SW: luke personalized

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I haven't read the books.

Well, that's not exactly true. I have read the end of the last two books; the question, "Who dies?" usually needs an immediate answer .

I haven't read the books mainly because I don't want them to ruin perfectly fantastic movies for me!

I might as well give fair warning that the rest of this review contains "spoilers," but if you read this blog and haven't seen the movie by now and don't want to have it spoiled, well, I'm over you.

I won't recap what takes place --you, dear reader, should already know what happens-- I'll just mentioned the things I liked best in as chronologically of an order as I can.

The caretaker preparing his evening tea seemed like such an ordinary way to start the story, a sharp contrast to how the other films began. It was refreshing.

Who here thought George (or was it Fred?) called the old boot a Porky? I did, and it wasn't until late into my second viewing that I realized he was saying Port Key. I understood Cedric when he said that the Tri-Wizard trophy was a Port Key during my first viewing, but I didn't make the connection between that and the boot. This was the first time I've ever really had a problem with the accents in the HP films. Closed-captioning can work wonders when watching movies like Shaun of the Dead or Layer Cake (or most any other British film for that matter). Another accent problem that threw me for a loop was Cho's Scottish (?) accent. What's a Cambodian girl doing with a Scottish accent? This whole "British-Melting-Pot" thing is getting out of hand!

Beyond the "Porky-problem" I thought the shot of Ginny running up to the boot in silhouette came across really nice. "The curiousity of youth is boundless," was probably what director Mike Newell was saying with that shot.

The Weasley tent at The Quidditch World Cup: cool. The Quidditch World Cup arena: also cool. Rogert Ebert said it made the Senate chamber in Star Wars look like a conference room, and I have to agree with him there. From what I understand, the Weasley's seats weren't in the nose-bleed section in the book, but the fact that the Malvoy's and Weasley's seats were in completely different areas emphasizes class differences, and made a whole lot of sense. Don't hold this against me, but I thought Draco looked rather sharp in that suit he was wearing. Couldn't they come up with a better line for Lucius than the "If it rains..." bit?

Moving on, the Beauxbaton and Durnstrang entrances (carriage, ship, butterflies, tumblers et al) were impressive. It wasn't until my second viewing when I noticed that Fleur's sister was the young tumbler who cartwheeled in behind the other girls. What can I say about the Durnstrang lads? Never trust a man from a former Soviet satellite? Did you notice that evil-Moody didn't confirm nor deny that he put Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire?

Dumbledore losing his cool with Harry after the goblet spat out his name! Wow! That was something I didn't expect. Would the scene have been written that way if the first Dumbledore, Richard Harris, was still alive? Give Michael Gambon some credit, though. He pulls out subtle elements of authority, fear, and tenderness in his performance that make the movie all the better for it. The movie's adult cast are, as always, excellent. Gary Oldman's face in the fireplace embers was a fantastic effect! I don't know who I should feel sorry for, Rupert for having to participate in the dance training scene, or Maggie Smith for having to teach him how to dance. I love Alan Rickman as Snape. There is a certain humor that comes with his slimmy-edged characterization (his treatment of Ron and Harry while they were talking in class was hysterical). Dumbledore's reassuring words about Snape during Karkaroff's arraignment, plainly-spoken as they were, gave me shivers because, yes, I know what happens at the end of the latest book.

I loved Harry's reply to Ron that he rather face a dragon than go to the Yule Ball. The whole scene wasn't quite as painful to watch as I thought it would be. Although throwing in a wizard-rock band wasn't exactly easy to listen to. They were playing the last dance song in my theater before the movie, and that, straight out, was painful! I thought Hermione's dress was very nice, but the lady behind me at my second viewing called it "really ghastly" or something like that. I'll admit, it did look a little like a bad bridesmaid dress, didn't it? And where was the sharped-dressed Draco Malfoy in all of that? He was probably there in the book, but I didn't see him in the movie. Poor Harry, getting yelled at by Hermione and not having a clue as to why.

Dragon-slaying: cool ("What are you doing here, Miss Granger?"). Underwater adventures: cool, again ("I've killed Harry Potter!"). Maze-madness: also cool ("For a moment there I thought you were going to let it get me." "For a moment there, so did I.").

There have been many moments in these movies, and the books, where Harry is pretty much a bystander to the action. Voldemort's resurrection is one such scene. Sure his blood is "forcibly taken," but for a short time, Harry has nothing to do with the scene as Voldemort chastizes the Death Eaters. I have to say that Ralph Fiennes performance is frightening in several different ways. The duel itself was very cool. I loved how when the magical beams collided, they dripped power like molten-steel. Great visual.

When Harry brings back Cedric's body, Mike Newell's experience as a director of movies based on emotional relationships stands out. Harry crying over Cedric's body may be interpreted that he's crying over Cedric's death, but it can also be seen as him crying over the fact that, for one brief moment, he was with his parents again. Remember his excitement in the last movie when he believed his father saved him, only to learn that it wasn't his father, but himself? Amos Diggory, who couldn't be more prouder of his son at the start and briefly at the end of the maze adventure, showed heart-wrenching emotion you only see when a father loses his son. Magic has nothing to do with love of a child. This film was as much of a father/son story as it was a magical-fantasy.

In the end, I give Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the best movie of the series so far, a grade of A.
You haven't read the books? I don't want to be all um...weird on you...but seriously! WHYEVER NOT! Goodness gracious! (Great balls of fire...hahaha) READ THEM!

The books, IMO, enrich the movies sooo much more. For instance, Moody in Goblet of Fire. It was super neat picking things and going, "Ohhh, that's the polyjuice potion!" Or, "Heyy...that's the REAL Moody in there!" It was really awesome for the graveyard scene to go from the book to the movie...that scene is seriously one of the best book-movie translations I've seen in awhile. And seeing Voldemort come to life through Ralph Fiennes? Sweet, but far sweeter from having read the books.

I basically agree with you on all you had to say and can only say this:

Books are usually mostly 9 times out of 10 better than the movies. And it's true for Harry Potter.

Also, the actress who played Cho Chang was Scottish, which explains the accent. And it's not altogether too uncommon for Asians to live in Europe, especially England. Remember Bend It Like Beckham? Of course you do. Keira Knightley was in it! Speaking of Keira, the new Pride and Prejudice movie was fantastic. Absolutely beautiful.
Let me expand a little on my observations on accents. The heritage of Ron and Harry's dates to the Yule Ball (like Jess in BILB) was Asian-Indian, an area of the world once ruled by the British Empire, so their accents made total sense to me! I know enought history to know that the British never had the same influence in South East Asia as they did in India. Heck, France had a stronger influence in that part of the world than England did, so if Cho had a French accent, it wouldn't have stunned my ears nearly as much as her Scottish accent did; it just seemed so out of place! I'll get used to it if they give her more than 5 lines in the next movie. ;)

Now regarding the Book-Movie translation, this is why you see the movie a second time! When you see it the first time after having read the book, certain things don't come as a surprise to you; they have more meaning to the book-reader than the non-book reader, who will be more surprised, more affected by what happens in the movie than the book reader. Like I mentioned in my review, I saw more the second time I watched the movie; things that didn't make sense the first time, make total sense afterwards. Personally, I feel rather disappointed in myself for knowing that Snape will kill Dumbledore, because everything Snape does from now on has more meaning to me than it should. Sudden blows to the system are more effective when you don't see them coming. Harry will be surprised when Snape kills Dumbledore, but I won't, which takes away some of the magic of it all.
I don't think it takes away the magic...it just lends other feelings to it. Even though you know it will happen, you can still get choked up about it and get anxious. For example, I really wanted Palpy to die in ROTS even though I know he has to live.
Wow, didn't know knightander had a livejournal! Hmmm... as someone who hated the movie, I have to somewhat agree with you on this review.

For some reason, I didn't like the Beauxbaton entrance that much... didn't seem very interesting. Probably has something to do w/ my gender, though... I'm more like Ginny giving a "do you get it?" look to Hermione. Durmstrang dance was cool, though.

"I've killed Harry Potter!" Yeah, that's one of my favorite lines too

Did you notice that evil-Moody didn't confirm nor deny that he put Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire?

Argh, that's one of my pet peeves w/ that movie... it's like they expected you to have already read the book, with some of the plot jumps they did. Maybe it's cuz my version was bootlegged, so I missed some things, but I didn't like how they didn't explain priori incanti at all, nor show what really happens to Crouch at the end...

Hmmm, as for the book vs movie first, I usually do whichever actually came out first (although I cheated and listened to Wicked songs before reading the book.) I guess it's two really different ways of depicting things. The book is almost carefree, jokes in description rather than dialogue. In the movie, everything's faster, less like a school year and more like a two-hour adventure.

But I agree that spoiled endings suck. I agree that Snape's actions are all now different... but on the other hand, it's probably better that the directer knew he was going to kill Dumbledore. It'd suck if he built him up to be this save-able guy, and then at the last moment, take it away with an atrocious act.
Very nice review and it's interesting seeing the movie from the perspective of someone who's never read the books. As it is, you can enjoy the movie purely for its own self, and perhaps the films that came before.

Fierce!Dumbledore isn't actually book!canon anymore than hot!Hermione is, but I actually liked both portrayals. :P

I think Cho Chang is supposed to be Chinese, not Cambodian. She has a Scottish accent simply because she was born/bred in Scotland. Accents are not hereditary. :P
Fierce!Dumbledore isn't actually book!canon anymore than hot!Hermione is, but I actually liked both portrayals. :P

Same here. As I mentioned before, that scene would have certainly been different if it was Harris and not Gambon in the role. The differences in the portrayals are great, but they also have subtle similarities. It would have been interesting if they would have changed actors for Harry, Ron, and Hermione every couple of movies, too.

I wouldn't go so far as to call Hermione "hot" but I would call her very attractive and more than cute, which is just a step below hot. ;) Could you see them firing Emma because she was too attractive for the role? I don't think so. Since Rowling has stated that she sees a lot of herself in Hermione, I don't think she minds having "hot!Hermione" in the film versions of the books.

I think Cho Chang is supposed to be Chinese, not Cambodian. She has a Scottish accent simply because she was born/bred in Scotland. Accents are not hereditary.

Ah, yes, my fault. I lived in area that had a good-sized Southeast Asian populations and Cho looked like one of the Cambodian girls I knew. I understand the "growing-up in Scotland explains the accent" idea, but it still just sounded weird and unexpected to my ears. You don't see a whole lot of Asian-Scots in the movies, so I think she was the only one I know about.