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.

What was the first film to be released in cinemas in stereo sound, and which was the first to be released in surround sound?

Chimera Premium member

Chosen answer: Fantasia, released in 1941, became the very first film to incorporate surround sound. During the '70s, Dolby experimented with placing two separate sound signals on the film. Because of the reduction in the detail that could be incorporated when reducing the area available for the analog signal, Dolby also incorporated noise reduction with a resultant change in the playback response from the Academy Curve. The first film to use this purely stereo sound was "Lisztomania" in 1975.

Ariane Schultheis

I remember a futuristic TV-show from approximately 15 years ago. It was about a battle between the good guys and the bad guys and they all used some kind of light guns to fight each other. All of them wore some form of (plastic-looking) armour with one important weak spot: a glass-like orb, which if hit resulted in the character being completely disintegrated. The good guys never seemed to get hit, the bad guys always were but had clones of themselves to allow them to come back again and again. The battle was about either dimensions or planets and it basically came down on whose side managed to find and hit the key glass-like orbs of that dimension/planet with their light guns first. All of the main characters appeared to be teens/young adults, for as far as I can remember. Does anybody know what I'm talking about and can give me the name of this show?

Chosen answer: Sounds like the short-lived 1986 cartoon "LazerTag Academy."

I'm looking for the title of a film I once saw, a few years ago. I can only remember a couple of scenes/details from it though. All I remember is that the main character is on the run from the police. In one scene, he is racing down a street in a truck and he crashes into a baby's pram. He is mortified, thinking he's killed a baby, but in fact it turns out that all that was in the pram was cans of beer. The only other scene I can remember is a scene where he goes into a shop, and the shopkeeper agrees to hide him from the police. When a female officer enters the shop and asks the shopkeeper if he has seen the main guy, the shopkeeper says no and then makes some comment about why female police officers aren't called 'officeresses' (the shopkeeper guy is quite a creepy character). That's all I can remember of the film I'm afraid, other than the fact the main guy ends up pretty badly battered at the end of the film. It's not much to go on I know, but if anyone could tell me what film this is I'd be really grateful. Thanks.

The Doctor

Chosen answer: That is Falling Down with Micheal Douglas and Robert Duvall.

Grumpy Scot

There is a Mary Chapin Carpenter song called "10,000 miles" that was used in a movie, maybe as the theme song? It has been driving me nuts, as I keep hearing the song on a CD we have at the office and I can't place the movie. It is a very plaintive song that starts off "Fare thee well, my own true love."

Chosen answer: MCC's song "10,000 Miles" appears in the soundtrack of the movie "Fly Away Home".

Myridon

I'm looking for the name of a TV-show, which I saw about 15-20 years ago on IIRC a British channel. It was a futuristic puppet series in outer space, and there were three pilots in three mainly red ships who could combine into one big red Megazord-ish robot (one ship became the head, the second became arms plus torso and the third was the legs). The three ships belonged to one mothership which could lift its cockpit to fire a giant laser. I have no idea about plot or stories as I was too young to understand English back then and there were no subtitles. Does this sound familiar to anybody?

Chosen answer: Oh yes, that's very familiar. It was the fantastic Star Fleet and was a Japanese show dubbed into English. Check out The Star Fleet Homepage for a blast from the past.

umathegreatstationarybear

What is the movie where Sandra Bullock is a country music fan? The only scene I remember is her joining some people who are line dancing and she's telling her friend to come on and join her.

Chosen answer: The movie you are thinking of is called Hope Floats. Check out http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119313/ for more information.

moviemogul

What movie originally had the following quote in their advertising: "This time it's personal"?

Chosen answer: 'This time it's personal' was the tagline for the 1987 movie, Jaws 4.

Ariane Schultheis

Why is the pavement in movies always soaked with water?

Chosen answer: Pavements and roads are often made wet before filming (generally at night) as it makes them look 'nicer' once lit. If they are not made wet then they often just disappear and can appear totally black on the film.

Soylent Purple

I've noticed that in pretty much every movie that's set in the United States, if a phone number is mentioned, the first three digits are always 555. Why is this?

Chosen answer: Because people end up dialing the phone numbers they hear in songs, television and movies. It becomes a major problem for the people with that phone number and results in lawsuits. 555 is the only prefix that will never be used as a phone number. There is only one 555 phone number, 555-1212, in every single area code and that is a number for information.

Rlvlk

I am trying to remember a film I saw about 10 years ago about a high school kid on his way to France on a senior trip who gets mixed up with a secret agent at an airport and accidentally takes over the secret mission. Does anyone know this film?

Chosen answer: "If Looks Could Kill", from 1991 starring Richard Grieco.

pross79

I remember seeing part of a movie where William Daniels (Mr. Braddock from The Graduate) is on a boat out in the ocean. What's the name of the movie?

Chosen answer: In "Killer on Board" Daniels plays Marshall, a passenger on a cruise ship, on which a deadly virus begins killing off the passengers and crew. He was also in "The Blue Lagoon" in which he had a few scenes where he was drifting on the ocean.

Hamster Premium member

I am trying to find out the name of a cartoon that used to come on back in the 80's about a guy who had the powers of animals. I think he was a sheriff in the show and his rival was a old skeleton looking dude in all black. I think it took place like in the desert although I could be wrong about that but his power as far as I can remember came from a bear, a hawk, and I think a cheetah or something?

Rollin Garcia Jr

Chosen answer: You are probably thinking of "BraveStarr". It was a sci-fi cartoon where he was the marshal of an outlaw planet called New Texas during a "goldrush" (although what they were searching for was a stuff called kerium, not gold). Bravestarr could call upon different animal totems to get the eyesight of a hawk, the strength of a bear, speed of a puma or hearing of a wolf. Check out http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Set/2077/contents.html.

Twotall

If you ever aim a video camera at a TV screen or a computer monitor, you can easily notice how the screen is refreshing itself. But in almost any show or movie I watch, you don't see this effect. My question is: how are TVs/monitors filmed so that the refresh rates don't show up?

Chosen answer: You have to use some way of synching the camera to the monitor's refresh rate. See: http://www.filmmaking.net/faq/answers/faq107.asp?catid=2.

Myridon

I am trying to remember a film I saw on Sky 1 a few years ago. It dealt with a cop or ex-cop or somebody of that sort, and an evil guy with a very bad blonde mullet. The only scenes I remember are as follows: there is a small blonde girl standing over a well with a barb wire crank running across it, and the evil guy tells the girl to hold the wire and she her hand starts to bleed as one of his minions cranks the wire; then she looks into the camera; the other is where the guy, he has dark short hair and is crucified on something. He is bloody throughout most of the movie, but for the life of me I can't remember its name.

Chosen answer: Cyborg with Jean-Claude van Damme.

Grumpy Scot

I am trying to remember the name of a TV show that was on in the mid 80's. It dealt with day-to-day life on a US Army post. It was set in the present day (present day for when it was on-the mid 80's), NOT Vietnam. I think the word "Honor" was part of the title, but I am not sure. Anyone?

Grumpy Scot

Chosen answer: Are you thinking of "Major Dad?" It was late 80s and set on a Marine Corps base. Alternatively For Love and Honor from 1983. A soap opera drama about life on a military base which ran for a half a season.

Guy

I remember seeing a film on the Sci-Fi channel ages ago. At the start of the film, there's a shot of a spaceship that looks like an earth vehicle (a car or something, and I'm not thinking of Spaceballs). It was a comedy film, with the main "funny" thing being that aliens that look like humans have either hijacked or accidentally stolen a ship of their species (I can remember a scene where a hi-ranking one of these aliens is pretty angry about them), and they crash land on earth, but turn out to be stupider than the average human. The scene clearest in my mind is where one of the "aliens" is trying to show off his advanced technology, which turns out to be a pen, by drawing a squiggly line on a piece of paper. Does anyone know what this film is called?

Gary O'Reilly

Chosen answer: That'll be 'Morons From Outer Space' then.

umathegreatstationarybear

What was the first movie to be release on DVD?

Chosen answer: Twister.

Jon Sandys Premium member

In many films (e.g. Shrek 2 and Chicken Run) there's an action sequence involving a vertically closing door, and a character's hat is knocked off and they retrieve it just as the door closes. Which film did this originate from? It's been used many times.

Chosen answer: It is from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Indy retrieves his hat from a fast closing vertical door.

moviemogul

I saw a film a while back but don't know the name. It had Famke Janssen, was set on a cruise ship that sunk, had "scavengers" searching the ship and a weired creature with tentacles killing the people on the ship.

Chosen answer: I believe the film is called Deep Rising and was released in 1998. If you go to the IMDB website you can search for films by actors.

dgemba dgemba

How long do feature films usually run in theaters before they are released on DVD/VHS?

Cubs Fan Premium member

Chosen answer: They typically vary from film to film. It used to be a period of at least 6-7 months before they released them for rental or sale. These days however many are being released quite soon after their release, in some cases even as quick as 2-3 months (The Ray Charles film "Ray" was a recent one). The time it takes all depends on how the studio wants to distribute the film.

Lummie Premium member

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.