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Vince Sneaks Name Into Goblet of Fire

Published November 29, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Vince Palomarez | Images property of Warner Bros
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
For Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire it is Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts and it may be his most dangerous yet. Not only does he have to deal with the return of Voldermort's henchmen, The Death Eaters, he also fins himself mysteriously entered into the Tri-Wizard Tournament, a dangerous tournament that tests the skills of the best students from three different schools.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Movie Review



The Good


While it doesn’t have the visual flare that made Alfonso Cuaron’s Prisoner of Azkaban so enjoyable, director Mike Newell’s (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Donnie Brasco) take on the 4th installment of the Harry Potter franchise is by far the best. One major reason why this is the best film has to be Newell’s emphasis of placing the characters front and center rather than the school and all the magical happenings that come with it. Both Chris Columbus (Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets) and Cuaron’s take on the Potter film did the complete opposite and while they were entertaining, the films never captured what made the books so great. Newell is the first director in the Potter franchise to get it. The magical aspect may be cool, but it’s not what makes the books so special, it’s the characters and watching them grow up which makes the books so special.

Trying to adapt a 600 page book into a two and half hour movie is no easy task, but screenwriter Steve Kloves seems to have mastered it. He’s been adapting the screenplays since the first film and with each film he gets better and better. There was so much information and different stories packed in the book that it would seem almost impossible to put it all in one movie. Kloves had to have known this because he did an excellent job of keeping the film going at a fast pace all the while including the main elements of the book to fit into the movie. From start to finish Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire never stops and there aren’t any periods where the film grinds to a halt. Not only is this due to Kloves great screenplay and Newell’s directing, but also because of the special effects work of Industrial Light and Magic. What would a world of magic be like if the effects were top notch? Luckily there is no need for an answer to that question because the effects on Goblet of Fire are some of the best today. Whether it’s Harry’s battle against a dragon, his trip through the Pensieve or his everyday experiences at a school for witchcraft, the folks at Industrial Light and Magic make you believe that this stuff could actually happen.



Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The Bad


Having read all of the books I guess my biggest disappointment with Goblet of Fire has to be all the stuff they left out. While I do admit that they did an excellent job incorporating what they could with only two and half hours to work with, there was so much stuff going on they need to separate this into two films. There was talk early in production of doing that, but the crew involved couldn’t find a breaking point to separate the films. If you’ve read the book you will find that this film has been gutted out quite thoroughly. Gone are a lot of the special moments I loved about the film, especially when it comes to the supporting characters. Those that have read the books know that even though some characters are in a supporting role, the books give them enough back-story and special moments to shine. None of these characters get their “moments” in Goblet of Fire and the few times that they do, they are brushed over so quickly they come off as awkward and confusing to anyone that hasn’t read the book.

The Ugly


Watching the love story between Hagrid and Madame Maxime. It was already one the few things I disliked about Goblet of Fire. Having to watch it on the big screen only reminded me of how much I disliked it.

Overall


A great film from start to finish that could’ve been even better had it incorporated more elements from the book.

Score:



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Vince Palomarez
Sources: Images property of Warner Bros
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