The Ghost and the French Republicans

by: the Common Constitutionalist


Decades ago comic actor Don Knotts starred in a movie entitled “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken”. My kids love the movie. “Atta Boy Luther”! (a little shout out to them)


Anyway, Knotts plays a young man working as a typesetter for a local newspaper. As is typically the case, Knott’s character is shy and literally afraid of everything.


Succumbing to pressure from friends and a perceived rival, he excepts a dare to spend the night in a house thought to be haunted, before it is to be demolished.


The long and short of the story is that he does and despite his fears, discovers it’s not haunted and unwittingly uncovers a plot to cover up a murder committed in the home years earlier.


Wow, great story. Woopty doo! What does that have to do with the Republicans? read more

Bond Car

James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 was put through a series of huge explosions and stunts during the filming of Skyfall, including one scene which saw the priceless vehicle explode in flames.

However, producers have revealed the secret behind the stunts – if they lost a car, they could simply print another. Yes, that’s right, print another one.

Three replica cars, a third of the size of  the real thing, were created using a large scale 3D printer.

18 individual parts were printed to create the Aston Martin seen on screen18 individual parts were printed to create the Aston  Martin seen on screen

The models double for the priceless original vehicle from the 1960s in the film’s action scenes.

They were made by British firm Propshop Modelmakers Ltd, which specialize in the production of film props, and used Voxeljet to print the cars.

‘Propshop commissioned us to build three plastic models of the Aston Martin DB5,’ voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer.

‘We could have easily printed the legendary sports car in one piece at a scale of 1:3 using our high-end VX4000 printer, which can build moulds and models in dimensions of up to eight cubic metres.

‘But the British model builders were pursuing a different approach.

Once assembled, the models were finished by hand, and were indistinguishable from the full sized versions, according the their makersOnce assembled, the models were finished by hand, and were indistinguishable from the full sized versions, according the their makers

‘To ensure that the Aston Martin was as true to detail as possible, and for the purpose of integrating numerous functions into the film models, they decided on an assembly consisting of a total of 18 individual components.

‘The entire body is based on a steel frame, almost identical to how vehicles were assembled in the past,’ said  Ederer.

‘In addition to the automotive industry, foundries, designers and artists, the film industry represents an entirely new customer base for voxeljet.

‘3D printing is on the cusp of a great future in the film industry.

‘The technology offers fantastic opportunities, since it is usually much faster, more precise and more  economical than classic model construction,’ says Ederer.


voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer with one of the 3D printers used
voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer with one of the 3D printers  used

Voxeljet started the printing process once the computer files with the design data for all components were available.

The models are produced with the layer-by-layer application of particle material that is glued together with a binding agent.

As each layer is finished, another is printed on top to build up a 3D model.

The parts are then individually cleaned.

A total of 54 individual parts for the three vehicle models, including mudguards, doors, bonnets, roofs and more, were then packaged and transported to Pinewood Studios near  London.

The model builders at Propshop then meticulously assembled and finished the components, painted them in the original colour and added chrome applications along with realistic-looking bullet holes.

The finished model, which was seen in several key scenes of the filmThe finished model, which was seen in several key scenes  of the film

After the finishing process, it is impossible to distinguish the Aston Martin models made with the voxeljet printer from the original, even in the close-up shots, the firm says.

‘The priceless Aston Martin DB5, which was used in the first James Bond film exactly 50 years ago, remains unscathed, while one of the elaborately and meticulously constructed models explodes in flames in the film,’ it said.

‘An expensive crash, since one of the three models was auctioned off by Christie’s for almost $170,000.

Daniel Craig with the real Aston Martin DB 5Daniel Craig with the real Aston Martin DB 5
Real or model? A close up of one of the model car's bumper and bonnetReal or model? A close up of one of the model car’s  bumper and bonnet

Cusack’s Next Blockbuster

by: the Common Constitutionalist

So, that paragon of acting excellence, John Cusack, is developing a movie, titled “Rush”, about famous conservative radio talk icon, Rush Limbaugh.

Actor Cusack, who’s blockbuster films include movies like “Sixteen Candles”, in 1984 (only had to go back 28 years for that one) and the more recent action thriller “2012” which he starred in with his buddy, fellow leftist, Woody Harrelson. I too, was impressed with his acting credentials.

Cusack is so liberal, he has actually criticized president Obama of not be liberal enough. Now that’s out there where the busses don’t run.

Production for this gem is set to commence some time next year.

Hollywood director Betty Thomas, who’s set to work on the film, said the
production company is putting the finishing touches on a script that will star the
actor. I see Cusack is lining up the “A-listers” for this project.

Director Thomas has big budget film experience. She’s demonstrated his directing prowess in critically acclaimed movies such as “Private Parts”, starring Howard Stern and everyone’s favorite, “The Brady Bunch Movie”. I guess someone had to direct them. Maybe they drew straws and she lost.

I have no doubt that this film will be heralded by the press and movie critics alike. The organizers at the Cannes Film festival have, no doubt, already engraved an award for Cusack and the New York Times film critics have penned their glowing review of the movie, breathless awaiting its release.

Would anyone be shocked if this film wins some sort of Oscar. It will surely be nominated, if it hasn’t been already.

This film is likely to be a smashing box office success and will surely rake in hundreds of dollars.

If it is the overwhelming success I predict it to be, I wonder if Cusack might do a whole series of films? A few possibilities would be, a third “Kill Bill” movie, “Kill Bill…O’Reilly”, “Sean Hannity…of the Dead”. How about a remake of “Anne of a Thousand Days”, but instead of Richard Burton and Genevieve Bujold, it would star Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter. It would be set in rural California. Ann recruits Beck to go on a rampage, in which they attempt to blow up as many wind and solar farms as is possible in the thousand days. I’d pay money to see that.

But seriously, I’m sure this will be a fair and even-handed portrayal of Limbaugh. The left has always treated conservatives with that type of reverence.

Attribution: MSN


A new, blockbuster TV film, “Seal Team Six, The Raid on Osama Bin Laden” is set to air just days before the election. It is said to be slightly re-edited.

The additional material will definitely not include footage of President Obama speaking at a $35,000 per person fundraiser this summer at the Connecticut home of the movie’s producer, Harvey Weinstein.

From the New York Times:

nullThanks to the magic of editing, President Obama will have a starring role in a television drama about one of his biggest accomplishments — the killing of Osama bin Laden — that will be shown just two nights before the presidential election.

But the star turn is virtually certain to bolster claims that the approximately 90-minute film amounts to a political stunt. Set for a prime-time debut on Nov. 4 on the National Geographic Channel, and a release the next day on Netflix, the film — “SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden” — is being backed by Harvey Weinstein, a longtime Democratic contributor and one of the Obama campaign’s most vigorous backers. Mr. Weinstein bought the rights to the film for about $2.5 million at the Cannes festival in May.


But promotional materials and a copy of the movie provided to The New York Times this week also show that the film has been recut, using news and documentary footage to strengthen Mr. Obama’s role and provide a window into decision-making in the White House.

In a joint interview on Tuesday Mr. Weinstein; the film’s director, John Stockwell; and others said the changes to the film were not politically motivated but were meant to give the film a stronger sense of realism.

I’m guessing that by now the film has been digitally altered in post production to remove any visible bayonets.

There was a scene in the movie depicting Mitt Romney opposing the Bin Laden raid, and it was reportedly cut at the insistence of the National Geographic Channel’s CEO. They wouldn’t want a film touting Obama’s role in the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist that was produced by a huge supporter of the president and set to air two days before the general election to appear to be politically motivated, would they?

Also, rumor has it that we can look forward to a cameo from Joe Biden, who will portray a fictional “comic relief” character named Slappy McPlug, a lovable but dim-witted White House teleprompter maintenance technician.

Attribution: Unknown

You Just Got Cut

The makers of Men in Black 3 might not have realized that setting parts of the film in New York’s Chinatown would cause such a stir on the other side of the world.

But the Chinese government apparently saw plenty of political resonance in one scene where Will Smith, playing a US secret agent, erases the memories of a group of Chinese bystanders.

“This could have been a hint on the use of internet censorship to maintain social stability,” commented China’s Southern Daily newspaper.

Meanwhile two other scenes, where unsavory aliens disguise themselves as Chinese restaurant workers, were also judged to have cast China in a bad light.

Such micromanagement by the government is not new. Scenes showing a Chinese pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End were cut on the mainland.

“I remember watching Mission Impossible here and they garbled some of the dialogue,” said Dan Mintz, the head of DMG, a Beijing production company that is shooting the next Iron Man movie in China later this year.

Iron Man 3 is the largest movie to be co-produced in China to date, as Hollywood wakes up to the potential of the Chinese market.

However, given the Communist party’s determination to make sure China is always shown in a good light, filmmakers are facing serious hurdles in getting movies past the censors.

“Unless there is a flattering image of Chinese people, you are going to run into a challenge from the State Administration of Film, Television and Radio (SARFT),” said Robert Cain, a partner in Pacific Bridge Pictures, which specializes in Chinese productions.

“The list of taboos is so long it is very often too difficult to make anything entertaining,” he added. “I had a friend submit a script and the censors asked him to change the name of one of the characters. He could not understand why so he asked them and they said it was the pet name that Deng Xiaoping (China’s former paramount leader) used for his granddaughter.”

However, Mr Cain said there is room for negotiation with the censors, particularly if a film is more nuanced and if there is a balance between good and bad Chinese characters.

Mr Mintz said the situation has improved in the past two years: previously Chinese censors would simply block films they did not like from entering the market.

Salt, a thriller which opened in a prison in North Korea, China’s close ally, was denied entry. MGM is still said to be suffering from a decision to remake Red Dawn, an anti-Communist action film, even though Chinese villains were substituted in the film for North Koreans.

“We are still in transition from propaganda to entertainment,” said Mr Mintz, while adding that Chinese censors were sympathetic if characters were more nuanced, and that their demands were part of a chorus of other hurdles facing filmmakers.

Attribution: UK Telegraph