UK Critics Consensus: Twilight Shines In The UK Reviews

Plus, Fear And Loving For Gonzo, Whilst The Tale Of Despereaux Is Met With Indifference

by | December 19, 2008 | Comments

It’s Christmas week in the UK cinemas, but instead of any festive films on offer, we have the eagerly anticipated (by young girls everywhere…) romantic vampire movie Twilight. Gonzo: The Life And Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, a documentary about the godfather of Gonzo journalism, and the writer of Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas is also lighting up the big screens, with mouse-based animation The Tale Of Despereaux making up the numbers for this week’s releases. But what did the UK critics have to say?

Twilight is the film adaptation of the hugely successful and popular teen-fantasy novel by Stephanie Meyer. The books, Twilight being the first in a series of four, have sold by the boat-load in the US, approaching an almost Potter level of success, but mainly amongst hormonal teenage girls of a certain age. Meyer’s tales of teenage yearning and angst, combined with the gothic supernatural seem to have struck a rich vein of youth literature, and the film adaptation has been generating a massive amount of interest amongst the book’s legions of fans.

The film was released last month in the US, and didn’t fare too well with the critics. It stood at a Rotten 45% on the Tomatometer, with the critics feeling that it didn’t live up to the source material, and many bemoaning the chemistry (or lack of) between Bella and Edward, played by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. But, perhaps due to the more muted level of popularity of the source material here in blighty, the UK critics have really fallen for Twilight. From the 20 reviews collated today, only one review came in unfavourably, and even The Sun’s critic The Sneak admitted that the film was “A superior high school romance, which looks set to live on after the sun has set on Hogwarts.” So with UK reviews only Twilight would stand at a much more respectable (and Fresh) 95% on the Tomatometer. Critics swooned over the breathless romance and dark but well-meaning tone, meaning that Twilight may just be the hit of the winter season with Will Lawrence from Empire saying “A sometimes girlie swirl of obsession that will delight fans, this faithful adaptation is after teenage blood, and will most likely hit a box office artery.”

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson does exactly what it says on the tin. Alex Gibney‘s documentary currently stands at a Certified Fresh 86% on the Tomatometer. UK critics echoed the US critical response, applauding the insightful, accessible and definitive biography into Thompson’s weird and wonderful life, whilst a few complained that Gibney failed to delve deeply enough into his darker and more idiosyncratic foibles. Summing up the film, and it’s hagiographic nature, James Christopher of The Times said…

Gonzo is much more than a tribute to a maverick and genuine pioneer. It’s a lament for the gaping hole that Thompson left behind. The only obvious weakness is Gibney’s reluctance to engage fully with Thompson’s toxic personal life.”

It must be a literary themed this week, as our third big release is The Tale Of Despereaux, an adaptation of the Kate DiCamillo fantasy novel, concerning the eponymous brave rodent Despereaux. Boasting an all-star cast including Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Broderick and Potter alumni Emma Watson, The Tale Of Despereaux is a modern animated fairytale with princesses, castles and talking mice, naturally. At 47% on the Tomatometer though, it seems that Despereaux doesn’t have the required level of magic to garner a Fresh rating. The critics felt that kids would probably enjoy it (but, at the risk of sounding patronising, what animated feature don’t they?), they praised the crisp animation, but felt the story was laboured, the characters weak, and film displayed a concerning lack of warmth. Paling in comparison to the similar yet superior Ratatouille and Shrek, The Tale of Despereaux is more stale than fairytale.

Quote Of The Week

“Horror fans will find little to sink their teeth into, but it’ll get tweenage hearts fluttering like orgasmic bats.”

Twilight. Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro.

Tag Cloud

natural history cancelled BBC One young adult Interview Writers Guild of America Mystery hispanic heritage month Disney streaming service sports Walt Disney Pictures Sundance Now finale live action dexter period drama FX New York Comic Con The CW Hollywood Foreign Press Association Winners NBC black book adaptation Schedule Lifetime Christmas movies Black Mirror supernatural popular films serial killer criterion Super Bowl james bond HBO Go Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt razzies adenture Pop USA Network art house blockbusters Red Carpet Tarantino award winner MGM ViacomCBS E! discovery remakes laika Pacific Islander Apple TV Plus Focus Features zero dark thirty Pop TV Horror based on movie cars Toys DirecTV sequels jurassic park TV Logo zombies RT History HBO Max 2019 australia japan boxoffice YouTube Nominations Academy Awards binge Cosplay social media royal family El Rey interviews Comic-Con@Home 2021 king arthur AMC Plus YouTube Premium Watching Series series Marvel Studios children's TV San Diego Comic-Con screen actors guild nfl Chernobyl streaming hispanic satire CW Seed Bravo international Legendary Brie Larson Christmas docudrama NBA Amazon Studios Travel Channel documentaries Turner Classic Movies spanish language biography canceled genre unscripted summer preview Year in Review Western Anna Paquin Columbia Pictures Best Picture streamig legend CNN crime sitcom Holiday venice what to watch GoT action-comedy women Video Games Kids & Family Lionsgate YA BET latino spider-man 73rd Emmy Awards sag awards game show leaderboard biopic ID crime thriller Geeked Week Adult Swim Tags: Comedy Summer adaptation new zealand ABC Signature comedies Freeform 2015 FX on Hulu 2020 name the review Spike crossover fast and furious ESPN cancelled television PlayStation CBS science fiction TNT First Look 45 kaiju justice league foreign Hear Us Out Television Academy Action technology child's play transformers IFC Films news Star Wars stoner free movies Crunchyroll target YouTube Red Showtime book green book wonder woman spanish Acorn TV miniseries twilight VH1 Infographic singing competition die hard Podcast TCM Emmy Nominations toronto TCA Awards Trophy Talk psychological thriller Disney+ Disney Plus Superheroe Star Trek TV renewals new star wars movies dogs Polls and Games parents video dark Paramount Image Comics festival Tomatazos anime GLAAD Fox Searchlight Rocketman Photos indie 71st Emmy Awards Musical Tokyo Olympics Avengers independent 2018 Cannes dreamworks best Discovery Channel BET Awards cancelled TV series new york Peacock HBO comic books 94th Oscars nbcuniversal streaming movies documentary 99% South by Southwest Film Festival aliens Best Director VICE SXSW 2022 Stephen King MSNBC Fantasy mission: impossible Box Office E3 Mary Poppins Returns Thanksgiving cancelled TV shows breaking bad Oscar SDCC Countdown witnail AMC ratings History dramedy 93rd Oscars concert versus casting 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Paramount Network Nat Geo LGBT Tumblr BBC America king kong The Academy reboot disaster Comic Book spain Native ITV monster movies Disney Channel quibi Britbox ghosts Heroines Premiere Dates political drama Amazon Prime suspense Masterpiece Shondaland OneApp Apple TV+ festivals Reality Disney Plus basketball franchise slashers scene in color series vs. strong female leads live event indiana jones comic book movie The Arrangement universal monsters Fox News Comedy worst Warner Bros. DC streaming service Pet Sematary The Purge Sony telelvision GIFs movies Paramount Plus golden globe awards 007 Paramount Pictures Amazon Lucasfilm Martial Arts 2017 heist movie Set visit medical drama 79th Golden Globes Awards Syfy Opinion PBS mockumentary trophy X-Men talk show comic spy thriller psycho DC Comics dceu Best and Worst cops Rocky TV One TV movies Winter TV Sneak Peek Mindy Kaling Esquire Ellie Kemper nature WGN christmas movies HFPA Vudu Trailer werewolf asian-american A&E spider-verse cartoon The Walt Disney Company Pixar mob screenings FXX scary movies Universal know your critic Sci-Fi TCA 2017 72 Emmy Awards hidden camera pirates of the caribbean Teen politics Valentine's Day Pride Month Pirates Netflix Netflix Christmas movies Epix broadcast Extras 24 frames TV Land Broadway obituary crime drama Grammys marvel cinematic universe obi wan sequel Sundance Endgame TCA Winter 2020 Rock rom-coms docuseries Prime Video toy story teaser rt labs critics edition Food Network superman Reality Competition The Witch IFC Superheroes Classic Film batman Film Shudder scary kids vampires comic book movies Dark Horse Comics prank Fargo cats romance Star Wars Celebration posters spinoff elevated horror TIFF OWN TCA Rom-Com directors cults Arrowverse American Society of Cinematographers stand-up comedy Musicals Ovation fresh Best Actress 4/20 french marvel comics Awards SundanceTV DGA Television Critics Association dragons Holidays NYCC A24 Marvel Neflix Universal Pictures godzilla mcc MCU doctor who Funimation Lifetime trailers deadpool football true crime facebook halloween tv See It Skip It television comics Instagram Live Indigenous summer TV preview Comedy Central USA romantic comedy olympics sopranos WarnerMedia revenge blockbuster movie scene in color film series all-time jamie lee curtis diversity Marvel Television ABC aapi Alien rt labs Marathons Mary poppins rt archives Quiz renewed TV shows National Geographic Women's History Month Country war hist japanese historical drama Family Creative Arts Emmys robots police drama harry potter 2016 emmy awards cooking PaleyFest anthology Elton John TBS cinemax 90s FOX Captain marvel target scene in color composers Tubi APB Animation video on demand critics canceled TV shows VOD dc slasher classics Cartoon Network Music Sundance TV BBC scorecard TruTV a nightmare on elm street debate boxing summer TV archives hollywood Amazon Prime Video tv talk DC Universe Certified Fresh CBS All Access blaxploitation feel good scene in color Hallmark Christmas movies Biopics space Calendar First Reviews stop motion theme song Hulu Wes Anderson Film Festival RT21 Baby Yoda LGBTQ Exclusive Video Drama animated thriller Spring TV richard e. Grant SXSW worst movies Sony Pictures Emmys kong rotten Disney Ghostbusters Trivia reviews joker IMDb TV Mudbound 2021 Mary Tyler Moore Fall TV MTV rotten movies we love Best Actor Election Apple Black History Month The Walking Dead Comics on TV Nickelodeon Oscars Awards Tour 1990s game of thrones golden globes 21st Century Fox halloween superhero gangster mutant BAFTA President Spectrum Originals high school adventure Turner comiccon critic resources TLC Starz zombie CMT 20th Century Fox saw Hallmark italian Binge Guide Crackle ABC Family chucky south america Chilling Adventures of Sabrina black comedy Character Guide travel Song of Ice and Fire lord of the rings