General questions about movies, TV and more

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I remember seeing part of a movie years ago and I'd like to revisit it. It had a TV movie feel. I remember a woman in a gallery or museum, following a man around trying to catch sight of him (I think he had picked up a glove she dropped?) and she eventually followed him outside. He was in his car, and I think he was holding the glove out the window. She got in his car, and they started fooling around, the scene cut to his place, they had obviously had sex, and she was nosing around his stuff, and found a medical letter which revealed he had recently been diagnosed with VD. She is horrified, and I'm pretty sure he appeared and killed her. Any ideas?

Answer: That's Brian DePalma's "Dressed to Kill." An erotic thriller about a crazed slasher. Starring Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson and Nancy Allen.

Answer: Because the filmmakers of today view therm as parodies. I admit the writing and directing style is not as sophisticated as today's work, but they told good fun stories. Back then they tried to keep costs down by any means necessary.

Answer: It hedges bets in case the action doesn't work, studio can claim they meant for this all along. Also the Mission Impossible films are played straight.


Answer: I'm not claiming to know the definitive answer, but I suspect it is for the same reason there have been remakes of old movies: Hollywood is out of ideas for original movies, tries to keep a steady supply of releases to make money, and it is easier/quicker. Playing them "straight" would require creating a new, meaningful story which is much more demanding than "making fun" of something already done. Moreover, the old TV shows turned into movies probably will do better (make a higher profit) if the audience is not largely limited to the older generation who may have watched the old TV shows. Presumably, the younger generation doesn't find old TV shows appealing and may even already make fun of them. Others do not even know what the TV shows were about, so making a contemporary version would not have the same meaning (or nostalgia) for those viewers. Comedy is something all generations can enjoy... or find more interesting than a lame story about old TV characters who have been forgotten.


I'd concur with this - it's the "four quadrant" idea: movies which appeal to both male and female audiences, and both over - and under-25s. An action-comedy has broader appeal than a pure action/drama, and especially given the three examples referenced are viewed as somewhat cheesy throwbacks now, regardless of the appeal at the time, it makes sense to take a more light hearted approach. Miami Vice is once example that was played straight which could have been ripe for mockery - it got mixed reviews and didn't set the box office aflame.

Jon Sandys

In what movie or TV series does someone say "TV dinner!" in the end of the intro? Could be something like "bring out your TV dinner!", I really just remember the TV dinner part.

I'm trying to find a TV show or movie where a girl is in a friend group that are all seniors except for one girl, who is a sophomore. That sophomore loses her "virginity" to the f boy or douchebag of the school. The douchebag or the guy keeps spreading rumors about the sophomore girl to the point where the girl is in an emotional mess. The main character, the senior girl, stands up to him asking him why he has to prey on little girls like her friend. She says something like this after, "Is it because of the inferiority complex you have because your father doesn't come to your games?" and then she tells him to grow up in a growling, in rage tone of voice. She then leaves him speechless. The boy was shocked, which is probably why he begins to talk to the main character more and tries to get to know her better. He then starts liking him. The main character also starts liking him learning that he isn't a total douchebag. Then they both fall in love at the end. What's the name of the show?

Answer: Try "Circle of Friends" - 1995. Starred Chirs O'Donnell and Minnie Driver.

I saw an old black and white movie back in the early seventies on a late, late show that involved a woman going to the hospital for a face lift. I remember two scenes vividly: one where the doctor and his team cut, then peel off her face, and a scene where a woman (the same?) wakes up with surgical clamps and forceps still attached to her face, and she is confused and frightened, calling for a nurse's help. Anybody have an idea what was the title of this old movie?


Answer: Sounds like the 1960 French film "Les Yeux sans visage" (Eyes Without a Face). The American release version was named "The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus."


What movie has a police sting to catch criminals by inviting them to a Yankees meet and greet, a man and his son are late, the cop feels sorry for him and tells him to get lost?

Answer: "Sea of Love" (1989) staring Al Pacino. The "meet the Yankees" is the opening scene. After the sting, the man and his little boy show up and Pacino (Detective Keller) doesn't want to arrest him in front of his boy. He tells him they're all booked up and flashes his badge as he gets in the car to give the man a hint.


I've noticed that, on a few sitcom TV shows, a mother character will become pregnant again - and the show is cancelled that season or the following season. A few examples are "Boy Meets World" (Cory's mother), "Grounded For Life", "Dharma and Greg" (Dharma's mother), "The Jeff Foxworthy Show", and the original run of "Roseanne." Is there some reason for this?

Answer: It could just be coincidental. It could also be a way of changing things up for the show without having to commit to it long term. TV shows often introduce drastic changes in their narrative when nearing the end of their run, such as characters moving away, dying, or getting married in order to help provide a sense of closure, or tug on the viewers' heartstrings.


I'm trying to remember a movie I watched in 1987-88 either on TV or VHS where a lead character danced to a song by himself in a bedroom. He was jamming laying on the bed. I'm thinking a Motown song and a bratpack actor. But not sure because I can't find anywhere on Google or YouTube. Help! Thanks.

Answer: I believe it's from the movie, "St. Elmo's Fire." Andrew McCarthy does a "Risky Business" dance in his room. I haven't seen the full movie for awhile, but I remember seeing the scene in the "Man in Motion" music video.

When I was a small boy (born in 1942) my mother took me to see a black and white WWII movie about a small group of servicemen, and one woman, who were survivors of an airplane crashed at sea. Most of the film was about the survival adventures while floating in a rubber raft in the open sea with a developing romantic interest between the lead hero and the lone woman. At the end, after they are rescued, he discovers she is a nun. I thought the film was called "Seven Who Returned" but can't find anything with that title. Can you tell me the name of the film? Many Thanks, Ken.

Answer: There is a film called "Sea Wife" (1957) which is set during WWII and has 4 survivors on a raft and one of them is secretly a nun. It's not B&W though and they were survivors of a ship that was torpedoed by the Japanese. The main story is told as a flashback because the man who fell in love with the woman is looking for her. There does happen to be a B&W British film about survivors on a raft called "Seven Waves Away" (1957).


Looking for a movie from the 80's - it starred Bette Midler and (I think) Lily Tomlin as two mismatched pairs of twins, and had Steve Winwood's Higher Love in the soundtrack.

Answer: Is it "Big Business"? That film stars both Midler and Tomlin and features "Higher Love."


I once saw a few minutes of this sitcom TV episode. The main characters' neighbor is a man who has two girlfriends - two girlfriends who both know about each other, agree to this relationship, they might have lived with him. I remember a scene where the man was sitting in the hot-tub, with one girlfriend on either side of him. The main character couple might have been visiting and talking with them in the hot-tub. Thank you for any guesses.

I'm trying to find the name of a movie but I only remember this one scene. A guy spins a quarter on a table and it doesn't fall. He covers it with a glass while it's still spinning and then walks away.

It seems some TV shows, especially in later seasons, will include a version of their own show or movie into the show itself. "Seinfeld" had "Jerry." "Stargate SG-1" had "Wormhole X-Treme." "Monk" had an episode where they were going to make a movie about Monk and the show "Crime Lab S.F." (but that's might have been more a parody of "CSI"?) And now "Lucifer" has "Diablo." What are other examples of TV shows doing this? And this is different then the normal show within a show trope, like "Home Improvement" having "Tool Time" or "Full House" having "Wake Up, San Francisco").


Answer: Supernatural famously had at least two instances of this. There's a running plotline through the series where they discover a series of "Supernatural" books based on their antics, which end up being written by God himself. Even more meta, in the episode The French Mistake they end up in an alternate reality on the set of a show called "Supernatural" where everyone starts referring to them by the real actors' names, their angel friend Castiel is now a goofy actor called Misha Collins (the real actor) and their demon foe Ruby is now actress Genevieve Padalecki, married to one of them (as she is in real life).

Jon Sandys

I remember a film I saw many years ago. A reporter (Kathleen Turner, perhaps?) was doing several interviews with an older man, who I think was on Death Row. He was also a magician, and at the end, as he is being executed, he is covered over with a sheet. When they remove the sheet, he has disappeared.

Answer: "Switching Channels" (1988). Although the inmate, who is strapped into the electric chair, escapes when the power goes off.


Looking for a film I saw a few minutes of, probably early 90s. A woman (I think the actress was Michelle Pfeiffer) is in a multi-storey car park and witnesses a man having his throat cut. She escapes in a car with another man, and as they are driving down a road in a long shot, she asks him to pull over, and she rushes out of the car and throws up over a fence. Not much to go on.

Answer: It's most likely, "Into the Night." Jeff Goldblum plays a man who leads a boring life. He heads to the airport, thinking of flying somewhere for an adventure. In the airport parking garage, a screaming Michelle Pfeiffer, jumps into his car begging for help. She and her partner, who was murdered by Israel mobsters, were smuggling gem stones.During the night, it's one adventure after another, as he helps her get out of her predicament. A romantic comedy, directed by John Landis (Trading Places, The Blues Brothers). Lots of cameos by famous actors, singers and movie directors.

Don't remember what year I saw this but, it was a very weird cartoon. One part of the cartoon had a man and woman kissing but each time they kissed, their mouths seem to distort causing their heads to get even closer. Eventually, their kiss got so deep that they both cut half of each other's head off. Another part of the cartoon was a guy singing but, while he was singing, his face kept morphing repeatedly.

Answer: You're probably thinking of How to Kiss by Bill Plympton. I think the part with the man singing is from another Plympton short, Your Face. Both were just added to the Criterion Channel along with a lot of his other films.

That's the one. Thank you so much.

Answer: The first part of your question, two bodies coming together, reminds me of the movie, "The Lawnmower Man." Jeff Fahey and Jenny Wright, enter a virtual reality world. They have computer sex and their bodies morph together. The second part, a man singing and changing does sound familiar, but can't recall it.

It's a bit of a trope in films for an explosive device of some kind to be placed in a microwave, often catching the victim unawares until the final few seconds before the beeper goes and it explodes. Grosse Point Blank and Under Siege come to mind, to name but two. But is there any real reason the countdown should match the explosion? Is there anything specific about the end of a microwave cycle that might cause a detonation in something capable of it, or is it just a Hollywood convention that the hero's skills are such that they manage to set the timer for the perfect length to cause an explosion?

Jon Sandys

Answer: To start, exploding microwaves in film are like gas tanks exploding when shot, what the movies show is nothing like real life. Most explosive simply do not explode in microwaves, even after 15 minutes. Flash powder (flashbang grenades) can go off in a microwave after about 5 minutes, but just from being heated up, nothing to do with the final seconds of the countdown. Although they certainly wouldn't explode an entire store or cause more damage then the flashbang would do normally. Explosives like C4, hand grenades, or modern TNT and dynamite-type explosives will not go off like seen in the films, at least not with low powered home microwaves.


It seems that since 2010-ish, more and more actresses have released music albums, and more female singers have acted in TV shows and movies. Especially those in their teenage years and twenties. Are there any suggestions as to why this is? Or has it always been somewhat common practice?

Answer: Actors going into music and vice versa has been around longer than TV shows and movies. With the need to cash in on trends quickly, it might be more common than before, but it's happened.

Captain Defenestrator

In particular, children in the "preteen" and young teenage years often want the range of products offered by the celebrities they like.

I saw this movie trailer in the late 1990s or early 2000s. A man has become, or can choose to be, invisible. At one point in the trailer, he asks a woman if she has ever made love to an invisible man before. I am certain that she had long brown or black hair.

Answer: There's another film, The Man Who Wasn't There, (1983), Steve Guttenberg (Police Academy) plays a man who becomes the target of American and enemy agents after stumbling upon an invisibility serum. After using it to escape, he hides out at a girlfriend's apartment. I don't remember the exact dialogue, but they do have a love scene. It's funny seeing her going through sex motions with no-one there.

Answer: I believe you are referring to Hollow Man, with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Shue.


Thank you.

Answer: This could also be the 1992 film, "Memoirs Of An Invisible Man," starring Chevy Chase and Darryl Hannah.


Thank you.

There was a horror movie in either the 80's or 90's. The only scene I can remember is a guy is having a turkey dinner with his family when the turkey grows a human head and talks to the man and taunts him. The man gets angry and stabs the head, scaring his wife and kids.

Answer: This scene is from the 1989 film The Horror Show starring Lance Henriksen.


That's it.

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