Answered questions about specific movies, TV and more

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Question: When Harry and Hermione are rescuing Sirius, Hermione blasts open the door using a different spell than the one she used in The Philosopher's Stone to open the door to where Fluffy was. I can understand that the reason the spell would be stronger on Sirius's cell is so he can't escape and it's more secure. But the Philosopher's Stone had to be secured well, so why was the lock so easy to unlock?

Chosen answer: It's never stated that one spell is stronger than the other. There may be different spells that achieve similar results, and Hermione simply chose one over the other. Therefore, it should not be assumed that one lock was easier to open than the other. Also, the "bombarda" spell was never mentioned in the books. It was invented by the filmmakers for the movie, probably because it sounded stronger and was more descriptive (as in to bombard).

raywest Premium member

Question: Anne tried to get her brother to impregnate her so Henry wouldn't know about her miscarriage, but wouldn't this have obviously not worked? She mentioned that Henry already seemed to notice that her pregnancy wasn't showing. Even if she and George did sleep together and she became pregnant, she wouldn't start showing for another four months or so. By then, wouldn't Henry and everyone else expect her to look eight or nine months pregnant?

Chosen answer: Of course they probably would have noticed, but Anne was desperate, thinking irrationally, and she would have done anything to regain Henry's favor and remain queen. She probably believed that if she became pregnant, it would be assumed that it must be the king's child. And if she could entice the king back into her bed, she could claim her earlier condition was a false pregnancy, but that she was now carrying the king's child.

raywest Premium member

Question: When Vesper is kidnapped by Le Chiffre, Bond suspects Mathis betrayed him, and Le Chiffre even confirms it. But then it is revealed the traitor is actually Vesper. So why would Le Chiffre tell Bond Mathis was his "friend"? Or for that matter, why did Vesper get out of the casino (only to get kidnapped), if Mathis apparently never text messaged her saying he "needed her"?

Chosen answer: Le Chiffre needs Bond to believe that Vesper is innocent, so that he can use her as leverage during the torture scene. If Bond knew that she was actually a traitor, that leverage would be gone, so he tells him that Mathis sold him out instead. Having failed to win the poker tournament, Le Chiffre's only remaining option to get the money back is to take it from Bond, so he sent the text telling Vesper to leave the casino so that he can stage her kidnapping, putting his plan into motion.

Tailkinker Premium member

Answer: I thought she was getting the money for ransom for her old boyfriend which it spoke about in the next movie.

Question: It's been stated that Elsa and Donovan knew how to get through the path to the Grail because Henry was talking about the way as he lay dying. But I'm still confused about when they get across the cliff. Indy threw some sand and stones across the path he 'believed' was there, but would they still be sitting there, basically in mid air for the bad guys to get across? Did they truly believe in the Grail as much as Indy and Henry did and so could walk across the non-existant path?

jenn_s_h85

Chosen answer: The way I see it, the bridge is there, but is invisible. The true test is to step out into mid-air when you don't know there's a bridge there, trusting in God to rescue you. Indy passed this test, then threw the stones to see whether it really was a bridge there all along, or if it was a matter of faith in the moment you step out (or just to mark his way back). The pebbles stayed, proving the bridge was physical and real, only invisible. When Ilsa and Donovan came along, they could see the pebbles in mid-air, and figured out this as well. Originally, you would have to believe and trust in God to step on to the bridge, but Indy effectively "disarms" this trap by proving that there is a way to cross safely for anyone.

Twotall

Question: When Kim asks Edward to hold her, and he says he can't, is it because he hasn't got hands or he's still upset about her making him rob the house?

Chosen answer: He means his hands. But he says this, rather than simply working around the scissors like he always has, because he's still hurting over the betrayal.

Phixius Premium member

Show generally

Question: Is there any technology featured in Star Trek Voyager, or other Star Trek series for that part, that seemed futuristic in the late 20th century, but are now reality?

Chosen answer: If you include the original Star Trek series (1966) then there are several. The communicators used in the original series were before (and said to inspire) mobile phones. We currently do have teleportation technology but it currently only works on things the size of a few molecules. A "Cloaking device" also exists; it's a fabric that bends light through it, though it currently only works in infra-red. The Hypospray is real and was patented in 1960 - six years before the original series aired - it's actually called the Jet Injector. Faster Than Light travel is still a few decades off, but there are several real-world theories that look promising, including one that is remarkably similar to the method used in the Star Trek Universe called the Alcubeierre Drive that involves manipulating spacetime ahead and behind the ship and the ship "riding" it. Medical techniques and technologies have also advanced considerably; prosthetics particularity and we routinely have robots performing surgeries where absolute precision is needed. The "Shield" used in the series have a few primitive versions around. The Phasers used in the series are used but are not very powerful (nor will they ever be as powerful as the Star Trek version the laws of physics gets in the way) but rail-guns (using magnets to spin then propel a projectile) and particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider have been around for a while. The Replicator would require a nuclear fusion reactor and a nuclear fission reactor in something the size of a large oven and the Holo-deck wouldn't work at all based on our current understanding of physics so those are both still science fiction at the moment, but who knows!

Sanguis

Question: When Arnold is on the shore face down in the mud, the predator then hits the water. Shortly afterward it looks like his cloaking protection is short-circuiting when he is walking to shore. If it did, how could it use the cloaking device again later to cloak itself?

mozeus5

Chosen answer: Well, we don't know exactly what's going on. It may simply be that the cloaking device, for whatever reason, can't cope with water, so it cuts out. When it dries off again, normal function may simply return. Or, if it does actually short out, as opposed to simply shutting down, then some sort of auto-repair mechanism may come into play to restore the cloaking device back to a functional state. Either way it's a reasonable explanation as to why it still works.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Where did Superman get the spaceship to go looking for remnants of his planet? And couldn't he have just flown there instead?

mozeus5

Chosen answer: The ship was likely created for him by the Fortress. As to flying there, yes, he probably could have done, but there are advantages to using the spacecraft. He can relax on the long flight, rather than having to focus on flying. He doesn't risk running low on energy light years from the recharging effects of an appropriate star. It's also possible that the ship is simply faster than he is - no comparative statistics are given for their relative speeds. Certainly it's not unreasonable that he would choose to use a ship rather than travel under his own power.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: When Doc and Ringo meet at the location by the trees, and have a showdown, Doc shoots Ringo then says to him, "Come on, come on!" What was that all about?

mozeus5

Chosen answer: It's a sadistic challenge to Ringo, because Holliday's shot was so precise and the fight was over too soon.

MovieFan612

Answer: Doc already viewed himself as a dead man, with nothing left to lose and believed that he was destined to 'die with his boots on'. I believe this was a challenge to Ringo to come ahead and kill him.

Answer: Doc was encouraging Ringo to breath in order to prolong the glory of his victory.

Question: Is the garbage man near the start Sid from Toy Story 1?

Chosen answer: Yes, he is. He can be seen wearing the same black t-shirt with a skull motif that his younger self wore in the first movie and Pixar have confirmed that the character's intended to be Sid.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Why didn't Arnold and the rest of the commandos take thermal goggles or sensitive listening devices with them on the mission; wasn't the technology available?

mozeus5

Chosen answer: It's the jungle: thermal goggles would have too much interference due to the high ambient temperature and sensitive listening devices would have picked up too much ambient noise from the wildlife. When filming the movie they had to hose the area down with ice water just to cool it off enough to get the footage for the Predator's heat vision. Presumably, his technology is more advanced than our own, so the high jungle temps didn't interfere. Plus of course, their original mission was meant to be very straightforward, with no need for high-tech equipment.

Phixius Premium member

Question: Does anyone know why Marty takes a book of matches off of Biff's desk when Biff isn't looking? I know that the matches come in handy at the end of the film when he burns the sports almanac, but what was his original reason for swiping the matches? Unless he knew beforehand that he was going to have to burn the almanac.

Chosen answer: It seemed more like a reflex action than a deliberate decision. Marty saw Biff's name on the matchbook cover, causing him to pick it up for a closer look, then just stuffed it into his pocket. As you pointed out, they came in handy later. That and when they changed the timeline in 1955 after burning the alamanac, it would also change back to "Biffs Auto Detailing." Gotta make sure you cover your bases when dealing with the future, make sure that everything changes back to normal.

raywest Premium member

Question: If Charles was so smart, why didn't he think to make a bow with arrows to kill the bear instead of spears? They had the wood (the spears) and the rope (used in the trap).

mozeus5

Chosen answer: Bows have to be quite carefully constructed if they're going to be remotely effective - you can't just throw one together using a few bits of wood and some rope. Making spears may expose them to far more danger, but, given what they've got to work with, they represent the best chance of being effective against the bear.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: First, thank you to the individual that answered my question: "Why did they wear helmets in the first alien and not Aliens?" However, I am still puzzled though with my question: "How did the facehugger get through Kane's helmet?" The answer given was: "It secreted an acid that "burned" through the helmet." If this is true, wouldn't the acid still on the facehugger have burned Kane's face when it attached itself?

mozeus5

Chosen answer: The facehugger was apparently able to control how much acid it secreted, and it was just enough to penetrate the helmet without it touching Kane's face. It would need to protect its "host" in order to ensure that the embryo was able to fully develop before "hatching."

raywest Premium member

Question: I remember Cobb saying that he spent time in Limbo for about fifty years. Was he referring to the time that he spent with Mal, or something else that we weren't shown?

Knever

Chosen answer: He's referring to the time spent there with Mal - remember that we see, towards the end of the film, a scene with the pair of them in their Limbo-built cityscape, both of them old-aged.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: There is said to be a curse on the Defence Against The Dark Arts teaching job, something like the professor will die within one year of teaching that subject. In a previous question somebody stated that Professor Quirrell was only starting to teach that subject the year that Harry started Hogwarts. But during the feast after the first years have been housed, Harry asks Percy Weasley who "that man" (Snape) is. He tells him that it is Snape, Professor of potions and then goes on to say "Everyone knows Defence Against The Dark Arts is what he really wants. He's been after Quirrell's job for years" This implies that Professor Quirrell has been teaching that subject for years. How is Quirrell an exception to the curse?

jess-shaw

Chosen answer: Firstly, yes, there is said to be a curse on the Defence Against the Dark Arts teaching position, but the teachers do not "die within one year of teaching that subject" as a result of it. You see, Voldemort applied for the DADA position twice, once after Tom Riddle's graduation from Hogwarts and was refused, then years later as Lord Voldemort, and was refused again by Dumbledore. After Voldemort's second refusal to the Defence Against the Dark Arts teaching post, no DADA teacher held the position for more than a year due to a curse that Voldemort placed on the position. Dumbledore stated "You see, we have not been able to keep a Defence Against the Dark Arts professor for more than a year since I refused the post to Lord Voldemort."When Snape first became a teacher at Hogwarts, he requested the Defence Against the Dark Arts position, but was denied it and made the Potions Master. Then every year, as each of the subsequent DADA teachers left the school, Snape reapplied for that position, but was denied year after year. By the time Harry came to Hogwarts, Professor Quirrell, who held the position of the Muggle Studies teacher for some years, had been made the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor after his year off (traveling to Europe, where Voldemort got hold of him). So when Percy says, "He's been after Quirrell's job for years" it means that for many years Snape has been after the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, which is Quirrell's new teaching position that term.

Super Grover Premium member

Question: How did the first facehugger get through Kane's helmet? In 'Alien' the people searching the alien craft wore helmets, in 'Aliens', Newt's parents didn't wear helmets. Can anyone explain the discrepancy?

mozeus5

Chosen answer: It burned its way through Kane's faceplate by excreting some acidic substance - that's why it appears melted. As for the helmets discrepancy between the two films, when the Nostromo landed on LV-426, the planet's atmosphere wasn't capable of supporting human life, forcing Dallas, Kane and Lambert to wear full suits. By the time Newt's family locate the derelict ship, fifty-seven years later, the human terraforming process has been running for twenty years, altering the atmosphere enough to make it breathable.

Tailkinker Premium member

Season 1 generally

Question: I'm watching all of West Wing in order. I thought I remembered the scene of the drunk Ainsley meeting the president occurring before she's actually introduced to the audience in the TV program and subsequently hired. In which episode does the drunken dancing occur? Thanks for the help.

Betsilou

Chosen answer: We're first introduced to Ainsley in season 2, episode 4, 'In This White House', during Sam's appearance on the show Capital Beat, where as Josh puts it, "Sam's getting his ass kicked by a girl (Ainsley)." Then later, during the same episode Leo hires Ainsley. It's not until episode 13, 'Bartlet's Third State of the Union', that it comes to Sam's attention that Ainsley still hasn't met President Bartlet, even after she's been working there a few months. Later in this episode, when Sam goes to Ainsley's office he finds her wearing a White House gym robe (she had sat on the bench's wet paint just as CJ had earlier), drunk, dancing and singing. A moment later President Bartlet shows up at her basement office and that's when Ainsley first meets him. Priceless.

Super Grover Premium member

Question: How come Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) didn't recognize Saito (Ken Watanabe) on the plane, especially if the two are supposed to be bitter business rivals?

Chosen answer: Saito's rivalry is with Fischer's father, not with Fischer himself. With Fischer and his father not being on particularly good terms, it's hardly unreasonable that Fischer might be unfamiliar with his father's competitors. Equally, it's not particularly clear that Saito and Fischer Snr are necessarily bitter rivals - the whole reason for the inception is that Fischer's company is so much more powerful that Saito's that Saito needs Fischer to break up his father's corporate empire so that he isn't pushed out of the market. Saito may have a bee in his bonnet about Fischer Snr, as you'd expect from a smaller competitor looking at a more powerful opponent, but it's quite likely that Fischer Snr gave little thought to Saito, dismissing him as being little threat to his empire. In which case, there'd be even less reason for Fischer to recognise him on the plane.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Towards the end, before the confrontation with Kimble and Nicholls, the guy who was tracing Kimble's phone records tells the Marshalls that Kimble telephoned Sykes on the night of his wife's murder. But obviously it wasn't Kimble calling Sykes, it was Sykes using Kimble's phone. But why would Sykes be calling himself?

jenn_s_h85

Chosen answer: He didn't. A key plot point is that Nichols borrowed Kimble's car on the night of the murder. The call to Sykes, which is expressly stated by the marshals as being on Kimble's car phone, was from Nichols, presumably arranging to meet so that he could give Sykes Kimble's keys to get into his house to lie in wait for him.

Tailkinker Premium member

And Tommy Lee Jones tells Kimble that they knew Nichols called Skyes from his car, but how? Wouldn't the more logical answer have been that the US Marshals thought that Kimble called Sykes from his car to tell the killer his wife was home alone? There is no way the US Marshalls would have known that the Kimble let Nichols borrow his call - that's the mistake in the movie! It actually should have made the Marshalls suspicious of Kimble, not exonerate him.

Answer: This is more of a question really. What kind of defense attorney did this high dollar, Dr. Kimble hire who do not show their defendant pictures of the one-armed men the police question? How do his attorneys not ask him, Ok, which of these one-armed men did you fight with in your house?.

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