The world of movies is chock-full of unanswered, maddening questions.  Questions like, what in the holy hell in Marsellus Wallace’s briefcase?  What’s is the Man With No Name’s name?  Why didn’t Indiana Jones drown on the outside of that submarine?  Why do people watch Michael Bay movies?  Some of these queries fall under the header of plot-holes (like the seemingly unmatchable time-lines of Luke and Han in ‘Empire Strikes Back’), while others are intentionally tantalizing threads (like the origin of the scars on Heath Ledger’s face as the Joker), but some are completely inexplicable (like how Big Red got away with stealing Isis’ cheer routines for FOUR YEARS!)

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is clearly more than just an excuse for a gorgeous photo of Gabrielle Union, asking: What’s your most maddening/fascinating unanswered movie question?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. GeorgeDubya
    September 7, 2012 at 11:12 am — Reply

    There are a few that always pop into my mind when I watch movies.

    1. Gremlins – When is it ok to feed them? Is the midnight rule connected to a certain time zone? If not, how do the Gremlins know what time it is? At what point after midnight is it ok to feed them? Is 5am too early? C’mon!

    2. The Dark Knight – When the Joker crashes the party in Wayne’s penthouse, Batman jumps out the window to save Rachel, thus leaving the Joker in there with the defenseless upper crust of Gotham. What happens after that? There’s a crazed killer loose in a penthouse with dozens of the richest people in Gotham and they never mention what happened.

    3. The Dark Knight Rises – How did Bruce get from the prison to Gotham? Also, how did Bruce get into Gotham if the entire island is surrounded by troops and being watched (also, all of his Batman gear is in the city, so he didn’t just bust out a gadget and sneak in with it)?

    • September 7, 2012 at 11:23 am — Reply

      Well, for #3 the answer is, he’s Batman, that’s how.

  2. September 7, 2012 at 11:22 am — Reply

    Actually, the “why didn’t Indy drown?” thing has never bothered me. Subs of that time period were, by all accounts, extremely unpleasant conveyances, especially when submerged, and they tended to travel on the surface unless under the risk of attack (I believe they were also faster when traveling on the surface). The movie takes place before the war, and, having already ambushed the freighter and taken their prize, there was no real reason to submerge.

    Actually, though, it does raise a different question: one of the reasons for traveling on the surface was so that people could go topside and get out of the stinking, cramped confines of the sub for a while, which means, presumably, that for a good part of the journey there would have been crew and/or passengers topside. Given that the topside of a sub does not have a lot of hiding places, how did they not notice Indy?

    • Shush
      September 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm — Reply

      To expand on Scott’s response about why Indy didn’t drown, the U-Boats had snorkels to feed air into the diesel engines when traveling at periscope depths. When diving deeper, these would be sealed off, but that would also eat into their battery life as well as their available fresh air.

      Supposedly there is a cut scene where Indy lashes himself onto the periscope with his whip and spends the rest of the trip like that, praying the U-Boat doesn’t submerge further.

  3. September 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm — Reply

    Is that Gabrielle Union? If so, my question is, why is there a photo of Gabrielle Union attached to this post?

    Re: Indiana, there are so many plot holes in all of the movies I don’t even know where to start. I wish he’d shared the hide-in-the-fridge tip with the poor people of Hiroshima.

    • GeorgeDubya
      September 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm — Reply

      There’s a picture of her for two reasons.

      1. There’s a “Bring It On” reference in the post, and she was in the movie (and to answer the question, Big Red obviously wasn’t the head cheerleader all four years she was in school, so she didn’t get away with stealing the routines for four years).

      2. She’s gorgeous and every post can be improved by including a picture of her.

    • Hirimno
      September 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm — Reply

      I believe she played Isis in Bring It On, which is referenced at the end of the paragraph.

    • September 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm — Reply

      Gabrielle Union played Isis in ‘Bring It On,’ and a late-night viewing of that movie spurred this question.

  4. Shush
    September 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm — Reply

    The only thing that really pops into my mind just this instant is: In the Dark Knight Rises, when people were being sent over the ice… WHY didn’t anyone ever lay down on the ice in order to spread their weight across a greater surface area and inch across that way?

  5. ikdks
    September 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm — Reply

    In Demolition Man, in the scene where he’s defrosted and finds out his wife was dead, he asks what happened to his daughter and is interrupted before he finds out. Later in the cop car Sandra Bullock offers to look her up and he stops her.

    I believe in the original draft of the script, the (what a) twist was going to be that Sandra Bullock was his daughter. Compared to her wussy contemporaries, she’s the toughest cop on the force, she doesn’t do things by the book, she likes to kick ass, she is the John Spartan of her time.

    But I’ll bet that plot twist didn’t test well with focus groups so the quickly rewrote it so they could shoehorn a romantic ending into it, for the dates that the male audience dragged to the theater.

    So that’s my question, what happened to little Sissy Spartan?

    • September 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm — Reply

      I’ve wondered that too. But then I get distracted by the wrong number girl.

      The sad thing is I’m not kidding.

  6. September 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm — Reply

    – In the Super Sentai VS movie worlds (which take place outside the normal continuity of most series except for Gokaiger), how is it that almost NO ONE has stumbled upon the hiding places of the giant robots? I realize some are disguised, some are hidden in dangerous places (such as volcanoes) and some of them might be smart enough to move if people got close, but some are “asleep” right under a city or just beneath the surface of an area.

    – In “Indian in the Cupboard”, when the kid sticks the random toys in the cupboard (Darth Vader, a Cardassian, etc) is he summoning the “real” people or is he summoning actors in the costumes? Because in the books, the indian was a real living person from the past brought to the present by the toy and not just a toy given life.

    – In “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”, why didn’t Chewie get a medal too? The Rebellion is supposed to be pro-alien equality, and yet they only honored the humans.

    I could go on, but I’ve already written a small wall of text.

  7. aerohalen1
    September 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm — Reply

    In every incarnation,how and why are Transformers seemingly immortal?

    • September 8, 2012 at 1:16 am — Reply

      Because they’re robots.

  8. B.V.K.
    September 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm — Reply

    People are probably familiar with it but it bugs me anyways, in Return of the Jedi Leia says she has somehow always known she was the sister of Luke yet she still makes out with him in Empire. However Leia is technically royalty and royals can swing that way sometimes.

    Also, in the remastered version of Jedi after the Emperor is killed it shows multiple planets filled with millions of people celebrating. How come no one in these millions of people joined the Rebellion? Wouldn’t the still ruling factions of the Empire sweep in and destroy all the revelers? Its like saying if something happened to Congress that the FBI or police would no longer exist.

    • Foolsmask
      September 8, 2012 at 12:15 am — Reply

      i heard a rumor that Luke and Leia weren’t related until right before Return got made, that one of the original script versions had them hooking up and the mystery of who Luke’s sister was would be left for later exploration. The “make-out” was to piss off Han and leave the door open for the later hook-up.

      But yeah..the rest of that is a good question,

  9. Oldcomicfan
    September 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm — Reply

    The major unanswered question in all of movie history: “Why, oh why, didn’t I take the blue pill?”

    The second major unanswered question was this: What the H E Double Toothpicks was wrong with Han shooting first?

    As for the indy submarine question: only certain German subs had snorkels, most did not. When not in dangerous waters, all subs traveled on the surface. The reason was speed. Submerged, on battery power, WWII subs could barely turn four knots. However, running on the surface on all four diesels, the sub could turn 24 knots.

    • GeorgeDubya
      September 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm — Reply

      George Lucas didn’t like Han shooting first because it made him seem like less of a hero. Lucas wanted Han to be more of a typical hero.

  10. Waldo Butters
    September 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm — Reply

    My unanswered question is from Pulp Fiction: Why did Marvin have a head when they closed the trunk of the car? Marvin, whose head was blown all over the car and had to be scraped off of the ceiling, appeared as Vincent and Jules closed the trunk of the car glassy eyed with his head fully intact.

    • Foolsmask
      September 8, 2012 at 12:19 am — Reply

      It would have been the back of his head that was missing. Presumably the bullet would only make a small hole in front and a big hole in the back…if CSI has taught me anything.

      The far more important question from Pulp Fiction is what was in the brief case that Sam Jackson and Travolta gave to Wallace?

      • September 8, 2012 at 11:45 am — Reply

        The far more important question from Pulp Fiction is what was in the brief case that Sam Jackson and Travolta gave to Wallace?

        The Autobot matrix of leadership…

  11. Arbor Day
    September 8, 2012 at 3:40 am — Reply

    Why didn’t Morgan Freeman shoot Kevin Spacey or Brad PItt after looking in the box? He had plenty of choices, and a good 4 or 5 minutes to pick one.

  12. September 9, 2012 at 6:31 am — Reply

    RAIDERS: How, after being shot in the arm, did Indy pull himself onto the truck by his whip, and throw the driver out of the truck?

    2. DK RISES: How was it that all the times in the prison, over several months, that Wayne was told the story of the child who escapaed, nobody used a pronoun?

    3. STAR TREK: (a)Why was Kirk allowed to walk in and join Starfleet with no physical. psych evaluation, references or background check? (b) What was the mission that was so important that it tied up ALL of Starfleet’s ships so that not one could be spared to go to Vulcan? (c) Why was an unruly cadet who hadn’t graduated, and been convicted of mutiny, given command of a starship just because he was there when Spock saved Earth? … Actually, these aren’t unanswered. They happened because they were convenient plot devices to get where Abrams wanted the story to go without having to make any sense.

  13. tidge
    September 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    #1) Why do they call them “Blade Runners”?

    I suppose there may be an attempt at an answer in either the PKD story or in a novelization…but in terms of cinema, this one has always bothered me.

    • September 11, 2012 at 11:51 am — Reply

      ‘Cause it sounds cool.

      There was an unrelated novel/script about people smuggling medical supplies (like scalpels) in some dystopian future, called The Bladerunner. I think William S. Burroughs was somehow involved.

      Ridley Scott really liked the name, so he bought the rights just so he could use that name in place of the unwieldy “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

      So the name/term Blade Runner has nothing to do with anything other than the director liking how it sounded.

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