Monday, August 31, 2009

You're not better than "Joe Vs. The Volcano"

Yeah, I'm talking to you. You wanna poke fun at "Joe Vs. The Volcano"? Well my friend, you have some serious growing up to do. I am sick of when people talk about "bad movies" and "Joe" is included. "Joe" is a wonderful feel-good story which any "working Joe" can relate to, that's even why he's named "Joe" people! Come on! Let's go through some of the best parts together!

The Brain Cloud - Joe hates his job and hates his life. Then he is diagnosed with a terminal brain cloud and is given the opportunity to use his impending demise as a sacrifice for the small island tribe, the Waponi. All he has to do is jump into a volcano called The Big Woo, hence the title, "Joe Vs. the Volcano". Just an amazing set up for the further excellence that comes. Also, great acting from the "Unsolved Mysteries" guy as the doctor who gives Joe the bad news and Lloyd Bridges as the guy who wants him to sacrifice himself for the Waponi.

The Luggage - Joe's gonna do it and Lloyd Bridges is giving him a boatload of money to enjoy his last few days before the big jump. Joe goes on a spending spree with his limo driver, Ossie Davis (underrated) and they pick up the best luggage known to man. These trunks are better at holding your sh*t on a trip than Wayne Gretzky is at hockey stuff. The trunks float so well that not once, but twice they serve as a raft when Joe finds himself alone in the ocean and which leads to the best scene in the movie....

The Moon scene - This is when Joe and his lady friend are alone in the vast ocean with no land in sight. Death seems imminent and Joe's lady friend has been unconscious since their ship wrecked. It's at this moment when Joe realizes how much he appreciates life and how he will now live his life to the fullest, at least until he jumps into the volcano. It's a moment of clarity I think we all strive to attain someday and yeah I am writing 100% from the heart about "Joe Vs. the Volcano". YOU ARE NOT BETTER THAN "JOE VS. THE VOLCANO".

Meg Ryan - Meg Ryan was hot. I mean really hot. Sadly, the surgically altered clown face we now know as Meg Ryan makes us forget this. It's nice to go back to see how she was, kinda like looking at old pictures of the Parthenon. She also really shows off her acting chops in this movie by playing no less than three different roles! That ain't easy. And how many characters does the leading lady play in your favorite movie? One? What a challenge, I bet you use the bumpers when you go bowling too. Bottom line, if I had the choice of 1990 Meg Ryan or saving a small tribe by jumping in a volcano it'd be a tough choice even if I had a brain cloud. And about that small tribe...

The Waponi - Gotta LOVE the Waponi. Any tropical tribe whose chief is played by Abe Vigoda and second in command is Nathan Lane cannot be matched for originality. Plus they love orange soda more than Kel Mitchell. They also really know how to send off a guy who's gonna jump in a volcano with one kickass party. Too bad they all died.

Yep, they all die. Joe tries to jump in the volcano and Meg Ryan goes with him and the volcano spits them both out. So I can't really say who won, Joe or the volcano, which I'd have to say is the only big flaw in the movie. But it ends with a bang as Joe and Meg Ryan float away on the luggage and we find out the doctor who told Joe he had a brain cloud was really working for Lloyd Bridges (who is Meg Ryan's dad) and it's all a lie. So Joe is fine and he and Meg Ryan love each other and life is good.

Is it the best movie ever? I guess not. But it's still a great story of a man who is miserable and is given the gift of appreciating his life when he's falsely diagnosed with a brain cloud. You got some good lines, some good actions scenes, and some nice romance. And it's got Ossie Davis! So stop acting like you're better than "Joe Vs. the Volcano" and pop it in the VCR one more time and enjoy. And remember no matter how bad your job is, you'll never be as miserable as Joe was.


J. Williams said...

Joe Vs The Volcano is classic (as is Major League. We need to thaw out Tom Berenger.)

That said, I'd like to hear your opinions on a major recent headline, Disney buying Marvel. Investors, movie junkies and comic fanboys alike are buzzing over this. Major speculation over whether Disney will force Marvel to soften its material, i.e., no more Blade or Punisher War Zone-esque films.

On the other side of the coin, there are such positives as bringing Disney's huge checkbook to Marvel media. This may be a major plus for a company that about 12 years ago filed for bankruptcy. In addition, many fanboys are excited at the possibility of a Marvel/Pixar team-up!

Disney has no choice but to allow Marvel to live up to responsibilities promised to other groups like Fox and Warner Brothers. Otherwise, there is a lot of room for Disney to CANCEL projects, such as the heavily speculated Avengers films, including Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

I just wanna hear the thoughts of the Really Reel Reviews team on the possibilities!

ReallyReelReviews Team said...

J. - thank you for your comment and question. Obviously those of us outside the board rooms can only speculate. And without taking too much time or space let us just share our views/hopes. First, we don't think there is anyone out there who hopes Marvel content is softened, or the integrity of its characters and stories sacrificed just so it can fit more comfortably in the family of Mickey Mouse. Second, this is a business so we need to understand $$ is the ultimate goal. We think the best way for Disney to capitalize on Marvel would be to maintain its current fan base and use Disney's tools to expand that without ruining Marvel's legend. Third, it is our understanding that Marvel's CEO will stay on to oversee Marvel properties so hopefully any changes are minimal to non-existant. Lastly, we'll try to reassure those who are nervous about the acquisition: Disney is most famous for its family films and theme parks, but lets not forget its a huge parent company housing tons of film companies, tv stations, etc. Cindrellas may stay in the castle, but outside of that there are companies like Miramax, Touchstone Pictures, Dimension Films, etc that produce PG to rated R films. The more logical wish, if we can use such a phrase, would be to say that Marvel will benefit from Disney's array of weapons, rather than suffer from its apparant family friendly image. But only time will tell. We think you hit the nail on the head when you asked to hear "possibilities" rather than "tragedies". As Disney originally suggested "dreams can come true" and perhaps that will be realized when this merger brings us a whole new experience in fantasy.
Thank you for your submission, J. If you hear any updates regarding this topic please email us, or submit your own post to be posted on our blog.
--The Really Reel Reviews Team