteen Tons"

Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Abe Vigoda
  • Directors: John Patrick Shanley
  • Writers: John Patrick Shanley
  • Producers: Steven Spielberg, Teri Schwartz, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (618 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y71F
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,818 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Joe Versus The Volcano" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 29, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The first time I watched this movie, shortly after its release, when I was a small lad, something struck me as "different" about this movie. The direction was good, the plot was VERY simple, and the acting was wonderful, with plenty of comedic and ironic elements.
However after watching it again during my high school years, I remember picking out dozens of metaphorical and symbolic items from the plot. Every evil or destructive force in Joe's life is symbolized by the company logo that the film features at the beginning, right down to the lightning bolt featured prominently later in the film. The fact that every woman important to Joe is the same girl, the lovely Meg Ryan, carries the theme of recurrence quite well.
To sum it up, Joe is an individual who has died, if not in reality, in spirit, stuck in a dead-end job after personal crises drove him to hypochondria. He discovers he is terminally ill, then is confronted by an eccentric millionare who wants Joe to sacrifice himself to a volcano on a small polynesian island to secure mining rights for his superconductor company. Joe proceeds to go on an endless stream of discovery, realizing that while he may be dying, he was never more alive. The recurring themes in this movie, such as the jagged line logo, Meg Ryan's appearance, his luggage, and the bizarre but likeable characters he's confronted with throughout make this movie seem more like a vision quest for Joe than the last few weeks of his life.
The plot is simple, but hides deeper meanings and morals, like any great fairy tale. This is possibly the best movie I have ever seen, and very worthy of purchase.
Now if they'd just put it on DVD.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan will be best know for "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail" but this is really their best work. Tom Hanks has seemingly gone through three stages as an actor. Inane, teen-oriented buffoon ("Bachelor Party", "Volunteers") to quirky, but lovable ("Big", "Joe Versus the Volcano") to serious ("Philadelphia", "Saving Private Ryan"). "Joe Versus the Volcano" represents the best of his middle career and in my opinion, his best period. In playing Joe Banks, he captures the best of silliness and seriousness in one role. He shows a much greater range of acting ability than he has in any other film. Meg Ryan is equally amazing, playing three very different roles convincingly. This is a movie I have to view over and over because each time I do, I pick something up I hadn't previously. There is a hidden story underneath the surface and its up to the viewer to discover it. This movie is a veritable tapestry of symbolism and hidden messages. Listen carefully to the dialogue, especially the speech Joe gives to his boss after he leaves his job. And try to spot how many times you see the zig-zag symbol throughout the film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO is one of my all-time favorite movies. But if you've never seen JOE, I need to warn you that most people (and I mean *most*) don't like it. In fact, most of them hate it. Indeed, many of them will tell you it's the worst movie ever made. And that's even after I've given them my big pitch about how to watch JOE to catch its brilliance. I can't even tell you that the people who hate JOE are somehow lesser human beings - many people I really admire hate this movie.
Still, I think you should see it. Think of it this way - it's like an easy personality test. Instead of answering twenty questions to find out whether you're a Type A personality or a Type B personality, you can just watch JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO. Right away, you'll know if you are a pro-Joe or an anti-Joe. I figure you can't lose either way.
If you're an anti-Joe, you'll be in the clear majority. You and all the other anti-Joes can get together and roll your eyes about this ridiculous movie with its lame orange-soda jokes and stupid plastic sharks. At the worst, you'll be able to say you saw Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in the movie before they got the chemistry "right" in SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE.
On the other hand, the gods might smile upon you and you might find yourself among the small but happy band of pro-Joes. It's like being in a secret society! When you find one of those precious few pro-Joes, you can mutually bask in the glow of having enjoyed this amazing fable of spiritual awakening. You can argue with one another about whether the best part of the movie is the opening sequence of Joe's really lousy job; or his diagnosis with a brain cloud; or Lloyd Bridges' over-the-top performance as Mr. Graynamore (Gray No More, get it?
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Tom Hanks gives one of his best comedic performances here as Joe, a hypochondriac who's led to believe he's dying from a "Brain Cloud." So he strikes a bargain in which he gives up his humdrum existence working for an artificial prosthesis factory with loud, buzzing flourescent lighting, to live a life of luxury for several weeks until he is forced to become a human sacrifice by hurling himself into a volcano to appease the gods of an island populated by orange soda drinking natives of a bizarrely comical multi-ethnicity. Somehow it all pulls together.

Meg Ryan - whom I normally cannot tolerate - here is charming in three different roles.

The great Ossie Davis has a small role as a chauffeur, and, charmer that he is, nearly walks off with the entire movie.

A delightful sleeper that passed under most people's raider. Worth a second look.
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