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 Bill and the Bride are outside by a campfire, Bill begins to tell her a story about Pai Mei that started in the year "One double ought three" (1003). Does the Chinese calendar differ from our Western one? If so, how? Or is Pai Mei over one thousand years old? (which I doubt, but you never know).

Answer: Yes, Pai Mei is supposedly that old. The character is a recurring one, who has made appearances in numerous films set in equally numerous time periods.

Phixius

Question: The movie seems to suggest that Link has an ulterior motive for being on the Nebuchadnezzar. Early in the movie, Morpheus says "Given your situation, I can't say I fully understand your reasons for being here", and later Link tells Zee that he made a promise. Is he talking about Tank? What is going on here?

Brad

Chosen answer: He has no ulterior motive, he's simply taken over as the ship's "operator" because of a promise that he made to his brother-in-law Dozer before his death in the first film. Given he's married, that his wife has already lost two brothers under Morpheus' command and that, at the beginning at least, he's clearly sceptical about Morpheus' beliefs, it's not unreasonable that his commander would question his presence. Link, however, takes the attitude that a promise is a promise; if others don't entirely understand that, that's their problem.

Tailkinker

Lines in the Sand - S3-E4

Question: In this episode, an autistic child is trying to communicate to House what he ate that might have made him sick. The entire episode he is drawing mysterious squiggle lines on a chalk-board that nobody could decipher what he meant. The entire episode, one of those "perpetual motion" rectangular, water novelties is swaying back and forth near the child. You'd think that the child is drawing squiggles to imply he drank some of the chemical from the novelty toy, but at the very last second BAM! Turns out he ate sand from the sandbox. End of episode. Did the writers do this intentionally? Why was the kid drawing squiggles the whole time? Why was the perpetual motion toy next to the child the whole time? Why didn't he draw a box to imply "sandbox" or dots to imply "sand". Was the squiggles to throw the viewer off, or was there some sort of symbolic correlation between the squiggles the child drew, the wave toy, or both?

dollors

Chosen answer: He's communicating what is wrong with his eyesight. He sees these lines and it makes his vision blurry.

littlestar

Question: When Marty and Doc are on the train at the end, and Clara shows up, Doc says that Clara will have to go with them to 1985. Why does Doc say that? Someone submitted a correction saying that Clara is better off in 1885 because she was supposed to die so staying in her own period is better than going to the future, so why would Doc suggest such a thing?

Answer: Simply because, believe it or not, it's hard for Doc to kill someone through inaction. He saved her life when she was supposed to die. But that doesn't mean it'd be easy for him to do nothing now and just let her die when he knows he can do something to save her. And by taking her to the future, he is likely thinking he can avoid any other complications that may arise from the fact that she is still alive when she's already supposed to have died.

Garlonuss

Answer: They literally had no choice but to take her with them! They had gone past the windmill so they didn't have enough track left to stop the train before it went over the ravine so that's not an option. Doc and Marty are not murderers, they are not just gonna leave her on the train so that she dies! Plus, let's say they didn't care what happens to Clara, you've still got a problem... Clara is in the cab, she has the controls! How long before she just starts pulling random levers, turning random valves etc whilst trying to work out how to stop the train? If the train slows down at all, they will not have enough time to get it back up to speed... Them, the train and the DeLorean would be at the bottom of the ravine.

Answer: At this point, Doc is already in love with Clara. He did not plan for her to be on the train, but once he saw her there, he definitely wasn't going to leave her to let her die a horrible death.

jshy7979

Question: In the vault scene, isn't forger Eames impersonating the Elder Fischer on his deathbed in the vault? If so, then how can he also be across the room at the door?

Answer: No, he isn't. Everything in that room is out of Fischer's subconscious - as the film explains, the team design the dreams to include a secure area, a vault, safe, whatever, which the target will then fill. In the higher levels of the dream, the team have been surreptitiously guiding Fischer towards the idea of splitting the company up; this is the level where it pays off, where Fischer's own subconscious fills the vault with the things he needs to see or hear to make the idea real, to complete the inception.

Tailkinker

Question: In the scene where the Cullens are filling Jacob and his friends in about the newborn vampire army, this is all taking place during Bella's graduation party. Why would they discuss it there where other people could hear them or notice them? In the book they discussed it later that night after the party.

Answer: They combined the scenes to save time. Also, all the characters involved have super-sensitive hearing, so they could easily lower their voices enough not to be overheard while still being able to hear each other perfectly well.

Phixius

Question: After someone gets his memory erased, Lacuna sends a note to the related to ask them to no longer talk about the erased thing. Why does Lacuna intentionally not inform Joel that he had been erased from Clem's memory? (Joel's father ends up giving him his note and Dr Mierzwiak says he shouldn't have seen it). This won't prevent him getting hurt. After Clem erased him from her memory, he could have talked to her about their relation.

Answer: Clem would have had to tell the doctor the names and addresses of all the people whom she wanted to send a note to. Obviously she didn't want anything sending to Joel for fear of hurting him.

Manky

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: During the attack on Klendathu when the fleet is bombarded by the plasma bugs, you can see a plasma burst impact the bridge of the Roger Young and kill everyone in it, Carmen included. But later the fleet regroups to repair and the ship arrives with everyone safe and alive. What's with that?

Zvriith

Chosen answer: It doesn't kill everyone on the bridge, it just destroys a lot of it, and presumably the ship has the ability to seal hull breaches so everyone doesn't get sucked out.

GalahadFairlight

Question: If the real Henry Hill wrote a book and co-wrote the screenplay (with Martin Scorsese), how is it that the Mob never found him? Or did they, and we (the viewers/general public) were never told about that?

Answer: He went into the witness protection programme along with his family under assumed names, however was expelled from that programme after being arrested for drugs offences in Seattle in the late 1980s. Since then he apparently lived quite openly, including a number of media appearances, although he continued to have problems with the law, mostly due to a long battle with alcoholism. He lived in Malibu up until his death in 2012. As to why the Mob appeared to be disinterested in pursuing him, you'd have to ask them.

Tailkinker

By his own loud admission on Howard Stern, he had no idea why he was able to live such an incredibly long time for his circumstances.

dizzyd

Also, Henry Hill, in the last years of his life wasn't so worried anymore about getting whacked. All the people that were a threat to him were either in prison or dead by that time.

Question: I have three questions. First, on one of the holo-screens in the beginning, (the one saying: "Too much garbage in your space? There's plenty of space out in space"), there are two Axiom cruisers leaving. I thought it was just one. Question number two: What's the purpose of that robot that is clicking on a keyboard? (The one that lets GO-4, Wall-E and Eve pass to the bridge.) Last question: In the Axiom garbage disposal thing area, there are two gigantic Wall-A's. What does the A stand for?

Answer: (1) If you continue to listen to the announcement that you quote, the next line is "BnL Starliners leaving each day". Clearly there's a sizeable fleet of ships, as you'd expect, given the necessity to completely evacuate Earth's population, with the Axiom, described as "the jewel in the BnL fleet", presumably being the flagship. Whether any of the other ships were also still functioning remains unrevealed. (2) It's presumably some sort of administration robot, with specific duties regarding access to the captain's office. (3) It stands for "Axiom".

Tailkinker

Question: When Cobb finally gets home to see his children at the end why don't they look any different from his memories? The story implies that he's been gone for a long time yet they don't appear to have aged.

Answer: The answer above is solid and I agree, but there's another plausible way of looking at it. It is implied at the end that Cobb could still be dreaming (we never see if the top stops spinning). If that's the case, then he would likely dream his children to be exactly how he remembers them.

jshy7979

Answer: The story really doesn't imply too heavily exactly how long Cobb has been on the run. Very few clues are given, so it could quite plausibly be less than a year since his wife's death, in which case their children would not have aged dramatically. Their voices on the phone seem compatible with children of the ages shown at the end of the film and Cobb shows no concern when reunited with them that they should be older than they are. Two sets of children are listed in the credits, of different ages.

Tailkinker

Question: What was the eventual fate of the Earth President? His 'A113' message ends with him muttering about "getting the hell out of here" which would suggest he went on the space liners with the other humans but no further mention is ever made of him.

Answer: He almost certainly boarded the Axiom, and lived out the remainder of his days in luxury.

Phixius

Actually, I think he stayed on earth. In the message, he says Earth is beyond saving, and that everyone should remain in space and not return to earth. He then puts on a gas mask, accepting that Earth is a lost cause. There'd be no need for a gas mask if he was aboard the Axiom. Also, we see the message was sent to the Axiom in 2110. If you look at the date of the 1st captain, it is 2105. So, he stayed on earth to clean up the planet, and after 5 years they deemed it a lost cause and sent that message.

jshy7979

Question: Why does Doc suddenly change his ideas (about time travel and not learning too much of your own future) in Part 2? In Part 1, he was determined not to learn too much about his own future, despite Marty trying to warn him that his life depended on it. But in Part 2, suddenly it's okay to bring Marty to the future and give him enough information to try to change the course of destiny for his son. Also, wouldn't it have just been easier to warn Marty about the accident he was going to have that caused his life to go so wrong to begin with? One would have to think that if Marty becomes successful and lives out an entirely different life, then maybe his son doesn't turn into such a wimp.

unicorngoddess

Chosen answer: Marty's saving his life with the note made him realize that some events are worth tampering with. He wasn't aware that Marty's entire life had taken a wrong turn, he'd just read that his son goes to prison after the robbery and takes action on that one thing.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: Cindy told Cody that she's taken care of him since his birth. Have ten years passed between the second and third movies (considering Cody's age)? Because she didn't take care of anyone in Scary Movie 2.

Feather

Chosen answer: It's unlikely 10 years have passed, but very little is consistent across this franchise. For example, Brenda dies in this film, and yet is alive and well in the next one. It's just a throwaway line of dialogue that explains why Cindy has a kid so that the film can spoof "The Ring".

Manky

Question: In the scene right when they leave the hotel after the wild night, they see Doug's mattress. Is there any significance to the guy that turns to them and says some people just can't handle Vegas?

Answer: His name is Chuck Pacheco and he's an actor/director. He played Chuckie in the movie Alpha Dog.

Answer: I'm sure the guy Phil asks is a famous golfer, just not sure who. It is significant in what he says, because the Wolf Pack couldn't handle Vegas, so it was a sideways slap to them.

Question: When Captain Marshfield goes to arrest Captain Cummins, he says, "You gave intel to a foreign government" (or something like that). What is Marshfield referring to?

Answer: He gave the Russians EDI's energy signature so they could shoot him down, which is pretty classified information.

Brad

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: During the run of the series, the Brady's had a housekeeper, Alice. When they were giving Alice a few days off they even hired a temp to keep things straight while she was away - even though Carol had no career and all six kids did chores. So now that the kids are gone and they both (Mike and Carol) have careers, can they live without a housekeeper?

jairodrigue

Chosen answer: I'm sure they could, but as long as she's there, now a part of the family, and they can afford her, why fire her? Plus, with six kids help is welcome, with a career and no kids, help is welcome, and everything in between.

Answer: Technically, they DO live now without a housekeeper. Alice is simply their guest in this film, because she dropped by after her husband left her and Mike and Carol took her in. She was helping out while there since the whole family was visiting.

Question: I'm not sure if it was just one song or not, but what was the song played that cued the "kick"?

nbafanscw

Chosen answer: Édith Piaf's "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien".

Tailkinker

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.