Margaret, David snub box office #1

27 February, 2014 by Emily Blatchford

John Jarratt as Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek 2. 

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Australia’s most watched film reviewers, Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, have refused to review Wolf Creek 2 despite the film nabbing the top spot in last weekend’s box office.

The co-hosts of the now ten-year-old program At the Movies have not offered an explanation as to why they snubbed the film, but it can be assumed it was due to its graphic content.

This comes in spite of the fact both Pomeranz and Stratton have reviewed the original Wolf Creek (giving it four stars each), and other violent flicks such as Snowtown and Saw in the past. The inconsistencies in their approach are yet to be explained, with an At the Movies representative declining to comment.

Presumably to avoid shirking the box office number one altogether, an interview with director Greg McLean and star John Jarratt was posted to the At the Movies site, though neither Stratton or Pomeranz (or any other presenter, for that matter) are included in the clip.

Stratton alone penned a blistering review for Wolf Creek 2 for The Australian, writing:

“This is not the place to discuss the worldwide appeal of torture porn and extreme screen violence; knowingly, McLean injects the grimmest of the grim humour into the mix (including a bizarre reference to the Rolf Harris classic Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport) and I imagine Quentin Tarantino is one of the movie’s biggest fans. But the end result is manipulative and ugly.”

Director Greg McLean, along with many of his fans, has taken to Twitter to express his disappointment, tweeting: “Apparently there's a new category of movie review from David and Margaret called – no review at all! That's gotta be a first, right?”

@AttheMovies has also tweeted in defence of the pair, responding to a question put by Twitter user: “They didn't want to review it – totally their decision.”

But public opinion as to whether the pair have shirked their responsibilities as film reviewers is divided, with many asking if, at the very least, an explanation behind the decision should be provided.

Others noted that, ironically,  the snub has provided the film with more publicity than either a favourable or scathing review could have.

Wolf Creek 2 is showing in cinemas now. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: John Jarratt in character as Mick Taylor also graces the latest cover of IF (on sale now.)
For the record, we’re proud to have him there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • mick

    David and Margaret would not know a good film if hit them head on, I have listened to them on many occasions and after hearing their reviews of films that are supposed to be fantastic, after watching them have wondered if the were on the same planet as the rest of us

  • Tim

    Come on now! Margaret/David usually do 2 star tariffs for Aussie films. They’ve seen Wolf Creek 2 in private, and realized even with the tariffs it will not get even 1 star. They’re doing the film a big favour.

  • jason

    Maybe they didn’t want to review the cut MA15+ version and are hanging out for the original, 2 minutes longer version that was first classified R18+ ?

  • Chris

    This is why I sometimes hate my industry. The IF comments here are typical of the “anything goes” attitude of Producers. It is all about money, it has NOTHING at all to do with the responsibility that any other “product” manufacturer would otherwise be required to uphold. Where is the line IF? Just what WOULD be unacceptable content to you? My business has integrity, we go by the published principle “if it makes the world a better place or is benign we take the job, if it makes the world a worse place get somebody else”. You may be surprised that I have no shortage of work. I won’t be holding my breath for the Australian Film and Television Industry to follow suit though.

  • John

    The film is just snuff porn. I don’t blame Margaret and David for giving this flick the flick.

  • Jessica

    And yet they loved Adoration, which I would classify as snuff it was so diabolically awful yet not bad enough to be comedy.

    Whenever we let go of this pompous arthouse cultural ‘authenticity’ and embrace our rich b-movie past we will get back on track to making great movies in ALL genres..

    No wonder so much of our talent goes to the US to find broader minds and genuine cinemaphiles…

    I’ve been just as offended by bad drama as bad horror movies.

    We’re too small to be abject snobs.

  • Pete

    While WC2’s target audience won’t decide to see the film based on M&D’s review, or lack of it – they don’t watch the show – it’s disappointing that they have publicly snubbed a performing home-grown product, which has constantly been a source of heated discussion and derision by these unofficial patrons of Australian cinema-going. The film carries the debut trailer for Zak Hilditch’s anticipated THESE FINAL HOURS in a concerted push to promote Aussie talent and content – will we see the same treatment when that film hits mid year???

  • Graeme Bond

    The question we should be asking is: “What is the purpose of art?” If the answer is “The removal of ugliness” then Wolf Creek 2 fails.
    Advance Australia Fair anybody?. Ugly Australian films are hardly qualified to add to the quality of life. We are what we read/watch/do.
    Graeme Bond Birdsong Press WA

  • Barbara Agell

    It is not the function of a critic to attempt to censor what the public sees. A critic’s job is to offer his or her informed opinion regarding the qualities of the work and possibly to give it a “star rating” as do M&D, and leave it to the public to decide whether or not to go to view the work.
    When the work in question is an Australian production, the duty of the critic is to remain impartial and to review it accordingly.

  • Graeme Bond

    Fair point Barbara. However, even a critic is entitled to watch what he or she exposes his or her mind to. It is ironic that we fuss over what we put into our bodies (over 35 cooking shows on television per week) yet we toss any old tosh into our mind. We also guard what our children watch, yet as we “mature” the guard comes off. Why? Children follow our example. Perhaps a critic is entitled to lead by example. Can ethics and art co-exist?
    Graeme Bond Birdsong Press WA

  • Ben Simons

    I’ve seen the film and didn’t like it. I wish it did not exist. There is nothing good about it. I worry about anyone who considers this entertainment. Having been camping in the remote regions where this film is shot, I feel sad that people might now feel afraid.

    Thomas King (CBC Massey Lectures) got it right when he said “Stories are wondrous things. And they are dangerous.” In the Truth about Stories he explains: we have to be careful about the stories we tell because they create the world around us, and they cannot be taken-back. Once told, it is loose in the world.

    “So you have to be careful with the stories you tell. And you have to watch out for the stories that you are told.” write King.

    Frankly, the fact D&M won’t review WC2 is sufficent. Do you really need it spelt out? Good on them.

  • Phil Avalon

    I take my hat off to John Jarratt.
    Very few actors of his experience & calibre would accept a role like this.
    That frightening character is played brilliantly by J.J.
    The film & its sequel has already proved it has a global audience. Its not everyone’s cup of tea, but either was ‘No Country For Old Men’ just as scary or ‘Hamlet’. (If you get my point)
    The film makers have produced a classic Australian tale that has frightened the living daylights out of us.
    As for D & M not reviewing it, I guess they did it a favour, just read David’s negative quotes in the press..