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Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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Once again I shall try to beat the rush of reviews by about nine hours. Don’t worry, the movie doesn’t suck… well, at least that is not the view of a Harry Potter fan from his first viewing. It was exciting, daring, fun, frightening and of course beautiful. Most of the problems the movie had reminded me of The Sorcerers Stone its problems.

What do you do with tons of characters and plot lines? The first movie dealt with this issue in a straight forward way: get as much in as possible and don’t worry about the rest. Movie three, The Prisoner of Azkaban, had a much better approach: tell a story that people will remember. As an audience member, the story is what I really want to see, not a useless interaction that pertains to nothing in the movie. In movie one I felt Nearly Headless Nick was pretty pointless, yet he spoke more than just a few lines. Movie four has that sort of character, and her name is Rita Skeeter. She is introduced, makes a fuss over, and then is dropped like owl guano out of the plot. I couldn’t tell you, at this point, what purpose she had in the film at all.

The new director lacks something… oh…. what is that thing called? Oh yeah! Subtlety (something I wasn’t blessed with either). At times I felt like I was being prodded in the rib by the director as if he was asking for my acceptance. To his credit there were fits of greatness in the film, some of Mad Eye Moody’s scenes were absolutely wonderful, but with so much plot to plow through it is a wonder we got so see any character development at all. Maybe that sort of attention to detail was just leftovers from Prisoner (which was the best “movie” out of the four, although some complain it was too unfaithful to the book).

When all was said and done the movie was still a pleasure. To see the book on film was a treat, with wonderful visuals and pretty good acting as a whole to boot just made my day. At times it was even thrilling and almost scary, but just heed this caution: If you don’t already know the subtext you won’t learn it from this film (exceptions being blatantly obvious non-subtle pokes in the rib).

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About Bat Boy

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Going to a midnight show tonight…

  • Jojo

    The critics gave this movie a three star rating. I believe that to be generous. I saw the movie today and in my opinion it was awful. I have read all of the books and enjoyed the first three movies but this one was a very big disappointment. To much was left out that would have made this movie a lot of fun. I’m hoping that they come out with a directors cut that adds back many of the enjoyable scenes.

    If they chop up the next movie the same way they did on this one I can assure you I will not pay to see it!

  • http://weeklyramble.blogspot.com Daryl Sawyer

    I concurr with Jojo… this movie *did* suck. The pacing was absolutely ridiculous. It really felt like they were rushing to get the movie over in time. True, the book is huge, but they could have done much better.

    Downtime was almost nil, and the conflicts between Harry, Ron, and Hermione were more nonsense than even the worst of pre-teen conflicts. I got no sense of *why* Ron was mad at Harry. Ron and Hermione’s was, fortunately, obvious enough for this director to get it across.

    The worst, however, was the panic they portrayed in the teachers, particularly Dumbledore. It was quite alarming to see Dumbledore shouting at Harry in a panic, where in the book, he maintained his calm, if at times strained (The Pensieve), demeanor. In the book, he looks as if he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders–but he wears it quite well. In the movie, he seems more like a bumbling adult looking for a child hero to save the day. (Even Sirius seemed panicky, as opposed to protective.)

    Completely ignoring the concluding strategy session in which Hagrid, Sirius, and Snape are sent off on vital missions almost suggests that this director *intended* to kill this series. Why bother leading into the next movie when there may not be one? That’s excusable for a first movie, but for a fourth?

    The only redeeming quality is a divergence from the book: the elevation of Neville’s role. Without the Dobby subplot (which would likely have made the movie so long they’d need to break it up into two movies–not a bad idea, actually…), Neville was the likely choice. He seems to be taking adolescence far better than the others in this movie, and given I like Neville, this was nice.

  • MD

    I agree with those last two reviews. Being a Harry Potter fan myself, and Goblet of Fire being my favorite book out of the series, I had great expectations.
    None of them were really satisfied. Sure, the special effects were great, the stadium at the beginning is cool (but instantly robbed as we don’t see the actual world cup), the Yule Ball is cool, they picked great people for the champions…
    But still, so many negatives seem to outweigh the positives.
    1) What in the world is up with Dumbledore? The Dumbledore from movie 1&2 was perfect, and I know it’s hard to immitate, but why go off in a completely different direction and make him look like a spaz? Oh and one thing that bugs me, I don’t like that podium he has in the Great Hall, the one with the candles. There’s no need for a podium, or screaming, it just distracts.
    2) What was up with that scene with Karkaroff? It was just like, “I’m going to enter the Great Hall and look evilly left and right and grin nastily” Okay. I’m happy for you, but still, that served no purpose to the plot. And for non-readers the director doesn’t make it clear that he runs away at the end.
    3) Ah, the death eaters. Not sure why they had Kukluxklan robes and stuff, as if it wasn’t already obvious that they were bad guys. No subtelty.
    Oh and please build up the characters more, Parvati and her sister appear to be only here to be Harry and Ron’s dates.

    Who is down for an 8-hour long movie? Me. Seriously.

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    I was beginning to wonder if my wife and I were the only ones disappointed with the movie. I guess I am a little glad to see we weren’t alone.

    They turned Dumbledore into a pansy and a nervous nellie. Snape barely spoke. Ralph Fiennes looked like he was going to break into dance. The acting was bad. The script was bad. There were no transitions. Rita Skeeter was a waste-

    We were not pleased.

  • mb

    i kept waiting for that connection to click, and for me to actually like the movie…. that never happened…. i hated it… everything seemed so washed over, incomplete, and elementary. i hated where they took some of the characters.

  • soundguy

    Agreeing with most of the comments, but let’s not forget the thouroughly boring and uninspiring music by Patrick Doyle and the sound design of the movie, while slightly better than the first 3 still lacks any kind of understanding of the world of Harrry Potter, Dragon’s sounded like the usual boring fireball/hose, a lite surround mix and annoying relentless MTV like editing and cinematography with some blue filter to add “magic”…

    Did I enjoy myself, yes fairly ok, favorite scene probably Myrtle in the bathtub with Harry… So better than 1&2 which is not hard, but 3 still my fave except it lacked decent sound to go the the superior creative camera work….

  • pvthong

    Yeah this movies sucks. If u havent read the book u won’t understand anything, too many are cut off from the book. Beside just my opinion, Fleur Delacour in this movie is not the stunning beauty. She is just so common.

  • MelMc

    Oh My God.

    This was quite possibly the worst movie I have ever seen. Had I not read the book, it may have been, on some level, entertaining. I only fear that, had I not read the book, I would have had no clue what was going on.

    Characters were flat, unmemorable, and, in some cases, unidentifiable. Key characters were left out altogether. Where were Dobby and Winky? Rita Skeeter should have had a much larger part. SPEW?? There was little or no plot transition. Explanation of how scenes moved from one to another made no sense at all! What happened after Harry saw Crouch in the forest? Why was Harry even in the forest? In the next scene, Harry is entering Dumbledore’s office calmly and unconcerned (even offering to return at a later time!?), as though seeing a Crouch dazed in the forest was normal. It just made no sense.

    I’m at a loss as to how this movie made it past editing with the gaping holes in the plot(s) as it was. My sister and I finished the movie highly suspicious that we had some how seen an incomplete version of Goblet of Fire. We were even considering viewing the movie again at another location just to be sure.

    As it is, I’m highly disappointed and would like my $7.50 back. Further, I would like a refund of the 157 minutes I wasted to see this film.

    Thanks!

    MEL OUT!

  • steve_veloso

    This harry potter movie is probably the worse of the series. The director made Dumbledore look like a joking idiot rather than a respectable wizard. many important scenes from the book are gone, I felt it was hurriedly done, what a racket, what a waste! JUST 2 words, IT SUCKS!

  • http://orsoithought.blogspot.com Bat Boy

    I agree with most of the things said. When it comes down to it the director made two bad choices, #1 making one movie instead of two, #2 trying to fit in lots of plot points. He would have served us all better by cutting the quidditch world cup all together than doing it the way he did.

  • lln

    This was the worst movie in the series, by far. It was simply a bad movie, period. The beginning was terrible with no way for a viewer to get oriented. Where were the Dursleys? Was it even clear they were at the world quidditch cup? Where were Dobby and all the house elves? Critical parts of the book. Where was Hogwarts? It wasn’t the magical Hogwarts, it was the lifeless one. Why would Harry want to be there? The line, “I love magic,” was cute but that was all the magic there was to this movie. Just that one word uttered and then all the magic disappeared. I hope Newell doesn’t get anywhere near this series again. And please, God, don’t let Tim Burton get his greedy hands on it (That plea goes for Ron Howard too. Keep him far, far away as well).

  • this sucked

    fuck this movie

  • kaitykaity

    I waited all summer for this? I want my 153 minutes and $5.50 back as well. Three is my favorite movie of the four, have not read the books, thought Dumbledore was a total nervous Nellie, didn’t understand how the teachers came to Harry’s rescue at the last minute — how did they know? The lip licking was too, too, too obvious. Gawd, I could go on forever…

    Hated, hated, hated this movie.

  • http://www.filmdailies.com Krasimir [FilmDailies.com]

    I still haven’t seen it although a torrent’s been sitting on my HD for the last week. The interviews with Daniel Radcliffe didn’t help me either…

  • Atlantis

    worst movie ever!!!!! prizoner of azkaban is the best of the series, the characters are growing with the emotions that are experienced when reading the book. However, when I saw the goblet of fire my first thought was: this movie has to be the parody, the original will just appear next month… come on, the 11 first chapters of the book are made in 11 minutes… they introduce the teams of the quidditch world cup and don’t even let you see a part of the game … and what the hell happened with the other courses they had to take??? we see one lesson.. is this harry potter on holiday or what??? and what about the resisting house-elves front?? you have a 2,5 hour movie and 2 hours are spend on the triwizard tournament. I know it’s the most important thing in the book, but not the only…

    all I want to say is don’t let an american comedy producer make such an important movie… (or else let him at least read the bloody book before making it..)

  • RogerMDillon

    What a bunch of cry babies!

    Films are not complete and accurate adaptations of books. Books are just a framework. They are similar yet different things, so quit your belly-aching about what got left out.

    “Why bother leading into the next movie when there may not be one?”

    Are you joking? This film series is a cash cow. They will most certainly film the entire series and I’m willing to bet any amount of money on that.

    “the director made two bad choices, #1 making one movie instead of two,”

    The director doesn’t makes that decision. He’s hired on to do a job. You need to complain to the prodcuers and investors.

  • rain

    well… all i can say is, where were dobby and winky? and S.P.E.W.? and evey thing else in the movie that mattered??? well, i kind of liked this idea about the death eaters being like the KKK, thats kind of what they are, with their pure blood minds and discriminating thoughts. that about all i liked in this movie, and i didnt even like it that much. why wasnt dumbledore calm, like the book said? why did they even bother making this film?
    i HATED this movie, i was looking foward to a good film, i like the 4th book. and i little advice to people havent seen it, DONT SEE IT!

  • MIS-TEEQ AKA CRAZY

    OH MY GOODNESS THIS MOVIE WAS THA DUMBEST MOVIE I HAD EVER SEEN i WANT MY $12.00 AND 159 MINUETS THAT I WASTED BACK I COULD HAVE BEEN DOING EXTRA CREDIT WORK FOR THE EIGHT HOURS I HAVE AT SCHOOL

  • http://Puff Puff

    The first time I saw all 4 of the movies I was disappointed because they were all so different from the books. Then I went to them again, and just sat back to enjoy them as movies, not trying to think about what they left out, or how they changed my favorite literary characters. I always enjoyed them better the second time. I even went to this one a third time. I thought it was fun entertainmanet, even thought they seemed to stray too far from the original story. The main points were there, and will lead us to the next movie. I would have loved to see Dobby and Winky as well as many other scenes that i think would have been fun to see. I guess I’ll just have ot go back and read teh book again to truly “see” what was not shown in the movie. Wow! If they really could have included everything, you know we may have had to wait another 3 years before it would be in the threaters, and I think they would have had to split it into three or four movies to make it all work! I liked it. It was entertaining.

  • bill jelly

    Yep this movie is another hollywood money grab! J.K Rollings appears to have had no influence or concern about the finished product or how the plot holes will get filled. This movie is a train wreck, exciting but truly painfull nonetheless.
    I know it’s hard to get a movie out and still stay true but…Stay true to the character!(Dumbledor). Rita Skeeter could have been left out altogether and freed up room for other stuff, considering she got more time than needed to get dropped later. How about the dragon scenes? The book version would have been shorter and been true to the fact that Harry got the egg fast, right? How about the dancing lessons? There was just too much extra fluff. Speaking of which, what the hell was up with the entrance of the schools? The dancing, the flips the whatever the deal was with Beaxbatons students?
    This movie says one thing…CA$H COW!
    Don’t support it.

  • Annz ‘n’ Dipz

    we loved the 4th movie..

    for us… prisoner of azkaban was shocking…
    they made a joke of the firebolt!!! it was supposed to be a christmas gift!!

    for us goblet of fire is the best movie closely followed by chamber of secrets. we loved the hagrid scene in the ending of the chamber of secrets.

    we luv the 1st movie too. but we hate movie 3 !!!!!

    – Annz ‘n’ Dipz

  • HPFilmHater

    LMAO- so refreshing to see that I wasnt the only one that hated the film to bits and peices. I mean..as a random film, its alright- quite exciting even. But with the title “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” – you expect there to be some reference to the book…um..where was it?? In a nutshell: What the hell is wrong with Dumbledore?? He’s a nervous wreck throughout the film, screaming his head off, pushing people around and being aggressive like a dangerous convict fresh from Azakaban; not to mention the fact that his trademark half-moon spectacles are missing and in many parts, he has *dark brown* eyes instead of his famous bright blue. Mr Weasley was always a joke- I heard that even JK complained about him since he *blatantly* doesnt fit the description of the book-what part of thin and bespectacled did they not understand? As well as this, the key parts of the story are missing and many scenes were totally pointless- where were dobby and winky? Winky was important with regard to Barty Crouch Jr. What happened to SPEW? And what about the missions Dumbedore assigns to Hagrid, Snape and the rest of them- they missed out the whole of that hospital scene- I only saw Fudge once if that. Voldemort had pretty grey eyes instead of his characteristic red slits and a perfectly normal voice- he even looked like he quite liked Harry. Why was Rita Skeeter even in it? Hermione over-does her role in some parts, Ron acts like a sissy throughout and Harry looks clueless and totally out of it throughout the film. Moody was a joke as well- I pictured him to be darker and more scarred and the electric blue eye wasnt meant to make him look like a pirate lmao! Also, they tried to make the story look more comic than it actually is- theres hardly anything funny about the fourth book- it has a very dark storyline with a few funny scenes here and there but the darkness dominates- what is with Snape “playfully” pushing Harry and Ron’s heads down everytime he sees them talking? Filch letting that drum or whatever ring before it was supposed to when Dumbledore was counting down before the 3rd task? And since when was Harry the show off they portrayed him to be in the film: “Who wants me to open it?!” (In the common room with the egg for the 2nd task). What the blazes was the Pensieve scene about?? Surely not the one in the book because nothing like that happened. Crouch Jr. was one of the people charged with being a Deatheater and he begged for mercy from his father, he never said “Hello father! How you doing?!” or whatever it was in the film. A slightly less major blunder was the look of Dumbledore’s office- quite possibly the ugliest of all the rooms in the castle, including the broom cupboard- same goes for the court room in the pensieve. True its impossible to clone the book- no one asked for that- but they could have easily avoided all these blunders (and a million more) if they had wanted- I hate all four of the films for similar reason but this one was by ***far*** the worst.

  • Steve

    Well, I’ve seen all the HP movies and read all the books to date…so…
    This movie was pretty good IMHO, all things considered.

    Re. Dumbledore, however, I do agree with those who did not like the portrayal of Dumbledore. It should be borne in mind though, that the actor playing him in this film, has never read the books, so the performance you see is from the script, rather than the book. Apparently, the actor did not want to get caught up in the debate about how faithful the movie should be to the book, so he hasn’t read any of the books.

    It’s a testament to Rowling’s writing that most folks (except maybe the film’s producers!) think the Dumbledore of the books and the first two films (which featured a now deceased actor who did read the books) is the better character.

    Re. the script changes, I have noticed that the HP movies tend to be more black and white than the books. Harry, Ron & Hermione are generally nicer characters than in the books, whereas some of the evil characters (except Voldemort), appear more evil than in the books, or at least, do not experience the same remorse when caught, than they do in the books. On the whole, these changes appear to me to be positive.

    But there are certainly huge chunks of the books missing in the films. Alas, until the movies are done and a TV series begins that addresses that limitation, it’s just the way it has to be unfortunately. 2 and a quarter to 2 and three quarter hour movies (which is the range the first four have been in) are quite long enough for most folks.

    I was certainly disappointed with Moody’s eye in the film..nothing like what I envisioned…and no house elves either…I suspect they ran out of money in the special effects department!! (Although truth be told, no matter which CGI character I’ve seen in this or other movies…e.g LOTR…I can’t say I’ve liked any of them!).

  • fionixx

    I too HATED this movie!!!! It is absolute arrogance , imo, for them to have added scenes that didn’t happen in the book while cutting out major plot points and refusing to develop characters. Examples of stupid, useless scenes that they wasted time on included (but unfortunately, were not limited to) the dancing lessons and the flying off into the wild blue yonder while doing the dragon task. What a waste!! Such a brilliant, brilliant series of books brought to such absolute drivel by arrogant people—and don’t even get me started on the Dumbledore change in personality! I felt as if watching this movie had been a betrayal of J. K. Rowling—her work was absolutely massacred and I participated with my $8.50. We need a director/producer who loves the books like Peter Jackson with Lord of the Rings.

  • Alex Arroyo

    (First of all, english aint my first language, so sorry bout my weird spelling)

    I totally agree with all of you

    This movie S – U – C – K – S

    These are the things I personally think made this movie suck:

    -Patil sisters were ugly, and they seem to be in love with Harry each time they see him they say “Hello Harry” in a dreamy voice

    -What’s with madeye’s electric blue eye? looks like a pirate strap thing, what’s with his fake leg? it isnt supposed to look like a boot.

    -What happened with hermione’s elf-protecting plan?

    -The Dark Mark is supposed to be stars in the sky, not smoke-like 3D thing

    -In the book, Harry doesn’t pass out at the mayhem in quidditch cup

    -Ginny is supposed to be very good-looking, in my opinion (no offense) Bonnie Wright isnt THAT cute, same as Fleur

    -The wands are supposed to be made of wood, but we see Voldemort’s wand is made of Bone or some white material with a little skull shape, and Viktor’s wand is a bent yellow wand or something like that

    -Voldemort is supposed to sound evil, yet he sounds stupid

    -Whats with all these stupid scenes:

    .Hagrid touching madame maxime’s butt

    .Neville helping out harry for the swimming task, when he is supposed to be helped out by dobby

    .Neville dancing and singin in a silly way at boy’s room

    .Dumbledore being paranoid

    .Karkaroff entering the goblet room suspiciously

    .Foreign students dancin while enterin great hall

    .(Harry’s line, great hall)”What do you think he’s (moody) drinkin?” “Dunno, but I dont think its pumpkin juice”

    .Harry being popular and cheered, and then he sayin “you want me to open it?!” (the egg)

    .Snape pushing Ron and Harry’s heads to make em read

    .(Hermione’s line near the lake) “Parvati says she wants you to know that neville heard hagrid sayin yadi yada…” WTF

    I conclude:

    Being myself a Harry Potter fan, I was VERY disappointed by this movie.

    I’m proud Prisoner of Azkaban is the best one, since its director is Alfonso Cuarón, from my country, Mexico =D

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