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: What was the first movie to be release on DVD?

Chosen answer: Twister.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Question: 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.

Question: I used to watch a reality show that took place in a castle. Couples competed against each other to win the chance to retrieve gold for a chamber; however, after a certain amount of time had passed, tigers came out. The couple had to get out before the gates closed or they would be trapped with the tiger. What was the show?

Chosen answer: The show is called "Fort Boyard".

Andreas[DK]

Question: 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

Question: 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

Question: 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

Question: 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

Question: What is a "Genny Operator" (listed in credits) ?

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: It's the nickname for Generator Operator, a specialized area within the Lighting Dept. The Genny operator must be a fully qualified electrician, and operate the electricity generators on location, when an electricity supply is needed for many aspects of production. Their foremost obligation is to load the generator, drive it to the location and ensure that it is fully operational with the necessary specifications for the shoot. They also clean and maintain the generator, as well as some maintenance on the vehicle carrying the generators.

Super Grover Premium member

Question: I am trying to find the title to a movie. The main part I remember is an old mafia boss in a wheelchair that jumps out of it to save a baby's life to achieve "pennance" with God. Any ideas? I think Jeff Speakman was in it.

EMTurbo

Chosen answer: The name of the movie is Crackerjack, and the main character is Thomas Ian Griffith, not Jeff Speakman.

EMTurbo

Question: If both contain 2 rear speakers, 3 front speakers and a sub-woofer, what is the difference between Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 ?

Chimera Premium member

Chosen answer: Compression rate. Dolby Digital 5.1 compresses the digital signal to one twelfth (1/12) of its original size, whilst DTS 5.1 compresses the signal to one quarter (1/4) of its original size. Whilst on the average home theatre there would no detectable difference, its when you start to get into more professional sound equipment that there becomes a noticeable difference.

Question: 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

Question: Some films were shot in areas where there are so-called "right-to-work" laws or not supported by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Why do some productions do not want to be associated with SAG or labor laws?

Onesimos

Chosen answer: Because it is cheaper to use the non-union workers.

pross79

Question: I saw on TV a long time ago (early 1980's) a scene where lobsters were crawling out of everyone's drains and chasing people. It was live action, not animated, but I don't know if this was a TV show or a movie. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

Krista

Chosen answer: I believe this was a commercial for the Nickelodeon network.

Grumpy Scot

Question: I saw a film as a kid that I think was Chinese or Japanese. There was a giant that looked like it was made out of metal. It was walking through towns and people were running and screaming, and it was also walking through water- a lake or the ocean. In a later scene was a very violent martial arts fight, with guys throwing each other against the walls. Anyone know what it is?

Krista

Chosen answer: Not sure, but it may be the movie Daimajin or one of its two sequels. They were made (Japanese) in the mid-late sixties and concerned a giant warrior that could be summoned to help the villagers against evil invaders. I found the first movie on vhs from e-bay. The tape was released by a.d.v. films in the U.S.

bigwhitekitty

Question: I remember watching a cartoon series on British TV on Saturday mornings when I was a kid (about 15-20 years ago), and I have forgotten its title. The only thing I remember is that it focused on four or five kids who drove giant mechanized lions to defeat whatever evil they were fighting, and when things got too rough, the lions would transform into various parts of a gigantic android warrior. They all lived in this castle-like building, and to get to their respective lions they used transportation tubes a la "Futurama". I also have a vague recollection that their leader was an astronaut from Earth who had arrived on their world through a wormhole, but I'm not sure if I'm confusing this with another cartoon. Anyway, does anyone know the title of this series I'm talking about?

Twotall

Chosen answer: You're thinking of Voltron. There were a couple of different versions of Voltron. One was a large group of vehicles that combined to make the giant warrior Voltron. the other was the one you are thinking of, in which five lions combined to form the warrior. Go to http://www.voltronforce.com/ for lots more info on both shows.

Guy

Question: Is it really true that to shoot an IMAX film, the camera has to be reloaded with film every 3 minutes, and the reloading takes half-an-hour? Why on earth wouldn't they have fixed this yet to use high resolution digital capture (which could then be printed to film), for instance?

Moose Premium member

Chosen answer: From the research I've found, yes. And here's a few websites to view, and you have to realize how much bigger and realistic IMAX films are. http://www.georgianhousehotel.co.uk/imax_cinema.htm. http://www.bfi.org.uk/showing/imax/explained.php. Even the highest resolution digital cameras available don't come close to the quality of IMAX. Hope that helped!

Question: How does one define a "blockbuster"?

Onesimos

Chosen answer: The term originated with the premire of "Jaws" because the lines for the theaters were around the corners, hence the term "blockbuster". Now, movies with huge fan followings (such as "Star Wars") or those with extreme media coverage and the potential to gross over $100 million (such as "The War of the Worlds") are immediately considered blockbusters.

weetie21

Question: I remember this film about a family who move to a new house, and there is a factory with girl dolls in it. The dolls come alive and cause mayhem, including a scene where a women is electrocuted in a pool of water in a basement, and a little girl slowly gets more possessed by one of the dolls. What's the film title?

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: Dolly Dearest.

Hamster Premium member

Question: What is the film with the most sequels/prequels spawned from it?

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: My best guess would have to be either the James Bond 007 series (22 films currently with a 23rd on the way) or the Friday the 13th series (11 parts including Freddy vs Jason). In terms of "pure" sequels, Star Trek currently stands at 10 films.

Toolio

Question: What is the longest running film ever made?

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: It's a film called "The Longest Most Meaningless Movie in the World", and clocks in at a mighty 48 hours. http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0342707.

Jon Sandys Premium member

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