Anders Bergstrom's blog on Words, Films, and Music

Monday, November 21, 2005

I've seen Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire twice now. Yes, I have three papers and a presentation to do in the next 3 weeks before I got back home for Christmas, but one must keep one's priorities straight.

I can say now with a fair amount of certainty that this is both my favourite, and the best, of the Potter films thus far. This is of course, in no small part, due to the fact that Rowling's novel is possibly the strongest of the series (though I really do like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the most recent book in the series a whole lot as well). In the first three films (and books), the key event always seems to occur at the end of the school year, with the majority of the plot building up to the key event--they are mysteries at heart. With Goblet, the Tri-Wizard tournament takes us into the action from the beginning of the term, with the various tests taking place over the entire story. What it means for the film is that Goblet is rarely slow; it's remarkably fast paced and packed for a film that is over two-and-a-half hours.

Things I particularly liked:

  • Fred and George Weasley; every scene they are in is priceless
  • The Quidditch World Cup; the stadium is impressive, and the Death Eater attack particularly memorable (Ku Klux Klan anyone?)
  • The Hungarian Horntail; movie dragons are rarely impresive, but fortunately this one holds up both as a special effect and as a threat to the character
  • The Yule Ball; one of the most entertaining and moving sequences in the film, showcasing our heroes struggle with the pains of growing up (and the band is pretty cool too, what with Jarvis Cocker, Johnny Greenwood and Phil Selway)
  • Lord Voldemort; Ralph Fiennes creates a memorable villian for the series, which is important because as my brother Anton likes to point out, a story is usually as good as its villian
What I think puts this one ahead of Prisoner of Azkaban for me (as I especially appreciate the way that Cuaron tries to make the film art and really adds a unique visual style to film, despite creating a few plot holes), is that Newell seems to have a much stronger grasp of the characters. I think Goblet of Fire is a good example of a film that is able to present strong visuals and outstanding special effects without losing its characters in the mix. Of course, again, it helps that they had such a strong piece of source material to work with, but it's still quite remarkable when you realize they did a fairly successful job of paring down a 636 page book into an two-and-a-half hour film and still conveyed the sense of it all. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the best times I've had at the movies all year...both times.


In other news, I'm in the middle of a Beatles marathon. I made an iTunes playlist of every single Beatles song. 237 songs.10.9 hours. Chronologically.

Also, tomorrow morning I'm getting up early to buy tickets for Coldplay's January 26th concert in Vancouver at GM Place! I'm fairly excited about this. It should be a good show. A lot of the songs on the new album lend themselves perfectly to the arena experience. I can't wait to hear "Fix You" live. Also, Fiona Apple is opening. Judging from the reception her new album has gotten, this should be good, though I see that Richard Ashcroft is opening the UK dates in December and I would have rather seen him. Nonetheless, this should be an awesome concert. I love living here!


Luke said...

You were right in our last conversation. The consensus across the board is positive. Even Caitlin and Brigid enjoyed the film(not that they have anything against Potteror films, but our tastes tend to differ with theirs). Apart from the things I have already said, I quite enjoyed how Cuaron through some art into his shots. The shot of the sillouted boot and low angle shot of the clock tower were very strong images. They fit the film, gave it a different spice, that the other films did not have.

I said it before but I have to say ti again. Fred and George were awsome.

rochelle laura knox said...

hey, i even liked the film and i haven't even (*gasp*) read the books. something else i shouldn't admit: i haven't read the LOTR. ach! someday... i promise! i have, however, read 2/3 of clarissa... not that i'm happy about this or think anyone else should...

i agree with your "best parts". especially the stadium scene in the beginning and the ball scene later on.

erinped said...

I intend to marry a weasley.