Answered general questions about movies, TV and more

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I saw an indie movie about ten years ago which featured two young boys, one of whom I think was called Francis, and it dealt with their fears about nuclear war. A central theme was that after the bomb went off, people turned into pigs. I thought the movie was called Francis, but I can't seem to find anything that matches this description. Does anyone remember this movie?

Chosen answer: The film is called The Butcher Boy and is based on the novel by Patrick McCabe.

I know there have been lots of theatrical movies with direct to video sequels, but are there any direct to video movies that have theatrically released sequels?

Chosen answer: I don't believe there ever has been a sequel after the first film has been made straight to video. Generally the studio that releases a film will test the film and see if there is any potential. Some have spawned sequels, but none in the theatre. The closest film was possibly Toy Story. Like many of Disney's films the sequel was set to go straight to video but the studio felt it was so strong that it was given a theatrical run, which proved extremely successful.

Lummie Premium member

I am trying to remember a movie I saw at least 10 years ago, probably 15 or more. The only thing I can remember about it was that a kid had to race this car around town. While he was doing it I think he had a device to switch red lights to green and I think he went through a car wash and had the outer layer of paint washed off to get away from the cops. At the end I think he ramped through the goal post at the football field, then they buried the car in the end zone. Any ideas?

Chosen answer: I believe this was a 1989 film called "Catch Me If You Can".

Tailkinker Premium member

Can't remember what this movie was called. It's basically a horror. All I remember is it's some sort of funhouse or carnival type setting. A guy wearing a mask is chasing a girl through a wooded area. In his hand is what looks like the head of a ventriloquist dummy. As he's running after her he keeps yelling, "meet my friend", at which point the dummy head opens its mouth and screams. This happens a couple of times. Finally, the girl climbs over a fence and the "bad guy" follows her up, throwing the head at her and again yells, "meet my friend". The dummy head lands, rolls over, looks at her, and screams again. One other scene from the same movie is where this same masked guy goes into some room (where he lives?) and there are all the dummies around, sitting in chairs and such.

Chosen answer: Tourist Trap.

MELANIE SMITH

I am trying to find the name of a movie I saw along time ago. It's an old horror flick where a young kid gets lost in the woods and finds a large hole in the ground with monsters in it, and he ends up leading people into this hole to feed the monsters. The only victim I could remember was a handicapped kid in a wheelchair.

Chosen answer: The Pit.

MELANIE SMITH

There's a horror movie that features a climactic scene where a killer is in a barn with a little girl - the killer has a scythe. This would be late 60's early 70's. The killer may be wearing some kind of creepy bag over his head - maybe a scarecrow mask of some kind. Any idea what it is?

Chosen answer: Could it be 'Dark night of the scarecrow'?

MELANIE SMITH

This applies to many, many action/spy movies. Silenced pistols in movies are pretty much silent, but I have read that this is not the case in real life and although a silencer does quieten a gunshot, it's still not exactly silent. My question is, does a real life silenced pistol still have a similar sound to movie silenced pistols (that sort of high pitched "ping" or "pew" sound), only louder, or is it an entirely different noise?

Gary O'Reilly

Chosen answer: It depends. You CANNOT silence a revolver. A silencer on an average pistol will only make the shot about half as loud as normal. It will not make the pistol go "pfft" like in the movies. However, there are some specifically designed weapons, such as the MP5 SD3 (as seen in Navy Seals), the S&W 9mm "Hush Puppy", the British Welrod and the Chinese Type 64, that are almost completely silent, the only noise being the muted clack of the bolt.

Grumpy Scot

Are there any new Star Trek movies or TV series in the works, or is the franchise officially dead?

raywest Premium member

Chosen answer: There are a number of rumors right now. No series mentioned, as of yet, but there us definitely work on a new movie. They don't expect it soon, but they do appear to be in the early, brainstorming stages. See here for more.

Garlonuss Premium member

I know that at the Oscars, Best Picture and Best Director usually go hand-in-hand. What was the first film to win one without winning the other?

Cubs Fan Premium member

Chosen answer: At the very first Academy Awards (1927/28) "Wings" won Outstanding Picture and the Directing awards went to "Two Arabian Nights" and "7th Heaven" (one for "best direction" one for "best comedy direction"). In fact it wasn't until the 3rd year that "All Quiet on the Western Front" won both. So far the awards have gone to different pictures 19 times.

Myridon

Please can someone help me find the title of a childrens' movie where it starts in the beginning with a boy who rides on a toy in a big present that lands in his room, and it becomes animated after that. There is a scene where there are two princesses that do alphabet and there is another scene where slime tries to make him go to sleep. I don't remember much more. Please help?

Chosen answer: I think the movie you're looking for is "The Phantom Tollbooth" (1970). At least it fits your description with the change from live action to animation, the two princesses and the boy who rides his toy car through a magic tollbooth.For more information check out: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0064806.

Andreas[DK]

How are movies transferred from 35mm film to VHS/DVD?

Cubs Fan Premium member

Chosen answer: The film is projected from a regular projector into a mirror prism that reflects it into a special camera whose shutters are synched to the speed of the projector's. The signal is then sent to a video tape. Then the signal from the camera is sent to a computer where it is cleaned up and enhanced and then sent to the digital or recorded format.

Boobra

Does anyone ever remember remember seeing or hearing about a TV movie that was shown live? I remember, 5-7 years ago, that my mom told me she was watching a movie shown in this way. I think I remember it being black and white. Sound familiar to anyone?

Chosen answer: "Fail Safe" was broadcast live on CBS April 9, 2000, and it is in black and white. It is a story set during the cold war, where a so-called fail-safe warning system malfunctions, and a bomber squadron goes off to bomb Moscow while everyone else is trying desperately to stop them before the time runs out. It stars such people as George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Don Cheadle, Richard Dreyfuss, Sam Elliott, just to mention a few.

Twotall

I remember watching a film about a boy and his dog and they are stranded in a jungle or island. They try to survive and the boy gets rescued by a helicopter but he leaves his dog behind.

Chosen answer: I think the movie is "Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog"

I am a huge Jim Henson nut and there is one movie I cannot remember. All I remember is the ending where a boy is talking to a giant mechanical dragon. It turns out this guy was playing the dragon's voice but when they leave the room, the dragon's wings move slowly. Any ideas?

Chosen answer: This was shown on Channel 4 in the UK at Christmas Time about 10 years ago. It was called Monster Maker. Check out this link for more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097906/.

Does anyone know the name of a movie where 3 or 4 boys make a spaceship out of a "tilt-a-whirl" cart?

Chosen answer: Explorers. Released in 1985, starring Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and Jason Presson. Excellent film!

Grumpy Scot

Is there a difference between a "featuring" credit and an "introducing" credit? If so, what is it?

Cubs Fan Premium member

Chosen answer: "Introducing" means that this is the actor's first role, or sometimes their first credited major role, i.e. not "3rd Dancing Guy". "Featuring" can mean several things. For example, an actor may have negotiated this into their contract so that their name stands out more in the credits or to point out a major player in a less than major part.

Myridon

Just before Christmas in 2004, on one of the British terrestrial channels was a programme about dragons. I think it was called 'Flight of the Dragons', but it wasn't the animation. It was about 2 hours long, and wasn't a movie. It was written as a spoof documentary about the discovery of a dragon's skeleton, and about dragons' evolution and lifestyle. It was really interesting, and had amazing computer-generated graphics, and I would like to know if anyone else has seen it, and whether it has (or will) come out on DVD.

Chosen answer: Yes, I saw it; very good show, I enjoyed it immensely. It was called "The Last Dragon" in the UK - it was shown in the US under the title "Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real". It has been released on DVD in both countries under the appropriate title.

Tailkinker Premium member

There was a weird sci-fi film from the 80's that dealt with a spaceship landing in a little boy's backyard. I remember something about a school bus and driver, like the driver was an alien, but not for sure. Can anyone remember the name of this movie/film?

Chosen answer: This sounds like the 1986 Tobe Hooper film, Invaders From Mars. It starred Karen Black and Louise Fletcher. It was a remake of the 1953 classic of the same name.

raywest Premium member

I have noticed that in almost every movie and TV show that has someone using a computer, the computer makes small beeping sounds when loading a page or when someone is typing, etc. Why is this put in if no computer (as far as I know) makes those noises? Is it used just for dramatic effect or something?

Chosen answer: Yes, it's so you'll know something is happening with the computer without having watch the computer constantly, i.e. take your eyes away from the actors. It also can cue the actors that it is time for them to interact with the computer, or give the character an excuse for looking away from what he's doing to pay attention to the computer.

Myridon

There was a children's show I watched back in the 80's. It had puppet people and talking vegetable puppets. I think it was called "pinwheel" or something to that effect, because the title song said "pinwheel, pinwheel, spinning around - look to my pinwheel and see what I've found." If that's the title, do you know where I can find info on it?

Chosen answer: You are correct--The show "Pinwheel" was on Nickelodeon back in the early 80s. For more info, check out the IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0224947.

Ral0618

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