Q&A with the Movie Mom

Posted on September 5, 2009 at 8:00 am

Q: A reader at a Intelligence hide out is sent out for lunch. When he returns everybody has been killed. Now the killers are after him. He carjacks a lady and hides out at her place…Movie title?
Answer: That is “Three Days of the Condor” with Robert Redford.
Q: In the movie Big, with Tom Hanks, before he get’s “big,” he is playing a computer game in his room. It is interactive, and he types in things like, “brake glass with hammer.” I have heard that this game is real, so do you know what it is called?
Answer: Some people believe that it is Colossal Cave Adventure, but others think that it was just inspired by that game but made up for the movie.
Q: The plot entails a kid who is plagued by 3 bullies – 2 boys and a girl. He enlists the help of a retired magician. In one scene, it is Halloween and the bullies are dressed up as a mummy, vampire etc and are chasing the kids. The magician’s dog steps on the “mummy”s bandage and he trips down some stairs. At the end, the bullies are arrested along with an old lady who was controlling them.
Answer: I think that’s “Spooky House” with Ben Kingsley. I hope that’s it!
Q: About 6-8 months ago I rented a movie with the description of a man who goes on the rampage after his entire family is killed at a waterfront family gathering. I didn’t know the actor playing the lead role, but loved the movie….it wasn’t until I took the movie back that I realized that the movie I had seen was in the wrong “rental envelope”. Does anyone out there recognize this scenario….I also remember that his wife and son died last, being run down on a pier/deck leading out into the water. Thanks.
Answer: That’s “The Punisher” with Thomas Jane.
Q: I watched a movie about 20 years ago about a sea creature that turned out to be an old rock quarry shovel/excavator. The excavator was sitting at the bottom of a water filled quarry. It was attached to a windmill on shore by chains and when the wind would blow the sea weed covered excavator would lift out of the water. In the movie the lake was drained and the true identity of the “monster” was discovered. Any help locating this movie would be greatly appreciated!
Answer: That movie is called “The Quest” (sometimes called “Frog Dreaming”) and stars Henry Thomas of “E.T.”
Q: The movie deals with a couple whose next door neighbor (a black policeman) harasses them.
Answer: That movie is “Lakeview Terrace” with Samuel L. Jackson.
Q: There is a movie that I cannot for the life of me remember the title to. I only remember bits and pieces about it. There is a house by a lake that the former owners are able to converse with the current owners only through the mailbox. They live in different times so they are unable to meet. I believe that it is a love story. I hope you can help me!
Answer: Hi, Kimberly! That is “The Lake House” with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.
Q: Hi I’m looking for a movie based at a high school and this guy who raced for money and at the end he had to race against time in a 57 Chevy as a bet to get the money to save his school. Can you help me?
Answer: That movie is “Catch Me if You Can” with Matt Lattanzi. Thanks for writing!
Q: I’m looking for a movie that came out I think in the past 15 years or so. The scene I remember best was a group of people in a restaurant, and when the girl realized they were going to EAT the lobsters, she “liberated” them and it was hilarious. She asked someone later, “Why would you want to eat someone’s pet?” I think she was mentally challenged or had some social adjustment issue, and she had been in a school, but the school closed and she was sent to live with her (reluctant) brother. She learned to get along in society, got a crush on her brother, found out that wasn’t appropriate, and starting liking another man, if I remember rightly. I think she had an obsession with things being in a particular order.
Answer: You are thinking of “Molly” with Elisabeth Shue. Thanks for writing!
Q: I saw a movie in this time frame of a gal that was a stewardess, she was dating 3 guys and they all happened to be named Mike. That is all I remember. thanks
Answer: You remembered the important part! That movie is called “Three Guys Named Mike,” with Jane Wyman and Van Johnson.

Q: Does anyone know the name of a film (70’s-80′) Its about two super powers USA v Russia. Where they no longer fight normal battles, they fight each other in 2 giant mech type robots. With super fit guys controlling them.

Answer: That movie is “Robot Jox.”
Q: There is this children’s movie that I absolutely LOVED when I was little, but I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it. It was about this little boy who finds this big present with a red bow has floated into his living room. He opens it and it’s a car of some sort, I think? He gets in and is transported to a cartoon-like setting….There is a dog with a giant clock in his chest and two kings (one of numbers and one of letters) who can never agree with one another. Thanks a million!
Answer: A great movie based on one of my favorite books! “The Phantom Tollbooth.” Enjoy!
Q: What is the name of the movie that was produced 15 or so years ago about a woman music professor who goes to Appalachia in the early 1900’s to record the folk music of the locals before it became lost forever? Thank you.
Answer: I love that film. It is “Songcatcher” with Emmy Rossum and Janet McTeer.
Q: Looking for movie title about several French nuns visiting and raising funds in(New York State I think) for a hospital (maybe a children’s hosp.) Post WWI or WWII, nuns are hosted by a man who does a little singing, may play a singer in the movie or composes jingles but doesn’t play a big part, may be a singer in real life. I think this movie was made in the 40’s. Saw it on TCM.
Answer: That lovely movie is “Come to the Stable” with Loretta Young and Celeste Holm.

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Q&A with the Movie Mom

Posted on May 24, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Question: I saw this movie a long time ago back between 1999-2002. It’s a drama movie that I can’t think of the name of it. It’s about a married couple and the husband lets his mother who is between 50-60 yrs. of age come to live with them after her husband passed away. The husband and wife have this big house and he hires a maintenance worker to clean around the house and do some repairs. When the mother moves in sooner or later the mother and the maintenance guy who is very young about in is 20’s start to have an affair and try to keep it away from the son. It’s a great movie, one that I’ve been trying to find so if you know this movie please let me know the name of it.
Answer: That movie is “The Mother” and the handyman is played by future James Bond Daniel Craig.
Question: I remember my mom letting me watch a romantic comedy in the mid to late 1960’s about a “career” girl in a big city somewhere. She’s dating several different guys and they are all crazy about her. She ends up pregnant and we don’t know who the father is until the very end. She may have secretly married him or else they married in the hospital corridors – I can’t remember. (I know it’s not the Doris Day/Rock Hudson movie.) I think I remember that all the boyfriends are trying to convince her to marry them. I recognized most of the boyfriends from other movies and I think most of them were popular actors at the time.
Answer: That movie is “Doctor, You’ve Got to Be Kidding” with Sandra Dee, George Hamilton, and Bill Bixby.
Question: I’ve been looking for a film. I don’t know the name of it, or any actors in it. It’s about a woman who is kidnapped by a truck driver when their car breaks down. Her husband then goes looking for her and finds her locked in a cellar in his garage.

Answer: That’s “Breakdown” with Kurt Russell — very scary!
Question: Last year I happened on a movie on satellite where the US President became confined in a diner due to a snow storm – an international conflict flared and he was having to make tough decisions without the usual support – I had to leave suddenly and never saw the second half or even the name of the movie – can you help? Thanks
Answer: I am very fond of that movie! It is “Deterrence” with Kevin Pollack. I hope you get to see the ending!
Question: I saw this movie about 2 years ago with a woman in a window of a building and can not remember the name of it. I think the woman was in some kind of prison because she couldn’t leave and there were bars on the window. I do remember that she becomes friends with a young boy who she would speak to through the window and helps him in some kind of way by teaching him some kind of life lesson. The movie was focused around the boy. When he got older he went to see the woman again who I believe had her own house. The boy was white and the woman was black. It wasn’t a recent movie. I can’t remember much else. Please help? I would appreciate it so much. =]
Answer: That movie is “House of D.” The woman is played by Erykah Badu.
Question: Hello Nell. I was hoping you could help me figuring out the title of a movie i saw a while ago. It is about an English woman in a terribly boring and consuming marriage. She has no communication with her husband, and she ends up talking to the wall. The major part of the film’s dialogue is her talking to the camera (wall). After a glimpse to her life, she decides to go to Greece (with a friend that later ditches her). She meets a man (kinda tourist guide) and goes with him on a boat to an island where they make love. I remember that the title is the name of the woman, but I cant remember it.
Thank you very much for your help.

Answer: That movie is “Shirley Valentine,” with Pauline Collins. Enjoy!

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Q&A With the Movie Mom

Posted on March 18, 2009 at 8:00 am

Thanks to all who wrote!Q: Nell, i am really hoping you can help me with the name of this movie, unfortunately i don’t have a lot of info to give you, all i can remember is that it was set in the 50’s-60’s in a small American town where a lady either inherits or owns a cafe and decides to sell it but because of the location and lack of prospective buyers she advertises in city paper but it is the way she advertises that is unique. Instead of asking for a price for the property she asks anyone who is interested in having the property to send a letter explaining why they would want to own this shop, along with the letter they are to pay a fee of say $1 or $5 (i can’t exactly remember), the owner then reads all the letters and chooses who she thinks is best suited to take over – not only does she makes some money but the new owner only pays a small amount. I remember thinking what a fantastic idea but unfortunately my memory has failed me on the name! I do remember seeing it in the 90’s on TV so possibly was only made for TV. My lovely children think i am going batty. Can you help! Thanks heaps A: That lovely movie is “The Spitfire Grill.” Tell your children that you were right! Thanks for writing.Q: It stars Robin Williams. He has children in the film. I think they are going into a painting, lots of color. I think he has to save his child. A: I believe you are thinking of “What Dreams May Come.”Q: It is an older movie – a comedy about a couple that buys a house in the country (white picket fence) they have a niece that lives with them. An uncle comes to visit that they think is wealthy but it ends up that he has no money at all. There is a road that goes through their property and I think they want to close it but cannot. They do not have a deed to the house that proves they own up to the road – A dog finds the deed in a boot that was buried in a ditch. A: That is one of my favorites! “George Washington Slept Here” with Jack BennyQ: What was the name of the movie that had two brothers terrorizing a family in the family’s home? I believe the brothers had an English accent. A: That sounds like “Funny Games.” There is an English language version remake by writer/director Michael Haneke of his own 1997 Austrian film.Q: Recently I saw a very beautiful movie of John Cusack when in the most memorable scene he is carrying a big stereo out and a song begins to play. He wants the girl to forgive him. What is the movie? A: Thanks for asking! That wonderful movie is “Say Anything.” Q: I remember seeing a film many years ago a couple of times. I remember a scene early on in the film where the father and son are sitting watching trains and having a great conversation. Then later the father gets an automobile and ends up dying in a wreck. The boy suddenly finds himself alone as his mother gets caught up in her grief and people from the minister to neighbors are down right rude to the boy. Anyway long story short the film is about the boy finding himself lost and all alone with no one to turn to as his father was his best friend. Eventually the boy runs away and goes to the place where he and his father would watch the trains which is where his mother finds him and they begin their road of healing and coming to terms with life without the father. I hope you can help me on this one as most of the time I have a pretty good memory about old films but this one escapes me. A: That is “All the Way Home,” based on the classic James Agee book “A Death in the Family.” It stars Robert Preston and Jean Simmons.Q: I was wondering if you would be able to help me find a movie I saw on the Family Channel a while ago. The movie is about a girl high school student who cuts her hair and dresses up as a boy to find information for an article she’s writing for her school newspaper. She transfers to a new school and ends up falling in love with the school’s outcast somewhat-bad-boy. That’s pretty much all i can remember, but it would be great if you knew what i was talking about! A: That’s “Just One of the Guys” (1985).Q: I can’t recall the name of this movie. All I remember is that some teens trash this town and the judge sentences them to community service over the summer. The lead male is a rich kid and he ends up falling in love with the local diner owners daughter. It seems like she is really sick. I also remember that lovers write their name on a certain wall in the diner. There is also a scene where he takes her to his home and they have this amazing green house. Sound familiar? A: That movie is “Here on Earth” with Chris Klein, Josh Hartnett, and Leelee Sobieski. (more…)

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Q&A With the Movie Mom — a 14-year-old wants to see slasher movies

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 10:58 pm

A reader of this blog wrote to ask about her 14-year-old, who tells her that all of his friends watch R-rated horror films and he wants to see them, too. Here is my response:
I am honored that you would ask for my thoughts on this very difficult decision.
There’s no good answer. At this age, you are going to be walking a tightrope for the next few years trying to keep a balance between protecting your child from social humiliation (very tender at this age of course) and protecting him from media you consider inappropriate. I can recommend lower-intensity horror films, of course, but I fear that your approving of them (or my approving of them) would probably make them unacceptable from his point of view by definition. Some of the scariest movies are not at all graphic. But at this age, I believe that these movies are not watched for enjoyment as much as they are for proof of endurance and the pleasure of crossing a line that parents have drawn.
What I would say is this: “Now is a good time to make it clear to you that ‘everyone else is doing it’ never, ever works in our house. We do what is right for us. I want you to think about why you should see these movies — why they are worthwhile, what they will add to your understanding, why they merit 90 minutes out of your life, what possible adverse effect they might have. Take some time and think about it. Write down a few thoughts if that helps. And then we will reconvene on this subject. But remember that one of the gifts I give you as a parent is ‘plausible deniability.’ If in your heart you do not want to see these films (or do anything else your friends are pressuring you to do), you can always blame me.”
Good luck and keep me posted!

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