General questions about movies, TV and more

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New this month Just watched a bit of a movie with Woody Harrelson in it. In the movie, Woody is a vigilante who dresses up in a S.W.A.T uniform even though he is not a member. On his uniform is the letter D in duct tape and he drives a yellow truck. He had two friends to help him, one is a girl who is a drug addict. One scene has him taking the girls father and throwing him in a trash can upside-down. Another scene has him talking to a psychiatrist and telling her that his enemy is called "Captain Industry." What movie is this?

New this month Answer: I think the movie you're looking for is "Defendor" https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1303828/.

New this month Do most movie and TV studios have a team of mechanics constantly repairing vehicles? It seems that whenever minor/medium car crashes are filmed the cars are far from written off, but they also must need a lot of work done to make them driveable again, or even just look good enough to be reused on film.

Jon Sandys Premium member

New this month Answer: They would have mechanics and/or film crew with mechanical expertise on hand to perform repairs as needed, but they also use multiples of the same makes and models of vehicles used in a movie, particularly cars that are being used in crashes or stunts. This is something that occasionally shows up as a movie mistake where viewers notice a slight variation on what is supposed to be the same car in a scene.

raywest Premium member

I saw a TV movie in the early 90s. The plot centered around a man abducting a young boy under the guise that he was a co-worker of the boy's father and that he was looking after the kid while the dad was tied up in a meeting. At one point in the movie, the kid is keeping his distance from the man in an attic and manages to break his nose with a canoe paddle. Later in the movie, someone else tries to claim the kid. The kidnapper says the kid got away and the other man says "What did he do, punch you in the nose?" The two get into a scuffle that ends with the kidnapper killing the other man by stabbing a screwdriver into his neck. At the end of the film when the boy is rescued, rather than face the consequences, the kidnapper commits suicide by jumping out of the window. Anyone have any idea what the title of this movie is?

Phaneron Premium member

Chosen answer: The kid taking refuge in the attic and the kidnapper jumping out of the window, is from a 1990 TV movie, Bump in the Night. Christopher Reeve takes a little boy to his N.Y. townhouse. The boy evades him long enough to call his mother, Meredith Baxter, for help.

Wow, quick response. I thought this one was going to be too obscure. Thanks.

Phaneron Premium member

I just remembered seeing a trailer for a movie years ago that I was curious about but never got to see. I just can't remember the name of the movie or even who was in it now. I think it was either a late 90's film or an early 2000's film. And possibly Patrick Swayze was in it? I can't remember for sure. I may be getting it mixed up with Ghost. Anyways, I remember in trailer that this guy was able to see numbers on people's foreheads. And these numbers indicated when that person was going to die and who was next. Like the lower the number, the sooner they were going to die. I don't really remember much else about the trailer. Does anybody know what movie this was?

Quantom X Premium member

Answer: You may be thinking of the 1996 horror-comedy "The Frighteners," directed by Peter Jackson and starring Michael J. Fox, Jeffrey Combs, Dee Wallace, Jake Busey, and a host of others. Michael J. Fox plays a shady psychic medium (performing fake exorcisms for money) who starts seeing glowing numbers on people's foreheads shortly before they die under mysterious circumstances. Turns out it's the malevolent ghost of a mass-murderer (played by Jake Busey) who is still trying to get the "highest score" of victims, marking them with sequential numbers before he kills them. Michael J. Fox must engage in supernatural battle with Busey to stop the carnage. "The Frighteners" was a technically superior film that didn't do so well at the boxoffice but went on to become a cult classic.

Charles Austin Miller

I looked up a trailer for that, it's not it. But thanks.

Quantom X Premium member

Answer: There's an episode of "Medium", s06e09 "The Future so Bright", where Allison sees numbers on people's forehead that tells how long they have to live and all the dead people have "0" on their foreheads. It might not be what you're thinking, but maybe you can look into if "Medium" got the idea from the movie you're thinking of.

Bishop73

Answer: There is a 2012 short titled "Numbers" directed by Robert Hloz that premiered at Cannes Film Festival in which a young man sees numbers floating above people's heads and then meets a girl with the same ability (it's not in English and might not be what you're thinking of so I won't give away any spoilers). There is also a 2007 film, starring Nathan Fillion, called "White Noise: The Light" (sequel to "White Noise") where the main character has premonitions of when people are going to die and tries to save them. But he doesn't see numbers on their heads, as far as I know.

Bishop73

I checked those. Not them either. :/.

Quantom X Premium member

Unfortunately, "The Frighteners" is the only movie with that plot.

I remember seeing a movie on Hallmark that had three brothers, a little girl and a lighthouse. I can't remember the title.

I'm looking for a documentary on the U.S. Constitution that would have come out in the late 80s, when it had its bicentennial. It was comedic and aimed at a junior high/high school audience. I remember that Rhea Perlman and Whoopi Goldberg played waitresses at the Constitutional Convention, though their IMDB pages don't show anything. There was a clip from the 60s Batman TV show where The Penguin runs for office. There was also a sketch about fatigued soldiers in Vietnam staying awake by quizzing each other over the Constitution, and suddenly realizing that at the time, none of them were old enough to vote. Does this ring a bell for anyone?

Brian Katcher

Answer: I think this is "Funny, You Don't Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville." It used to be available on VHS, maybe it still is.

Super Grover Premium member

There was a movie I rented a few years back. I don't remember exactly how long ago, but I know we got the film from RedBox. It was a space movie where this crew went to like a comet or something and landed on the surface. Some creature began messing with their minds I think and was living in the water beneath them. It pulled one of the crew below and ate him/her. I don't remember much else but at the end of the film there was one crew member left who was in the ship as it was sinking and the creature getting inside with them. I don't remember what happened after that. I'm wanting to know what the movie was called so I could find it again.

Quantom X Premium member

Chosen answer: You're describing the 2013 independent science-fantasy film "Europa Report," featuring Sharlto Copley (but mostly a cast of unknowns). Story of a manned space mission to one of Jupiter's moons, Europa, which theoretically contains vast oceans beneath its icy surface. The astronauts start seeing flashes of bio-luminescent light beneath the ice and realise that there is life on Europa; then, as you mentioned, everything goes disastrously sideways. This film was released to streaming services about two months before it was released in theatres in 2013. On a budget of less than $10 Million, the movie grossed a whopping $125 Million, with generally favorable reviews.

Charles Austin Miller

There was a movie that I saw either in the late '80s or early '90s. The only scene I seem to remember is a family living in a cabin in the mountains. One day, a helicopter lands and the family greets and befriends the pilot. When the pilot goes to return back home, his helicopter malfunctions and crashes. The family takes care of the pilot until he is ready to go home.

Answer: That's from Mountain Family Robinson, or The Wilderness Family Part 3.

That's one of them all right. Thanks.

A long while ago, I remember watching a delightful little stop-motion Christmas animation short about a lonely little boy who makes himself a companion out of a large pillow/cushion, some sticks and a pair of boots that he finds in the attic during a snowstorm. His creation (which I'm fairly sure was called the Nanny) comes to life and turns his bickering parents into children to teach them the importance of unity (or something like that), and a large sack of toys is somehow involved. There are also 4 teddies that also come to life and they play with the boy. It ends with the parents (adults again) reconciling with each other and their son, while the Nanny disappears into the storm with the teddies, but not before the smallest teddy goes back and hugs the boy. Now I thought it was simply called 'The Nanny', but I can't find it anywhere! Please help.

This has been bugging me for ages. I can remember bits from two different movies/dreams, but I don't know whether they are films or just dreams. Does anyone recognise either? Or are they just figments of my imagination? 1) It is set mainly (if not completely) in a busy city area. There are three children involved; a boy of about 13 or 14, called Tom, and he wears a worn, dark blue hoodie thing; a girl of about 12, with blonde plaits; and another boy of about 9. One of these two is called Leslie (I think it's the girl), and for some reason, they are all fending for themselves on the street (They're not orphans, I'm sure of that; neither do I think they are related). At some point, the younger boy hurts his arm, and the girl sends Tom to get some cream from a chemist. Tom goes, but he has no money, so he gets his cream, asks the pretty girl at the counter for another cream behind her and runs for it. He successfully avoids being caught and gets back to the girl. Then later, near the end, the girl and the younger boy are being chased up a multi-storey car-park by an unknown man, (who, if I remember correctly, wants the little boy only) and the two children manage to hide in a large, wooden box at the top. Then I remember two men getting into a black, unmarked Police car and zooming off to rescue the children (presumably Tom alerted them). The man in the passenger seat reaches through the window as the car screeches off and sticks a flashing blue light on the car roof. (The bits with the car speeding along the road and the kids running up the car-park keep alternating) The coppers reach the base of the car-park as the man walks slowly towards the box where the kids are hiding, and they get to the top just as the man goes to throw up the lid. The man is arrested and the kids rescued. That's all I remember. 2) Two young kids - a boy and a girl, both teenagers of about 14 or 15 - are at a fair. (I think) They don't want to be there, and they get bored. They somehow end up on the Ghost Train, but they are the only ones. The ride isn't really that scary, apart from a small incident with a very real bat. Anyway, the ride seems much longer than it should be, and the pair find themselves in a small room full of very odd curios, such as stuffed birds, unravelling mummy models and a very dog-eared, glass-eyed and creepy stuffed monkey. The place appears to be empty, and the kids look unenthusiastically around. Then I think the boy touches the stuffed monkey gingerly, a bell dings and the owner of the shop appears (whether from another carriage on the little train where he has been hiding, or from behind the counter, I don't know). He is a cheerful little man who, now that I think about it, reminds me of Jim Broadbent, (I have a feeling he is related to at least one of the children; father or Uncle) and the children consider him as odd as his collection. He talks to them, and it seems that hardly anybody bothers with his ghost-train anymore, meaning they never end up in the shop. I can't remember what happens next, but it does lead on to the kids getting back on the train, and they end up finding the way out, which somehow comes out into a graffiti-covered back street. (I think the train may have taken them to another world 'before' dropping them off here). That isn't the end, but I can't remember the rest. Does anyone recognise these as films? If so, any suggestions on the titles? Thanks.

I am looking for the title of a movie I saw many years ago. It was about an Egyptian statue in which a scroll was found in its foot, and when placed in its mouth came alive. However the scroll stated that on the first day the statue could not be killed by water. On the second day the statue could not be killed by water or fire. This went on until the end when the statue could not even be killed by the hand of God. Do you know the title of this movie?

Answer: You're probably thinking of It! (1967). Here is a quote from IMDb: The Old Rabbi: This is a most rare thing. I don't believe that you got it off some stone as you said. If I translate it for you, will you agree to tell me the truth? Arthur Pimm: Yes. The Old Rabbi: He who will find the secret of my life at his feet, him will I serve until beyond time. He who shall evoke me in the seventeenth century, beware! For I cannot by fire be destroyed. He who shall evoke me in the eighteenth century, beware! For I cannot by fire or by water be destroyed. He who evokes me in the nineteenth century, beware! For I cannot by fire or by water or by force be destroyed. He who in the twentieth century shall dare evoke me, beware! For neither by fire nor water, nor force, nor anything by man created, can I be destroyed. He who in the twenty-first century evokes me, must be of God's hand himself, because on this Earth, the person of man existeth no more. The Old Rabbi: Now, tell me, where did you get this? Arthur Pimm: I traced if off an old statue that came from Czechoslovakia. Does it have any significance? The Old Rabbi: Significance? That statue is the Great Golem, believed to have been destroyed centuries ago. If it is still in existence, if I say, it is probably the most powerful force on Earth today. Arthur Pimm: More powerful than the H-bomb? The Old Rabbi: [scoffs] A bomb is finished when it has exploded. But the Golem will go on and on forever, serving or destroying. Arthur Pimm: What do you mean "serving"? The Old Rabbi: It will obey whoever places a magic scroll beneath its tongue. Arthur Pimm: Where does one get this magic scroll? The Old Rabbi: If I knew that, I would not reveal it to you. Power destroys. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061826/quotes?ref_=tttrv_ql_4.

A random movie or TV quote has occurred to me and I can't place it. It's delivered in a faintly Al Pacino way, but I don't think it's him, saying "I will not let...these animals...", then something like "ruin my city", but I only remember the first part. Any clue what it's from?

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: That's from the movie Bad Boys II (2003), Captain Howard played by Joe Pantoliano says it at the end of this scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw6WIbR1eQw.

lionhead

Thank you! Not seen that in far too long.

Jon Sandys Premium member

I'm trying to help a friend of mine identify a movie he's been trying to find for years. We were talking about martial arts films and he mentioned there's one he wishes he could remember and has tried researching it, but hasn't been able to find it. He doesn't remember the title or who plays in it. He thinks he saw it when he was around 11 years old, so this would have probably been a movie from the mid to late 90's, possibly early 00's. In the film these guys has these magical swords with special abilities and the swords had names. He said that in the film their master kills one of them and the other guy comes back and defeats his master at the end while having both of the swords. I thought maybe he was referring to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon or something with the mystical swords, but he said it isn't that. Does anybody know what movie this is he's looking for?

Quantom X Premium member

I just remembered a movie I saw a few years ago. I want to say it came out in the mid 00's but it might have been later or even earlier. I think it was about some kids living in an underground civilization in a city that was built to help them survive long enough for the nuclear waste lands that were now the Earth's surface to become inhabitable again. But for some reason they had stayed underground for thousands of years longer than they were supposed to and the city was starting to malfunction and becoming a danger. I seem to also remember giant mutant moles causing them problems also. And in the end of the film they get to the surface and are surprised to find that it's covered in green plant life and perfectly suitable for life now. What movie was this?

Quantom X Premium member

Chosen answer: "City of Ember", a 2008 film based on the 2003 book. Considered a box office flop.

Bishop73

Ah! That is the one. Thank you. I had forgotten about this film till it suddenly popped into my mind again. I remember liking it a lot and wanted to find it again.

Quantom X Premium member

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.

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

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

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?

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

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

Answer: Sounds like it might be Heart and Souls, a 1993 comedy with Robert Downey Jnr. No Friends cast members but the plot is similar to your description.

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

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