Answered questions about specific movies, TV and more

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Question: When Ripley is climbing into the escape shuttle with Jones in the box, in the background is loads of fire being blasted. It's certainly not coming from Ripley's flamethrower. What's going on here?

Casual Person

Chosen answer: Ripley has initiated the destruct sequence and systems are failing and malfunctioning as the ship prepares to explode. The flames are mostly for visual effect, however, allowing the audience to see what is happening and to heighten the sense of drama and suspense.

raywest Premium member

Roomies - S7-E8

Question: In this episode, Samantha moves out of her too noisy dorm room and into a professor's empty house along with an engaged couple, Beth and Benjamin. Benjamin is played by Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing on Friends. My question is whether this is the role used to create the Chandler character, because they are so similar.

stormy602

Chosen answer: Most likely this is a type of character he excels at playing and when Friends was being cast he fit the part.

raywest Premium member

Question: Why do they simply kill dozens of people in the movie, but with him it has to be something long and drawn out, like poison in the hospital or drugs in the parking garage?

Chosen answer: Because the killers need to make Liam Neeson's death look accidental. The police think Neeson is crazy, and is not telling the truth when he claims Liz is his wife. The police simply think that Neeson is mentally ill and so dismiss his stories and allegations as untrue. However, if Neeson is then found murdered, there is the possibility that the police think Neeson might have been telling the truth, investigate, and foil the villains' plot. Therefore, Neeson must be killed to stop him investigating - but he must he killed inauspiciously, so it looks like an accident, so as not to make the police suspicious. Thus the poison in hospital - hopefully it would be put down as a standard non suspicious hospital death. And the drugs in the car park at the end of the film are deliberately mentioned by Professor Rodney Cole as being essential in making Neeson's death look an accident. Cole says that Neeson will seem to have killed himself with heroin and so will not consider his death suspicious. So basically these elaborate ways of killing are in order to make Neeson's murder seem an accident and so not make the police investigate.

swordfish

Question: Can students arrive at Hogwarts without riding on the train first? Surely some of the Hogsmeade residents have children, and it doesn't make sense for them to go to London and get on a train just to go right back to the Hogsmeade/Hogwarts area.

Chosen answer: Children from anywhere but Hogsmeade must take the train.

Question: A while after the Yule ball scene, after Harry wakes up from a nightmare, Neville comes in. He says something like "I got in! Me!" What is he talking about? What did he get into?

Chosen answer: What Neville means is that he's only just got back in from being at the Ball, despite it being extremely late at night. The "Me!" simply reflects that fact that even Neville is aware that of everyone in the dormitory, he is unquestionably the one you'd least expect to be the last one back. Exactly what Neville has been up to is an open question, but he certainly seems excited about it. Alternatively, since Neville has a reputation for forgetting the password to the Gryffindor common room, "I got in! Me!" probably means that he is marveling at the fact that he remembered the password and actually got in to the common room and dormitories without any help.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Has it ever been explained what happens to a wizard/witch if they don't repay a life debt? Harry should owe one to Snape after Snape rescues him from Quirrell's curse during the Quidditch game, but he never does throughout the series.

Chosen answer: It does not appear that life debts automatically form whenever somebody saves somebody else - J K Rowling has, for example, stated that Ginny did not incur a life debt to Harry when he saved her in the Chamber of Secrets, although she said nothing about what circumstances need to occur for a debt to exist. In Snape's case, there would seem to be several possibilities. 1) A life debt simply didn't form. 2) Snape is protecting Harry because of his love for Lily and his failure to save her, so he may actually be paying off a debt of sorts himself by doing so. 3) Harry's father James saved Snape from almost certain death when Sirius tried to trick him into going into the Shrieking Shack when Remus Lupin was in his wolf form. As such, Sirius may have owed James a debt, which he paid off by saving Harry. 4) A life debt did form but, as Snape died before Harry could pay it off and, insofar as we know, had no relatives that the debt could pass to, Harry was let off the hook.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Since Harry told Cho that Cedric knew "this stuff", and Cedric was a sixth or seventh year student when he died, I guess older students are taught the Patronus Charm in school. Why, then, does the Ministry of Magic bother using Dementors when so many magical people have learned how to escape them?

Chosen answer: As mentioned in Prisoner of Azkaban, it is a very difficult charm to cast. Even Hermione has a great deal of trouble with it. It requires concentration on a very happy memory. JK Rowling has stated that it is near impossible for dark wizards to cast it (Snape was the only Death Eater who could). Add in that it requires a wand, and they are excellent guardians of wandless prisoners of Azkaban.

Greg Dwyer

Question: Is there any other way that Hermione could have possibly protected her Muggle parents from Voldemort and his followers besides erasing their memories, like casting a protection spell over them similar to what was done with Harry for the past 17 years or taken them to the Burrow to be protected, or even Grimmauld Place?

Heather Benton Premium member

Chosen answer: Any of those options would provide some degree of protection, but, should Voldemort ultimately triumph, it's extremely likely that those measures would eventually be circumvented by his forces, leaving her parents entirely at his mercy. By erasing herself entirely from their memories, they cannot be used against her, as they cannot be linked to her (it's reasonable to assume that Hermione would also have arranged for any files linking her to them or that address to be destroyed or altered as well). Erasing their memories also has the side effect of sparing her parents from grief should she fall in the ensuing conflict.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: What year/make/model of car did the family leave in?

Chosen answer: If you're referring to the family car they leave the house in, it's a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet B. If you're referring to the car they borrow from the convent, it's a Citroën 11 Légère Traction.

Greg Dwyer

Show generally

Question: Not long after first meeting angels, it is established that they do not have genitals, or "junk" as Dean puts it. But in S06E10 Castiel gets an erection while watching porn and in S08E22, Castiel is required to kill a nephilim, the offspring of an angel and a human. If angels do not have genitals how are these two things possible?

Chosen answer: Angels themselves may not have genitalia, but their vessels do. Nephilim occur when an angel in a vessel reproduces.

Greg Dwyer

Question: Can anyone explain to me the phrase Rene Russo says to Mel Gibson 'Close is a lingerie shop without a window'. Gibson's character can't make sense of the phrase and neither can I.

Chosen answer: So what does it mean? "Nothing, " says screenwriter Jeffrey Boam. "It's a complete non sequitur. The (original) line was something like 'Close doesn't count, ' or 'Close only counts with horseshoes.' Dick (director Richard Donner) is a fun-loving guy," says Boam, "and this thought just popped into his head. He said, 'Let's have her say something completely off the wall.'" Boam, who wasn't on the set at the time, quickly faxed Donner a dozen meaningless lines that began with the words, "Close is..." Then the whole cast and crew started coming up with them. But the one they used came from Russo herself. "This is like some line from a Beatles song," says Boam. "I guess people are trying to figure it out."

Question: There's a few things I didn't understand in this film: 1) What's the deal with Jill? Did she really love Mr. McBain or did she just marry for money etc? 2) After she sees the McBain's bodies, why does Jill search the house? Is she checking to see whether anything was stolen? 3) When Jill meets Harmonica in the barn, why does he rip her dress? 4) What's whole thing with Jill and Frank near the end? What exactly happens?

Chosen answer: 1) Jill is a prostitute from New Orleans. She seeks out a new life out West. Love is irrelevant here. 2) She was promised a country living, a family, and wealth. That's why she is looking not only for money or gold but also for the reason her family was killed. 3) So Leone can show her beautiful body. 4) She's saving her life. She's a prostitute and I guess she knows how to fake it. Remember: "There's nothing that can't washed off by a hot bath".

Question: What's the significance of the discordant chord Harmonica plays after Cheyenne tells him to "watch those false notes"? Why does Cheyenne react like he'd heard something very unnerving?

Chosen answer: Harmonica is after Frank. At this point, Harmonica does not know who Cheyenne is and he assumes he's one of Frank's men because of the duster he's wearing. So he is confronting him to provoke him. The ultimate goal is to get to Frank.

Question: Who exactly is Gabriel Shear (John Travolta)? Is he a government agent or a criminal?

Chosen answer: He works for a part of the government involved in counter terrorism. Basically, his group commits terror attacks in any country which commits acts of terror against Americans. So, as Gabriel says in the film, if a country shoots ten American tourists, Gabriel's gang blow up a city, in order to discourage terrorists from targeting the USA again in the future. So in answer, he is a government agent.

swordfish

Question: Why is there a derelict battleship beneath the bridge? It is easily identifiable as one because of its 2 front main cannons. No battleships are in service any more with any navy in the world.

Chosen answer: There are many mothballed and museum warships in harbors all over the US and a few still have operable engines. People would try to flee major cities infected with the plague by any means. Or even if the engines were out maybe a tugboat was pulling a derelict full of refugees and the Navy destroyed it to maintain quarantine or it was cut loose and sank.

Grumpy Scot

Sexual Healing - S14-E1

Question: After everyone takes the 'Nice lady with the handkerchief' test, why does Kyle put his hand up to say he did not see a handkerchief? Is he just following Kenny's actions?

Chosen answer: Kyle put his hand up because he didn't see the handkerchief, he wasn't following Kenny's actions. He didn't see the handkerchief because he tested positive for sex addiction, just like Kenny and Butters and sex addicts would test positive if they didn't see the handkerchief.

Casual Person

Question: At the end Jigsaw says Adam isn't ungrateful to be alive anymore, but why does he lock Adam in the bathroom and say "game over" instead of helping him?

Chosen answer: He does help him technically. He tells him the key to the lock is in the bathtub (we saw it disappear down the plughole when Adam woke up at the beginning). In Jigsaw's sick, twisted mind he feels he is giving Adam a chance to prove he wants to live by getting the key. To prove he is grateful, he needs to find out how to get the key back. Which is technically impossible for Adam to do, leaving only one fate for him to remain.

The_Iceman Premium member

Question: In the scene where Tex is terrorizing Reggie by lighting matches very close to her face, why didn't she just blow them out? This scene has always been a pet peeve of mine in an otherwise fabulous movie.

Chosen answer: Blowing out the matches would only incite Tex to act even more aggressively and threateningly. Reggie knows he is not intending to hurt her and only wants to frighten her so she will cooperate in finding the money. Even though she is scared, it's wiser to remain as passive as possible.

raywest Premium member

Question: Before committing suicide, why did Susannah cut her hair? I've seen this behaviour in other films but have never known the psychology behind it.

Hobbes

Chosen answer: To give a definitive answer would be misleading because there's no one specific reason why someone does this type of thing. People considering suicide often start exhibiting odd and/or uncharacteristic behavior such as suddenly cutting one's hair. In Susannah's case, it could be a form of self-mutilation, an attempt to change who she is by altering her appearance, or it is a way of controlling something in her life while other events spiral out-of-control, and so on.

raywest Premium member

Answer: Cutting locks of hair is often done in memory of the deceased. Knowing of her impending death, she cut two locks so as not to have them tainted by blood, but dropped one on the floor. I imagine it was the one for Alfred, but it is just my opinion.

Question: After Margo was convicted, why did Tony move one of their beds into the living room?

Hobbes

Chosen answer: It's mostly so the audience can see more of Tony's underlying character. This is Margo's bed, and Tony wanted it separate from the bedroom that they shared as husband and wife. Tony is "emotionally divorcing" himself from Margo as he is about to start a new life as a single man. Leaving the bed in the bedroom would serve as a reminder of his guilt in framing his innocent wife for a murder she did not commit. The bed is likely parked there until he can get rid of it.

raywest Premium member

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