Answered general questions about movies, TV and more

This page is for general questions - if you've got a question about a specific title, please check the title-specific questions page first. Click the button below a question to answer it or click "edit" to correct a spelling mistake. Ask your questions here, and hopefully someone will answer soon. Members get e-mailed when any of their questions are answered.

Question: I only saw a few minutes of this movie on TV once. It's probably in the sci-fi genre. There was a high school or college-age boy with very white skin and red lips, and I think he was bald. I saw a scene where he was in a classroom and the other students started making fun of him. Thanks if you can make a guess.

Chosen answer: I think the movie you are thinking of is Powder with Sean Patrick Flanery. His mother had been hit by lightning while on the way to the hospital to give birth. This resulted in him having abnormal powers and the pale skin and bald head.

Shannon Jackson

Question: Once saw on public tv only part of a movie that was a sprawling epic about Scandanavian or German immigrant steelworkers in the Midwest. A catch phrase, connecting or ending scenes, showed workers shoveling coal into a furnace with the foreman saying, "Let's make steel." Never saw the film pop up again, could never figure out what it was. Film seemed quite old. Anyone know the film?

Chosen answer: Hope I have it for you now. "An American Romance" with Brian Donlevy. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036596/.

Question: I am looking for a comedy (maybe from the late 80s?) where the male character checks for his wallet, keys, and balls (not necessarily in that order) before leaving his apartment. Does anyone know what movie that's from?

Chosen answer: In Austin Powers, The Spy Who Shagged Me, Austin said "Testicles, spectacles, wallet and watch" while touching each place as he says it.

Question: I wonder if anyone out there can help me. I am trying to find out which film star was once awarded the freedom of every toy shop in Tokyo? Any ideas gratefully received.

Chosen answer: This was one of the questions in the Northern Echo's Superbrain 2008 quiz. Their answer was Ricky Schroder.

Question: Does anyone know if the show "Freakylinks" (with Ethan Embry and Lisa Sheridan) is on DVD, or if it will be? I searched on Amazon.com, but there is just an option to be notified when it becomes available. Thanks.

Chosen answer: YES! "Freakylinks" on DVD can be found at Ioffer.com. Goto: http://www.ioffer.com/search/items/freakylinks/text_pics/ioffer/0/false.

CCARNI

Question: I'm looking for a movie. It's about a house, on a street where some evil people live (I think), and they live at house number 669. Now when the door slams, the 9 turns upside-down to make it 666. That's all I can remember. Can anyone help me on this?

1AZRAEL1

Chosen answer: This is The Blurbs with Tom Hanks, its a generally good 80's movie, with Corey Haim and Corey Feldman to boot.

Question: I am looking for the name of a movie about a Cambodian family that came to the States with an American family. The Cambodian family consisted of a mom and a few kids who did not know anything about American life. There was one scene where one of the kids was using the toilet by standing up on the rim. Another scene was one of the younger kids who freaked out at school and would not come out from under the table. And the last scene I remember is one of the older girls trying to come on to the American husband. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Chosen answer: The Girl Who Spelled Freedom

Question: I remember seeing a film when I was younger. It featured a group of children as the lead characters, and the main antagonist was an evil, magical ventriloquist dummy that resided in an eerie house. I seem to recall the lead character having a robotic toy that came to life as well, and I know that one of the characters was fixated on Darth Vader, and actually saw a vision or a re-creation of him near the end of the movie. (He says something about seeing his "hero" afterwards.) I think it was an 80's or early 90's release. Anybody have any ideas what this was?

Chosen answer: I will have to answer my own question. The film is Roland Emerich's early film "Joey", which was released in some foreign territories (including the US) as "Making Contact.

MaximumMadness

Question: This is about a show called "Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction" And I want to know if anyone knows the episode in which a guy is hustled out of (as I remember it) a bar. The person throwing him out tossed a coin and said "Tails I win, heads you lose". Does anyone know the name of the episode?

Chosen answer: The name of that segment is "Deadbeat Dad" and it's from Episode 30 of Season 3.

Question: I'm looking for a film I heard about in drama class in high school. It takes place on a steamboat or river paddle boat. The main character is a woman that sings on the boat, but is kicked off for being half black. If this sounds familiar please please please let me know! Thanks.

padfootrocksmysocks

Chosen answer: This is the musical, "Showboat." It was originally a Broadway musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, based on Edna Ferber's novel set in the late-19th century American south. The character, Julie, is a mulatto who marries a white man, which was illegal. When it is discovered that she is half-black, the couple is arrested. There have been several movie adaptations of Showboat, the most notable being the 1951 MGM version starring Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, and Ava Gardner, among others. The 1936 film starring Paul Robeson is more faithful to the original story, however.

raywest

Question: I'm searching for a movie I saw maybe 20 years ago about a community on Venus. Venus is covered in clouds and there is a legend/story that the clouds will part one day in however long and the sun will come out. A little girl believes in this story but everyone in her class makes fun of her. On the day it's supposed to happen, her classmates lock her in a shed or closet or something but the clouds do part. The kids run out in the sun while all the flowers bloom in the sunlight and the little girl only gets to see a streak of sunlight through a slot in the door. Finally, the clouds close up and the kids remember that they locked her in the closet. So they go and open the closet and give her all the flowers they collected in the time the sun was out.

Chosen answer: The movie is "All Summer In A Day," based on the short story by Ray Bradbury. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195517/) As of this writing, the film is on YouTube. (https://youtu.be/iz05RhA9Cyw).

Captain Defenestrator

Question: I just borrowed a movie from my university library, and the cover of the DVD case reminded me of a query I've had for a long time about DVD cover/advertisement design. The movie is called The Island. It stars Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. And here's the thing: On the front of the DVD case, under the name Ewan McGregor is Scarlett Johansson, and under the name Scarlett Johansson is Ewan McGregor. Is this a mix-up? This has seemed, to me, to be a sign of a shoddily-made, generally crappy movie, but I liked this one. What's the deal? Thank you.

Chosen answer: These are two totally unconnected items that you're discussing. McGregor is the lead and the biggest name in the film, so his name appears first, just as it will in the credits of the film itself. As for the picture, that's purely down to aesthetics, how they felt the cover image looked best. The cover designers aren't going to limit themselves by constraints about having to match the image of the individual to where their name appears, they'll go with what they think is the better image. If the image and name order happen to match up, that's a happy accident, nothing more than that. If they don't, no big deal.

Tailkinker

Question: I wanted to submit this to the general questions page, since it is about more than one Disney movie. Has anyone ever explained why several Disney characters have deceased mothers (Belle, Snow White, etc.)?

Chosen answer: Partially, it may be attributed to feelings of guilt over the death of Walt and Roy Disney's mother of carbon monoxide poisoning in the house they'd just bought her a month previously (For more on that, check http://www.snopes.com/disney/waltdisn/mother.asp), however, it's also a trope of children's literature to have the protagonists be orphaned or without one or the other parent, the better to go off on adventures without anyone worrying about them.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: What is probably the best software for creating pictures of mistakes?

Low Cow

Chosen answer: You can do it with just your computer's basic Paint, although the resulting picture may be quite poor. If you want more features, The Gimp (www.gimp.org) is an open source solution.

Sereenie

Question: I am looking for a movie that was a direct to DVD movie. It had 3 or 4 stories in it. I remember the first story had a man fighting toy soldiers in his penthouse apartment. The last story had a couple where their car broke down in a small town. The town was being run by dead celebrities (Elvis was the sheriff) and the celebrities forced the visitors to stay and watch them perform every night. Anybody know the name of this movie?

SAZOO1975

Chosen answer: These stories were not from a movie, but from an anthology series called "Nightmares and Dreamscapes" that was shown on TNT in 2006. All of the episodes are based on Stephen King short stories. The first one you mentioned is called "Battleground" and the second one is called "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band".

wizard_of_gore

Question: I'm looking for the title of a show that has a scene in a stark white hospital room. The man is completely covered in bandages except for his nose and his eyes. He is in traction. A fly lands on his nose and his eyes go back and forth watching the fly. He is completely immobile except for his eyes. Can someone help?

nancynurse454

Chosen answer: Could be the last scene of Daredevil, where the injured Bullseye is seen doing precisely that.

Tailkinker

Question: I am looking for a movie about a teen that finds this government weapon (like a blow torch zap gun) and he uses it on his dad after he kills his golden retriever named Axel. The government is chasing him and in the end he is killed. Anyone know the name of this movie? I have been searching for years. Late eighties or early nineties.

Keldar

Chosen answer: Sounds like it might be Deadly Weapon (1989) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097171/.

Grumpy Scot

Question: I am looking for the name of a 1980's movie (I believe). I don't remember much, but i do remember the weapon and the hero had to go on a journey to rescue a lady. The weapon was a silver star with blades that popped out. The movie is not "Legend" with Tom Cruise.

Chosen answer: Sounds like "Krull" from 1983. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085811/

Twotall

Question: I saw a movie at school in the 1980's in which the main character is a bank robber. There is a cop or Fed on his trail for years. This man finally turns his life around and settles down in a small town. But, the cop shows up on the same day a child gets trapped in an airtight bank vault, that will be unopenable for days. If he saves her the cop will know who he is, but he cracks it open and saves the girl anyway. It's NOT "No Deposit, No Return". In the movie I'm looking for: there was no kidnapping in the movie, the movie took place over years, it was a drama not a comedy. Does anyone know the name of this movie?

Lori Kaminsky

Chosen answer: I think that movie is called The Safecracker, and the robber's name in the movie was Jimmy Valentine.

Question: In what movie from the 1970s or 80s did a television network create reality shows where people were hunted to the death and where other terrible things were programmed? It was not "Network."

Chosen answer: Sounds like the 1987 Schwarzenegger film The Running Man.

Tailkinker

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