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Brandon Spoils Movies - Joe Versus the Volcano

Written by: Brandon Fisher

joevvvolcano

To be honest I picked up Joe Versus the Volcano in a thrift store assuming it was a cheesy 80s movie. Boy was I wrong. It was actually from the 90s. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the movie - even though he doesn’t actually fight the volcano – if anything it’s more like Joe Versus the Mediocrity of Soulless Work. Tom Hanks stars in this movie about a man who is sickened by his Terry Gilliam-esque work environment (it’s like an American Brazil – and no I don’t mean a bikini wax option). He seeks medical help with symptoms resulting from soul crushing malaise and is told he only has six months to live. He is visited by a man who offers him a chance to sacrifice himself by jumping into a volcano to appease the Gods. He accepts with little fight or objection and begins his journey to the island and encounters obstacles all along the way – including three characters played by Meg Ryan. It’s kind of an odd beginning to the Sleepless in Seattle / You’ve Got Mail / Hanks / Ryan Trilogy, but at least it’s a reminder of how much Shelly Long blew her career.

So Hanks and Ryan travel to this island led by Abe Vigoda. Really? Abe Vigoda. He couldn’t even lead a waltz. The island is called Waponi and the villagers are called Waponians, but they refer to the volcano as the “Wu”. It’s a missed opportunity to call them the Wu Tang Clan. Oh well that’s what I will refer to them as. The Wu Tang Clan are addicted to Orange Soda. What’s weird is that they have a constant supply yet they never explain who is stocking them up with this tasty beverage. When the Wu Tang Clan find out Hanks is there to sacrifice himself, they pamper him, but they also pamper Ryan for some reason. Seems like high praise for a free loader. Over the journey Hanks and Ryan fall in love and Ryan decides to jump in the volcano with Joe after the get married. Kind of makes sense. You might as well kill yourself immediately after you get married, because it’s all downhill from there. Vigoda marries them and they jump into the volcano only to be spit out. I think it’s because they probably weren’t virgins. In my understanding volcanoes really like virgins. The volcano swallows the island and the Wu Tang Clan and Hanks and Ryan live happily ever after even with the Wu Tang Clan and their boats crew’s blood on their hands.

I think it would great to know you only have six months to live. I would get so much done in a day. Plus I don’t want to get old. No thanks. I can’t be the only one who really wants the Mayan calendar prediction to be right - am I? I have mentioned in the past that I would like to be thrown into a volcano. Mainly so I can have that Terminator 2 thumbs up moment. Yes, I assume I will die thumbs up. Or if there’s ever a one-way ticket to Mars, I would be the first to sign-up. Having said that for comedic intent and knowing I am able to refute what I just said and knowingly wasted seconds of your life reading that - there’s nothing funny about having a short time left to live. Well almost. Tig Notaro was able to spin her tragically heartbreaking cancer diagnosis into one of the greatest stand-up sets of all time. I highly recommend you purchase it from Louis CK’s site here.  $4 of the $5 go directly to Tig.

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