Monday, November 21, 2005

Four and a half out of five stars for "Goblet of Fire"

Hogwarts will host the Tri-Wizard Tournament
Over seventy-two hours and US$101 million dollars later, HP and GOF were the top grossing movie this weeknd at the box office int he United States. Oooo, color me "shocked".

And Time Warner who brought us this film is lovin' every minute of it.

Yes, I did see it. Yes, Geo went with me voluntarily. Yes, the movie was absolutely, without a doubt, great. It kept my interest from opening scene to closing credits. You won't even realize the movie lasts for over two hours.

Now, for those of us that have read GOF, PLEASE go in the theatre with an open mind. Don't try and predict what will happen in the next scene because you'll just tick yourself off. If you forget the book and watch the movie, you'll enjoy the movie so much more. Okay? Promise you'll do that?

Okay, good.

I mean, just imagine if they did do the book verbatim. You'd have to come back the next day for the second showing.

For those who have not read the book, so what? Don't try and cram over 2,000 pages of pre-teen novel in your skull before trotting off to the United Artist. Geo has never looked at a page in any of the books and he loved it. Honest ...

The movie was visually stimulating a la computer graphics but not so much that it looked fake. I really believed there was a horn-tailed dragon about to smash poor Harry into kibble. The scenes at the Quidditch World Cup and Harry's first task made you feel like those guys were truly flying (but of course we all know they weren't). Even though what was on the screen could never happen in reality (?), the effects crew gave the film a feeling of believablity that almost makes you want to buy a Firebolt as your new way to commute.

The acting was what you would expect from a bunch of teenagers mixing in with the adults - emotional roller coaster time. Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter is our reluctant hero battling dragons and stomach pains brought on by wanting to ask his crush, Cho Chang played by Katie Leung, to the Yule Ball. Ron Weasley, played by Rupert Grint, and Hermione Granger, played by Emma Watson, are Harry's best friends. They also have a thing for each other (Ron and Hermione) and it really come sto light in this the fourth movie. But they go about it like a couple of little kids in the school yard hitting each other with their bookbags and shouting "Natty natty boo boo". At times it kinda reminded me of the O.C. or some other version of 90210, but that's the angst of growing up. The supporting cast of Maggie Smith (Professor Minerva McGonagall), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), Alan Rickman (Serveus Snape), Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) and, for the filming of GOF, Brendan Gleeson (Alastor "MadEye" Moody) once again proved it is possible to work with a gaggle of teenagers and still keep your sanity.

A bit of warning though for those with little ones under ten who are readers of the series. This movie is by far very dark and there are a few disturbing moments. It truly earned the rating PG-13. If you feel your little one can handle it, by all means take them. Just a warning that there are some creepy scenes that are only matched by the Dementors in "Prisoner of Azkaban".

If you like fantasy films, or even if you don't, I highly recommend taking the time to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (reading of all 734 pages not required).


Sangroncito said...

Do I live on a different planet? I haven't read any HP books...or seen any of the films. Am I strange or what?

Have a great Thanksgiving...and "see you" next week.

Virginia Gal said... a self-professed Harry Potter Fan, I dutifully went to see the movie this weekend, and well, it was ok.
The movie was loosely based on the book - to many big things changed for my liking (dragon doesn't get loose from chain, gillyweed doesn't come from Neevil, Harry doesn't faint in the water task, pensieve scene done differently etc).
Acting by the kids was like the first season of O.C. - sometimes good, sometimes not so good.
Loved the girl they got for Cho Chang with her bona fide Scottish accent. Where was Snape? We barely saw him.
Well this won't be in the running for the best movie of the year award but I suppose as Harry Potter movies go, it was worth the $7 bucks and standing in line.

Maidink said...

Sangron - no, dear, you live in Brazil. :)

Geo never read the books and only saw the movies before GOF by chance (on a DVD at someone's home, on TV, etc).

VG - I liked the film. Did it adhere to the book? Not at all. But the way it was done allowed non-readers to enjoy it. That's why I said HP readers should go in with an openmind.

Snape and Draco are my fave characters so I was disappointed in not seeing them as much.

Katie Leung played an excellent role. The producers were spot on hiring her as Cho.

It won't win any Oscars but it still beats out the other three IMHO.

Rowan said...

I haven't read the book, and I am planning on posting what I thought of the movie, but let's just say I didn't like it.

I felt there was shortcuts taken everywhere, it lacked cohesion and I didn't understand the ending. I felt there must have been a lot edited out and frankly, I foundn it highly boring. My daughter liked it though. I was highly disappointed and no, you don't see much of the long standing characters at all, I too love Malfoy! I am now starting to read the book, it bothers me that I just didn't get the story's end.

Maidink said...

Rowan - If the films end bothered you, you'll be really irked once you read the book. The book does end rather abruptly but it's a completely different ending than the movie.

Did the book and the movie collide? Of course because the core of the book, the TriWizard Tournament, was the main focus. But as a lot of readers know, HP books are chock full of so many sub-plots, you have to read them and re-read them. Sometimes there is a one line sentence that becomes a turning point in a later volume. That's what film can never capture.

HP films try to be as true to the books as possible with the exception of this one. Yes, a TON was edited from the book and as VG pointed out, a lot of what happened in the movie never happened in all in the book.

I still stand by saying it was a great movie. Then again, I also liked "Eric the Viking" and most people regard that movie as vomitus.

CrankyProf said...

Oh, man -- "Erik the Viking" ROCKED!

I liked GoF....but the movie simply made me irritable by reminding me that I'll have to wait approximately thirty zillion jillion years for the last freaking book.

And whoa. Was I LOVING Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter, and Fiennes as V? Didn't see it coming, and thought it was great.

I wonder who will be playing Umbridge?

Maidink said...

CP - Someone else besides ME liked Eric the Viking!?!? I was chastised and ostracized by my friends when I suggested seeing that film 10,000 years ago. Then again, these are the same friends who hated "Time Bandits" so that'll tell ya something right there.

I figured on Dawn French as being a likely candidate for the Umbridge role.

CrankyProf said...

Who in HELL wouldn't like "Time Bandits?"

I bought that bad boy on DVD!