It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts is about to start and he is enjoying the summer vacation with his friends. They get the tickets to The Quidditch World Cup Final but after the match is over, people dressed like Lord Voldemort's 'Death Eaters' set a fire to all the visitors' tents, coupled with the appearance of Voldemort's symbol, the 'Dark Mark' in the sky, which causes a frenzy across the magical community. That same year, Hogwarts is hosting 'The Triwizard Tournament', a magical tournament between three well-known schools of magic : Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. The contestants have to be above the age of 17, and are chosen by a magical object called Goblet of Fire. On the night of selection, however, the Goblet spews out four names instead of the usual three, with Harry unwittingly being selected as the Fourth Champion. Since the magic cannot be reversed, Harry is forced to go with it and brave three exceedingly difficult tasks. Written by
I must say I am extremely sick of this movie, though not for conventional reasons. Nine reels is a lot to put together and screening a three hour movie can be exhausting, especially when you're trying to write several term papers during the same week it is coming out. You see, I am a projectionist and getting this movie ready for a midnight show was part of my job. I realize that the fact that I was paid $14.50/hr to watch this movie on Wednesday night might give rise to feelings of jealousy among some, but I am currently wishing I could manage to get more than five hours of sleep sometime soon.
All that said I must say this was by far the greatest Harry Potter film so far. Although it was long, it did not drag on. It had a nice, tight feel to it. It progressed from scene to scene with a smoothness that I find to be lacking in many movies adapted from books. The acting has noticeably improved from the first three, and the more adult feel to this one really drew me in. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this movie was the fact that it felt like a mix of genres. It had an epic feel to it. After all it is about good v. evil and battling the dark wizards, etc. This movie,however, also felt like a high school movie. It had the issues of coming of age, which makes sense as the characters begin to mature. Ultimately it came off a lot more loyal to the book in theme than I think the last one did. (The first two, while loyal, I found to be relatively campy and childish.)
This movie, like many, does have its shortfalls. I believe that Dumbledore was portrayed as a little too intense, like an old Al Pacino. Instead of the benevolent, kind, and good-humored old man I have always loved in the books. As someone that has read the books, I must say another shortfall is that this movie banks on familiarity with the story. Having read the books, I found it very easy to follow, but I could understand how one who has not read the books may feel a bit lost, as some important information was left out and some back-story was left mostly unexplained.
All in all I would say this is definitely the best movie in this series so far, and if the next three are on par with this one then I would be content.
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