Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I watched the fourth Harry Potter film for the second time last night. It's definitely the best of the film series to date, though you probably heard that a dozen times already. Unlike the first three films, I actually liked most of the changes they made from the book, like how Neville actually helps Harry in the second task instead of the annoying elf Dobby. The maze was also thankfully devoid of the rather corny things Jo Rowling put in there (like the sphinx and her pathetic riddle), and was instead turned into a living, dynamic, and extremely creepy hedgerow labyrinth.

But like the first three films, this one also missed the chance of putting a few tiny but helpful details instead of putting scenes that seemed to be there just to show-off the abilities of the special-effects department. (In Prisoner of Azkaban, for example, they could have added at least a few seconds of the Shrieking Shack scene for the explanation of who the Marauders were. If they were concerned about the film-length, they could have cut the more inane scenes like the one with animal-sound-inducing candies.) Here are some things that I thought should have been shown in the Goblet of Fire film:

  • Harry's reaction to the realization that Neville's parents were tortured to insanity.
  • Voldemort's remarks about three significant Death Eaters who were absent in the graveyard scene.
  • A quick run-down of what the three older champions did to their dragons.
  • The Impostor Moody's best phrases: "Constant Vigilance!" and the deliciously misleading "If there's one thing I hate, it's a Death Eater who walked free." A demonstration of the latter, like giving Snape a nasty look for example, would also have been much welcomed.
  • Arthur Weasley's poignant explanation of the Dark Mark: "Just picture coming home and finding the Dark Mark hovering over your house..."
Of course, as a Harry Potter fan, I'm resisting the urge to list down at least a dozen other things I wanted to see, but I know that many people aren't interested in the trivial details no matter how cool they are to us. Nevertheless, even the five listed above would have added greatly to the goodness of the film, and they wouldn't have taken too much film time. But instead they made stuff like that rather uninspired first-task chase scene which felt rather stretched; they should have stuck with Jo's vision on that one. And, goodness, Moaning Myrtle's disturbing and overdone flirtations was just too painful to watch.

Goblet of Fire is overall a very nice PG-13 movie, albeit a little rushed and segmented. It definitely deserves awards for its special effects and actor performances. I'll just end this with a few random thoughts about the film, a la eula_tequila.

<Start of Random Comments>

The Weasleys rule!

Cho in her Chinese dress = very nice

Barty Crouch Sr. and Jr. = very crazy

Emma Watson didn't really do that last Yule Ball scene very well.

The Dark Mark's teh roxorz!

^ I meant the tattoo, Morsmordre was lame.

Gah! I wanna hear Hogwart's school song again!

What's that statue of the Grim Reaper doing beside a Muggle grave?

Filch was absolutely hilarious.

My God, that Moaning Myrtle scene just crossed my mind again. *shudder*

"Have it your way." Do you want onion rings with that?

The abridged resurrection spell was just lame.

Barty Crouch Jr.'s mannerism was SOOO COOL! Haha! Now I know what to do when I wanna creep someone out.

*looks at Fiennes and Gambon* Suddenly "The Only One He Ever Feared" doesn't seem so believable.

Finally, I just have to say it again: The Weasleys RULE!

</End of Random Comments>