raywest

7th Aug 2014

Jaws (1975)

Question: The other night me and some friends were arguing whether or not the shot that Brody makes to blow the tank up to kill Bruce was possible, or would it be too hard to make?

liezander

New today Answer: This theory was tested on "Mythbusters" and the myth was "busted", twice. https://mythresults.com/mythbusters-vs-jaws.

wizard_of_gore Premium member

New today The Mythbusters did indeed bust that myth by failing to cause the tanks to explode. In case anyone disputes the technology, they used the same type of scuba tanks, rifle, and ammunition that were used in the movie.

raywest Premium member

New this week Answer: While taking the shot and hitting the tank could be possible, it would not result in an explosion.

Chosen answer: It would certainly be very difficult, with the shark moving and hitting the tank while slightly underwater. But it wouldn't be impossible.

Greg Dwyer

12th Sep 2019

The Faculty (1998)

New this week Question: Why are the aliens in that town? If they come from a oceanic planet then why not go directly into one of our five or so oceans?

Rob245

New today Answer: It could be the salt or pollution. The aliens were drinking nothing pure bottled water.

New today Good answer. Dang all you guys on this site are pretty good at this. I enjoy these answers you give since hardly anybody ever listens to me.

Rob245

New this week Answer: Whales and dolphins also lack manipulating appendages and the ability to survive on land.

LorgSkyegon

New this week Answer: The aliens need to infect intelligent life to thrive. There is no intelligent life in our oceans.

BaconIsMyBFF

New this week That is not exactly true. Whales and dolphins are considerably intelligent, arguably near human-level, and live in complex social groups.

raywest Premium member

New this week Answer: Well if they need to stay hydrated whales and dolphins make more sense than inhabiting people.

Rob245

New this week Dolphins and whales are also far less numerous. With populations numbering fewer than 10 million total across all species versus nearly 6 billion at the time for humanity.

LorgSkyegon

6th Aug 2019

General questions

This has been annoying the hell out of me for years. I'm thinking of an early 1960s (?) black and white American movie that features numerous cameos by A-List Hollywood actors who are so heavily made-up (with wigs and latex facial prosthetics) that they are all thoroughly unrecognizable. At the end of the film, as a complete surprise, there is a sequence of each of these otherwise unremarkable cameo characters removing their makeup for a big reveal. For example, a plain, middle-aged woman who only appeared for a few seconds onscreen grandly removes her latex face to reveal none other than Burt Lancaster. I believe Robert Mitchum and Tony Curtis were also among the reveals. What is this film?

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: "The List of Adrian Messenger" (1963). Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, and Tony Curtis, along with Kirk Douglas and Frank Sinatra, remove their heavy makeup during the epilogue to reveal who they are. Although Lancaster and Sinatra didn't actual portray the characters they claimed to have been.

Bishop73

Thank you. The name of this movie has been on the tip of my tongue for many years.

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Love this movie as a kid. It's rarely shown on TV anymore, but it is (or was) available for free on YouTube.

raywest Premium member

New this month Lancaster, Curtis, Sinatra, and Mitchum did indeed portray those characters in heavy make-up. However, their voices were dubbed over by other actors, Otherwise, the audience would have recognized their actual voices, spoiling the surprise reveal at the end.

raywest Premium member

Incidentally, director John Huston (who also made a cameo appearance in the film) tried to convince Elizabeth Taylor to play a disguised part in this movie; but, when Taylor learned that her lovely face would be completely hidden under heavy latex, she turned down the role.

Charles Austin Miller

Corrected entry: In the scene where Julia Roberts is on the bus to Iowa, when she is on the bus, she is seated on the right side of the bus. When they show her traveling into town, she is seated on the left side of the bus.

Correction: There is plenty of time for Laura/Sara to change seats if she desires to.

Super Grover Premium member

New this month Bus seats, like trains, are not assigned. If the bus wasn't full, passengers can change to a different seat.

raywest Premium member

Corrected entry: Martin returns to the empty beach house to looks for clues about Laura's disappearance. While there, he goes through boxes of Laura's papers. But why would these boxes be at the beach house, instead of at the couple's main house in Boston? Or why would he cart them all the way to Cape Cod when he could just look at them in the main house?

Krista

Correction: This was a character choice. Simply because something seems odd is not reason enough for it not to happen.

Bob Blumenfeld Premium member

New this month He also went to the house because that's where Laura disappeared. He's looking for clues around their beach house. He may have taken Laura's papers there with him, but it may just be that there is where they were kept.

raywest Premium member

Corrected entry: When Laura is escaping from the beach house we see her putting on a wig and then lifting a roll of bank notes from her bag. During the film it is clear she doesn't work so she has obviously saved money for her escape. How, then, is she managing to pay for her mother's upkeep in the nursing home without her husband knowing? The part-time library job that's mentioned wouldn't pay nearly enough.

Correction: It is possible that Laura's mother is paying for her own upkeep. It's never mentioned whether she had money or not.

New this month Her mother's care might also be covered by Medicaid, for those below a certain income level.

raywest Premium member

Corrected entry: Laura cuts off her hair before putting on the wig. But when she gets to Iowa it's practically the same length it was before.

amycamille1975

Correction: She chopped her extensions off. In the beginning of the movie you can see where her real hair starts and ends.

Correction: It's not extensions. It's her natural hair.

amycamille1975

New this month It is a wig (that is supposed to be Laura's real hair). She cuts it to a little below shoulder length and later the style is curlier and even a bit shorter. It's a rather subtle change, but it is different.

raywest Premium member

New this month Question: Is there anywhere I could find behind the scenes of Buckbeak's execution? From before they went back in time? If so, can I please have a link?

New this month Answer: Buckbeak was never executed. Harry, Hermione, and Ron had mistakenly believed he was because from their vantage point on the hill, they could not see that Buckbeak had already disappeared. What they initially saw was the executioner swinging his ax in frustration because Buckbeak was gone. We learn later that the "alternate" Harry and Hermione had already rescued him before the execution. Therefore, there are no scenes filmed showing this.

raywest Premium member

New this month I know that. I meant are there any behind the scenes videos for that scene at all.

New this month There is this on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR8stMyZWq0.

raywest Premium member

New this month Thank you. Please let me know if there's more.

Question: Why would the Trade Federation need the queen to sign a treaty to make their invasion legal if they've already invaded the place and taken over anyway?

Answer: They want the rest of the Republic to believe the queen has legitimately sanctioned the trade treaty.

raywest Premium member

Not just the trade treaty, but the occupation too.

lionhead

Yes, that too.

raywest Premium member

5th Aug 2019

Groundhog Day (1993)

Question: This might be a silly question but it did puzzle me just a little bit. The old man in the film, when Phil first starts to care for him he starts referring to him as Dad and Pops. Is there supposed to be any actual relation between them, or is he just referring to him as this as sort of a kind title?

Quantom X Premium member

Answer: I think he is just using them as terms of elderly respect. It would be pretty callous even for Phil to completely disregard the homeless man at the beginning of the film if he was some sort of relative. The old man also does nothing to indicate a shared history between them.

Phaneron Premium member

It was a common term that was often used in the early-to-mid 20th century where a kindly, older man would affectionately be referred to as "Pops." In movies of that era, there was often a minor character referred to in this way, particularly if no-one knew his name (i.e. the stage doorman, the custodian, etc).

raywest Premium member

Question: How did John Brennan know Laura would be transferred to a hospital?

Answer: John planted fake blood work for Laura indicating that she had hyperkalemia (increased potassium levels), a condition that is potentially fatal. She would need to be transferred to a hospital to be treated.

raywest Premium member

If Laura was was suffering from hyperkalemia, wouldn't the jail doctor have reported it before John planted the fake blood work?

She wasn't actually suffering from it. John had planted the fake medical report that the doctor presumably then read and acted upon by arranging for her to be transferred to the hospital.

raywest Premium member

New this month I doubt the jail's doctor would be fooled by the fake medical report since Laura wasn't showing any obvious physical symptoms.

New this month Many medical conditions do not show physical symptoms early on, but are detectable with tests. For example, people live with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, brain tumors, etc. for some years before experiencing any physical effects. The doctor read the results of Laura's blood test, and, as was standard procedure, had her admitted to the hospital, presumably for additional testing that could not be performed within a prison setting. Also, after some additional reading on the subject: hyperkalemia often has no early symptoms. Later symptoms are flu-like-such as muscle aches, physical weakness, nausea, fatigue, etc. That may be why John chose that particular condition, and it is something Laura could easily have faked.

raywest Premium member

New this month I still think the jail's doctor would get suspicious since blood test results are not monitored and delivered to a county jail by an outside lab.

New this month Suspicious or not, he would act in the patient's best interests. If the hospital blood tests come back negative, then he doesn't have a problem. If Laura dies in his care from an easily treatable condition which he knew about, it's goodbye career and hello huge malpractice suit. He would be fully conversant with the procedures used while transferring prisoners to local hospitals, including the very close security put in place, and he has no reason to think that someone is putting this incredibly elaborate escape plan into effect.

30th Jul 2019

Bullitt (1968)

Question: How did the bad guy have a gun on the flight? He pulls a gun in the airfield chase scene so he had to have it on the plane as he jumped off it.

Answer: Airport security in the late 1960's was not nearly as thorough as it is in present day. Metal detectors didn't become commonplace at airports until the early 1970's.

BaconIsMyBFF

It was the D.B. Cooper hijacking of a Boeing 727 commercial jet in 1971 that radically changed how airport security was handled. Before that, there was virtually little to no pre-boarding security checks.

raywest Premium member

Question: In real life, had Tarzan been raised by apes from the time he was a baby, would he have actually been able to be educated to act and speak like an ordinary person?

Answer: I'd have to disagree with the previous answer. Being that Tarzan was raised by apes from infancy, there are many higher-level brain functions that he (in real life) would never have completely developed, such as upright walking and other motor skills, cognitive and speech abilities, social interaction, and so on. There are some vital human-brain capacities that if not learned at certain stages of early-childhood, cannot or can only partially be learned later. However, it is highly unlikely an infant could survive long in such an environment.

raywest Premium member

That is a very valid point.

Quantom X Premium member

I actually agree with this answer. Thanks.

Answer: Any answer would be speculative at this point since we don't have enough examples of feral children living in the wild until Tarzan's age. Most children that become feral either start out at an older age, 5 or 7, where they know how to speak a language, or are found before they hit puberty. This makes teaching and integration somewhat easier. There was a case of a boy living in the wild for 15+ years that still had difficulty interacting with society even in his 60's and 70's. He had the ability to speak but eventually lost it as he became more feral and he had huge difficulties understanding technology, like radio and cinemas. In all probability, Tarzan, and similar characters, would not be able to learn how to communicate, even if he could learn to speak English. He would have an even more difficult time learning how to socialize and live as "normal" adults do. And I could not see any possibility he teaches himself how to read and speak English, or any language.

Bishop73

Answer: In the books, Tarzan was self-taught after he discovered the house his father built. He learned to read English using the elementary books his parents brought with them to teach the child they were expecting, these books were in the house. While studying these books, he mimicked many of the things he saw in pictures, which could have included walking upright. He did not learn to speak English until he was a young adult after traveling to Europe. Also, after rescuing Paul D'Arnot in Africa, the French officer taught Tarzan French as the two of them left Africa for Europe.

Noman Premium member

Yes, but the question was could he "in real life" be educated and learn to speak like an ordinary person if he had been raised by apes from the time he was a baby. You are only describing how Tarzan accomplished that fictionally in the book. In real life, that could not have happened.

raywest Premium member

Just adding a little perspective, which is why I qualified it to what was in the books.

Noman Premium member

Answer: Given enough time, yes. Even though the best time to learn a second language is when a person is a kid, many adults of various ages despite speaking one language all their lives, are able to learn a different one and be fluent with it given enough time and practice.

Quantom X Premium member

28th Aug 2006

Secret Window (2004)

Question: What is the meaning behind the Morton salt and other groceries that Mort buys at the end of the movie?

Answer: Mort Rainey buys the salt, butter, and napkins for eating the corn he grew in the garden above Ted and Amy's graves. The "Morton" brand of salt uses the advertising slogan, "when it rains, it pours." Mort Rainey's name can be translated to "raining death." The "Vanity Fair" napkins could be a refernce to Mort's personality.

raywest Premium member

The term Vanity Fair was coined (I believe first) by John Bunyan in 1678, as a place in a story called ‘The Pilgrim's Progress'. Mort is referred to as ‘Pilgrim' by a few different characters in the film, including himself, without much explanation until the serviettes. Brilliant. Vanity Fair in John Bunyan's story is a never-ending fair of frivolity, which is similar to Mort's charade of denial. Found this info when I searched the meaning of Vanity Fair on vocabulary.com.

Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress was also the inspiration for William Thackeray's 1847 novel, "Vanity Fair."

raywest Premium member

Question: Why was Hermione grabbing Ron after Sirius took his rat from him?

THE GAMER NEXT DOOR

Answer: Hermione was attempting to restrain him because she feared he'd try to rescue Scabbers, not knowing that he was really Peter Pettigrew disguised as Ron's pet rat.

raywest Premium member

Why would he try with a broken leg?

Hermione doesn't know if his leg is broken or not. Knowing how Ron tends to be emotional and reactive, she's just acting to ensure he remains calm and doesn't impulsively make the situation worse.

raywest Premium member

People can do extraordinary things when in a desperate state.

Ssiscool Premium member

Question: When Mola Ram is smiling, what is he looking at? Is he looking at the Maharajah or is he looking up at Willie, Indy and Short Round? (01:01:45)

Answer: It doesn't look as if Mola Ram is smiling at the trio, because they're standing to Mola Ram's upper right. The Little Maharaja is seated in front of the Thuggee high priest, but I don't think he's specifically looking downward, directly at the boy either. To me, it seems as if Mola Ram is smiling because while he's confident in his control of the Little Maharaja, it's the fact that he knows another human sacrifice is being brought out for the Kali sacrificial dark ritual.

Super Grover Premium member

Answer: Could you be more specific about which scene you're referring to?

raywest Premium member

The question gives the exact second.

Great, but I don't currently have a DVD player or have a copy or access to every movie someone asks a question about. If someone is asking a question, they shouldn't expect anyone to actually take the time to set up and watch the film in order to answer a question for them. Just give a brief description of the scene.

raywest Premium member

That's what the time stamp feature is used for. The question is asking what exactly Mola Ram is looking at in a specific second of time in the movie. Explaining the scene wouldn't help anyone answer the question. To answer, you will have to look at the movie and pay specific attention to that time stamp. If you can't do that then you can't answer the question and should just ignore.

BaconIsMyBFF

I get what you're saying, but I've been able to answer many questions without having to re-watch a movie because the question contained enough specific information so that I knew which scene they were referring to. Based on the information given in the question, I can check movie clips on YouTube or get the answer by reading online movie synopsis. Every little bit of info helps.

raywest Premium member

Tough luck I guess?

lionhead

Question: What happened to Dana?

Answer: According to IMDb, a scene was scripted, but never filmed, explaining that she was away at college. The actual reason for her absence was because Dominique Dunne, the actress who played Dana in the first film, was murdered by her boyfriend shortly after the theatrical release of the first film.

zendaddy621

Ironically, the young actress who played the youngest daughter, Carol Anne, died just a few years later (from natural causes).

raywest Premium member

20th Apr 2019

Aliens (1986)

Question: Why did Ripley not yell for Newt and Bishop to hold onto something before she opened the air lock?

Sam Montgomery

Answer: I wondered about this, too. Ripley may simply have overlooked doing this due the extreme duress she was under, focused on killing the creature. She intended to act quickly and save Newt if needed, but the creature grabbed onto her leg, delaying it being shot into space. Ripley may also have believed that Newt was still hiding under the grates, and that Bishop, ripped in half, was already "dead." I also think it's something of a plot hole.

raywest Premium member

I know I'm answering my own question here but when I look back at the scene, you do see her press the button that triggers the alarms before she pulls the latch to open the air luck. Probably a form of telling them what she is about to do. And looking back at the scene it's pretty obvious what she's doing, unless Newt was all of a sudden oblivious to what was happening.

Sam Montgomery

Newt was not exactly oblivious, but she was a frightened child who was reacting, as would be normal for someone her age, impulsively and without much forethought. She was also unfamiliar with the ship, its operation, and probably would not know what the warning alarm was. Her instinct was to jump out of the recessed floor space to see what was happening to Ripley. I don't think Ripley turned on the alarm separately. It would just automatically go off as soon as someone started opening the hatch. It's the same as a back-up alarm on the truck.

raywest Premium member

True she's unfamiliar with the ship but even when you move to a new school or building, you're still aware of the fire alarm.

Sam Montgomery

Newt had never been on the ship before and had only been there for about five minutes when the mayhem started with the alien queen. A child going to a new school might be aware of the fire alarms, but only after they are taught about safety issues by an adult and not during a panicked emergency. Newt, terrified, had no understanding of what exactly was going on when the alarm sounded or how to react to it.

raywest Premium member

Question: Is there any other way that Hermione could have possibly protected her Muggle parents from Voldemort and his followers besides erasing their memories, like casting a protection spell over them similar to what was done with Harry for the past 17 years or taken them to the Burrow to be protected, or even Grimmauld Place?

Heather Benton Premium member

Chosen answer: Any of those options would provide some degree of protection, but, should Voldemort ultimately triumph, it's extremely likely that those measures would eventually be circumvented by his forces, leaving her parents entirely at his mercy. By erasing herself entirely from their memories, they cannot be used against her, as they cannot be linked to her (it's reasonable to assume that Hermione would also have arranged for any files linking her to them or that address to be destroyed or altered as well). Erasing their memories also has the side effect of sparing her parents from grief should she fall in the ensuing conflict.

Tailkinker Premium member

In the book, in addition to erasing their memories, Hermione also sent her parents to live in Australia, further removing them from danger.

raywest Premium member

4th Apr 2017

The Godfather (1972)

Question: A "war" started when McCluskey and Sollozzo were killed at the diner. Wouldn't the murder of the heads of the other families cause another war that would leave the Corleones outnumbered 4 to 1?

Answer: Perhaps, but it would be a war the Corleones could win fairly easily. The murder of the heads of the other families would also render them leaderless and with multiple potential heirs, and while they fought amongst themselves for control, the Corleones would be able to fill the power vacuum the infighting created. But more likely, outside of a few hotheaded revenge killings, the other families would see this swift and brutal demonstration as a sign that the Corleones are too powerful to take on (Michael's powerful position in the next film would seem to attest to this).

It was mentioned in the book that a significant number of soldiers from the other mafia families immediately defected to the Corleone side, further fortifying their strength.

raywest Premium member

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