Questions about specific movies, TV shows and more

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Question: Did people actually care about figure skating? I wasn't alive when this happened, but apparently it was one of the biggest sporting controversies of all time. Well I find that quite hard to believe, since before this movie came out, I'd never heard anyone talk about figure skating, I barely even knew what it was. Was figure skating ever actually a big thing, or do people just like controversy?

MikeH

Answer: It used to be a lot more popular. The Harding/Kerrigan Winter Olympic figure skating competition was the 6th highest rated program in TV history as of 1994, with 48.5 million viewers, no doubt helped by the controversy. It's slowly declined over time - from 1998 to 2018 viewing figures for the US championships declined by 1/3. Opinions about its loss of appeal range from a change in the scoring (used to be judges rating out of 6.0, now it's a more complicated points system), to a lack of "star power", with recognisable names grabbing people's attention. In the UK at least, skater team Torville and Dean were household names for a long time, but I'd imagine a lot of people would struggle to think of skaters with that level of popular recognition nowadays. That said, viewing figures for the 2018 US championships were 60% up on 2017, and membership of the US figure skating organization has risen for the last four years - these things wax and wane like any other.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Question: When the warden goes to see Andy in the hole, he has a pin on his lapel. Does anyone know what it's for?

Answer: I can't say for sure in the movie but in the novella it is described as being a 30 year church pin. It's reasonable to assume that it's the same in the movie.

Bane91

Question: Why was Merry's hand burned when he stabbed the back of the witch king's leg?

Answer: It's what is known as the Black Breath.

Phaneron Premium member

That's caused by his breath and I don't think he breathes from his leg.

lionhead

It could be wrong, but the reference page I read specified that despite its name, the Black Breath is not actual breath, but an aura that the Nazgul project.

Phaneron Premium member

Answer: Because of what the Witch King is made of, his blood (or whatever) burns the skin of a mortal. Maybe even being too close will cause burns.

lionhead

The Day the Music Died - S2-E6

Question: What's the name of the song Drew and the band in his backyard are playing? (00:06:10 - 00:06:50)

Question: How could they pay for bills before Helen found out that Bob was fired?

THE GAMER NEXT DOOR

Answer: Most likely Bob was receiving cash payments from his new "employer" and depositing the money into their bank account himself. Back in those days, wages were given directly to the workers from the employers, then the workers would deposit their wages into the bank during lunch break or after work. If the workers were married, the only evidence their spouses saw of a bank transaction would be whatever record the working spouse brought home.

Scott215

Question: What city is this movie set in?

Answer: We are never told where the movie takes place.

Question: What does "Spider" pull out of the stream bed? I really don't think it's gold. Gold isn't porous, and I don't think he'd be able to hold it with one hand.

Answer: It's a gold nugget. It is not real gold, of course, but is a movie prop. That is why it looks like some other type of substance.

raywest Premium member

Question: Why did Mary get angry when the boy in the audience said that he could see her mouth moving? When a close-up of Mary is shown, she's moving her mouth.

Answer: Because he is heckling her and belittling her performance.

Phaneron Premium member

The Perfect Female - S2-E8

Question: When Andy and Karen are competing at the skeet shoot, Andy fires his last shot and Barney states "he missed." If you look closely, several pieces of the skeet actually break off the skeet, but the primary skeet is missed. Not knowing the details of skeet shooting, how much of the skeet must be destroyed for a successful "hit"? (00:19:50)

Dr. Thomas

Question: When Harry finds Eliot tied up, he removes the tape and tells him that the kidnappers have been caught. Why did Eliot confess to being the actual mastermind behind the kidnapping? Harry had no idea it was Eliot behind it all so he could have gotten away with it if he didn't say anything.

Answer: Eliot mistakenly believed that Harry had figured out what his part was in the kidnapping, and, exasperated by Harry's dumb luck, Eliot stupidly confessed. He was then arrested.

raywest Premium member

Question: I was wondering how the buffalo hunt was actually done. Were the buffalo actually shot (for meat or to cull the herd) or was there some computer graphics involved (I can see a truck running along side next to the cameraman with a tranquilizer gun to make the animal fall)?

Answer: While the fallen buffalo were furry dummies on wires (there were only a couple, filmed from several different angles), the buffalo stampede was real. A private herd of 3,500 buffalo in South Dakota was prompted to stampede five times, as seven cameras captured the action over eight days of filming. The illusion of arrows piercing the animals' sides was accomplished with simple special effects (including arrow shafts attached to body straps). The massive bull charging the little boy was a docile animal that was tempted with Oreo cookies. No animals were injured or traumatized in filming the scene; in fact, the only near-injury occurred when Kevin Costner himself (who did his own stunt riding) fell off his horse during the shoot. Https://ew.com/article/1991/03/08/filming-dances-wolves-stampede/.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: I did a little Internet research. It does not appear that any bison were killed for the hunting scene. Dummy bison were mounted on moving dollies and yanked off by attached straps to look like they'd fallen. Two live domesticated bison were used for certain shots. I can remember watching one of those, "Making of..." TV documentaries on this movie. They showed realistic-looking bison dummies lying on the ground and compressed air being used to simulate the "wounded" animals' breathing. A tranquilizer gun could not have been used on live bison for this purpose. It's a misconception that animals immediately fall unconscious when darted because it takes time for the drugs to have an effect. Films in the past have actually killed animals for films, but they were often ones selected to cull a herd.

raywest Premium member

Question: I can't remember if this is covered in the books, but at the start of this movie, the Dursleys are seen packing up and leaving (because Harry has turned or is about to turn 17 so they can't protect him anymore), but since they've always not wanted to get involved with the magical world side of things (Petunia hating Lily for being a witch, Vernon not wanting Harry to be happy or going to Hogwarts etc), why would they just pack up and leave on Harry's word that they can't protect him anymore by living with him because of what will happen when he turns 17? Was it all explained to them in the letter Dumbledore left with baby Harry in the "Philosopher's Stone" about how Harry had to live with them until he was 17, and that Lily and James had been killed by this powerful person who they needed to protect Harry from or was it another way?

Answer: This is better explained in the books. The Durselys did not wish to leave their home, but the Ministry of Magic convinced them it was imperative that they vacate the house or else risk being killed by Voldemort. He would target them simply because they were Harry's relatives. The Ministry arranged to move and hide them until Voldemort could be defeated. Aunt Petunia hated the wizarding world, but she knew what Voldemort could do to her family once Harry's magical protection lapsed on his 17th birthday.

raywest Premium member

And as much as she hated the magical world, she knew the importance of following the instructions as Voldemort had killed her sister and left Harry without parents. She would do anything to protect Dudley as demonstrated in Order of the Phoenix.

Ssiscool Premium member

Question: The villain's whole plan was to force John Matrix to kill some foreign president by holding his daughter hostage. So why at the beginning were they killing members of his unit? That seemed rather pointless to me.

Gavin Jackson

Answer: They didn't know where Matrix lived. They were killing Matrix's old unit because they knew if they did General Kirby would make physical contact with Matrix to warn him. They simply followed Kirby to Matrix's home.

BaconIsMyBFF

Answer: To flush him out into the open. By killing his unit it will make it more likely he will want revenge and come out into the open making him a target.

Ssiscool Premium member

Question: Has anyone noticed what looks exactly like a Buddy Elf doll standing on the kitchen counter during the breakfast scene where Buddy is pouring syrup for the mom? If you pause when the camera pulls back to show Buddy pouring syrup and the back of the moms head, you'll see the elf doll on the right side of the scene (our right, Buddy's left) facing away from the camera. It's on the counter directly below the cabinet knobs; behind the back of a chair and in front of what looks like a radio that sits against the counter wall. Ideas? Looks just like a Buddy doll to me.

Question: Why did the last three remaining crew members split up? Surely it would have made better sense to stay together as up until that time the alien had only attacked people when they were alone.

Answer: They felt like they didn't have enough time. Parker and Lambert stayed together to get coolant while Ripley was to prepare the shuttle and set the auto-destruct. They wanted to escape as soon as possible. Staying together would have, in their minds, lengthened the time they were on the ship with the alien.

BaconIsMyBFF

I would add to that the fact that Lambert and Parker were actually killed while still together. By splitting up, the alien could only attack one person or group at a time. This actually increased the chances for Ripley.

Garlonuss Premium member

Answer: Fair point but I don't think that the Alien would have attacked three people because when it moved in to kill Lambert it didn't know that Parker was behind it.

You're basing that on what you know about the alien from watching the films. The characters at this point have no real idea how the alien would behave. For all they know, it could start reproducing asexually and there could be six more of them on the ship.

BaconIsMyBFF

Don't understand what you mean, sorry.

You are saying that you believe the alien wouldn't attack three people together. That's because you've probably seen the films and have a pretty good understanding of the creature's biology and behavior. The characters in the film have no idea how it behaves or how it will behave the longer it stays alive. The biology of the alien is so different from anything they've seen and they want to get away from it as soon as they possibly can.

BaconIsMyBFF

Question: After Ripley has set the ship to self destruct, she grabs Jones and hurries towards the shuttle. She then runs into the alien in the corridor, drops Jones and runs away and then tries to stop the self destruct system. Now she'd set the ship to self destruct, needed to get the hell out of there, the alien was in her way, why didn't she just blast it with her flamethrower? Ripley is not like Lambert, she's feisty and brave and I think Ripley would have done just that.

Answer: Ripley is, for the majority of this film, not "feisty and brave." She is written to be an intelligent, capable, but otherwise average person. She is for all intents and purposes an "everyman" character. She does not become the tenacious, bold heroine that defines her in popular culture until her last battle with the alien, and these character traits are solidified in the sequel. For most of the film, she is very much terrified of the alien and the prospect of fighting it head on is the furthest from her mind. At that moment in the corridor, her fight or flight response kicks in and she flees. All of this serves to make her fight against the alien in the shuttle more poignant, as she is forced to literally face her fears and defend herself. Note that while she is trying to get the alien to come out of its hiding place on the shuttle, she is soaked in nervous sweat and is singing a song to calm herself down. Would the Ripley of later films have blasted the alien to kingdom come? Of course. The Ripley in this film has yet to become the no-nonsense, composed heroine we remember at that point.

BaconIsMyBFF

Pre-Witched - S3-E17

Question: Every time one of the sisters kill Shadow there is a number in the background to count how many times he died. In the first two it's on a store front. The fourth time it was on a clock. Fifth on the calendar. Sixth on the table at the restaurant etc. I can't find a number for kill 3 or 9. Can anyone help me?

Question: Can the Djinn only give bad wishes according to his interpretation of them or does he just do it because he is pure evil and "enjoys" giving people exactly what they asked for, just not what they actually meant? For example could he, if he wanted, have given the shop assistant a lifetime of beauty without turning her into a mannequin?

The_Iceman

Answer: The Djinn is a demon, it only knows how to hurt people. The wish he offers a person is just a way for the demon to buy the soul of that person, making use of the emotions inside someone to have them wish something. The wish works how the Djinn wants it to work, not what the victim wants it to do, that's irrelevant to him. Yes, he has the powers to give people what they actually want, but he doesn't as he doesn't care about people.

lionhead

Question: What was the point of Sean Bean's role in this movie? I get that he is exposed as a fraud, but it doesn't really affect the plot one way or the other.

Phaneron Premium member

Answer: It is true that it doesn't affect the plot. However Spence's (Bean's) failure can be contrasted with the professionalism of the main characters. Also it raises the possibility that whoever hired them isn't taking necessary precautions in planning and hiring. Earlier we heard Sam (De Niro) ask Vincent (Reno) if he was "labour or management" which suggests a theme of professional operators getting their hands dirty while their bosses play politics.

Question: So how exactly did Max Cady slip past Kersec's security system and get into the house? Did he kill the maid outside and then just walk in disguised as her?

Phaneron Premium member

New this month Answer: He snuck in during the day and hid, before Kersec's teddy bear security system was set up. Sam Bowden realises this when he wakes from a nightmare. Its how he was able to poison the dog which hadnt been let outside. Max Cady killed the maid in the pantry with the same piano wire he later attacks Kersec with.

Answer: Kersec suspected that Cady might attempt to break into the Bowden house if he thought it was empty. His plan was for Cady to break in and then be shot dead as an intruder. He likely lessened the security to allow Cady to break in. Cady killed and then impersonated the housekeeper to get in.

raywest Premium member

I like your answer but I'm a little confused by the "lessened the security" part. If I'm not mistaken, every possible point of entry into the house at least from the ground floor was connected to the bear via the fishing line, so Kersec would know if a point of entry was disturbed by the bear moving. Where would Kersec lessen the security from that standpoint, especially since his setup was supposed to be foolproof?

Phaneron Premium member

Kersec wanted Cady to be able to break in so that there would be a plausible reason to shoot him dead. The idea is to make it look like his death was a result of self defense. I'm only speculating that Kersec made it easier for Cady to break in into the house. Being as it was his security system, he would know how to make it possible for Cady to get in.

raywest Premium member

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