Movie #16: The Whimsical Cult Film – Joe Versus the Volcano
Year – 1990
Joe Versus the Volcano is a polarizing film. There isn’t much middle ground. You’re either left scratching your head at this odd little curio or your become entranced by its quirky charms. For me, it was the latter.
The film was the directorial debut of John Patrick Shanley (the writer of Moonstruck). Unfortunately, based on the success of Moonstruck and the stars of this film (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan) the film was marketed as a mass appeal romantic-comedy. Instead they got a maudlin yet whimsical tale about a hypochondriac who, after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, decides to journey to a remote tropical island so he can throw himself into a volcano.
While the film doesn’t focus on the workplace, it’s opening (and memorable) scene does. Set to Eric Burdon‘s cover of Sixteen Tons, we see the drudgery of the administrative office of a filthy factory. It’s Joes existence and emblematic of his grimy, soulless existence making his “I quit” speech all the more effective.
It’s pretty good stuff for a movie that was based on a Goofy short. – TOK
Movie #17: Workplace Revenge – Horrible Bosses
Year – 2011
With Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as your leads, you wouldn’t be remiss in thinking that you’ve got a gutbuster on your hands…but you don’t. However, said horrible bosses (played by Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and a barely recognizable Colin Farrell) do manage to salvage this comedic triad of workplace nightmares. – DG
Movie #18: Vinyl Fantasy – High Fidelity
Year – 2000
Rob Gordon (John Cusack), the owner an indie record store (remember those?), is a compulsive list-maker. He loves to compile various “Top 5” lists. After yet another relationship ends he decides to make a “Top 5 Break-ups” list and revisit each of his past loves in an effort to figure out what exactly he is doing wrong.
The film is one of the best romantic-comedies of the last fifteen years. And many of its best scenes take place at Championship Vinyl where Rob and his employees (including a then little known Jack Black) make their lists, listen to music, belittle their customers’ taste and (occasionally) sell a few records. – TOK