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Answered general questions about movies, TV and more

This page is for general movie questions - if you've got a question about a specific film or TV show, please check the title-specific questions page first.Click the edit button below a question to answer it or amend the existing answer, if needed. Got a question about movies/TV shows that the IMDb or Google can't help with? Just click "submit something" in the navigation bar. I'll post it ASAP and hopefully someone will answer soon! Members get e-mailed when any of their questions are answered.

Question: I am looking for the name of a movie...I don't have much to go on but I think it was made in the 1980s or early '90s...it is a movie where people were taken hostage and they shoot a woman in the head and her husband or boyfriend witnesses it...he might be a cop or something.

New this week Answer: I believe the movie you're describing is Passenger 57. Wesley Snipes plays an Airport Security Expert, whose plane is hijacked by the world's dangerous terrorist. He's haunted by the death of his girlfriend, who was murdered in a convenience store robbery and his guilt over not stopping it in time.

Question: Why don't the new Star Wars and Marvel films feature a Disney logo at the beginning? Not saying it has to be the traditional Cinderella castle one. Just something mentioning that it is Disney owned.

New this month Answer: Even though Disney is the parent company, Marvel is a separate studio. It may also be partly for public relations purposes that they choose not to include the Disney logo. If their logo is attached to a Star Wars or Marvel project, people might be confused about its content, expecting a certain type of movie that is different from what it actually is. This is similar to Disney's "Touchstone" films, which have more mature themes and content. Similarly Columbia Studios is owned by Sony, but there's no Sony logo before their movies.

raywest

Question: There was a movie that had Donald Sutherland in it. He plays the father of a troubled teenage boy. In one scene, he says to his wife, "I don't think I love you anymore." The next shot shows him looking out a window and sees his wife driving off. This was actually based off a short story.

New this month Answer: The film is "Ordinary People" with Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Timothy Hutton, based on the novel of the same name.

Scott215

Question: I realise that these details are vague, but I would appreciate any guesses. This has been bugging me for years. I don't remember the main plot of this movie, but it involves a teenage boy (perhaps a pre-teen) who lives with a mean older brother. Or another adult male. At one point, the boy finally snaps and yells at him: "She thinks you're pathetic!", referring to a girl who the mean boy has been talking to/flirting with. Then there is an explosion sound (and possibly a clip of an explosion). I saw this in the '90s, so it's at least that old.

Answer: I don't know if this is the correct answer, but every time I read the question, it reminds me of an episode of the TV show, The Wonder Years. Kevin, the little brother is annoyed by his big brother, who keeps picking on him. He tries to act "cool" calling a girl to come over, when the parents are out. He then berates, Kevin, that he's a real man, who got a date. He is later dumbfounded, when she doesn't show up. Kevin, at this point, explodes screaming the girl is not coming because he's pathetic and nobody likes him.

Question: I remember a movie about an African American female ice skater. The movie started off when she was a child, and she was paired with a male ice skater during a recital. These two ended up skating together all the way up until adulthood. One day during practice the female skater was dropped and fell on the ice and ended up getting some really serious injuries, that affected her career. I think she ended up trying to commit suicide, Does anybody remember the name of this movie? I think it was The (insert ice skater whose name I can't remember) Story.

Answer: This is almost certainly "On Thin Ice: The Tai Babilonia Story" (1990).

Sierra1

Question: There was a movie about a woman who discovered that her daughter was sexually assaulted and when the man is set free due to lack of evidence, she murders him and makes it look like a suicide. The wife of the man then confronts her and says she knows that her husband was really murdered. A detective also working on the case befriends the mom and also says the man was murdered due to inconsistencies involving the man's death.

Answer: It might be the TV movie "Don't touch my Daughter" (1991). Victoria Principal murders her daughter's rapist, then lives with the fear of being exposed. After the police close the case, the rapist's widow calls saying, she knows what she did.

Question: Only saw the ending to this movie a couple times. A black teenager is sitting in a chamber about to be killed by lethal injection. As the process starts, the phone rings and a woman picks it up. She immediately screams to stop the execution but the kid has already died.

Answer: It may not be what you're thinking of; but it sounds similar to "True Crime", starring Clint Eastwood and Isiah Washington. Near the end, an innocent black man, Frank Beecham (Washington), is undergoing lethal injection, which is a 3-stage process (although he's not a teenager). A reporter, Steve Everett (Eastwood), is able to convince the Governor that Frank is innocent and the Governor calls to stop the execution, but it may be too late as stage-1 had already begun. As they try to revive Frank, his wife is banging on the window and yelling for him to wake up. It seems the call was in fact too late. However, the end shows Steve out shopping when he comes across Frank, showing Frank to be alive and well, and free.

Bishop73

Question: A movie with several short stories or a TV show that was scary or spooky that I saw in late 70s or 80s. The only part I recall is a young girl is being picked on by an older girl and she is reading some evil book. She draws some kind of circle on the ground with wax and dares the bully to go in. After she does, she says more things and the girl is trapped in the circle. Says some more and she shrinks. The tiny bully runs frantically, maybe a cat chasing or something. Eventually the girl steps on and kills the bully girl.

Answer: It's a British horror movie, titled The Uncanny (1977). Peter Cushing tells his publisher, Ray Milland, a trio of tales from his book, that cats are evil supernatural entities. One story is a young girl, with a cat, who goes to live with her Aunt's family.

Question: In a scene from what movie did explorers go into a desert where it was snowing? Not Close Encounters.

Answer: This could most likely be the ending to the movie "Starman" starring Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen.

Question: Trying to find the name of an old black and white movie where a person buys ten or twelve cars and hires drivers then drives through town crashing into other cars that cut them off, doing this one car after another until all the drivers are piled into the one car left. Any suggestion or possible answer would be helpful. Thank you.

Answer: If I Had a Million (1932).

Question: Does anyone know an animated cartoon movie of a boy or man who built a time traveling machine and travels through time, I can't recall the first place he visits to but from what I remember is that he travels way to the future and finds himself underground beneath a desert. I think there were aliens living there. He tries to escape from them and goes a little back in time to look for his future self, finally succeeding, then he goes back to his time. I think the first time I saw it was in 2004 or 2005.

Answer: This is most likely the movie "Time Kid". Tom Spender is a kid who discovers that his dad built a time machine and traveled into the future. Tom uses the time machine to go into the future and rescue his dad.

Question: Why do several TV shows have the announcement "[Show Name] is filmed in front of a live studio audience"?

Answer: This kind of announcement was a common practice, particularly during the 1970's and 1980's, to inform the home viewing audience that the reactions (laughter, gasps, hoots of approval, etc.) they hear were produced live by human beings, rather than added on a canned laugh/response track in post-production. It can be a bit misleading, however. Often, during the filming of a show, several takes are required to capture a scene to the satisfaction of the director and actors. It would be impossible for audiences to respond with the same ebullience for several takes in a row. So, many times, the audience reaction from a prior take is used for the final take we see on television.

Question: There was a TV movie that had Hilary Swank. In the movie, she plays a woman whose husband was arrested and charged with the murder of an elderly couple that he knew. During the trial, flashbacks show what happened. The husband had a sleepwalking episode where he drove to their house and began fixing an air conditioner. When they noticed him, they tried to talking to him but with no luck. Eventually, the old man touches the husband on his shoulder and he suddenly goes berserk and kills them both. The ending of the movie has the husband found not guilty and Hilary's family disowning her.

Answer: It's called The Sleepwalker Killing.

Question: I remember a movie where two women were training to be lawyers or cops. The teacher assigned the class unsolved cases as a test. The two women got one about stolen sheets or towels from an industrial laundry. They tracked the guy down and got a confession out of him. He said "are you going to arrest me?" and they replied "No, we're not cops. We are only in training." Think this movie is mid 90s.

Answer: This sounds like the 1988 light-comedy film, "Feds," starring Rebecca DeMornay and Mary Gross as two unlikely F.B.I. trainees who support each other through the rigorous program.

raywest

Question: I am looking for a movie that is about a woman who claims a man broke in through her window and raped/robbed her. But the only problem is she lives in a high rise so it would seem impossible. I think it came out in the 90s.

Answer: You're thinking of the 1993 film, "Sliver" starring Sharon Stone, William Baldwin, and Tom Berenger.

raywest

Question: Not sure if it's the same movie or if I'm thinking about two different films entirely, but I know that it had Gene Wilder in it. In the movie, Gene is sitting in a cab with a woman and sees her writing an address on an envelope which he drops in a mail box for her. Later, he is abducted and through some kind of drug is forced to tell his kidnapper what the address is. Another scene has him confronting a lady who she thinks he's attempting to rob. When he tells her that he doesn't want her money, she pulls her blouse tight causing him to say he doesn't want her body either.

Answer: I believe the scene in the cab is from Hanky Panky (1981). The woman, Kathleen Quinlan, is being chased by government agents. After mailing something, she is killed, so they go after him. The second, I believe is from Stir Crazy. At the beginning of the movie, Gene plays store security, who chases a woman he believes shoplifted, and harasses her. She thinks he's a lunatic.

Question: Why do several TV shows portray fathers as bumbling idiots? Just two examples are Homer Simpson ("The Simpsons") and Peter Griffin ("Family Guy").

Answer: It's just an old "nuclear family" stereotype dating back to the earliest days of television sitcoms. The father was often depicted as a good parent and faithful husband, but he was often a bit clueless about what was going on in the family. The mother was always the most level-headed one who managed the home and kids and kept everything running smoothly, all while tactfully letting her spouse believe he was in charge.

raywest

Question: Can someone give me a website or perhaps a Youtube account of videos where visual effects techniques are described in detail and how many there are? Could someone also tell me how to tell a visual effects shot different from a real one?

Answer: Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxDq5FjwClc.

Question: What movie is it where a postman with fear of dogs dies to escape from a dog?

Answer: You may be thinking of the movie Man's Best Friend, a horror film released in 1993 about a genetically modified dog that terrorizes a neighborhood. One scene in the film depicts the dog chasing and killing a postman. This scene was included in the later film Friday: John Witherspoon (a dog catcher) is watching the film and humorously comments on the scene.

Question: I remember seeing part of a live action movie on TV that showed a puppy playing with an old woman who lived on the street and she later dies from an illness. The puppy also has dreams of a past life, and later joins with an older dog and he grows up with him in a junkyard. When he is all grown up he attacks a man for stepping on his tail and the man takes his revenge on him by kidnapping him and taking him to a place where he is used in some sort of a test. I didn't watch the rest of the movie after that because it bothered me so much. Can anyone tell me what this movie was called?

Answer: This is Fluke (1995), starring Matthew Modine at the voice of Fluke the dog.

Sierra1

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