Saurons of cinema: Gobbits and Quislings in a tale of ‘yore

April 9, 2011

The drafty Stalinesque lecture hall underneath Auckland’s trade union headquarters in Grey Lynn was a fitting stage for the evening of ‘serious fun’ and ribald politics, earlier this week, when Warner Brothers won the despised and coveted Roger Award for the worst transnational operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

It was fitting that the gun-running, racist lackey Bugs Bunny was on hand to accept the Roger on behalf of his bosses.

Bugs Bunny takes home the Roger for God-knows-what nefarious doings. Photo Nigel Mofiet

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Of pineapple lumps, Gobbits and market economics

October 28, 2010

Every man woman and child in New Zealand has just paid about $22.20 towards the production costs of Lord Porkpie’s The Gobbit. It’s not quite enough to give us Gold Class, but seriously: Shouldn’t we all now get a ticket to see this Warner Bros blockbuster?

After all, thanks to the Teflon Gollum we effectively sold Middle Earth for a song and a dance.

And what is the opportunity cost of handing over nearly $100 million to Hollywood moguls?

Well, one lost opportunity would be to hire 166 more teachers for ten years, or approximately the same number of nurses and radiographers.

Seriously, what’s more valuable to New Zealand: better health and education outcomes, or a handful of tourist shekels and a promotional DVD?

How can the Teflon Gollum justify the social cost of helping out Warner Bros against the future of Kiwi children?

At a time when the National government is crying poor and refusing to give pay rises to health workers and teachers where does the $100 million come from?

Effectively everyone who works on The Gobbit in New Zealand is on welfare!

We’re told the movie will create thousands of jobs and enhanced tourism opportunities, but where are the numbers? So far it’s just a hollow promise. I’ve seen one economist’s estimate that about $1.5 billion will be generated in New Zealand, but no source is given for the data [ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie]. And if you see the numbers below, that $1.5 seems wildly inflated to me.

Significantly, other benefits are harder to pin down:

Work by NZIER in 2002 suggested the Lord of the Rings trilogy created 800 jobs for three to four years, and brought in $300 million-plus in foreign exchange earnings annually, although polling for Tourism New Zealand found a very small percentage of tourists were motivated to visit because of the films. [Stuff.co.nz]

What we do know is that Lord Porkpie made about $10 million for the first three LOTR movies, so he’s likely to score another $5 million or so.

And the LOTR trilogy grossed well over $1 billion for the studios

Rottentomatoes.com provides the following statistics:

The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:
Box Office: $313,837,577
VHS Rentals: $17,160,000

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:
Box Office: $340,478,898
VHS Rentals: $9,460,000

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:
Box Office: $376,958,965
VHS Rentals: $3,030,000

Taking those statistics for the film we can add them up and find a total:
$1,060,925,440

Other estimates place the total at well over $2 billion.

So why does Warner Bros need tax breaks anyway? The simple answer is to put more precious in the pockets of shareholders?

A further question if I may: Why are we led to believe that the budget for The Gobbit is $670 million when the total cost of the LOTR trilogy was under $300 million?

Another aspect of this is the irony of a free-market government and its libertarian partners in the ACT party helping to minimise the market risk for a multinational corporate giant.

The Teflon Gollum loves to talk up his free market and money market credentials, but he’s the first to dish out a tonne of cash in the form of corporate handouts.

Congratulations Middle Earth, you have won another bag of Piiiiie Napplumps.


Tens of journalists rally to save the Gobbit and Lord Porkpie snarls at Aussie filth

October 25, 2010

It is true.

New Zealand is Middle Earth, complete with archaic employment laws, ignorant tribes of Gobbits and a semi-rural, semi-feudal social system that honours caste by birth or by wealth.

Tens of journalists turned up today to absorb and repeat Lord Porkpie’s message of anti-Australian hatred and ultra-moral national heartiness.

Journalists swell the crowd at Lord Porkpie's Auckland witch hunt

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King of the Gobbits, Paul Holmes and Hollywood don’t give a shit: actors are people too

October 24, 2010

You know there’s one very good reason why New Zealand standards of living will never match Australia. His name is Paul Holmes.

He is the new poison dwarf in the Gobbit story. If this is an example of what the PD actually cares about then he is, indeed, a shallow little wanker.

“Man, I’m angry. Angry that a group of gullible actors have allowed themselves to be used by some bolshy left-wing filth from Australia who may or may not simply want to get The Hobbit filmed over there.”

So Australian unionists like Simon Whipp are “bolshy left-wing filth” are they Paul? Well the strength and success of the Australian union movement is actually one reason why Australian wages are higher, there’s better superannuation for “Aussie filth” and working conditions are not like some of the third-world standards that Kiwi workers have to put up with.

But, wait a minute: what the fuck would you know about the working conditions for ordinary Kiwis – in the film industry or anywhere else? Oh, that’s right, fuck all!

You have a very privileged life, well-paid, well-watered, well-fed and able to do pretty much whatever you fucking please. You got that way because you are a willing mouthspeak for vested interests and a political water-boy for the National Party.

I also think I’ve found the “smoking gun” — there is a conspiracy to break Actors’ Equity in New Zealand and destroy the film industry unions who keep demanding a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work…as partial proof I offer this:

Hollywood writers and actors are notorious for decrying money, wealth, profit, as corrupters of art, integrity, and morality. But let them see a wealthy producer, and suddenly they too want wealth–the producer’s wealth.

You will have to take the jump to find the source of this quote.

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John the Gollum, Lord Porkpie and the ignorance of stupid Gobbits

October 21, 2010

My tweet today after hearing about the union-busting actions of ill-informed Kiwi actors protesting against a pay rise for working on Lord Porkpie Jackoff’s blub-buster re-hash of a boring old story by some dead white male English fart: The Gobbit

Aussie-bashing, union-bashing stupid hobbit scab gits, Eff-off back to Hobiton and live on scraps from Sir Peter’s well-lardered table.

Seriously, I can’t just let this stuff go by without comment. I need to get this off my chest. Let me tell a little story… Read the rest of this entry »