Answered questions about specific movies, TV shows and more

These are questions relating to specific titles. General questions for movies and TV shows are here. Members get e-mailed when any of their questions are answered.

Question: When he is kissing the old woman his hair flies off. Was this deliberate?

Answer: Yes. It shows his age and another portion of his life that he's covering up. He makes mention of his toupee later in the film.

Question: Why did HAL go berserk? I thought it was because HAL knew the real reason for the mission (as Dr. Floyd reveals in the pre-recorded briefing), and was suspicious or curious of whether or not Dave and Frank knew. So when Dave is showing his drawings to HAL, HAL uses this opportunity to discuss the "rumours" with Dave. HAL of course is thinking as a computer in a chess game, and assumes to know what Dave will say next. But Dave thinks HAL is doing some psychology report on the crew and asks HAL that question. HAL did not expect this response, and quickly responds, "Of course I am." Now HAL is caught in a lie and does not know what Dave's next question might be, so he diverts the conversation by creating the AE-35 unit crisis. This, of course, sends the astronauts down a path that he cannot control, and he ultimately must terminate the crew to protect himself.2010, however, went down some other path that did not make any sense to me. Hence the question. I would love the opportunity to discuss.

mschiavi

Chosen answer: This is explained in the sequel, 2010. In that film, Doctor Chandra explains that Hal was given orders that directly contracted each other. He was informed about the monolith and instructed to complete the mission should the humans become unable to, but was also programmed not to deceive, and to relay information without distortion. This caused a "mental" breakdown in his programming. He decided the only course of action was to incapacitate/eliminate the crew and then complete the mission.

Answer: The HAL 9000 was designed to replicate almost every aspect of human mental processes, faster and with perfect recall. It was, essentially, artificial intelligence, but not nearly as complex as human intelligence (because nothing is as complex as human intelligence, that we know of). In carrying out the Jupiter Mission, HAL was instructed to deceive the standing crew (Frank Poole and Dave Bowman) regarding the mission objectives; however, HAL was not so sophisticated that it knew how to deceive. As it turned out, HAL was "human" enough that it felt guilt and even paranoia for deliberately lying to Frank and Dave. But HAL had no contingency for guilt or paranoia responses, and it drove the machine quite mad. Homicidally insane.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: In the original ending, Mrs. Vorheese opens her eyes and smiles. People say that this would indicate that Jason had killed Paul. How would that indicate that he had killed Paul?

Answer: Simple, it was her response to how Ginny was screaming for Paul, indicating that Jason fufilled her will and disposed of him.

discoduderock

Question: When Lex reboots the phones and Grant rings the bunker, how does Hammond immediately know it was Grant? Wouldn't it be more likely it was Ellie on the phone, or even Arnold?

sonicdrewdriver

Chosen answer: He was hoping it was Grant. He didn't want it to be Arnold or Ellie, who went to reset the breakers. He wanted it to be Grant - the one who was taking care of his grandchildren. He wanted to know they were OK.

LorgSkyegon

Show generally

Question: Are there more than three Star Fleet uniform colors? In the episode where Dr. Crusher is pulled into an alternate dimension aboard the Enterprise, there is an older science officer (not a recurring character) who is wearing a green uniform. When he is next to Dr. Crusher in her blue uniform, the difference is quite noticeable. Red is command, blue is sciences and medical, and gold is engineering, security, and ship services. What would green be for? I've only seen it in this one episode.

raywest Premium member

Chosen answer: The colors of the uniforms (like the models of the uniforms) change a lot. In the time frame of the original series for example the command color was gold/yellow and red was engineering. In TNG these colors are switched and altered. Also, the blue color for science has been more greenish in other periods of (Star Trek) time. And finally, uniform alterations are, to some extend, accepted (Troy often wears more casual clothing on duty and Worf adds cultural decorations to his uniform. To conclude: the green uniform might be a character's choice or an older type of uniform.

Cetan

Question: When this film was being released, I read a rumour somewhere that Lucas originally wanted actor John Houseman to play Indy's father. Given that at the time Houseman was in his mid-80s and in poor health (He passed away when the film was in production), was there any truth to this story?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: Not at least according to the "making of" DVD included in the trilogy box set. According to Spielberg, he always wanted to direct a James Bond film. In Spielberg's thinking, a 1930s action hero could only have one father - James Bond, and also according to Spielberg, he thought only of Connery.

The Cincinnati Kids - S5-E11

Question: Two part question: Mike throughout the series is someone depicted as a person of intelligence. So when he puts both of his sketches into one cylinder and puts Jan's Yogi Bear poster in the now empty identical cylinder, why does he place them right next to each other under the table? More importantly why doesn't he check to see if he has the correct one when he leaves for the meeting? When he returns to the Manager's office to inform them he hasn't found the sketches, why does he carry the cylinder with the poster with him?

jairodrigue

Chosen answer: Intelligence does not necessarily correlate to wisdom or common sense. He simply doesn't think to do these things.

LorgSkyegon

Question: This is a question regarding the scene where Ali tells Dr. Gordon over the phone to not believe Adam's lies. How does Ali know about Adam in the first place? From what you gather, it is only Detective Tapp that knows Adam since he was the one who paid Adam in secret to follow and take pictures of Dr. Gordon. So, was it Zep that told Ali about Adam? If so, how did Zep know about Adam? From Jigsaw? Any further details would be appreciated. Thanks.

mrbench71

Chosen answer: Yes. You pretty much guessed correctly. We can assume that Jigsaw told Zep to tell Ali to tell Dr Gordon, "do not believe Adam's lies..." Don't forget that Jigsaw spends hours planning his tests so it would be safe to say that he had planned it all in the beginning.

Question: What was the heinous metal contraption placed on Wade's head, prior to him being sprayed with hot wax, supposed to insinuate? The needle-like probes did not appear to puncture him. Was it simply for effect?

Answer: It is simply a contraption to keep Wade in place so he doesn't move and the wax can be applied. It's also used to keep the wax out of his eyes, ears, nose and mouth.

Question: Not including the animation sequences, why did this film only have 3 live stories (unlike the original which had 5).

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: Beacause the ones from the first ones are short, but the ones from this one are long. So they probly cut it to three to save the budget.

tetracore99

Question: Wouldn't the city have found out that someone was using the hotel when there was electricity being used but no-one to pay for it?

Answer: Not until there's a 3 month period where the electricity usage is much higher than normal. Even then, it takes another few months to get it noticed, and another couple of months to send someone out to investigate it.

rswarrior

Show generally

Question: I remember some early episodes that have Mr. Needles, a sick dog Angie takes from a homeless guy. When does he disappear from the series, and why?

Answer: His last appearance was in the episode "God Needles George. He had a tumor in that episode, but in the end was better, and that was the last appearance of him on the show. He was occasionally mentioned afterward, so it is assumed that they still had the dog for the rest of the series.

The Dinner Party - S5-E13

Question: Jerry tells Elaine that the reason he does not want to eat a cake with a hair on it is because of a childhood experience in which he found a hair on his "ferina". What is a ferina and did I spell it right?

The Impossible Dream

Chosen answer: Farina is a hot wheat cereal like Cream of Wheat.

Ingabritzen

Question: When Clyde is about to die from the bomb, why didn't he just end the call on the phone he was calling from? He could have probably cancelled the detonation.

tetracore99

Chosen answer: Unfortunately, that wouldn't have done it. Once the phone on the bomb recieved the signal there was no going back.

Phixius Premium member

Question: When Marty wakes up in the new 1985, the clock changes from 10:27 to 10:28. Why would his siblings be eating breakfast and preparing to go to work this late in the morning?

geezer

Chosen answer: It's Saturday. A lot of office jobs, if you're going to them on the weekend, would start later and end earlier.

Phixius Premium member

Question: How did the Terminator manage to find a hotel room already equipped with surgical tools and bandages? Doesn't seem like he set it up with supplies earlier since the first we see is him breaking in via the fire escape.

Answer: He isn't breaking in via the fire escape, hes just using it as a means of coming and going without being seen by the hotel staff, so at any point during the movie, he could have equipped himself with those tools. It is not necessary for a movie to show every intervening action onscreen.

GalahadFairlight

Question: This has been an endless point of debate among my friends and I; how sensible is the placing of the pulse rifle's ammo counter? It seems to me that it'd be very problematic since, if the operator were right handed, they'd have to turn the weapon on its side to read how many bullets they had left.

Answer: Yes you're right, the ammo counter is badly placed, but then again a seasoned marine wouldn't need to rely on it in the first place as they'd know through experience when they are about to run out.

GalahadFairlight

Answer: A digital ammo counter, like the ammo indicators on magazines, wouldn't be useful in the heat of battle. However, it would be very useful while not in battle. For example, with a real firearm, you would need to remove the magazine to check how many rounds remained in it. With a digital display, you could simply look. The larger issue, of course, is that with a display on the gun, your enemy would also know how many rounds you had left.

Jason Hoffman

If you had the counter on the top of the weapon facing you, you could immediately see how many rounds you had left and the enemy could only see it if he were behind you.

Answer: In all honesty you really wouldn't need an ammo counter. Either you shoot until the weapon runs dry and then you have to reload or you shoot until the threat is gone in which case you would do a "tactical reload" where you remove the partial mag and insert a fresh mag to ensure you have max ammo again for the next firefight.

That is, if you have another mag to do a tactical reload with. Real life is not like in videogames where you reload and only count bullets, you gotta have magazines.

lionhead

Question: Can a helicopter do barrel rolls and loop-de-loops like Murdock is doing after the A-team leaves the hospital and are being chased to the US border by Tuco?

Answer: They can, but only if they have a set of modified rotor blades to be able to do it. The Apache for one is able to do it. The Huey in the movie however is unlikely in reality to be able to do it - there would be no need to fit the modified rotors to what is essentially a transporter.

GalahadFairlight

Question: Is he actually sane at the end? I ask this because it looks like he makes them think he is insane so they will give him a lobotomy, and in that way he could forget about killing his kids indirectly.

toby1kenobi

Chosen answer: I think it's meant to be ambiguous, as nothing's explicitly stated either way. My take was the same as yours, namely that he'd rather die as a good man than live as a monster, to reference the line he says, but him still being actually insane also fits.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Question: I don't fully understand the Game Show part in the beginning. What was the significance of that?

jackdawson

Chosen answer: It's a recreation of when the real Frank Abagnale, Jr. appeared on the TV game show, "To Tell The Truth," that ran on CBS from the mid-1950s to late-1960s. A celebrity panel would try to pick out the genuine contestant who had an unusual secret from among two other imposters, who gave bluff answers to questions.

raywest Premium member

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