General questions about movies, TV and more

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New this week Question: In a lot of crime dramas, why is it when someone isn't aware that they committed a crime are they let go but in others they are arrested. Eg: In an episode of Law and Order: SVU, a teenage boy ends up raping his girlfriend's little sister but, he doesn't remember doing it because he was sleep walking so he was let go. In another crime drama, if somebody receives stolen property but was never aware that it was stolen, that person gets arrested.

New this week Answer: It's called "drama" for a reason. Screenwriters seldom immerse themselves in legal fact, but almost always use legal consultants to just "fact check" their fictional work. As any attorney can tell you, it's virtually impossible to consolidate all of the intricacies of criminal or civil law into a one-hour television episode or a two-hour feature film. Even jury selection can last days or weeks, as the legal counsels attempt to explain "the law" and court procedure to jury candidates. So, anything you see in theatrical depictions of "the law" is often arbitrary and cherry-picked and sensational and has very little to do with the actual practice of law.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: I have noticed a few movies where the shot looks as if a circular camera was used. An example is the kitchen at the very beginning in Scream. How and why are these shot?

Answer: It's all about using empty space to create anticipation. The lens used in the opening shots of "Scream" is a high-content cinematic lens used for extremely wide shots, capturing a huge horizontal image without much vertical distortion and giving the effect of spaciousness. In "Scream," this effect helps to emphasize the fact that Drew Barrymore is all alone in this very spacious house (almost always with Drew right in the middle of the shot) as the stalker keeps calling her on the phone. She suspects that the guy on the phone is watching her, so she is glancing frantically around the house; and the audience, too, is glancing around these big, roomy shots, expecting a jump-scare.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: Fisheye lens?

dizzyd

Question: I live in Canada and I remember seeing a scene from either a movie or a TV show I would like to know what it was. All I remember is that a man was shovelling snow and the dog is outside with him and it starts barking and he looks at the dog. The scene changes and the wife and children come home and he tells them that the dog was hit by a car and killed. Later the wife finds a pitchfork or a shovel and a pile of blood in the snow. She then goes back inside and asks the husband what happened to the dog. He then goes all funny and he either takes his shirt off or he lifts it up. On his back something is written but it is backwards. The wife goes as gets a mirror and on his back are the words "The door is always open." I would really like to know what this scene was from so can anyone help me out?

Question: There's an horror film, 80s maybe, with a weird bald dog, with bulging eyes. It looks revolting but the cast don't treat it as a threat until it bites someone, and they kill it. I thought it was Brain Dead, but haven't got a copy to check and can't find an image which matches it.

Answer: So there is an Australian film called "Braindead" (that was re-released in the U.S. as "Dead Alive") where a creature's bite would turn people into zombies. But I don't think it was ever treated as a non-threat. But it wasn't a dog, it was a Sumatran Rat-monkey. But it's an ugly, bald creature that could look like a dog. http://non-aliencreatures.wikia.com/wiki/Sumatran_Rat-Monkey Here's a link to a page that has a picture of the creature so you can see if it's what you're thinking of.

Bishop73

Question: I'm trying to remember a movie from the late 90s / early 00s, most likely made for TV. I'm almost positive it starred, or heavily featured, one of the male cast members from Friends, but I can't remember which one. That character dies in the film, and there's some kind of afterlife with ghosts still being on earth doing stuff, I think they're linked to specific places for some reason, and/or they're all trying to help the guy who dies so they can get their wings. I'm reasonably sure the film either opens on, or ends on (or both) a car crash in which the Friends guy gets into a car crash, shown from the interior of the car, where they're in a business suit. I've been through the IMDB pages of each of the male Friends cast members and I can not find this film. Does it sound familiar to anyone out there?

Gary O'Reilly

Question: I am looking for a film, likely from the 80s/90s with a poster depicting a skull impressing from behind fabric e.g. https://tinyurl.com/y8kz22wp.

oiweld

Answer: The Frighteners is one of the better known examples of that: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116365/.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Question: Why didn't Arnold hit the predator with the stone he picked at the end? its looked like he was confused and was not expecting what he was seeing.

Answer: Arnold was not certain that the Predator was mortally injured, and he was going to crush its skull just to be sure. However, before he can deliver the blow, he sees the Predator coughing up a quantity of green blood; he then knows the thing is dying, so he pauses. Arnold is then startled by the Predator mimicking human speech and activating the strange device on its wrist. Almost too late, Arnold realises he has only seconds to escape.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: He wanted to finish him off but realised he was pinned under the log, trapped and obviously dying.

lionhead

Question: I've been quoting a movie for years now. When I stop to think about it... I can't remember what movie the quote is even from! So I'm trying to find out of anybody can name the film that this quote is from. But someone is in a public bathroom of some sorts, possibly a truck stop and is hiding in one of the stalls. I think they may have been on the phone, but I'm not sure. An old man comes in and does his business then gets up and whips and you just hear him speaking through the wall. "Corn? Why is it always corn? I didn't even eat corn!" I've quoted that line as a joke many times now over the years but I can not remember what movie, TV show, or possibly YouTube video that was from. Google search doesn't help me it seems.

Quantom X Premium member

Answer: There is a scene in Senseless (1998) where Darryl (played by Marlon Wayans) is listening in on the two girls in the bathroom and Tonya (I think) says the line "Corn? I don't remember eating no corn." Although, it's obvious that the corn-in-poop joke is common toilet humor, so I'm sure a dozen other movies have had the joke and similar lines.

Bishop73

Answer: You're probably thinking of Mike Myers as "Fat Bastard" in the 2002 comedy "Austin Powers in Goldmember." We see the silhouette of Fat Bastard against the paper wall of a geisha house, peering into the toilet and exclaiming, "Oy, I dinna have any corn!"

Charles Austin Miller

I looked up the quote. And while it is similar, I don't think that's exactly the one I'm thinking of. I remember the movie saying the quote that I remember being almost word for word how I mentioned it. I almost want to say it was in a Jackass movie or similar. I just can't remember for sure.

Quantom X Premium member

This is the Mike Myers "Fat Bastard" scene. Look familiar? https://youtu.be/f71VqFgwPy4.

Charles Austin Miller

Nah. I said I looked up that scene and don't think that was it. I actually have never watched the Austin Powers movies.

Quantom X Premium member

Question: I saw a movie many years ago, at the end the girl was leaving the guy, and repeated "I divorce thee" three times while turning around. Do you know the movie?

Answer: That's a tough one, without more specific detail. The Triple Talaq ("I divorce thee, I divorce thee, I divorce thee!") is actually an old Islamic tradition for legal divorce that is still practiced by Muslims in India to this day. Such a scene might appear in a number of films dealing with Muslim and/or Indian characters. Do you recall whether or not the film was a comedy or a drama, set in the Western world or in an Eastern country?

Charles Austin Miller

The movie was set in America, best I remember it was an older man and younger woman. She was in a park or on a mountainside at the end of the movie, turned three times in a circle with outstretched arms and repeated "I divorce thee" three times.

Question: Looking for a movie about a boy named Toby who is being bullied in his neighborhood. They make fun of him by calling him Toby Smoby. He fights one of the bullies and the bully falls down an embankment and gets hurt. Toby then befriends this boy and teaches him how to play chess. Does anyone remember the name of this move? Made before the 1980's.

122359

Answer: I Googled "Toby Smoby" and the results page asked if I meant "Toby Schmoby." I clicked on that result and a page came up called "The CBS Children's Film Festival - A Bravenet.com Forum." The comments in the forum were similar to your question and one comment identified the movie as "Toby."

Phaneron Premium member

Question: Looking for a sci-fi alien movie that came out in either 2014 or 2015. Almost all of the film is found footage of people encountering a spider like alien creature in the woods. A forest ranger gets bitten by the creature and records her bite getting worse and spreading throughout her body. An old man and his son also get attacked by it in the woods.

Answer: Alien Abduction (2014)? Area 51 (2015)? Project Almanac (2015)?

THGhost

Question: A few years ago I was scrolling through titles on Netflix and came across a horror movie (an anthology one if I remember correctly). The artwork depicted a man holding a knife in one hand and his own severed head in the other. The poster was evocative of movie posters from the 1980s, which leads me to believe the movie came out in that decade. Does anyone know what movie this is?

Phaneron Premium member

Answer: Found it! It's called "From a Whisper to a Scream."

Phaneron Premium member

Question: I am trying to find out what movie contains a character of a Hollywood producer (who I thought was played by Martin Landau, but I can't find it in his filmography) who wears a white suit, and yellow or red wraparound Robert Evans style sunglasses.

Dry_manhattan

Question: Has there ever been an incident in any Star Trek episode or movie where the Enterprise (or other vessel) encounters another ship that is oriented upside down relative to Enterprise's perspective? Given that starships use artificial gravity, a ship's orientation in space is meaningless (in fact there are times Enterprise will bank sharply to turn, but inside everyone and everything stays oriented upright and nothing falls over or slides off things). It just seems improbable that everyone is flying through space the same way, but I haven't seen or don't recall this. Is there something mentioned (show or novelization) about rules of orientation in space (e.g. a galactic law).

Bishop73

Chosen answer: There has not been any scene in any Star Trek film or TV episode of another ship being oriented differently from other vessels. Although it's possible in real life, for show production purposes, showing ships in various positions like that would make the story line unnecessarily confusing and disorienting.

raywest Premium member

Question: I desperately need help finding this movie from which this scene is drawn. Two people sitting at a diner table next to a window. Outside in the near distance is a cow nursing her calf. One person remarks "Soon she'll wonder why she even had her" or something to that effect. Thanks.

roy

Question: What movie is this? An evil guy wakes up with bandages on his face. he takes them off and looks out the window and destroys a passing passenger plane with his mind.

Answer: Sounds like you're describing elements of a 1978 paranormal thriller called "The Medusa Touch," starring Richard Burton. Most of the movie is told in flashbacks because, from the very beginning, the evil character named John Morlar is in a hospital intensive care unit, his head completely wrapped in bandages (having suffered severe cranial injuries), and the bandages are never removed during the film. As the flashbacks unfold, we learn that John Morlar had incredible telekinetic mental powers all throughout his life and he is responsible for several unexplained tragedies; in one flashback, he does indeed gaze out a window (or terrace) and causes a 747 passenger jet disaster. What you probably recall is a scene with Morlar in bandages followed by the flashback of him causing the passenger jet disaster.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: I caught the tail end of a presumably made-for-television movie some time in the early to mid 90s. It featured a man who had himself altered to look exactly like another man whose life and family he wanted. The two ended up fighting with one of them falling to his death. We are led to believe the evil man died, but it is shortly thereafter revealed that he was the one who survived when he is shown shuffling a coin on his knuckles, which my brother told me is something he was shown doing earlier in the movie. Does anyone have any idea what the title of this movie is?

Phaneron Premium member

Chosen answer: I believe this is the 1994 TV movie 'Natural Selection' starring C. Thomas Howell.

Purple_Girl

That's it. Thanks. I was wondering for years what that movie was called.

Phaneron Premium member

Question: There was a movie that had Keanu Reeves in it. In the movie, he plays a teenager who discovers that he accidentally gave his girlfriend to a pimp and intends on making her into a prostitute. When Keanu finally manages to rescue her, he takes her home and tells her and her dad what he thinks of her, breaks up with her and then walks home.

Answer: That's the 1988 film, "The Night Before," a comedy that is mostly told in flashbacks as Keanu Reeves tries to remember how he lost his dad's car and sold his date to a pimp on prom night.

Charles Austin Miller

That's the one.

Question: There was a movie with Jim Carrey in it although he was not the lead. The only scene I remember is that he walks home and knocks on the door, his dad and sister are surprised to see him because they were told he was dead. His sister believes that he's actually a zombie and wants to know what it's like to be one.

Answer: That's the 1984 comedy "Finders Keepers," in which a con-man pretends to be a soldier who is escorting another soldier's body home in a coffin (but the coffin actually contains several million dollars). The con-man claims that the deceased soldier's name is "Lane Biddlecoff," so word quickly spreads that Biddlecoff is dead. However, the real Lane Biddlecoff (played by Jim Carrey) is an immature goofball who was never a soldier, and he is still very much alive. The scene you're describing features Lane Biddlecoff, his uncle and his bubble-headed cousin (not his father and sister), as the cousin repeatedly asks Lane what it's like to be dead and come back to life.

Charles Austin Miller

That's it.

Question: What is the name of the movie where a man's son dies in service and his spirit comes back to visit his dad? It shows the dad standing by a wall with the names of soldiers that died and he's looking at his son's name on the wall. At the end of the movie his dad drops him off on the road, and the son starts walking off carrying a duffel bag, waving goodbye. Only his dad could see him and I believe it aired around Christmas.

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