Saturday, October 3, 2015

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (2005)

Director: Mike Newell ("Four Weddings and a Funeral")

Writers: J.K. Rowling (novel), Steve Kloves (screenplay)
Composer: Patrick Doyle

[returning cast]
Harry Potter- Daniel Radcliffe
Ron Weasley- Rupert Grint
Hermione Granger- Emma Watson
Professor Dumbledore- Michael Gambon
Neville Longbottom- Matthew Lewis
Draco Malfoy- Tom Felton
Professor McGonagall- Maggie Smith
Professor Snape- Alan Rickman
Hagrid- Robbie Coltrane

Fred and George Weasley- James and Oliver Phelps

Sirius Black- Gary Oldman
Wormtail- Timothy Spall
Minster of Magic Cornelius Fudge- Robert Hardy
Lucius Malfoy- Jason Isaacs
[The Triwizard Champions]
Cedric Diggory- Robert Pattinson
Fleur Delacour- Clémence Poésy
Victor Krum- Stanislav Ivanevski
[other newcomers]
Ex-Auror/DADA Professor Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody- Brendan Gleeson
Madame Maxime of Beaubaxtons- Frances De La Tour
Igor Karkoroff of Durmstrang- Predrag Bjelac
Barty Crouch Jr.- David Tennet (Whovians will recognize him as the 10th Dr. Who)
Cho Chang- Katie Leung
Rita Skeeter- Miranda Richardson
Voldemort- Ralph Fiennes

Notable Nominations:
OSCAR- Best Art Direction


Opening Remarks

I don't have much memory of my reaction to the book the first time. I just remembered that they'd have the Triwizard tournament, which would involve one student from each of the three magical schools in Europe... and it was a relief that Harry wouldn't be involved in this for once because he wasn't 17.
...then he was in fact chosen and I seriously was thinking "oh you gotta be kidding me"... I thought it was ridiculous. Like EVERYTHING seems to happen to Harry whether he wants it to or not.

The other big thing I remember [SPOILER ALERT] I wasn't torn up about Cedric Diggory being killed when I read the book. Mainly because I didn't really get to know him all that well and I thought it was unfortunate how it worked out.

Movie-Goer Remarks

The first thing we noticed before the movie premiered was that it'd be rated PG13 because this would be the arrival of our main villain. We finally get to see Voldemort in the flesh of his own body.

Cinematically, it was AMAZING. The three tasks for the Tournament read differently to me in the book. (For whatever reason, I pictured all the dragons being on the field at the same time, chained and the champions had to run past them to get their egg). I thought that maybe the mermaids in the 2nd task would put up more of a fight, but they just stood by and made sure each person rescued only one "treasure." And the third task, while it lacked all the creatures (dementors, blast-ended skewts, sphinxes) in the maze, the overall look of it was scary enough where the creatures would add too much.
This was definitely a book made to be turned into a movie because I didn't grasp the visuals when I read the book the first time.

I remember when the first trailer premiered, which had the chaos at the Quidditch World Cup and Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys running to get out of harm's way. It was even more unsettling because the clip didn't run smoothly with our Internet connection at the time.

Then of course the graveyard scene with Voldemort appearing the first time was scary enough to warrant that PG13 rating. I was somewhat disappointed that he didn't have glowing red eyes like I pictured reading the books, but over time, it did make sense to me. It was emotional when his and Harry's wands connected and his parents reappeared... afterwards, seeing the Mirror of Erised scene in the first movie was even more heart wrenching to watch.

I'm racking my brain to remember whether I temporarily forgot Cedric would be killed... or if I cried out when he got killed... or if I started crying afterwards when his father finds out that he dies.
No matter how it came about, I was a wreck for a couple minutes after that scene. They just had to pick such a cute actor to play Cedric... and it wouldn't be the first time Robert Pattinson made me cry in a movie theater.

A little on Robert PattinsonOmg, he was so cute... when I first heard he was cast as Edward Cullen, I cheered. Mainly because I already knew who he was :P I was shocked that so few people made the connection he was in a Harry Potter shocking as it is that there are still people who don't like the books or the movies.
But anyway... I do have my nitpicks about him as Edward Cullen. He played the role well, but I hate his American accent. With certain lines, it made hard for me to get into the character :P
I had since gone to the movies twice to see him. One time he dies at the end... which spoiled a movie I really enjoyed...
Last year on 9/11, I watched "New Moon" because unlike "Remember Me" (apart from the tragic ending that happens on 9/11/01, I really liked a lot) he survives it.
"Water for Elephants" was okay... I didn't really like it as much as the Twilight series... he doesn't die at the end, but it's another American accent.
Ironically, in "Bel Ami" he played such a terrible person that I actually wished he had been killed off.


I thought the adaptation was really well done. Visually, it was stunning. Both with the Triwizard tournament tasks and the Yule Ball. That was a pretty amazing moment that was otherwise marred by Ron being a complete jackass and another of his legendary fights with Hermione.

Yeah, between the book and the movie, Ron was pretty unpleasant to be around. I'm sure it was a given that at some point jealousy would rear its ugly head... but did it have to be at something where Harry didn't do deliberately?
We revisit the jealousy in the Deathly Hallows, but it arises for the right reasons... I won't go into it because that's another movie entirely.
You could argue that its teenage hormones that are making Ron not think clearly, thinking that Harry put his name in the Goblet of Fire because he seeks attention, and also overreacting about Hermione going to the Yule Ball with Victor Krum.

Speaking of Hermione... that big moment where she arrives at the Yule Ball in a dress.. that was done so well. When everyone saw it the first time, their jaws probably dropped.
I felt like that when I went to my Senior Prom. At least six people came up to me and said how amazing I looked. That's what I get for wearing jeans and t-shirts all the time :P the only thing that was missing was someone asking me to dance. I came by myself and that got me down 2-3 times. The worst was being trapped on the dance floor during the final song "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" when everyone else had someone and I didn't want to disturb anyone by pushing my way through to exit...
But I think I still had a better night than Hermione did... like she said, Ron "ruined everything."

Seeing Harry and Cho was great, some early sparks flying between them. She was cast really well.
Then there was "Mad-Eye" Moody... wow, he was great to see in the flesh. A little unnerving, but very fun to watch. A literal character.

There were lots of comedic moments and fun moments that weren't even in the book. There's a study hall or something where Ron and Harry talk about getting dates to the Yule Ball and Snape keeps smacking them around. And when they have dancing lessons and Ron is picked to dance with McGongall for a demonstration.
She had a couple funny moments in the movie- like when she berates "Mad-Eye" for turning Malfoy into a ferret.

"We never use transfiguration as a punishment. Surely Professor Dumbledore told you that."
"He might have mentioned it..."

In my previous HP entry
I mentioned how some of my classmates felt cheated by certain scenes getting cut. That didn't bother me so much...
It did bother me in this adaptation, though.

For starters, there was no Quidditch. They spent all this time building up to the Quidditch World Cup. The Weasleys, Harry and Hermione had to climb all these stairs, we see the entrance of the players... and there's no Quidditch match. It was so dramatic and built up so much... then nothing... it would have been the greatest Quidditch match EVER.
I realize that immediately following is the chaotic camp scene with the Death-Eaters and the movie was already 2.5 hours... but c'mon...

I can understand streamlining the plot to condense it to that duration... but I also felt they should have shown the Rita Skeeter story arc to the end... she was a bit of annoyance in the book, just like the illegal Animagus she turned out to be.
And the whole bit about Barty Crouch Jr. when he was revealed to be the "devil inside the wall" of Hogwarts... he said to Dumbledore, Harry, McGonagall and Snape that "he's back"... meaning Voldemort... yet we had the sheningians of the fifth book/movie where the Ministry of Magic (namely Minister Fudge) spent the entirety calling Harry and Dumbledore liars.

Going by the movies alone, this didn't make sense...
In the book, Snape not only finds out about Sirius being an Animagus and being innocent... but Fudge orders a Dementor's Kiss to seal Crouch's soul so he can't testify about Voldemort's return... why were we robbed of that moment?

My greatest grievance was that we only saw Sirius Black ONCE this entire movie. He appeared twice in the book. And the one time he shows up- it's using the Floo Network. They couldn't have done what they did in the 5th movie with the visual effect?! Unlike the dementors (more on that in the following HP entry), that was a visual effect that they improved. Here, he's just a face popping out of firewood and embers.

Voldemort is a character that has been built up so much through the books so all of us were excited about this. Reading about him in the book, I remember him being terrifying. The performance the actor gives is very commanding. He's more gentlemanly and proper than he came off while reading... but again, it's something that oddly worked. Ralph Fiennes put his own spin on it and owned it so you can imagine no one else in his place.
This last time seeing the movie was the first time I'd seen it since I saw him in "The Grand Budapest Hotel"... such a different role... and I had to talk myself into remembering that Voldemort is supposed to be intimidating and scary and by no means as comedic Ralph Fiennes was as M. Gustave.

As for the other Triwizard champions, Viktor Krum was definitely strong and intimidating. Like Hermonine says, he's "more of a physical being" so he doesn't have many lines. I can see what either of them sees in each other (especially with his homegrown Bulgarian accent).
Then Fleur DelaCoeur is gorgeous, but I feel like she got a little short-changed in this story. She doesn't do well in the 2nd task. Then in the 3rd... I get that the maze is freaky, but it always bothered me how she was so insecure moving through it... it's a very girly reaction and to me it feels like she's not strong enough to be a part of this with the guys.
There are a lot of strong girls at Hogwarts that probably would have done better (had they been of age to compete) and wouldn't have reinforced the stereotype that girls can't be strong as the guys. We have scenes where she's gorgeous and confident, but not while she's actively doing magic.

Whenever I get around to doing a write-up on the 5th movie...well, that'll be an interesting venture because I have some very strong opinions about that adaptation.

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