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BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)

11 Dec 05 - 06:07 PM (#1625206)
Subject: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: Grab

Can't believe there isn't a thread for this yet!

Anyway, we just went to see it at the weekend. It's not bad, but not as well done as the last one. The director (Mike Newell) seems to be pretty good at the character bits, and the book has been very cleverly cut to make a decent film out of it. They've also kept the darker feel from the last film, which works well, and there are quite a lot of nice touches (the entrances of the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students being one). The whole maze thing is genuinely scary, and the Voldemort bit is pretty dark too. If your child is under 12 and on the sensitive side, I'd seriously question whether you should take them.

On the downside though, the direction is nothing short of crap on almost all the big action stuff. The dragon set-piece doesn't work at all, and nor does the Deatheater bit. What was worse for me though was that they've seen fit to screw up much of the talking, which is the one thing that Rowling does well. Dumbledore's final speech is just great in the book, but the film cuts it and makes it weak.

Michael Gambon is *very* bad as Dumbledore. He seems to be trying an Irish accent, but it wanders all over the place from American to Scottish to just hopeless. And he plays Dumbledore as a bit of a wimp, which really doesn't work. Apart from that, the acting isn't bad - certainly the kids are light-years ahead of Gambon (I don't think I've ever seen him so bad).

The worst though? They've screwed the future progression of the films and plot integrity big-style, and that's plain stupid. What's the most important element of book 5? Answer: that Dumbledore believes Harry that Voldemort is back, when no-one else does because of Cornelius Fudge. Why should that be important? Answer: because Barty Crouch Jnr is now a vegetable due to a Dementor, and no-one believes Dumbledore when he tells them in his speech. But the film shows no shock or surprise from the other students, Fudge's reaction is cut completely, and worst of all Crouch is left unscathed. Hello, plot hole alert? You've got truth drugs (Veritaserum) and someone to use them on...

Rowling isn't the greatest writer, but she is at least good at constructing a pretty watertight plot without obvious holes. If I was her, I know I'd be spitting bullets over that. So Newell has basically shafted whoever's taking over by cutting those elements (or forcing them to waste 10 minutes of the next film explaining something that was cut from this one). OK, it's no worse than the plot-holes in most blockbusters, but it's one thing to go in without a plan to make it a convincing plot, and quite another thing to start with a convincing plot and then either deliberately or incompetently bugger it up.


PS. In the gillyweed transformation when he starts growing skin between his fingers, am I the only person who couldn't help thinking "Normal for Norfolk"...? ;-)

11 Dec 05 - 07:19 PM (#1625250)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: Blowzabella

I really enjoyed it, Grab, but confess to being a tad disappointed that more of the Quidditch World Championships weren't included - I'd been waiting to see them in the film since I first read the book and then they were over in a second - gutted at 44 years old (and no children!) - how sad is that!

11 Dec 05 - 08:28 PM (#1625304)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: GUEST,Wesley S

I was disappointed that the two older Weasley brothers were barely even mentioned - let alone make an appearance. Overall I enjoyed the movie. I knew going in that it would be one of the toughest to film.

11 Dec 05 - 08:46 PM (#1625323)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: John O'L

I thought it was the best film so far, but I think the entrances of the Beaubatons girls and the Durmstrang boys should have gone on longer. It was a nice start but it ended without really getting started.
Fred & George are brilliant, but again, not enough of them.

12 Dec 05 - 02:39 AM (#1625421)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: Cluin

It was alright compared to some of the other films out there now, but certainly was a disappointment with regard to the series.
I thought they spent a lot of time on things they could have easily passed over (what was with the dance instruction crap? and that going-on-forever dragon scene?) and not enough time on important elements of the story, like Dumbledore's talk with Harry at the end. No explanation of what happened with the wands in the Harry/Voldemort duel. If I hadn't read the book, I wouldn't know what happened there. Dumbledore mentions "Priori Incantatem" but doesn't bother to explain it in the film.

Oh yeah, and Michael Gambon as Dumbledore was crap in this one. Too bad; he was alright in the last one. Mainly I thought he was too serious and crabby. The loveable quirky Dumbledore was gone. He was needed as he is in the books.

I agree about the kids though. They are really developing as actors. Too bad none of the other characters were showing their skills as well. Maybe too much emphasis on SFX for this one.

12 Dec 05 - 02:47 AM (#1625424)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: alanabit

I thought it was better directed and written than the last one. The whole thing moved at tremendous pace, which is what the last one lacked so badly. It was a very difficult book to film and I do not think it could have been done much better.
The script was less lively than the first two films. I think the problem with Michael Gambon, was that the scriptwriter did not really give him anything to do. As a fast moving children's film it was not bad.

12 Dec 05 - 03:27 AM (#1625432)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: Grab

For some reason, my "spoiler alert" message went walkabouts there - should have used preview! :-/

I actually thought the dance bit worked. It's not in the book, but it's a nice illustration of the whole hormones-kicking-in thing. And it brought out Neville a bit, where he's a bit of a sad nobody in the books.

And I don't think the dragon scene went on too long, just that it was badly constructed. The films have basically completely cut the Quidditch elements from the books - which I guess is fair enough, since something has to give - but Harry's supposed to be a near-world-class flyer and this would have been a great chance to bring that out. Instead it goes for a cheap suspense scene.

The film as a whole *is* enjoyable as a film. It's just so much less than it could have been, given the source material, which makes it ultimately a disappointment. If you go there expecting a medium-quality fantasy film, on the level of maybe "Willow", then you'll not be disappointed. If you go there expecting an adaptation of the Goblet of Fire, you're SOL. This is probably the weakest of the four films so far, even though it has probably the best book to work from.


12 Dec 05 - 03:55 AM (#1625441)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: alanabit

I think it is the best book so far filmed, but I am not sure that it is the best book for filming. The sheer complexity and detail of the fourth book makes it very difficult to make good editing decisions. As you said, something has to give. It is a dynamic and entertaining film - and many directors would have done worse.

12 Dec 05 - 04:15 AM (#1625447)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: GUEST,noddy

Mad Eye Moody stole the show.
Snape was almost not in it.
Lots missed out the book including what I though was a crucial clue in the plot.
Bit parts by top actors came off well.
But Dumbledore was a bit weak.

I did get a bit confused though... Just re-read the last book then saw the previous film on TV then watched this new film! Got the plot in twisted knots.

12 Dec 05 - 04:38 AM (#1625455)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: The Villan

My wife and children loved it.

12 Dec 05 - 05:03 AM (#1625471)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: Dave the Gnome

I thought the book was the worst in the series but the film was the best so far. I must admit though I am no film buff and didn't even notice the critisisms leveled so far.

Looking forward to seeing Narnia over the Christmas hols. On re-reading those books a few months ago I realised how bad they were. Perhaps books I don't like make films I do?;-)



12 Dec 05 - 05:06 AM (#1625475)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: The Villan

Again my wife and children saw Narnia yesterday and they thought it was brilliant.

12 Dec 05 - 08:39 AM (#1625550)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: Bainbo

Possibly Michael Gambon's Irish accent comes about because he followed Richard Harris in to the role - shades of Ewan McGregor's Alec Guinnes impression.

I thought the film was just a load of scenes from the book strung together, and didn't really hang together as a movie. Not that our opinions are going to stop it grossing millions!

12 Dec 05 - 09:06 AM (#1625571)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: Guy Wolff

As with the new Pride & Prejeduse its very hard to put a large book into a two hour show.. I guess my disapointment is with the screen-play and editing here. I also did not beleave Dumbledore ( inner strength missing ) (People made fun of Ritchard Harrises quiet delivery which I found very efetive.).
                  We kind of flew from one ternament happening to the next .No school year really. We found out everyone was bothered with Harry for a long while .. The dinamic between the three kids seemed very disjointed though thats in the book with the right screenplay it could have brought something cohesive to the film : a glue .We needed to see why Ron was so bothered and Harmieny was disapointed .Character plot missing ... All of this very hard to pull off.
                   Hogwarts was very dark this time .I did enjoy the underwater section and found that clever .
                  Im glad they made a try at a hard task and I was glad to see it .

                   All the best , Guy

12 Dec 05 - 09:06 PM (#1626050)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: Donuel

Grab is right. I was told it was scary for kids so I advised my 10 year to cast experiamus if the movie ever got too scary. I told my 5 year old that he could close his eyes.

When Valdemort came into his full being, Bobby shot our of his seat, stood valiently in the aisle and cast EXPERIAMUS at the top of his lungs, Dean kept saying "lets go home". As I was taking Dean out to the lobby he changed his mind and stayed for the end.

12 Dec 05 - 09:35 PM (#1626070)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: harpmolly

I loved it! :)

(spoiler warnings)...

I really enjoyed it pretty much from beginning to end. I know there are bits that could have been done better, but I still felt that it cohered well and had (FINALLY!) some actual urgency and meat to the acting.

I remember being furious with "Azkaban" as a film because, even though they did some really wonderful stuff, they cut a ton of information out of the Shrieking Shack scene (i.e. the four Animagi and James Potter being Prongs) that would have taken, IMHO, about thirty seconds to leave in. I didn't feel that way at all this time.

Also, I actually really like Michael Gambon as Dumbledore (even though I keep having to fight visions of him in "The Cook, the Thief, His WIfe and Her Lover"...ewww!). Richard Harris was wonderful at being the kindly old mentor, but I think we needed to see how powerful and almost scary he could be. Yes, there should have been more at the end, I agree.

I also wish they'd beefed up the conflict between Ron and Harry and left in the bit where Harry throws his badge at Ron and says, "There, now you've got a scar on your forehead too...that's what you want, isn't it?" I always loved that line. But overall I loved it. The Weasley twins (jailbait crushes, I admit) were terrific, Ginny is looking awfully cute, Hermione is well-nigh ravishing, and Harry himself ain't too bad. And Cho Chang (complete with awesome thick Scottish accent) was perfect. I also especially liked the prefect's bathroom scene, with Shirley Henderson hamming it up big time (again, I just have to keep ignoring my mental pictures of her in "Topsy Turvy" belting out Gilbert & Sullivan, or God help us, in "Trainspotting").

And Ralph Fiennes NAILED Voldemort. That was my biggest fear, that they would overdo it, and he acted it with such power and yet without overdoing it (no mad cackling, etc.) I was way more creeped out and fascinated with Voldemort in the film than I was in the book!

OK, I really didn't mean to go off. I'll stop now. ;)


P.S. Donuel, that's great! Get that boy a wand and turn him loose on the Wizard Dueling circuit! ;)

13 Dec 05 - 09:58 AM (#1626336)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: GUEST,Janine

We (adults and children) all loved it. On balance probably not quite as good as number three though. Cutting a long book to film length was very skillfully done I thought but, of course, there are going to be bits some of us would have prefered to be longer while others would prefer them shorter and vice versa. Yes Mad Eye certainly stole the show as it's a pity he didn't have a longer part. We all like the revolting Filtch of course. And his equally dreadful cat.Yes Michael Gambon didn't seem to be as good as he had been in the previous film. He is Irish (from Dublin) but I don't know why the accent comes and goes. We've just been watching the Singing Detective; no sound of an accent there at all. Roll on The Order of the Phoenix.

01 Jun 16 - 08:51 AM (#3793181)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: Donuel

I am about to tell you the most brave and scary moment I have ever had at the cinema. Of course it happened at the Goblet of Fire episode when Voldemort, for the first time, finally achieved his full size and powerful form on screen.

I attended the film with my son Robert and had great aisle seats near the front but behind the aisle that separated us from all the ultra close seats to the screen. At 13 Robert is a big boy. He does not have photographic memory but has the closest thing to eidetic memory of anyone I know. The world for Robert is a very literal place. One Halloween when the ladies at the dead end arranged a scary house that ended with lunging yelling witches, he ran screaming, as they remarked, louder than anyone that night. testing showed he was on the autism spectrum and "suffered" from hyperlexia which meant that he was reading and writing on the computer since he was 2 but did not speak aloud until he was 6.

At the theatre I was nervously eating popcorn as I have just witnessed Roundtail slice off his own hand and stab Harry for the blood unwillingly given. Just as the reanimated Voldemort draws his wand to attack the boys, Suddenly Robert appears by the aisle in a fully extended rapier thrust and yells in a full throated roar EXPERIAMUS!

The audience for the first three seconds were pulled into and out of the film with a gasp. I flinched but could not move. No one else had attempted to help Harry.

I sat through to the end feeling a little embarrassed, but proud.

01 Jun 16 - 12:38 PM (#3793232)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: Senoufou

There's no need to feel embarrassed Donuel, that was a superb moment!
My niece has Aspergers, and that's just the sort of thing she would have done. She once learned 'Klingon' and during a Startrek film, shouted out some Klingon comments, much to the amusement of her mum.

I remember during I think it was the film Hallowe'en, when three knives jump up from the kitchen counter and twang into the opposite wall, a chap in the cinema audience shouted, "One hundred and EIGHTY!" Everyone fell about laughing. He sounded just like the commentator on the darts programmes.

01 Jun 16 - 01:38 PM (#3793252)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: keberoxu

They left out Archie Aymslowe in his flowery print nightgown and his requirement of a healthy breeze -- one of the better comic-relief moments in Book IV.

02 Jun 16 - 08:44 AM (#3793384)
Subject: RE: BS: Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire)
From: clueless don

What in the world is "EXPERIAMUS"? Are people confusing it with expelliarmus?