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: Were the cigarettes in the film real or fake (prop, puff, or herbal)? I ask because I know that Natalie Portman was not a smoker before the making of this film started.

Answer: Actors are usually required to use movie prop cigarettes or herbal cigarettes that don't contain tobacco or nicotine. These usually contain marshmallow root, passion flower, cloves, or jasmine. While some actors might be smokers, prop cigarettes protect other actors and crew from second-hand smoke, especially during long filming sessions. There is debate about how much safer herbal cigarettes are compared to tobacco.


Question: I've never quite understood why Edward damages the curtains and bathroom walls at the Boggs' house. After he tells Kim that he only helped with the robbery because she asked him to, and then Jim shows up. Kim tries to convince Jim to tell the truth, so why does Edward act that way?

Answer: He doesn't know what she's saying. He sees the girl he just opened his heart to immediately run off, apparently into the arms of another man. That's what made him angry. Remember, he's had no chance to learn the nuance of human interaction or how to control overwhelmingly hard feelings.


Question: In the Richard Donner version, after Superman reverses time so that the events of the movie never happened, why would he go back to the diner and get even with the guy who beat him up, when earlier he chose to remove his powers?

Answer: When Clark comes back for revenge, there are no references to the previous fight, nor of anyone knowing Clark from before. When the manager tells the bully, "I just had this joint fixed," it doesn't mean it was because of the previous fight.


Citizens' Arrest - S7-E12

Question: Why does the police officer call this a citizen's arrest? Beavis and Butthead were more like hostages in the situation. They never caught/subdued the robber.

Question: Why did the military decide to blow the bridges instead of simply blocking them? Did they think it was simpler than to put armed soldiers at all the bridges and risk them being overrun by the panicked (and possibly turning) crowds of people trying to flee?

Answer: Yes, it was a desperate measure to prevent the spread of a disease which was horrendous, even though it was done too late to contain the outbreak. I'm sure it was a difficult decision for the military commanders, and given the civilian and economic consequences, probably had to be sanctioned by the National Command Authority or President.

Question: Apart from the chaotic evacuation at the pier, why does everyone in the city seem to be walking and driving like nothing is happening when they are in the middle of Ground Zero of a catastrophic viral outbreak?

Answer: Not everyone understands that the infection is airborne yet. People are mostly not fully aware of the dangers just yet, it seems. Even the dark seekers are uncommon at this time.

Question: How did the female MUTO get pregnant if they were hibernating far away from each other? It's either that she was born pregnant and they mated, which made her produce more eggs than usual, but I'm not sure.

Answer: Another person right here answered this question as well, and to paraphrase what they said: the female had produced the eggs. But for all means and technicalities, she wasn't pregnant until she mated with the male and received his sperm that would create the embryos inside the eggs. At least, that's what we can assume based on real-life egg-laying animals.

Question: Why did Jim, Kim, and the others want Edward to wear a hat and jacket for the fake burglary? His "hands" are not covered, so if he stepped into any light, his disguise would be pointless.

Answer: Because the rest of them wore disguises, I think they wanted him to feel "included" in their group so he would continue to help with the fake burglary.

Question: There is a moment when a police officer, riding shotgun in a pursuit car, aims his shotgun out the window at the red car. Is he planning just to shoot the tires or to actually get a shot at Hammond? What is he trying to do before Hammond grabs the handgun and shoots out the cop car's tire?

Hazardous to Your Health - S5-E18

Question: This was one of my favourite episodes, and it wasn't actually until Season 5 when we found out exactly how much money Dylan had. But the question I always had was how it could have been fraud. Dylan and Kevin opened a joint account together at the end of Season 4, so wasn't that also now legally his money as well? Yes, he did withdraw it and fled the country, but wasn't it his money too?

Question: When the Mentors were discussing with the Tributes on how to sell their performances for the audiences, why did the shackled Reaper fake lunge at Dovecote?

Answer: Because he didn't like her, he realized she was just a rich person who saw him as a means to an end, and really didn't care if he survived. He wanted to give her a scare.

Brian Katcher

Question: When Lucy Gray tells the peacekeepers to "give her a minute," why do they all back off and let her sing instead of carting her off to the train? The police basically take orders from her, and I'm pretty sure singing would have been classified as rebellious behavior. Was it because she had to have protection now that she was one of the chosen Tributes?

Answer: The Peacekeepers were likely a little subdued because a large crowd is watching and everything is being aired on live TV. They would not risk inciting a riot. The Peacekeepers are low-level Capitol servants, so they may be concerned about the repercussions to themselves if they are overly rough with a female tribute. Allowing her to sing also makes for better TV, and the Capitol is trying to increase viewership.


Question: When Felix Ravenstill was declared dead, why did Dr. Gaul think that the way to get back at the Districts was to kill off the remaining tributes in the "rainbow of destruction"? If you were chosen as a Tribute, you basically were already dead before actually dying. That's pretty much the essential nature of the Hunger Games. Wouldn't the government announcing a retaliatory missile strike have made much more sense?

Answer: Doing something unexpected and even more violent during the Games sends a warning but also adds a "shock value" that "thrills" Capitol viewers, keeping them engaged and increasing TV ratings. Launching a missile strike would be an extreme and counterproductive move that only causes extensive and expensive damage, disrupts the districts' productivity and adversely affecting Panem's commerce, directly hurting the Capitol and its citizens.


Answer: You could make an argument that the Goblin didn't want to quickly kill Spider-Man, so he's toying with him by beating him, throwing the razor-bats at him, etc. Goblin is psychopathic and petty... he's absolutely go for the longer death after Spider-Man turned down his offer to team up. (But of course, the actual reason behind the scenes is that the vaporizing bomb was just meant to be a cool little one-off moment to show how much of a threat Goblin was. And it'd make the movie very boring if he kept using it, especially given how overpowered it was.)


Show generally

Question: The following puzzles me: 1. Why don't the survivors try leaving on a boat and finding an island? 2. Why wouldn't the zombies just eat each other? 3. Why do they seem surprised when the zombies show up when they can smell their decaying smell? 4. Why do the zombies need to eat since they still walk around anyway? 5. Why can't the zombies climb ladders? 6. How can they feel hunger with their brains and nerve system gone?


Answer: Some of these questions address general zombie lore (or at least, post-Romero zombie lore) and are thus usually accepted that they just "are" a certain way. 1. That's easier said than done if you don't know how to operate a boat, which the average person does not. They're also in the middle of America, nowhere near the sea. 2. There is not a single example of zombie fiction in which the zombies consume one another; they always feed on living humans. No reason other than it wouldn't be scary if they just ate one another. 3. Can you tell the exact source/direction/distance of every smell, even a powerful one? 4. In all media, zombies are driven by primordial hunger for living flesh, which almost never serves any physiological purpose. 5. Lack of physical coordination. It's also why they can't run, swim, dance, etc. 6. Again, it's just how they "are" in the fictional world they inhabit.

I want to add that "finding an island" is not guaranteed anyway. They could end up getting lost at sea and dying of starvation or dehydration. And if they do find an island, they don't know what they will be dealing with: natives who became zombies, natives who don't want them there, unfamiliar plants that might be poisonous, etc. It makes more sense to "start over" where they are.

Question: I remember in the commercials for this film, there was a shot of a catatonic beaver in a padded cell, in a straitjacket. What was the context?

Answer: His teacher wanted him to see a psychologist as he didn't seem to be hitting the mile markers other kids his age were. His parents imagined this when this was suggested as that used to be what seeing a psychologist meant back in the day. That if they found anything wrong, they would lock the person up in an asylum in a straight jacket. This was showing his parents' fear that he might end up there for seeing a psychologist.

Question: Joe gave Ed O'Neill the red book, which he placed by the window. It never was out of view, and Ed gave it back. Joe walked away and later finds it to have been replaced with a blank copy. When was it supposedly switched?

Question: Maybe I'm missing something here, but why does Dr. Serizawa kill himself at the end by cutting the oxygen cord to his diving suit after activating the oxygen destroyer? What does ending his life accomplish? It seems to me the mission to kill Godzilla still would have been successful if Serizawa had returned to the surface alive.

Answer: I don't remember if that line was in the KOTM American cut as well, but in the Japanese Gojira cut, Serizawa, as he is talking about why the capabilities of microoxygen and the Oxygen Destroyer horrify him, mentions that he fears that "perhaps one day he might have to create the Oxygen Destroyer again," and that horrified him. The reason he allowed himself to die didn't have anything to do with stopping Godzilla; it was to ensure that no-one, including himself, would be able to create the Oxygen Destroyer ever again. That was his entire arc in the movie. He has previous scenes in the movie where he explains why his discovery of microoxygen and its destructive capabilities horrified him, and before he went to unleash the Oxygen Destroyer for its first and final time, he had ensured to destroy all the research in his lab that could be used to recreate the Oxygen Destroyer. Finally, he allowed himself to die so that he would erase the possibility of himself recreating that weapon as well.

Question: Was Principal McGee only bluffing when she announced that the "pictures" of the mooners were "on their way to Washington" to simply scare the three into admitting? Or was she serious about that and therefore wanted to give those responsible a chance to come in?

Answer: It's definitely a bluff. I highly doubt the FBI can identify people by butt.


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