Ebertfest Day One – Joe Vs. The Volcano

Joe Versus the VolcanoLast night kicked off Ebertfest 2012 and we saw Joe Versus the Volcano, one of Roger Ebert’s favorites. The movie itself is a zany romantic comedy that is surprisingly funny. We meet Joe Banks (Tom Hanks), who works at a miserable job and has suffered from not feeling well for years. He goes to see a doctor who tells him he is dying of a brain cloud. Joe is then confronted by a wealthy businessman (Lloyd Bridges) that tells Joe he needs to jump in a volcano in the South Pacific to gain the trust, and natural resources, of the island.

Along the way, Joe has contact with three different woman all of whom are played by Meg Ryan. Meg and Tom Hanks are so wonderful together on screen and watching them is simply a joy. Joe Versus the Volcano switches tones and visual cues often, but in the context of the whole pictures it works wonderfully.

It’s a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously but I think it is definitely worth watching. Joe Versus the Volcano was a great way to start the festival given its lighthearted nature and it was truly a joy to see it on the big screen.

After the movie, we were introduced to the director of photography on Joe Versus the Volcano, Stephen Goldblatt, who has most recently done the cinematography on The Help. The moderator for the discussion was Christy Lemire, who you might recognize as a host from Ebert Presents: At the Movies. Also joining was Brazilian film critic, Pablo Villaca.

The discussion was interesting and spanned Goldblatt’s career in the movie industry. We were enlightened on some of the tougher shots to achieve in Joe Versus the Volcano and also Angels in America. It wasn’t so in-depth that it was confusing, it was relatively light on technical terms but still quite informative.

As for Joe Versus the Volcano

I give it 4 viewings of the moon from a raft out of 5.

Some interesting Ebertfest links:

The festival’s main site: http://www.ebertfest.com/
Stream the interview sessions for free: http://ustre.am/JauL

If you’d like more info, please follow me on Twitter @WatchesMovies


Rotten Tomatoes


16 responses to “Ebertfest Day One – Joe Vs. The Volcano

  1. I Loved This Movie. My Mother Took My Brother And I To See The Sunday Matinee Opening Weekend hahaha It Was My FAVE Of The Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan Flicks.
    It Always Makes Me Smile 🙂
    HAVE FUN, SIR!!! I’d Love To Hit-Up An Ebertfest!!!

  2. Pingback: Ebertfest Day One: Phunny Business + The Truth About Beauty and Blogs | Andy Watches Movies

  3. Hey man, sorry I was away for the weekend. I can’t believe I have never heard of this movie, especially considering it’s one of Ebert’s favorites. I’ll definitely be giving this one a go! You make Ebertfest sound pretty awesome, even though it isn’t really “my thing”. I’d love to get to chat and talk with the guys behind-the-scenes of a movie I just watched. Great review!

    • No worries, my man. I’m drowning in a backlog of other blogs to read and I’ve also fallen pretty far behind in writing my own blogs! Yeah, I would highly recommend Ebertfest, not sure in what ways it differs from other film fests, though. Thanks!

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