25th Feb 2020

General questions

What war movie had a tank being hit by a boulder and crashing down the side of a mountain?

Answer: Are you thinking of "The Beast", set in Afghanistan?


17th Jan 2005

General questions

Some people (through correcting some goofs) state that it is illegal for film producers to imitate U.S. military officers (in use of medals, insignia, where they are arranged, etc.) in their films. What civil or military code states this?


Answer: There is no law that says that a movie has to have permission from the military to use their uniforms, or any punishment if they are wrong. A long time urban myth.


3rd Jan 2022

Jaws 2 (1978)

Question: Mythbusters never tested this so does anyone know if filling a hollow point bullet with cyanide and sealing it with candle wax would actually work? Or would the wax melt/disintegrate and the liquid cyanide disperse in the air while the bullet flies through to the target?

Answer: I have no doubt it would work with a small sub-sonic round such as .22 calibre pistol. There's no way the wax would survive the heat generated by the cartridge and aerodynamic force of anything much bigger.


8th Dec 2021

General questions

I've seen this countless times, most recently in the new "Hawkeye" series; someone wants to sneak into a building/crime scene that's on fire, or recently on fire, and firetrucks are on the scene. So the person will grab a fireman's jacket and helmet out of the truck as a disguise. Do firetrucks carry extra jackets and helmets? Or would someone take their gear off and put it in the truck for some reason? In the same vein do ambulances and hospitals have white lab coats lying around as well?


Answer: Often the driver of the truck doesn't wear turnout gear to the incident, and has his gear in the truck. It is also very common to have an extra set of gear in case someone's is contaminated or fails.


Question: Could you really use tracer rounds in the type of machine guns the Germans were firing during the Normandy scene at the beginning of the movie, as seems to be the case?

Answer: Absolutely. There were tracer rounds in ammo belts for the MG42.


Could you fire incendiary rounds as well?

Yes, an MG42 can fire incendiary rounds.


Incendiary rounds and tracer rounds are the same thing.


No, they're not. In WWI they were the same phosphorus rounds but later tracer rounds carried a lot less flammable and volatile substance than incendiary rounds.


Question: Is it a mistake that the firearm that Rambo uses against his pursuers is different from the one that Sgt Gault uses against Rambo? He did take Sgt Gault's rifle after his fall from the helicopter.

Answer: The rifle Rambo used was a run-of-the-mill M16 rifle, not a hunting rifle.


29th Jun 2020

Top Gun (1986)

Question: For any military pilots out there: Is it even realistic that Maverick's accident would've been investigated, concluded, and Mav would have been cleared and put back to flight status within the time-frame of the TOPGUN class? Wikipedia says TOPGUN in the 80's was only 5 weeks and today it's 9 weeks. I don't remember how far along they were when Mav and Goose crashed but I'm guessing 1/2 way through at most, so that gives 2-3 weeks to investigate and clear Maverick.

Answer: Totally unrealistic, especially since it was a fatal incident. These can take weeks and months to be investigated and the pilot returned to flight status.


Question: Before I claim this as a continuity or factual mistake - a question: When the Arab raiding party shows up over the dune, they camp by a collection of scrub that was not all dead, some was green. There were also a number of plants in that low-lying area around the camp. Wouldn't the survivors had a better chance of surviving more days by digging for underground water in that area? Perhaps deep, but there. If they took 12 days to build the plane, it seems 2 days digging for water would have given them more time.


Answer: In the desert, the only place you can find water as at an oasis or maybe digging in a dry river bed. Those bushes would be extremely salty, and any meaningful water would be far too deep under the sand.


23rd Feb 2021

Point Break (1991)

Question: Why is Pappas ridiculed by the other agents for his theory that the ex-presidents surf when they're not robbing banks? Is it really that outlandish?

Answer: Because he's regarded as a burned out hippie.


21st Jun 2004

The Simpsons (1989)

Answer: The frogs are saying Budweiser. One frog says "bud," the next one says "weis," and the final one says "er". This is a satire of a popular Budweiser television promotion that was going through America at the time.

Tobin OReilly

Answer: Then the 3 frogs were eaten by a big crocodile that says "Coors", Budweiser's biggest competitor.


18th Nov 2013

The Simpsons (1989)

Chosen answer: It is called a Drinking Bird.


Answer: Yep it's called a Drinking Bird. You can buy them at


Question: What do the soldiers have in their mouths during combat? Shortly after Miller's team disables the machine gun nest at Omaha Beach you can see Tom Sizemore take something out his mouth and drop it and later when Edith Piaf's song is playing he takes something out of a bag and puts it into his mouth again.

Answer: During landing scene he puts chewing tobacco in his mouth... later we see him take it out and then still later he takes more from the same pouch.

Answer: Chewing tobacco without a doubt.


16th Oct 2016

Hogan's Heroes (1965)

The Antique - S5-E12

Question: When Hogan gives Klink $100 for the cuckoo clock, the bill handed over was a crisp American $100 note. How did Hogan get an American $100 note? At best, in this time period, he should only have Reich Marks. And how would he have 333 Marks, 33 pfennigs? Unless he had a side businesses going, this seems unlikely.

Movie Nut

Answer: It's a comedy, not a documentary.


Chosen answer: Hogan and his men are running a spy ring out of the camp, they have access to supplies from outside. (In another episode, they have to convince a defecting German officer that they're legitimately working for the Allies by arranging a specific personal ad to run in the next day's London Times, so a new $100 bill is not beyond their capabilities).

Captain Defenestrator

Answer: Werner Klemperer fled Nazi Germany as a teenager. His two conditions for taking the role of Colonel Klink were that he had to be a bumbling idiot and he always had to lose. It would then be a character mistake that if Hogan offers him a fresh American hundred-dollar bill, he's not going to ask questions, he's going to take the deal. The fact that he's Commandant and could just confiscate the money from Hogan would never occur to him because, again, he's a bumbling idiot who, by the actor's contract, always has to lose.

Captain Defenestrator

Answer: Rightfully, Hogan should not have any money at all. POW were stripped of all cash they carried. The intention was to make escape more difficult. The fact that Hogan has what is the equivalent of a third of the price of a KdF-Wagen (You'd probably know it as a Volkswagen Beetle) in cash should rightfully make Klink more than a litle suspicious.

19th Oct 2016

Twister (1996)

Question: If the two waterspouts were swirling closely around the pickup truck, how come they weren't able to pick it up?

Roman Curiel

Chosen answer: A tornado would have to be at least an F3 to be able to pick up a truck. The waterspouts were very small.

Greg Dwyer

The Fujita Scale is incorrectly portrayed as being used to describe the size of a tornado. It's actually used to describe the amount of a damage it has caused AFTER it has passed.


16th Dec 2017

WarGames (1983)

Question: Since David told McKittrick that he thought he was only playing a game and at the time didn't know that he hacked into WOPR, McKittrick tells him that they're still on Defcon 4. Why would it still be on Defcon 4 instead of it going back to Defcon 5 after David confessed everything?

Answer: The assistant to McKitrict explains that US is waiting to go back on DEFCON once the Russians do so.

Answer: McKittrick doesn't believe David. He thinks he's covering for accomplices...most likely Russian spies.

Answer: All throughout the movie, they get the DEFCONs wrong. In fact the lower the number, the closer to nuclear war they are. DEFCON 1 means nuclear war in progress, and DEFCON 5 is routine peacetime activities.


9th Jan 2018

MythBusters (2003)

Seasickness: Kill or Cure - S3-E24

Question: It has already been proven that if you put your finger in a shotgun barrel you will lose your hand. Would you also lose your hand if you put your finger in a pistol barrel?

Answer: No. You would definitely lose a finger or 2 though. A shotgun has a wide barrel compared to a pistol.


Answer: The barrel can get hot if it is fired quickly. Revolvers allow hot gasses to escape from the front of the cylinder so you should keep your hand way from the gap. But if the barrel is not too hot and you keep your hand away from anything it should not be near, just touching the barrel will not hurt your hand.

I meant would a blast from a pistol firing blow off your hand as a blast from a shotgun firing?

22nd Jan 2021

Apollo 13 (1995)

Question: Since it was so cold on the return journey to Earth, why didn't the astronauts wear their full space suits they wore on lift-off to keep warm? The just seem to be wearing their lightweight flight overalls.


Answer: Because they need to be able to move quickly through the confined space of the module, and the full suits would be far too bulky in an emergency.

The older Apollo missions all splashed down with full suits and helmet on. Just the launch suits, not the much bulkier EVA (moon walk) suits.


Answer: According to Jim Lovell in a later interview about the mission, the crew considered putting on their space suits but in addition to them being too bulky, there was concern the suits would make them perspire too much, thus making them wet and even colder. It wasn't quite as cold as depicted in the movie, it was always above freezing, and there were no icy windows or frozen hot dogs.

raywest Premium member

Answer: In addition, since they have to leave the ship after landing, the suit filling with water would be very dangerous.


The launch abort mode was for an ocean landing, so they would have been just as vulnerable at the start of the mission. I get your line of thinking though.


29th Jul 2019

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Question: What are the small tubes that are collected in Colonel Breed's H.Q.? General Warden seems to figure out who they are.

Answer: Rifle firing pins?

Answer: Detonators for explosives.


26th Apr 2020

The Simpsons (1989)

Oh, Brother, Where Are Thou? - S2-E15

Question: How exactly did the production of Homer's car bankrupt Herb? If Herb, as a highly successful car manufacturer, was spending so much money spoiling Marge and the kids that an $82,000 price tag for making a car was enough of a straw to break the camel's back, wouldn't he have gone bankrupt sooner than later anyway?

Phaneron Premium member

Answer: It wasn't the cost of one car, but that they'd produced thousands of Homer's ridiculous vehicles, which they'd marketed as a family car, but cost five times as much as a new car at the time. No one would buy them and the company went under.

Brian Katcher

Wasn't the car just a demo though? How would they have been able to produce thousands of cars in such a short amount of time?

Phaneron Premium member

Herb had given instructions to his team to build whatever Homer wants, thinking it would be a success. More than likely the plant produced the one seen while production continued on the rest. Herb had too much faith in Homer and his ideas.

Ssiscool Premium member

Big difference between a "demo" or prototype car compared to a launch car. The dealers must have stock available of the launch car so people can actually buy them straight away.


Question: How realistic is Elliot's plan of building a new plane?

Answer: A flying version of the design about 1/2 scale was built and flown for the original 1965 film. It appears in several flying scenes in that movie, but tragically crashed during filming, killing stunt pilot Paul Mantz.

Answer: Completely realistic. As explained correctly in the film, the aerodynamic principles involved are valid. Given that the constructed aircraft would have oversized wing surface area and an excess of power available, it should fly. Disruption of the airflow over the top of the wing due to the passengers would be minimal. In the 1930's airshows featured multiple wing walkers atop much smaller and lower powered aircraft.

Answer: Stupidly unrealistic. The plane simply wouldn't fly with people hanging off its wings for a start.


There's a big difference between a single wing walker on a high lift biplane compared to 10 people hanging off the wings.


Search on "multiple wing walkers" and see a 160 hp biplane carrying 5 walkers. So, for the C-119 there is about 2894 square feet of wing area, call it 2000 after cut down. The PW R-4360 produces 3500 hp, but let's use only 30% of that to protect the cobbled airframe. 10 guys on the wings are going to disrupt airflow over about 12 square feet each leaving about 1880 square feet of unobstructed wing being driven by 1000 hp. 30 people on the wings would not stop it from flying.

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