Jun 302017

Although Joe Versus the Volcano didn’t quite match up with my fond memories of seeing it back in 1990, it’s still a fun little romantic comedy that excels with its two charming stars and some truly funny scenes.



Joe Versus the Volcano
— Warner Archive Collection —


Genre(s): Comedy, Romance
Warner Archive | PG – 102 min. – $21.99 | June 20, 2017

Date Published: 06/30/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by: John Patrick Shanley
Writer(s): John Patrick Shanley (written by)
Cast: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Abe Vigoda, Dan Hedaya, Barry McGovern, Ossie Davis
Features: Featurette, Music Video, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 32.3 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C


THE MOVIE — 3.5/5

Plot Synopsis: Joe Banks (TOM HANKS) is a stressed out man in a dead-end job who is told he has a terminal “brain cloud.” Zany jillionaire Graynamore (LLOYD BRIDGES) makes him an offer that gives him a fleeting taste of the good life. In exchange, Joe must journey to a Pacific island, on a yacht accompanied by the beautiful Patricia (MEG RYAN), Graynamore’s daughter, and leap into a volcano. Along the way, their yacht hits rough waters and sinks, leaving Joe and Patricia surviving on his floatable luggage.

Quick Hit Review: Joe Versus the Volcano was the first of three movies starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and while it’s not quite as magical as Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail, the charisma and chemistry between the two is undeniably infectious and helps mask some of the film’s problems, particularly early on when the laughs are few and far between. Where it does pick up is after the sinking of the yacht as Banks takes care of an unconscious Patricia and then on the island as we get to see the venerable Abe Vigoda as a tribal chief.

It’s the island scenes that got the most laughs out of me as Banks nonchalantly accepts his fate to jump into the volcano as well as he and Patricia admit their feelings for one another, although unlike Sleepless and Mail, those feelings really aren’t earned but you accept them due to the aforementioned chemistry.

No, Joe Versus the Volano is not a great movie and it is one I saw back in 1990 in the theater with my family, but my memories for it don’t quite match up with this most recent viewing. Still, it is still a lot of fun relying on its two stars, with honorable mentions toward Lloyd Bridges and Abe Vigoda.



This comes with a vintage Making Of (4:24; SD) featurette, a Music Video (3:56; SD) and the Theatrical Trailer (2:15; HD).


VIDEO – 4.0/5, AUDIO – 3.5/5

Joe Versus the Volcano makes its debut on Blu-ray through Warner’s Archive Collection, presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio, and even though this 1080p high-definition transfer isn’t the best, with one scene showing some obvious banding issues, it is relatively clean but still maintaining normal film grain and detail, especially close-up shots, are fairly sharp and well defined. Colors – and skin tones in particular – appear natural looking so it is a pleasant looking transfer.

The disc comes with a decent enough DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track though sometimes it almost acts like a stereo track instead. The bulk of the movie is dialogue driven with some reticent depth during the ocean scenes on the yacht where the rear speakers do come to life. Even so, it’s a fine lossless track that won’t wow you.

OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, although Joe Versus the Volcano didn’t quite match up with my fond memories of seeing it back in 1990, it’s still a fun little romantic comedy that excels with its two charming stars and some truly funny scenes, particularly later in the film. The Blu-ray released through Warner’s Archive Collection includes good video, okay audio and some minimal bonus material.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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