Joe Versus The Volcano
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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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If I were to get nitpicky I would say that I kinda liked the color skew of the original office scenes a little better in the original. They had a blue/green tint that made them feel even weirder than they already are.
However the details over all is just great in comparison to the DVD. The shots are all a little wider showing more detail on the edges as well which is cool.
The 2017 Warner Bros Archive Collection Blu-ray looks & sounds great. Also glad they went back to the original poster art for the cover. Special features include a vintage Behind the Scenes Featurette (4 mins 24 secs), Eric Burdon "Sixteen Tons" music video (3 mins 56 secs), and original Theatrical Trailer (2 mins 15 secs). English Subtitles. I don't know why the back cover with all the info isn't shown, so I've provided a picture of it for you.
I have to say, though, that I've never met or heard of anyone who 'gets' Joe (i.e. knows what it's about, sees the symbolic nature of the people and events, knows it is talking about the deep issues of life) and hates it. All those whom I've met who don't like it also don't get it. They think it's a comedy, a love story, a 'light-hearted' film; all the things it's not. 'Joe' is everything that Ingmar Bergman ever wanted to say, but failed to say because he didn't know how to.
JVTV is about, to quote Joe, courage. The courage to face life, to face down the fear that prevents you from being the person you know in your heart you are. It's about facing life with what life requires to be happy and fulfilled.
When Joe was young he had the courage he needed. He was a firefighter. He ran into fires to rescue children and save people from the most painful death. Then he lost his courage and got a job selling "rectal probes". He always felt sick, seeing doctor after doctor until one told him the bad news: he was dying.
Joe accepted the diagnosis, and this set him free from his fear. The worst had happened, nothing more to be scared of. He's going to die soon. His last task is to live well for the short time that remains. He is offered a few days of unlimited wealth and freedom if he agrees to leap into a volcano afterwards in order to help a businessman clinch a contract with superstitious natives. Joe accepts.
Through a series of mishaps, Joe discovers what life is and what it requires. One memorable scene is when he is cast adrift on a raft, and, almost dead from exposure, watches a glorious Moon rise over the ocean. He's says, "Thank you God, I've forgotten how BIG...." when he collapses.
When, finally he is standing on the lip of the volcano, ready to leap, the woman he has fallen in love with says:
"Joe, nobody knows anything. We'll take this leap and we'll see. We'll jump and we'll see. That's life."
This is the message of the movie. Nobody knows the future. Nobody knows what will happen. There is always risk. The only thing we can do is have courage, and leap. Those who don't leap are forever on the sidelines, watching those who have chosen to live. In essence, the message of Joe is: To leap is to live.
I haven't spoiled the movie. There are many many parts that contribute and support the message. At one point Joe says, "I've come a long way on a crooked road to find you." The "crooked road" is a lighting-bolt like symbol that occurs frequently in the film. Watching for it is fun. Why are there ducks everywhere? Why is Joe always losing his hat? Why is Meg Ryan playing 3 characters (hint Joe is always telling the new Meg Ryan character: "I think I've seen you before."). Why doesn't Joe sleep? Why is Patricia 'soul sick'?
There are so many things happening on so many levels it's hard to keep up.
This is a movie for people who want to participate in the art experience. That's the difference between art and entertainment. Art requires the audience to think, to see, to participate. Entertainment just need someone to watch and react: "laugh at this, laught at that."
Joe vs the Volcano is for the elite of movie watchers. Sorry, but it's true.
I don't remember anything obscene, it is definitely a family movie that parents and children will enjoy together. They just don't make movies like this much anymore, quirky, funny and clean.
Family movie, wish Tom and Meg would make more movies like this