General questions about movies, TV and more

This page is for general questions - if you've got a question about a specific title, please check the title-specific questions page first. Members get e-mailed when any of their questions are answered.

It seems some TV shows, especially in later seasons, will include a version of their own show or movie into the show itself. "Seinfeld" had "Jerry." "Stargate SG-1" had "Wormhole X-Treme." "Monk" had an episode where they were going to make a movie about Monk and the show "Crime Lab S.F." (but that's might have been more a parody of "CSI"?) And now "Lucifer" has "Diablo." What are other examples of TV shows doing this? And this is different then the normal show within a show trope, like "Home Improvement" having "Tool Time" or "Full House" having "Wake Up, San Francisco").

Bishop73

Answer: Supernatural famously had at least two instances of this. There's a running plotline through the series where they discover a series of "Supernatural" books based on their antics, which end up being written by God himself. Even more meta, in the episode The French Mistake they end up in an alternate reality on the set of a show called "Supernatural" where everyone starts referring to them by the real actors' names, their angel friend Castiel is now a goofy actor called Misha Collins (the real actor) and their demon foe Ruby is now actress Genevieve Padalecki, married to one of them (as she is in real life).

Jon Sandys Premium member

I remember a film I saw many years ago. A reporter (Kathleen Turner, perhaps?) was doing several interviews with an older man, who I think was on Death Row. He was also a magician, and at the end, as he is being executed, he is covered over with a sheet. When they remove the sheet, he has disappeared.

Answer: "Switching Channels" (1988). Although the inmate, who is strapped into the electric chair, escapes when the power goes off.

Bishop73

Looking for a film I saw a few minutes of, probably early 90s. A woman (I think the actress was Michelle Pfeiffer) is in a multi-storey car park and witnesses a man having his throat cut. She escapes in a car with another man, and as they are driving down a road in a long shot, she asks him to pull over, and she rushes out of the car and throws up over a fence. Not much to go on.

Answer: It's most likely, "Into the Night." Jeff Goldblum plays a man who leads a boring life. He heads to the airport, thinking of flying somewhere for an adventure. In the airport parking garage, a screaming Michelle Pfeiffer, jumps into his car begging for help. She and her partner, who was murdered by Israel mobsters, were smuggling gem stones.During the night, it's one adventure after another, as he helps her get out of her predicament. A romantic comedy, directed by John Landis (Trading Places, The Blues Brothers). Lots of cameos by famous actors, singers and movie directors.

Don't remember what year I saw this but, it was a very weird cartoon. One part of the cartoon had a man and woman kissing but each time they kissed, their mouths seem to distort causing their heads to get even closer. Eventually, their kiss got so deep that they both cut half of each other's head off. Another part of the cartoon was a guy singing but, while he was singing, his face kept morphing repeatedly.

Answer: You're probably thinking of How to Kiss by Bill Plympton. I think the part with the man singing is from another Plympton short, Your Face. Both were just added to the Criterion Channel along with a lot of his other films.

That's the one. Thank you so much.

Answer: The first part of your question, two bodies coming together, reminds me of the movie, "The Lawnmower Man." Jeff Fahey and Jenny Wright, enter a virtual reality world. They have computer sex and their bodies morph together. The second part, a man singing and changing does sound familiar, but can't recall it.

It's a bit of a trope in films for an explosive device of some kind to be placed in a microwave, often catching the victim unawares until the final few seconds before the beeper goes and it explodes. Grosse Point Blank and Under Siege come to mind, to name but two. But is there any real reason the countdown should match the explosion? Is there anything specific about the end of a microwave cycle that might cause a detonation in something capable of it, or is it just a Hollywood convention that the hero's skills are such that they manage to set the timer for the perfect length to cause an explosion?

Jon Sandys Premium member

Answer: To start, exploding microwaves in film are like gas tanks exploding when shot, what the movies show is nothing like real life. Most explosive simply do not explode in microwaves, even after 15 minutes. Flash powder (flashbang grenades) can go off in a microwave after about 5 minutes, but just from being heated up, nothing to do with the final seconds of the countdown. Although they certainly wouldn't explode an entire store or cause more damage then the flashbang would do normally. Explosives like C4, hand grenades, or modern TNT and dynamite-type explosives will not go off like seen in the films, at least not with low powered home microwaves.

Bishop73

It seems that since 2010-ish, more and more actresses have released music albums, and more female singers have acted in TV shows and movies. Especially those in their teenage years and twenties. Are there any suggestions as to why this is? Or has it always been somewhat common practice?

Answer: Actors going into music and vice versa has been around longer than TV shows and movies. With the need to cash in on trends quickly, it might be more common than before, but it's happened.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

I saw this movie trailer in the late 1990s or early 2000s. A man has become, or can choose to be, invisible. At one point in the trailer, he asks a woman if she has ever made love to an invisible man before. I am certain that she had long brown or black hair.

Answer: I believe you are referring to Hollow Man, with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Shue.

Phaneron Premium member

Thank you.

Answer: This could also be the 1992 film, "Memoirs Of An Invisible Man," starring Chevy Chase and Darryl Hannah.

raywest Premium member

Thank you.

There was a horror movie in either the 80's or 90's. The only scene I can remember is a guy is having a turkey dinner with his family when the turkey grows a human head and talks to the man and taunts him. The man gets angry and stabs the head, scaring his wife and kids.

Answer: This scene is from the 1989 film The Horror Show starring Lance Henriksen.

BaconIsMyBFF

That's it.

Anyone recognize this horror movie/TV show from 1990 or earlier? A surly preteen is walking down a street, when he's accosted by a strange man who says the boy is upset because it's his birthday and his parents forgot. The boy runs off, but obviously the comment hit home. He walks into an abandoned building to find a party with cake and presents all set up for him. He keeps calling for his family to come out, but instead, strange toy robots come clanking out of the darkness. When the boy opens the cake box, there's a severed human head inside which smiles and says 'hi', causing the boy to scream and run off. I was babysitting when I watched this and it was upsetting my charge so I turned it off, and I never got to see the ending, and it always bothered me.

Brian Katcher

There was a movie that had both Angie Harmon and Charlie Sheen. In the movie, Angie is friends with a woman who writes an advice column but, the friend doesn't really offer any useful advice. Charlie Sheen plays a guy, who after coming across the letters, decides to write some real advice using the woman's name and the advice he gives actually helps people.

Answer: "Good Advice" (2001). Angie plays the newspaper editor that hired Charlie's girlfriend, who writes an advice column. When his girlfriend leaves him for another man, he takes over without the editor knowing (since he needed a job). It's only when the girlfriend returns and wants her job back does it turn out she isn't as good as Charlie.

Bishop73

Answer: The film is "Good Advice" from 2001: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Advice.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Is there a TV series lately which has a similar poster as that for See featuring Jason Momoa? I remember seeing a similar one.

ihabh

I'm trying to remember a movie: a boy is with an adult (a wizard?) as they are on a quest somewhere looking for something. The whole time, the boy is trying to get the wizard or warrior is go back to his village to help them win a war that's going on. When he tells the wizard (or warrior) about going back and helping the village, the man always says, "Oh, don't worry, they're fine." Then the scene cuts to the kid's village being attacked by some vicious army. This happens several times in the movie. Any clue?

CCARNI Premium member

I'm trying to remember what movie it's from when the bad guy (I think) says "you find something that's important to them, and...you squeeze." Drawing a blank. Anyone know?

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: "Mission Impossible." Kitteridge says it to his colleague, Barnes (when the Feds turn up at the place where Max and her team were, and find them gone) when describing how he's going to get Ethan to come out of hiding.

Heather Benton Premium member

That's it! Fantastic, thank you. :-)

Jon Sandys Premium member

Which film is it where a girl watches her boyfriend's flat from a disused warehouse and breaks in when he's not there?

Answer: This might be the 1997 movie, "Addicted to Love," starring Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick.

raywest Premium member

Looking for a horror movie where a woman believes that she is mentally ill and ends up staying in a nunnery. Although it turns out she is having visions and gets help from a priest who at the end goes off to deal with the Amityville case. Was told about it by a friend so I don't have any more details. Can anyone help me out? Many thanks.

sleeptight

Answer: Except for the Amityville part, there are two movies with a Nun having visions. The First Power (1990) about a detective, Lou Diamond Phillips, hunting a resurrected killer and Fallen (1998) about a detective, Denzel Washington, being hunted by an evil spirit that can jump from body to body.

There's often a trope in police dramas that an officer being suspended or put on leave is told to "turn in your badge and gun." The officer then just puts the gun and badge on the desk and walks away. How accurate is this though? I heard there's paperwork to fill out and firearms have to be properly returned. Plus, don't many officers carry their own personal firearm that they'd be more comfortable with? Obviously a movie/TV show doesn't want to be bogged down by boring red tape, but what really happens when an officer is suspended or put on leave? Wouldn't turning your badge in be the same thing as being fired?

Bishop73

Answer: Not the badge ("shield") nor gun makes a cop a cop so handing them in symbolically when suspended doesn't happen in real life. The badge is just your symbol of taking an oath. Police have what is called a "Police Identification Card" which is their legal document of authority, not the badge. As you mention a lot of cops have their own gun and their chief isn't allowed to take it unless the cop is convicted of a crime or the gun is to be used in evidence (like if the cop fired it at a crime scene). Indeed, handing in your badge is done when you are fired.

lionhead

What's the movie where Don Knotts appears at the end, his wife has him locked up and is ready to feed him to the lions. He has 3 daughters called Faith Hope and Charity.

Answer: "I Love a Mystery" (1973 TV Movie). Although the man she has "locked up" and ready to feed to the lions isn't her husband. Her husband (Don Knotts) was the "observer", although he was tied up and wearing a hood.

Bishop73

When did Warner Bros. stop making Looney Tunes shorts, and why did they stop making them?

Answer: They stopped production initially in 1969, then started again in the 1980s, and have continued off and on ever since. Some appeared in film (Who Framed Roger Rabbit for example features a few Looney Tunes characters). Warner Brothers shut the animation studio down in the 1960s (much like MGM shut their animation studios in the 1950s which signalled the end of the original batch of Tom and Jerry cartoons) and it'll be because, much like MGM, they noticed the "old" shorts bought in the same amount of money would have done, so much like repeats on TV if it pulls in the money, why make more?

Neil Jones

I remember this one 1985 or '86 film where a teenager borrowed his grandfather's car but ends up totaling it by the end of the film. I think the teenager's mother went into labor towards the end and that's what caused the accident or made the car further damaged. As it turns out of the grandfather ruined the teenage father's car as well but I can never figure out what film this is from?

Richie

Answer: Sounds like the film "License to Drive" (1988) staring the two Coreys.

Bishop73

Do any of you know this movie or series? It's about a boy or a girl that goes to other worlds or world and there is a phone cabinet flying, maybe in a tornado. I think there might be an old man too or something. Do you know what it is?

Answer: Well a flying phone cabinet reminds me of 2 things: 1. Doctor Who or 2. Bill and Ted's excellent adventure.

lionhead

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.