Monday, December 12, 2005

MOVIES: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I said I was going to post a review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but really, anyone who wants to see it probably has by now. So I'll just give a few quick impressions. Spoilers ahead, if you live under a rock.

--I've read a few complaints about a lot of material being left out from the book. Well, yeah, but the book was 8,000 pages long. You're going to have to expect that. Since I hadn't read the book since it came out, and didn't remember much from it, I wasn't disappointed in that respect.

--On the other hand, you definitely need some knowledge of the Harry Potter world before going into this movie. Someone who watched this film without having seen any of the others, or having read the books, would be hopelessly lost, I think. And I appreciated that: it presumed the audience's familiarity with the material and charged full steam ahead.

--Especially nice sequences: the Quidditch World Cup and ensuing attack, Harry's dragon challenge, the Ball, where there were some great character moments, and the hedge maze, which was wonderfully creepy.

--Could've been better: the reappearance of Harry's parents during the battle with Voldemort. It makes sense (kind of) to someone who's read the book, but for someone who's only watched the movies, it's just, "What the hell?" Also, Harry didn't seem all that surprised or moved to see them. I mean, he was fighting for his life at the time, but still, your dead mum shows up, you might have a bigger, more emotional reaction.

--Ralph Fiennes was almost unrecognizable in his Voldemort makeup, but he looked great and played the role to the hilt. Another great job of casting. Speaking of which, do you think that was actually Gary Oldman doing the voice of Sirius Black in the fire? They didn't need Oldman in person, since Black only appeared as a special effect, but if they got Oldman to do the voice, wouldn't they have tried to use his actual face in the film as well, rather than the special effect? (I could look this up, probably, but I don't feel like it.)

--The actor who plays Ron really needs to cut it out with the bug-eyed comic overreactions. Also, get a haircut, hippie.

--The actress who plays Hermione is getting disturbingly cute. Not so cute that I would post an 18th birthday countdown clock... but I'll link to one. Oh, I'm going to hell. (Mike and I have made jokes about the existence of this clock -- he's also going to hell -- but he also made the sick, sad observation that someone, somewhere, must already have a similar counter up and running for Dakota Fanning. He was right.)

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