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: 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

Question: There was this film about a child who wanted to be a spy/detective. There was a scene where the boy was hiding under a bed, and there was a girl with blonde hair dancing around in the room, with ballet shoes on. I think the plot was something like four kids were hiding out/staying in an empty flat/apartment, and were spying on some people. There was also something about diamonds in a teddy bear. Does anyone know the title for this film?

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: "A Kid Called Danger" - http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0210786/.

Neil Jones

Question: I am frustrated because I can't remember the title of a film. I remember very little about the film. I think it was about a train crash in a tunnel. I'm sure there was a scene where someone was either trying to get past or put out a long thick cable which was making sparks or something. Any help?

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: Try Daylight. It is a car crashing into a truck illegally carrying toxic waste which blocks the tunnel. Then a bunch of prison inmates were trying to get out of the truck and there was a live wire hanging from the roof. Also A short walk to Daylight. 1972. James Brolin plays a New York cop who lead a group of people to safety after Hippie terrorists blow up the subway tunnels. Just like Daylight, they go through many obstacles to survive.

shortdanzr Premium member

Question: Only one film has had the "Universal Pictures" logo removed before the titles (not including films such as Jurassic Park and Waterworld that used variations of the logo). Does anyone know what it is?

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: I think that was John Carpenter's the THING. He mentions that in the commentary on the new DVD.

James Rowell

Question: I'm searching a title of a movie I saw some 20-25 years ago. Here are the clues I remember: It was a martial arts movie. The were some fights on long, wooden poles. There was a cruel weapon like a triple chain with hooks at each end that stuck within the opponent. It was shown at the same time as a Jaws sequel. (Jaws 2, I guess). Can anybody help?

Michael Gross

Chosen answer: Sounds like "Master of the Flying Guillotine". It came out roughly around the same time "Jaws 2" was released.

Question: I remember a TV show (not a movie) about a guy who was stuck in a computer. That is all I remember about the show - what is the name of it? I think it was an educational programme.

Bowling255 Premium member

Chosen answer: Could you be talking about Max Headroom?

Boobra

Question: Anyone familiar with a film about a man with 8 kids who gets transferred to Australia? Once there, the man is constantly traveling for work and the rest of the family have to adjust to outback life. I think they eventually herd sheep and earn money from wool. The father come back, only to tell the mother that he wants a divorce and will be moving back to America. The mother decides to stay in Australia and sell wool.

Ral0618

Chosen answer: It was a TV movie called 'A Place Called Home' made in 1987 starring Lane Smith (who played the senator in 'Air America').

Question: There was a movie I remember where a person dressed as a mascot killed someone by running them through an industrial dishwasher. The scene was set in a kitchen. Anyone know the name?

moviemogul

Chosen answer: That sounds like the Jean Claude Van Damme film "Sudden Death". In one scene he is fighting the terroist in the mascot costume in a kitchen. After using many instruments to hurt her she gets caught on the dishwasher line and Van Damme turns the machine on and it kills her.

Lummie Premium member

Question: Could someone explain how they achieve shots in which two points of objects are at different positions from each other but are both in focus. I have noticed it in a few films and most recently Million Dollar Baby. In one shot I recall Clint Eastwood is standing in his office and Hilary Swank is training in the gym below him. Eastwood is in the right of frame and the left part of the frame shows Hilary Swank and both are in focus despite the large distance between each other. Is it some special camera filter they use? I noticed a little out of focus blur around the middle of the frame. If not how exactly do they achieve the effect?

Lummie Premium member

Chosen answer: Orson Wells first acheived this in "Citizen Kane." It's a combination of position between the lens and actors and the lens focus. There is no exact formula on how to acheive it; mostly trail and error. For example, have the lens tighten in on one actor and have the other move around until they come into focus.

Question: I can't recall the name of the film, and all I recall is a lady stuck in an elevator in her house, while two men and a lady lounged around, teasing her. Any ideas?

Scott Thatcher

Chosen answer: Sounds like "Lady in a Cage" (1964) starring Olivia de Havilland.

Ingabritzen

Question: Why exactly are film ratings in the US voluntary instead of legally required like in many other countries. I know that in countries like England, Australia and NZ they are legally required for any film/video that will be shown, sold or rented in that country. Also why do studios submit their films for ratings if they are voluntary? I find it peculiar especially for controversial films like Showgirls for example, as the NC-17 rating kills any chance the film has at the box office when they could just leave it unrated and avoid all the stigma it attaches to itself?

Lummie Premium member

Chosen answer: For one thing, the US is a place in which the sociopolitical climate has always favored liberty over governmental control. Certain issues - drivers' licensing, for instance - obviously require intervention; movie rating is not seen as one of them. This is probably also compounded by the fact that the MPAA and similar bodies are hugely wealthy and powerful, and can afford a lot of lobbying to prevent any such legislative requirement from coming to pass. As far as actually getting the voluntary ratings - it's nearly suicide to NOT get one. The number of films that have generated any significant financial success without being MPAA rated is effectively zero. It seems as though the bulk of the movie-watching public WANTS to be protected from certain levels of 'indecency.'

Rooster of Doom

Question: I remember a film as a child and have forgotten the name. A group of children go to stay at their grandparents' house in the country. One day they see a rainbow and decide to go to the end of it. When they get there they see a pot of gold and they meet a leprechaun. At the end of the film all I can remember is the leprechaun character walking off into the sunset with a taller man and the children going back to their parents' house.

Chosen answer: I can't be completely certain, but it sounds like this may be "The Great Land of Small".

Garlonuss Premium member

Question: What is the film where a mother and her teenage boy live by a lake and the boy is hounded by some gang or organisation and then they send the mother a video tape of her son having gay sex with one of his attackers/kidnappers? She gets revenge on this person/gang?

pierpp

Chosen answer: 'The Deep End', starring Tilda Swinton.

MoonFaery Premium member

Question: I remember a black and white film. It was a horror/thriller and it started with a scene of a car driving up the driveway to a spooky house. The excellent thing was the ending of the film was exactly the same with the same scene of a car driving up the driveway?

pierpp

Chosen answer: This could be "Dead of Night" (1945). It's a good spooky British anthology film about a man who has a recurring dream about going to a party at an old mansion. Within the dream framework, there are other stories about a ghost child, a haunted mirror and a ventriloquist.

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