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

Chosen 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 Premium member

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?

Chosen 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?

Arris

Chosen 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.

BaconIsMyBFF

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?

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

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: There was a movie that had Walter Matthau in it. He plays a man whose daughter is getting married when she suddenly locks herself in the bathroom and refuses to come out. Walter spends his whole time trying to convince her to come out. She eventually lets Walter go into the bathroom and when he leaves, he goes downstairs and returns with his daughter's fiancé with him. The fiancé bangs on the door and tells her to cool it. The daughter then leaves the bathroom and goes downstairs to get married.

Chosen answer: The movie you are thinking of is California Suite (1978).

Gavin Jackson

Answer: The movie is Plaza Suite. A trio of stories taking place in a New York hotel. Walter plays the lead in all three. A married man, a womanizer and a father. The last one is the one you described.

Question: There was a movie staring Mario Van Peebles. In the movie, he catches a serial killer who, by decision of a jury, is sentenced to death. The man is believed to be dead but, about eight years later, members of the jury are being killed and their deaths match the way that Christian martyrs died. Eventually the truth is discovered. The killer was somehow brought back to life, had his face altered and his memory wiped in hopes of reforming him. Instead, the killer remembers what happened and now wants revenge.

Chosen answer: The movie starring Mario Van Peebles was a movie released back in 2000, called Blowback (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0201484/).

Casual Person

Question: There was a film, I can't remember what it was called but it's most likely from the 1970s but may have been a B-Movie or a TV movie. It featured a bomb on an airplane that would explode if the plane's altitude dropped below a certain level, but they only find out about it once they're in the air above that level. When the fuel in the airplane runs low the pilot eventually works out that he can (and does) land at an airport that is above that altitude and the bomb turns out to be in his briefcase that he's had all along in the cabin.

Neil Jones

Chosen answer: This is "The Doomsday Flight", a 1966 TV movie written by Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: What usually happens with movie/TV show scenes that involve food (i.e., a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner)? Is fake food used, real food, etc.?

Chosen answer: Having worked in food photography and videography, I can tell you that the majority of the food you see in film is completely inedible. Items such as roast turkey and cakes, while real enough to carve and slice on camera, are usually airbrushed with paint for a "perfect" appearance; meats and fruits, in particular, are often sprayed with commercial furniture polish to achieve a high gloss. Static side dishes adorning the table are often wax or plastic. The only edible foods are small prepared portions seen in closeups of actors actually eating.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: Recalling an episode of a courtroom drama, but not sure which one. (It could have been Law and Order, LA Law, or any of a few others.) A couple are on trial because their baby died a crib-death, but there was enough evidence of foul play to charge them with murder. Their defense attorney gets them found innocent, and then the last scene is him getting into the elevator with the couple to leave the courthouse and in the last moment, he sees them holding hands and realises they did it. Anyone know it?

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Chosen answer: It was from L.A. Law, season 4, episode: "Justice Swerved." The couple killed their severely handicapped baby because they didn't want the financial and emotional burden of raising it. The jury was unable to find either one guilty. At the end, in the elevator, Victor Sifuentes is standing behind the couple. He looks down and sees them discretely clasping each other's hand and realises they are guilty and were exonerated with his help. This episode is on YouTube.

raywest Premium member

Question: What is the movie with a scene where someone says "don't leave me, please don't leave me. Everyone always leaves me."

Chosen answer: This might be the movie "P2" with Wes Bentley and Rachel Nichols.

Question: This isn't the movie Sleeper or Idiocracy or Planet of the Apes. A man is put into a stasis pod and shortly after that, the facility he is in collapses and his stasis pod is lost. About maybe three hundred years later, a group of people find his stasis pod and manage to open it. He discovers that they have no technology and they wear long gowns.

Chosen answer: While the scenario described could apply to several sci-fi stories, films and television shows, it sounds very much like the 1973 made-for-television movie "Genesis II, " which was a pilot for a TV series that Gene Roddenberry attempted after "Star Trek" was cancelled in 1969. The premise of "Genesis II" was that a NASA scientist volunteers to test a suspended-animation chamber in the late 1970s; once he is successfully suspended, however, an earthquake buries the chamber for over 150 years. The scientist is revived in a post-apocalyptic world where the human population is greatly reduced and much of global civilization has gone back to a primitive state. Not all technology has been lost, but the humans of the future are largely ignorant of how to operate the old technology; this makes the NASA scientist from the past extremely valuable in the future. Unfortunately, "Genesis II" was never picked up as a TV series. In 1974, Gene Roddenberry revamped the "Genesis II" concept into another made-for-television pilot movie called "Planet Earth" (essentially the same story and characters as "Genesis II"). The networks didn't pick up "Planet Earth" as a TV series, either. Http://trekmovie.com/2009/10/23/reviews-gene-roddenberrys-genesis-ii-planet-earth/.

Question: There was a movie with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason where they portray father and son. In one scene, they are both at a restaurant when Jackie says that his left foot keeps bothering him. Tom tries to remove his shoe under Jackie's protest but, when he does, he sees that half of Jackie's foot is completely black. The next scene has a doctor tell Tom that half of Jackie's foot had to be amputated.

Chosen answer: The movie in question is Nothing in Common (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091653/). It was made in 1986 and is the only movie where Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason portray a father and son. This was also Jackie Gleason's final movie before his death in 1987, the following year.

Casual Person

Question: There was a game for the video game console, Sega Saturn. It takes place in a mansion located in the afterlife. All of the inhabitants are dead and they take the forms of butterflies. The player, along with one of the inhabitants, is looking into mysterious things that are occurring such as one inhabitant being destroyed which leads them to discover that one of the other inhabitants is working with an evil entity. One of the items that the player is given is a deck of tarot cards that represents each of the other inhabitants.

Chosen answer: This game is "Mansion of Hidden Souls".

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: There was a movie that took place at a military academy. The only scene I saw was of a cadet standing in the office of a military instructor with a high ranking officer standing right beside the cadet. From what I could make out, the high ranking officer gave the cadet full authority to handle a situation that had plagued the academy. When the officer leaves, the cadet then tells the instructor that him and some students are to graduate with full honors as well as given some graduation rings or some other item. The second thing the cadet wanted was for the instructor to quietly resign from his post. At first the instructor refuses but, the cadet tells him to look out his office window. When the instructor does, he sees another cadet holding some envelopes in his hand. The cadet then says that in the other cadets hand are some letters that, if the instructor fails to comply to the requests, will be mailed out to newspapers and other media exposing what happened at the academy. The instructor is left with no choice but to agree. This is not the movie Taps.

Chosen answer: You are describing the end of the 1983 film "The Lords of Discipline, " based on the book by Pat Conroy. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lords_of_Discipline_ (film).

Charles Austin Miller

Question: Does anyone know the name of the movie with a woman stuck in a house and she can't go outside. As soon as she steps out something strange happens to her. She can't breathe or walk, so she has to go back in. I was able to watch only the last 15 min of the movie years ago. But as far as I remember, her body was lying in a hospital room and somehow a doctor was trying to send her a message to make her "choose." I can barely remember that she was having a flashbacks about a guy and a baby that died in that house. After the flashbacks she got the "message" and made her "choice" and was able to go out of the house without the strange things. Hope someone can help. Thanks in advance.

Aysen Yoruk

Chosen answer: There are several movies with that plot, but the closest you describe is Frozen with Fear (2001). Bo Derek plays a woman unable to leave her home after the murder of her husband and child. After hiring a private detective to investigate, she is forced to flee, when the killer comes for her.

Question: I'm looking for the title of a movie. All I know is the first scene is a night club where a man goes and then gets arrested for something. But in the van he becomes a werewolf and massacres the two guys in the front. They discover the remains of one, and frankly it is gory. Any clues?

Chosen answer: This is a movie from the 1980's called "The Monster Squad". A man goes into a police station screaming that he's a werewolf. He takes a cops gun and fires it into the air begging to be locked up. He is killed and as his body is being taken away, he changes into the werewolf and kills the driver.

Question: A cop movie where the murderer strangles women in the order of a song. The detective has an affair with his boss' daughter. Maybe in the late 80's?

Chosen answer: The movie is the January Man. An all star cast. Kevin Kline plays an unorthodox ex-cop rehired to catch a serial killer. One of the victims is a personal friend of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, who plays the daughter of the police commissioner, played by Rod Steiger. The killer kills once a month to the old song, Calendar Girl.

Question: From what I vaguely remember it's about a woman in a fancy big house. There is a party going on. This guy is being nice to her and they are flirting. She says she has to go somewhere. He begs her to stay with him - she promises to come back, then she goes off, races back, and when she comes back the house is old and some person tells her no one lived there for over 100 years. I think if she had stayed the spell would have been broken. If someone has any ideas please put me out of my misery.

Lozza2016

Chosen answer: It sounds like you're thinking of "Brigadoon". A Scottish village is under a spell where it only appears for one day every 100 years (which was done to preserve the way of life of the villagers.) When two men find it, one falls in love with a woman villager and if she were to leave the village, the spell would be broken and the village of Brigadoon would disappear forever, along with everyone in it (if he stayed he'd have to leave the real world behind). There's been a lot of adaptations of the story, so not sure which version you saw. Two versions I know of are a 1954 film and a 1966 TV movie.

Bishop73

Question: I'm desperately looking for what I believe is an 80s or early 90s movie. It's an actress with a pixie cut blonde hair...she babysits this good looking young boy at a beach house I believe for the summer. They end up sleeping together near the end.

Brigid Gatchell

Chosen answer: It sounds like the movie Stealing Home (1988) with Mark Harmon and Jodie Foster. Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stealing_Home http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096171/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-DXaFDWof8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bECpzy7mOck.

Arris

Question: A crime show episode when a little boy is kidnapped from his bedroom window at night. The mother goes into wake him up but realises he is gone. The police investigate and realise the window was flipped. A male and female detective look for him and they are left clues with pictures of the boy with writing on them. Soon, they know the kidnapper is a girl. They look everywhere for him.

Chosen answer: Except for the girl being the kidnapper, the episode you describe is from Law & Order: SVU. A mentally ill man kidnaps a little boy because he believes it is his son. Actor Leland Orser plays the kidnapper.

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