But don't worry, there's plenty of wizardry and action in Goblet of Fire. When the deadly Tri-Wizard Tournament is hosted by Hogwarts, Harry finds his name mysteriously submitted (and chosen) to compete against wizards from two neighboring academies, as well as another Hogwarts student. The competition scenes are magnificently shot, with much-improved CGI effects (particularly the underwater challenge). And the climactic confrontation with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, in a brilliant bit of casting) is the most thrilling yet. Goblet, the first installment to get a PG-13 rating, contains some violence as well as disturbing images for kids and some barely shrouded references at sexual awakening (Harry's bath scene in particular). The 2 1/2-hour film, lean considering it came from a 734-page book, trims out subplots about house elves (they're not missed) and gives little screen time to the standard crew of the other Potter films, but adds in more of Britain's finest actors to the cast, such as Brendan Gleeson as Mad Eye Moody and Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter. Michael Gambon, in his second round as Professor Dumbledore, still hasn't brought audiences around to his interpretation of the role he took over after Richard Harris died, but it's a small smudge in an otherwise spotless adaptation.--Ellen A. Kim, Amazon.com
However, on seeing it a second time, I decided to watch the film and appreciate it for what it was. All in all cutting a long story short, it is an absolutely excellent film with fabulous effects and scenery.
The highlights for me were the Yule Ball, which would definitely be worth seeing again on the DVD as the Great Hall decorations are magnificent, and the graveyard scene, which is very intense and emotional.
My only criticism would be the pacing of this film. This was my initial problem, as we delved straight into the movie without a second look from one shot of the Quidditch World Cup straight to the Triwizard Tournament in a matter of minutes. Although this could be seen to make the film feel action packed, literally, and cuts out any filler screen time.
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The main reason for that fact is because the film-makers virtually tried to squeeze the entire 600 page novel into a 2 and a half hour running time. That was a mammoth task, done pretty well, but as far as adaptations go, its not even the best in this series.
Out go a few major plot lines, like Hermione's Elf campaign, but everything else is bunged into the script into a reduced form. Scenes that were pages long in the book get reduced to a couple of minutes of film, which I felt gave the film a feeling of being rushed, unfulfilled plotlines and a confusing style if you HADN'T read the book.
Harry Potter newbies (if, indeed, there are any?!) should avoid. This will only confuse them. But for the real fan, Goblet of Fire is impossible to dislike.
Being thrown into JK Rowling's world once again is always a delight, particularly as it is always how I imagined it from reading. The huge ensemble cast is a delight (even if the three main leads still disappoint), and the new characters and actors are embraced into the series with welcome arms. It's only annoying that firm favourites like Sirius and Snape just don't get enough screen time!
The film mostly revolves around the Tri-Wizard tournament, and the three contests really are the action highlights of the film. The rest of the film only bridges the gap between the next test. ost memorable is an encounter with a dragon, expanded on superbly from the book.
Much has been made of the super-scary ending - finally he who must not be named is revealed in all his disgusting glory, and its the true highlight of the film.Read more ›
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