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4.1 out of 5 stars
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire [DVD] [2005]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Given their usual labyrinthine plots, this Potter instalment seems relatively story-light for much of its duration. It jogs along pleasantly enough, with some big set pieces like the Quidditch World Cup and the first two challenges of the Tri-Wizard tournament providing the usual effects-heavy action, but you do find yourself wondering where it is all going and just how many adolescent growing pains you can take over two and a half hours. There's also the nagging feeling that the whole concept of the tournament simply doesn't make sense, even in a fantasy film. I mean can we really swallow the idea of schools so willingly putting the lives of their pupils in mortal danger for the sake of a competition? Wouldn't the parents have something to say about this - not to mention the law? Who on earth would sanction such behaviour? It reminds me of one of the chief mysteries of the whole Potter movie franchise - it's yet to be explained what the role of wizards in the world actually is. Where did they come from? What, if any, wider global purpose do they have? What is their relationship with the `muggle' world?

Anyway, while mulling all this over, the film - with about 45 minutes still to go - rather unexpectedly lifts into another gear and becomes startling, even compelling stuff. Much of the reason for this is that director Mike Newell effectively turns the last third into a full-blown horror film, with few compromises given to youthful audiences or age restrictions. A truly scary third challenge in a creepy, living maze then morphs into a graveyard confrontation with the evil Lord Voldemort - now back in physical form and helped no end by the brilliant casting of Ralph Fiennes. The usual round of intrigues, betrayals and secret agendas quickly follow and the first major death of the series heralds that a line has been crossed into more adult fare.

The acting is a big help in this movie. The kids still have their limitations though Daniel Radcliffe's Harry now seems to have the range and confidence to cope with the more serious stuff; but it's the supporting cast of character actors who come off best here. Michael Gambon's Dumbledore, quietly introduced in the previous film, gets his first real chance to shine. His gruff, physical, business-like performance is quite different from Richard Harris's more benign approach - but it gradually impresses. Brendan Gleason chews the scenery very amusingly as Mad-Eyed Moody and Fiennes' belated but spectacular turn as the dark lord pitches the whole franchises into previously uncharted areas of pure evil and real, adult danger.

Overall, Goblet takes its time to really get going and you could argue that a lack of consistent focus is its one serious failing, but it pays off in the end and suggests even better will follow in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2006
Goblet of Fire being my favourite of the HP books, I have looked forward to this film for so long and thankfully it did not disappoint. Yes, a lot of scenes are cut and a lot of scenes added, and some important details are only touched on, but fans of HP will know the book inside out anyway and should appreciate the fiilm in its own right.
Daniel Radcliffe has improved once again, although he will need to up his game even more in OOTP, Rupert Grint is hilarious, getting all the best lines and being the perfect Ron, and Emma Watson is also great, although she does tend to overact. As much as I love Michael Gambon he will never exceed the brilliance that was Richard Harris' Dumbledore, indeed, in this film he does seem to do a lot of shouting and even shaking, which we all know Dumbledore doesn't approve of(see OOTP). Miranda Richardson is brilliant as Rita Skeeter, as is Brendan Gleeson as Moody, and although he doesn't look how I imagined, he portrayed the character extremely well. Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman and Robbie Coltrane do excellent turns once again, but there was too little of Gary Oldman as Sirius.
The special effects are brilliant, but some scenes are too rushed. There wasn't enough of the Quidditch World Cup, and where were all the magical creatures in the maze? Having said that the graveyard scene is superb, Ralph Fiennes is brilliant as Lord Voldemort and Robert Pattison is so handsome it made me wish that Cedric didn't die.
I found it cheesy in some parts, which I have never found before in an HP film. For example,the song in the egg and in particular, the bit where Hermione comes down the stairs at the Yule Ball. Yes she looks beautiful but what's with the cheesy music? Jarvis Cocker's songs are hilarious, but I wonder if being able to dance like a hippogriff is a good thing?
Overall I think this film is great, despite all the omissions, but I don't know if it's the best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2010
Being a firm favourite of mine within the entire series, "The Goblet Of Fire" is one hell of a movie. It takes third place in my list of favourites, with "The Philosopher's Stone" in first place, "The Chamber Of Secrets" in second and "The Prisoner Of Azkaban" in fourth. This time round, that same lurking evil is around, and growing ever stronger. This really bothers Harry, and far more so after he is mysteriously inducted into the Triwizard Tournament, a tortuous and highly dangerous competition where he is pitted against overwhelming odds along with three other students; Cedric Diggory from Hufflepuff house, famous international Quidditch player Viktor Krum, and Frenchwoman Fleur Delacour.
Mike Newell, director of "Four Weddings And A Funeral" brings "The Goblet Of Fire" to life, sparkling with magic and mayhem, including scenes that are not in the books at all, from Ron dancing with Professor McGonagall to Professor Snape hitting Ron and Harry over their heads. The comedy effect is fantastic, and the constant arguing between Ron and Hermione is actually quite juicy. You get deleted scenes over on the Special Features too, such as the band that is plain bonkers and yet oddly satisfying, and you can play the three Triwizard Tournament Challenges yourself, either as three in a row if you click on the Goblet icon, or in any order you like. I personally find the second and third the easiest, while the first and the Graveyard Challenge are slightly more difficult, and all four Challenges are hopelessly addictive. The cast interview with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson is perhaps one of the best in all of the interviews done throughout the first four films as well, because with earlier interviews, particularly in "The Chamber Of Secrets", they are a bit rushed, and the featurettes on the making of the Triwizard Tournament, the Yule Ball and He Who Must Not Be Named are brilliant. The film may well be shorter than the original story, and some scenes are scrapped entirely, but the main plotline is there, and I would say that the film scores on its own merits just as the book does by itself. They are both good.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2006
I went to see this film in the cinema twice. Being a potter fan, not as fanatical as most, I thought it was definitely worth seeing twice. The first time I saw it I had many complaints, as most fans of the books do when they cut storylines from the book to film transformation.
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.
I hope this helped x
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2006
The way I feel before a Harry Potter film is probably shared by a million others: hoping against hope that they won't muck it up. I love the books far more than the films, and I thought that the first two were okay, but terrible compared to the literary originals. The third was good, and I let out a sigh of relief. The fourth is excellent. The book's collosal, so I was sure that they couldn't make this film without cutting out most of the stuff that I love, but it works. The things that they have included are the most relevant and important, and you can understand why they chose some scenes over others. Admittedly, the acting can be wooden and you can't help but be disappointed at how Daniel Radcliffe stumbles through the more delicate scenes, but it's wonderful to see the three evolve through the process of these films. I can't imagine anyone reading this who hasn't seen it - it's obviously a must-see, even if you hate the Harry Potters, just as the books are must-reads. If you've seen it at the cinemas it's still worth buying, just so that you can know that it's there to watch at any time.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2006
I am a true Harry Potter fan, having read all of the books about a hundred times each, but i thought that this fourth film was fantastic. Sure, it cut out quite a lot and added a couple of things, but it was still a brilliant watch. Definately the best of the four and the kids are so much better at acting! People who dislike the film need to get a life-its brilliant!
The film follows all of the major plot, and although there could have been a little more about the world cup i thought it was amazing. The special effects were fantastic-especially the underwater scenes!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2006
As a HUGE fan of the books,I would rather put my face in something nasty than not see the film. This film was the best so far,the first and second films were far too sentimental for my liking. The acting has dramatically improved,Dan Radcliffe looks a lot more comfortable in his role this time round.

As for the storyline, absolutely faultless considering a lot had to be chopped into the 2 and a half hours.

The DVD extras were actually quite good especially the interview with the cast members. Well worth buying but get the two disc version rather than the one disc version.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2006
After the incredible, adult-orientated Prisoner of Azkaban, the fourth outing for Potter, Goblet of Fire, seems to be a backwards step towards the more kiddie style of the first two films.
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. Yes, it's dark, sure it could be scary for very young kids, but my 9 year old neice was fine with the dark horror nature of the finale.
Still, it doesn't matter if this film was absolute rubbish - it would still sell by the bucketload, and we're virtually guaranteed a film of book 5 - so its refreshing that the film makers don't rest on their laurels, and at least try to make a film thats better than the last.
Looking at the extras, its also worth noting that there is more on how they made the film and behind the scenes, rather than the earlier films DVD releases that just gave us set-top games and quizzes. The making ofs should be interesting, and I look forward to discovering how they created some of the scenes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2006
The arduous task of transfering "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" from the page to the screen was always going to result in some plot being missed out. For me, the fourth book is still my favourite; its full of adventure as well as new revelations about Harry and his arch nemesis Voldemort and the criticism that has been poured on this film is that it misses out much of the book's depth.
That I agree with, but I don't think it makes the movie a poor effort. I like to think of it as "Goblet of Fire: Greatest Hits" - the highlights of the book put up on the silver screen. Fans who have read the book will know each intricate plot detail anyway, and for the casual viewer the movie contains just enough to help them follow the story.
The story I don't need to tell, you know it already I'm sure. You should also know that it's young cast gets better with each movie they do and the special effects live up to their name. If the DVD follows the same formula as the previous three, and from the extras list here then I think it does, we're all in for a treat. Whether the movie itself is worthy of 5 stars or not I'm unsure; but for the simple fact it made me feel 12 again is enough to make me recommed it to anyone who wants a little magic in their lives.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2006
So pleased this is available in the UK first.

Fantastic transfer to HD DVD well worth the extra money just for the clarity of the picture image.

I was wondering whether on a film with a large number of special effects whether the clarity would be a problem but it isn't. Each frame is bright and clear.

Roll on the other Harry Potter films in HD
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