Chinese TV news steals from Hollywood astronaut movie for news report 1

Chinese TV news steals from Hollywood astronaut movie for news report
JISHOU, HUNAN — Well, I started by writing a straight update on the latest Chinese space mission, now humming along nicely, thank you, when I stumbled upon yet another video copypasta by the state TV service, CCTV. In the midst of a CCTV news report, I caught a glimpse of scenes from what I think is a Hollywood movie. Here’s a couple of screencaps to show what I mean. Those two astronauts are not Chinese, and anyway, Shenzhou 9 has three astronauts, including China’s first woman in space. And the switches are in … English? CCTV News has done this kind of shameless uncredited cribbing (a national pastime here) before. Last year, eagle-eyed viewers realized a video clip of a fighter jet being blown up by a Chinese plane had actually come from the movie, Top Gun. Watch this report and see if you can identify the movie. It looks familiar, but I can’t place it. OK, now on with my report, now in progress… JISHOU, HUNAN — China is mighty proud of its three astronauts, two men and one woman, now orbiting 220 miles around Earth. CCTV International devoted nearly 40 minutes to a live feed of the automated ...

Bizarro world “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?”

CHANGSHA, HUNAN — While I wait for my lunch companions to show up, I will try to dash off a quick movie review. Of course, it’s not very current. GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra opened in the USA weeks ago, but I saw it for the first time here just last week. In Chinese. With Chinese subtitles. I didn’t miss a thing. Some B-movies have redeeming virtues, despite poor acting, bad direction, cheesy scripts, or lousy camera work. Really bad movies (grade Z’s), though, combine all four to make a US Grade A turkey. And being a science-fictiony kind of film, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, brought really bad to a whole new level with really awful science concepts. Here’s a few glaring mistakes. The Bad Guy (TBG) has a huge underwater lair that puts Stargate Atlantis’ digs to shame. Yet, this underwater metropolis is supposedly a secret. How? Its heat signature alone would be as bright as lighthouse beacon to a spy satellite in orbit. For argument’s sake, let’s suppose the US government knew about The Bad Guy’s secret underwater lair. Wouldn’t the Defense Department be just a teensy bit interested in why TBG has all of ...

Payment for standing all day in the hot sun — $80. Woo-hoo! 1

Well, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting lots of money. Working as a non-union extra earns you about $7 a hour. I did get time-and-a-half for the overtime, but still the pay didn’t even cover gas and lodging in Nashville. I am not upset. In fact, working as an extra in the next Hannah Montana movie (to be released next May) was an educational experience, if not a lucrative one. Ideally, you would have to be a local resident (which most of my co-workers are) to justify even taking the job. Union extras get paid more, but to become a member of the Screen Actors Guild you have to have three separate speaking roles to qualify. A speaking role apparently means you say at least one line of dialog. Apparently, yelling “Hey, Hannah!” doesn’t count.

The start of a new career? 8

So, today I’ve been on location, being an extra in … “Hannah Montana: The Movie.” You ask — why is a 50+ man in a Hannah Montana movie? Serendipity. The blame falls on my wife, who heard an announcement on a Louisville radio station about an extras casting call in Nashville in April. Her idea was to bring one of our suitably aged nieces down there (our daughter being a tad too mature to be a HM fan). We convinced our 16-year-old niece (and her parents) to give it a try. We sprang for some nice photos taken the day before the casting call, then zipped down to Nashville one sunny Sunday. A casting call for a pop princess vehicle is more like a cattle call. Signups were at Sommet Center. The line started at the front entrance and by the time we three arrived had already circled the block. The line was just as long by the time we made our way around to the entrance three hours later. Girls aged 8 to 13 were overwhelmingly the bulk of the would-be actors in line, but of course there were plenty of adults, too. We got the Niece through the ...
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