If you are out of the loop, that is, you don't know what's going on.
The tape was also known as, well, film, because the tapes were the same flimsy material used in film making.
If we say someone is off his or her rocker, we mean to say they are out of control, out of control of their emotions, out of their mind.
Slim pickings may represent anything that is scare and rare, be it food on the table or opportunities for success.
If someone says something and they do so with "tongue in cheek", they mean to tell it like a joke.
In short, when the gloves are off, somebody could seriously get hurt.
If the end result is good, then all is good – the method you've been using to achieve the result must be good or be accepted as good.
Finding a way means discovering how to do something difficult or achieve one's goal in spite of difficulties.