Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The ... See full summary »
Lawrence is a rich kid with a bad accent and a large debt. After his father refuses to help him out, Lawrence escapes his angry debtors by jumping on a Peace Corp flight to Southeast Asia, ... See full summary »
Joe versus the Volcano is a fable which opens with somewhat surrealistic scenes of the dehumanization of Joe Bank's job and work environment (at a company whose product rather literally screws people) with imagery that seems to have been inspired by the classic film Metropolis. Joe is diagnosed with an incurable disease, quits his dehumanizing job, and accepts an offer to briefly "live like a king, die like a man" - but to fulfill his agreement he must willingly jump into a live volcano on the island of Waponi Woo in order to appease the volcano god. En route to the island, Joe meets a series of interesting characters in NYC and LA, then boards a yacht, captained by Patricia Graynamore. During the voyage Joe and Patricia survive disaster, fall in love, and finally arrive at the island where they face their destiny. Written by
The cab seen taking Joe's steamer trunks to the sailboat belongs to Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie who is famous for driving a refurbished plantation-era taxi. The graphic on the side of cab is that of the congressman - and is a small nod to the island residents of Hawaii where some of the movie was filmed. See more »
Mr. Graynamore sets out the credit cards atop Joe's stereo, orientating them so Joe can read them. Joe takes one and turns it over as if it were turned upside down. See more »
What's the matter?
Did you ever think about killing yourself?
What... Why would you do that?
Why shouldn't I?
Because some things take care of themselves. They're not your job; maybe they're not even your business.
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...yet this eccentric comedy never quite found its niche with the public, and I don't know why. It's beautifully produced and written, wonderfully acted and endlessly weird (how many films can you say that about?). When sad-sack Tom Hanks decides to give up his life for a few days of luxury, we understand because his existence may be a lot like ours: glum office job with lime walls, dirty floors, unpleasant co-workers, bad coffee and fluorescent lights on the fritz. When he's out to sea, floating on his luggage, he sees shapes in the sky at night that light up his face; he may be in a precarious position, stranded on the ocean, but he's the happiest and most alive he's ever been. What a wonderful moment in a movie chock-full of smart, sneaky laugh lines and throwaway bits of business that stay with one, growing beloved in the memory. Screenwriter John Patrick Shanley, also making his directorial debut, has a fine sense of pacing and a keen eye for the absurd beauty in our midst. Only in the final reel does the construction of the plot stumble, however this is due to film studio interference. ***1/2 from ****
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