General questions about movies, TV and more

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New this week I saw a movie on TV in the early-to-mid 90's. I didn't catch the beginning, but I think a kid shot and killed a criminal and is heralded as a hero afterward. When he returns to school, there are wrapped presents on his desk from his classmates. One of his classmates was jealous of the attention he was getting, and maliciously knocked some of the presents out of his hand when he was walking home from school. Later in the movie, he goes hunting with his dad and starts throwing up after they shoot a deer. At the end of the movie, the partners of the criminal he killed drive around the family's property and terrorize them. He goes out to confront them and I believe broke their windshield with a rock. He later tells his mom that he isn't brave, and she responds by telling him what he just did in confronting the men was the bravest thing she's ever seen anyone do. Anybody know the name of this movie?

Phaneron Premium member

New this week There was a short film on IFC starring Troy Evans. In the short film, he is a lumberjack who happens to come across a tree woman. She ends up kissing Troy and after that he is never seen again. What's it called?

New this month This has been annoying the hell out of me for years. I'm thinking of an early 1960s (?) black and white American movie that features numerous cameos by A-List Hollywood actors who are so heavily made-up (with wigs and latex facial prosthetics) that they are all thoroughly unrecognizable. At the end of the film, as a complete surprise, there is a sequence of each of these otherwise unremarkable cameo characters removing their makeup for a big reveal. For example, a plain, middle-aged woman who only appeared for a few seconds onscreen grandly removes her latex face to reveal none other than Burt Lancaster. I believe Robert Mitchum and Tony Curtis were also among the reveals. What is this film?

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Answer: "The List of Adrian Messenger" (1963). Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, and Tony Curtis, along with Kirk Douglas and Frank Sinatra, remove their heavy makeup during the epilogue to reveal who they are. Although Lancaster and Sinatra didn't actual portray the characters they claimed to have been.


New this month Thank you. The name of this movie has been on the tip of my tongue for many years.

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Incidentally, director John Huston (who also made a cameo appearance in the film) tried to convince Elizabeth Taylor to play a disguised part in this movie; but, when Taylor learned that her lovely face would be completely hidden under heavy latex, she turned down the role.

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Dax Shepherd played a homeless man living in the woods helping out 3 young boys with bullying - I'm trying to find out what the title of the movie was.

New this week Answer: Except for the part of the homeless man living in the woods, the plot is from Drillbit Taylor. A trio of bullied boys pull their money together looking for a Rambo type commando for protection. Owen Wilson is a homeless man wearing a thrift store army jacket, hearing of the money, convinces them he's what they're looking for.

There was a movie on the HallMark Channel. In the movie, a guy goes to a town and makes friends with a woman. While there, the woman convinces the guy to be in an eating competition. The competition deals with needing to eat a huge stack of pancakes. When the competition starts, all of the contestants are eating rapidly except for the guy. When the woman demands to know why he isn't eating rapidly, he says that food is meant to be savored not devoured. I never saw the rest but I'm pretty sure he lost, making the woman angry.

What is the name of a Woody Allen movie containing a bird and a snail? I saw a few scenes in this over 20 years ago but don't really remember the film.

There was a movie about a vampire. In the movie, he watches as the woman he loves gets hanged and he is forced to watch. Centuries later, while at a ball, the vampire sees a woman that looks exactly like the woman he was in love with. This is not "Bram Stoker's Dracula".

Answer: It could be the TV Series, Dracula, it was on NBC about eight to ten years ago for half a season.

That's the one.

How come in many movies that are based on true events, many of these events are false? Ex. In the movie "The Blindside", Leigh taught Michael how to play football but, in real life, he already knew how to play it. If movies are going to be made about true events about a person's life, then why aren't they ever a hundred percent true?

Answer: There are a variety of reasons, but it boils down to telling a compelling story. In the example you give, although I haven't seen the movie, I'd imagine it lends itself to better character development as well as possibly adding to the narrative. In the movie "Argo" which is also based on true events, the movie ends (spoiler) with the characters narrowly escaping the Iranian Hostage Crisis as the authorities at the airport become aware that they are on a departing plane and attempt to chase down the plane on the tarmac before it takes off. In real life, one of the people on the plane said their flight departed without any hiccups. This alteration was made to add tension to the movie, whereas the characters escaping with no resistance might feel anticlimactic.

Phaneron Premium member

I am trying to remember a short that I saw when I was about ten years old. It was on TV and I only remember seeing it once. A big man is sitting on some wood high above the clouds and a strange person dressed up like a robot appears. He examines him, like his eyes and his heart, and I think he even checks his teeth and feels his stomach as well. The last thing he did before leaving was he looked inside of his head and he saw his memories or something. After this he puts nails into the man's head and then he stamps his stomach for some reason and disappears. That is all that I can remember from this short. Also it was like stop motion animation like clay animation or something so I hope that helps. Can anyone help me out?

New this month Answer: Sound like it might be The Saint Inspector a short where a strange being in a box visits a man on a wooden pedestal. He gives a physical examination of sorts which involves some of what is described. I am pretty sure that this is what you are looking for.

What's this film? A teacher out jogging goes into a bush to pee, a little girl's Frisbee lands in the bush, and she tells her dad she saw a man with his penis out. The teacher gets branded a pervert, gets sacked, his wife leaves him and his life is ruined.

What was that movie where someone taps into Wall Street's computer to steal their stock info a millisecond before it gets to them? It's not the upcoming "Hummingbird" movie.

CCARNI Premium member

I need help identifying the title of a book. My brother was reading it in the mid-90s, and the only thing I remember him telling me about it was two gruesome deaths: one of a character getting hit in the face with a spiked baseball bat, and the other being a character I think was named Eddie who is decapitated by a wire while he is riding a motorbike. I could have swore that it was "The In Crowd" by Christopher Pike, but no such book appears in his bibliography, nor does there seem to be any adult fiction novel with that name. I seem to recall that the cover of the book depicted a teen girl sitting at a computer with a distressed look on her face.

Phaneron Premium member

There was a movie that had Michael Caine. In the movie, Michael and his best friend go to what I assume is the French Riviera. Michael and his friend also takes their teenage daughters. While there the friend's daughter and Michael end up having an affair.

Answer: Blame It On Rio (1984).

What action or otherwise "exciting" movies have quite a low-key ending? It's fairly standard now for action movies to build to a massive crescendo, a final all-out action sequence with CGI destruction running rampant. Do any relatively modern movies buck that trend?

Answer: First one that comes to mind is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (if the ending is the same as in the book, that is-not 100% sure), but ending with a battle of words instead of an action sequence like most of the other Twilight movies.

Answer: Doctor Strange comes to mind - not *that* low key, but the actual climax is him in a time loop negotiating Earth's safety rather than a massive epic battle.

Jon Sandys Premium member

There was a man in midlife crisis or something like it, but he finds a portal to a parallel universe which is still living in the Roman Empire. Also the portal is his refrigerator door. So the plot is how he becomes a new ruler of the Empire because he's the smartest man there, while he has relationship problems with his wife in his small apartment.

Answer: Sounds like the French film "Les Deux Mondes" (Two Worlds).

Sierra1 Premium member

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?

Answer: I think the movie you're looking for is "Defendor"

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

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.


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.


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.

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