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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
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36 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

Shortest 2.5 hour movie

9/10
Author: AetherTheory from United States
21 November 2005

Mike Newell is forgiven for cutting out so much detail from the book, and JK Rowling is forgiven for writing wonderfully rich books. However, fans of the book cannot help but feel like riding a roller coaster that is so fast there is no time to enjoy the ride. I predict the huge void between book and movie will spur remakes in about 10 to 20 years. Even if the movies must be 5 hours long, Harry Potter fans are willing to sit through them. This movie doesn't get a 10 because it leaves me feeling like something is missing, but it does deserve a 9 for being the best possible portrayal of the book given a 2.5 hour limitation. All said and done, this is the shortest 2.5 hour movie I have ever watched.

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36 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

I didn't think it was great

5/10
Author: Joey (Joey_the_random) from United Kingdom
18 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went to see this movie this afternoon and to be honest i was expecting disappointment as happened with the other three potter movies but i wasn't quite expecting what i saw. I am a lover of the books and have read them all many (10+) times (ex HBP) and hate it when important bits of the plot are cut. I think in terms of effects and general film making the film was good, the acting from the majority of the cast was also excellent, however i feel that the movie moved too fast and didn't really explain what was going on. If you've seen the trailer you have pretty much seen the movie. Much of the Plot involving Rita skeeter was cut (i think we only saw her twice) which i find very disappointing as it sets up the fifth book and the "harry is crazy, look at what was said about him in the prophet last year" plot. One surprise for me though was Mad-eye-moody, after seeing the trailers and photos i was dreading him being played as a joke character with his mad eye but i was very impressed with his character and performance although i did notice the lack of CONSTANT VILIGANCE. Overall i think this movie could be used as a 'look what i can do with my computer' movie. In my opinion if you want a good plot and more than one comprehenseable storyline you should go read the book.

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27 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Not good at all

1/10
Author: Jacob Gilbert from United States
21 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It was toooooo rushed. The length of this book should have been matched with a movie the caliber of the lord of the rings movies. It was too unfaithful to the books and left out many characters or made them too small. Rita Skeeter was barely in it, you didn't feel the evil that should have emanated from her. Plus, nothing happened to her at the end. If these movies are to be the standard for Harry Potter movies to come, true fans should be disgusted. Dobby, Winky, Ludo Bagman, Hogwarts classes in general, other students, the Dursleys, Ton-Tongue toffees, all gone. Shunted to the side was the whole graveyard scene, Voldemort wasn't scary at all, Dumbledore was almost violent to Harry. Overall, there wasn't enough time in the film to give the characters their due limelight. With Rita Skeeter not caught, no Winky, Sirius almost non-existent, the next movie will probably sink as low as this one and its predecessors. If these books are so long, the movies should be made longer.

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31 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

The PR Machine Fails the Product... Again.

6/10
Author: B.R. (Havoc1) from Chicago, USA
18 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

-=-=-=-SUMMARY: The movie leaves a lot to be desired. It nails its dark ending, but the rest of the film is disjointed and without substance. Why? It puts a little of everything in, rather than a lot of a few things. "Star" characters Krum, Fleur, Cedric, and Cho get the shaft in a big way -- but at least it looks pretty?-=-=-=-

I'm so sick of PR. "Goblet of Fire" comes out, and doesn't live up to the PR machine. This film was showcased as the TriWizard Tournament with some Yule Ball flavor. Instead, the film is schizophrenic and doesn't address either plot satisfactorily.

That doesn't make the film unenjoyable. It is well produced, with a high-and-shiny gloss that makes it picture-perfect. The locales are gorgeous. The cast is gorgeous. Ralph Finnes and the graveyard scene ending is done without flaw. But the whole picture is hollow. In short, it could have been so much better.

Take, for example, the TriWizard Tournament. Four contestants, three new schools, two new love interests -- and we learn nothing about them. Nothing. Fleur has a total of 2 lines. At least Clemency Posey tries to give the character a bit of dignity with some naturally added and improvised French to contrast with all of the sexism the gal faces. Viktor Krum is just for looks, as he literally has 2 lines. TWO. And the one he says to Hermione is barely audible. Cho Chang - with Katie Leung being subject to much controversy - gets three lines. Three. THREE! Cedric comes off as the most substantial character, which isn't saying much.

I don't blame this on director Newell, but rather the Potter source material as a whole. For one, fan boys and fan girls - hellbent on everything being lifted directly from Rowling's "divine word" - are crippling a potentially successful film franchise. None of these have been so glaring as "Goblet of Fire." Secondly, the film is handicapped by the ongoing script that is the Harry Potter novel series. "Lord of the Rings" it ain't. Whereas Peter Jackson, Phillipa, and Fran could take the trilogy and work around the major subplots, the HP crew cannot. No one knows what subplots JK will use, abuse, neglect, discard, or revive. What character will be essential? Which one is not? Since the screenwriters don't know, then it makes sense to leave in a little bit of everything, which takes away from the "whole lot of some things" essential to making "The Goblet of Fire" a stand-alone story.

It should have stripped to the basics: - TriWizard Tournament - Yule Ball, with some Cho/Harry, Ron/Hermione, Hermione/Krum characterization, with a bit of Patil twin thrown in.

And, in the end, the return of Voldemort. Instead, the movie attempts to juggle its insane cast: Snape, Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Hagrid, Ginny, Dean, Seamus, Fred&George, Dumbledore, Moody, McGonagall, Flitwick, Neville, Rita, and so on and so forth that it cannot adequately address its new characters. And since so many of these new characters have never before appeared in a Potter film adaptation, they never receive sufficient exposition or introduction.

The Patil sisters are never expressly named; Parvati is only named outside of a scene. Never appeared in a movie. Cho Chang is never even given a named introduction. Never been in a movie. Cedric Diggory is never given sufficient introduction. Fleur and Krum have no lines, so it is moot. Madame Maxime gets a few awkward scenes with Hagrid. Karkaroff has a pointless subplot that goes nowhere.

Thus, the movies are becoming increasingly convoluted -- and for those who haven't read the books, it becomes difficult to decipher. Wait until Movie 5 tries to add in "Luna Lovegood." It'll be a field day for sure. The real problem is that Harry Potter isn't completed. We're leading to a Hermione/Ron romance, but we don't know if they will get together. This need to leave in a little of everything kills the films and, in turn, the films put a clamp on the direction of the stories. The insane market-hype that is "Harry Potter" is neither giving the film nor print franchises the creative space to grow.

The acting is still the same for the children - over-emotional. Mad Eye Moody adds character, charm, and much needed pizazz into an otherwise "color by numbers" tale. Hermione (who I adored in the 3rd film) and Dumbledore were very off - Dumbledore seeming irritable and aloof throughout, and Hermione overly shrill. Emma: chill with the eyebrows. Dan Radcliffe looks like a Harry Potter, but still struggles with the key scenes. Ron is Ron, though he isn't too likable in this film with his unnecessary melodrama. The timing is off -- the "guest" schools visit for an entire academic year, with one of the three challenges occurring in fall, a Winter Ball on Christmas Eve, and two challenges in the Spring. All of this time flies by with no character interaction, growth, or even any "Nancy Drewing" on the part of our protagonists.

C'est la vie, in the end it's all moot for the Potter fan. The film looks beautiful, but leaves a lot to be desired. The hardcore Potter fans (like my boyfriend and sister) don't seem to care. Even I, a non-hardcore fan, feel like there needs to be some sense of artistic freedom in these film adaptations.

Break-Down Pros: Gorgeous Cinematography, Special Effects Best of the Series, Costumes, Sets, and Characters look phenomenal, The showdown with Voldemort at the end is near perfect.

Cons: Still too many unnecessary subplots and characters, Not enough focus on our "new" characters, choppy scenes, over-acting from Emma Watson and Dan Radcliffe.

OVERALL: 6/10. You'll see it regardless. It's an entertaining time, but leaves a lot to be desired.

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22 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Did the producers even glance through the book?

1/10
Author: kaoruchan30 from United States
19 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A fabulous film -- if you haven't read the books. Really exciting, and nothing left out -- if you haven't read the books. However, if you have read the books, it is a complete and utter disappointment. I went into the theater thinking, 'This shouldn't be too bad,' but, after seeing what they did to Mad-Eye Moody (i.e. the HUGE BLACK STRAP) I wasn't all that thrilled. Dumbledore - completely out of character. During one scene, he actually shakes Harry and yells in others. The Albus Dumbledore of the books is a wise, calm old man, not a raging but clueless crackpot. Many things are left unexplained; such as Neville's fear of the Cruciatus (sp?) curse, and what exactly happens to Barty Crouch (senior). Of course, if you have read the book, you know exactly what is going on, but as an innocent movie-goer who has never even glanced in the books, you are left wondering. And as Emma Watson already being quite pretty, the supposed transformation when she appears at the Yule Ball is muted and almost nonexistent; it simply that she put her hair up. All house-elves are not mentioned at all. S.P.E.W. is gone (though, despite it being a interesting subject in the book, it wasn't particularly important to the story). And it is Neville who gives Harry the gillyweed, instead of Dobby. Of course, that still works quite well, as Neville is so good at Herbology. But, did anyone think that Voldemort was far too jolly? Or is that just me? 'Oh, Harry, I'd almost forgotten you were there!' Can you honestly picture that coming from the great Dark Lord's mouth? There were many other examples during that scene; it was extremely annoying. As for the Dark Mark appearing in the sky, it comes too late. The tents are set on fire (where are the people suspended in the sky?) and everyone is running. Yes, that's reason to be scared, but surely the Dark Mark appearing is far better. So, after everyone has left, who should come along but Barty Crouch Jr. Then he fires the Dark Mark into the sky, and the producer thinks, 'Oh, good. We've got that in the story; people shouldn't complain.' Nope; wrong. He fires it a bit too late. After EVERYONE has left he brings out what should have started the terror. How stupid. (And it was also disappointing when they only made one comment that might suggest who won the World Cup. I'm Irish; I would have been very pleased if they had made that a bit more apparent. While we're on the subject of Barty Crouch Jr., I will bring up that his character totally changed. Instead of being this sniveling, scared young man who calls out to his father in desperation only to have Barty (senior) say, "You're no son of mine," we have him as a weird, explosive monster who comes up and licks his lips at his dad and is all, "Nyehehehe. Hello, Father." The 'son of mine' line only works if you make Barty (Jr.) a proper, terrified, misunderstood boy. And Sirius. Gary Oldman makes no actual appearance; how do we even know that it was him who was talking to Harry? And that was done horribly. Instead of Sirius's head appearing in the flames, we have a grotesque thing (that did not look anything like Sirius) popping out of the embers. And also, when Harry sends off his letter to Sirius at the beginning, it is clearly marked on the front to go to Sirius Black. But how ridiculous! His letter could have been intercepted, and then everyone would know that Sirius was somewhere nearby, and that someone (if they weren't one of the people who knew either Harry's handwriting or Harry's owl) was in contact with him. But, as for the acting and the special effects, it was all fine.

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29 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

a small portion of the book is in this movie

1/10
Author: calabas from United States
21 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

first off this was a sloppy fast tracked Hollywood (get it out for the holidays) project . if you read the book or listened to the audio book you would know what i mean. right from the beginning it is wrong no tavern scene , harry wakes up at at ron's house from the dream ? no durdleys no fireplace pickup to take harry to the world cup . no house elfs liberation front no actual showing of serious black . i understand that to make this book a movie it would have to be 5 hours long but honestly the dragon scene is nothing like the book you never see anyone but harry fight a dragon. Harry's dragon scene was added to not like the book the dragon does not land on a roof or chase harry through the country side ... I hope when you see this movie you buy the book and read it cover to cover i guarantee you a much better experience . of all the books and movies this one leaves the most out . and to see dumbledoor running around like a nervous idiot is just wrong . trust me if you are a true fan you will be extremely disappointed like i am . get peter jackson to do the rest of the movies (someone with attention to detail )

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31 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Terrible

1/10
Author: matthewtooke63 from United Kingdom
20 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

TO be honest, this was my favourite book of all of them so far and frankly i was shocked at how terrible it really was. For gods sake will you choose a SUITBALE Dumbledore?? Its really depressing to see a wannabee actor playing the great wizard. All the good parts were missing from the book!! We didn't see David Tennant have his soul sucked which was rubbish, for goodness sake, get it together with amateur acting man!! I wasted my money and I certainly won't be buying this twaddle on DVD. I hope they pick it up for the next one as I immensely enjoyed "The Order Of The Phoneix" and its structure. I advise anyone with a likeness to the book, PLEASE Don't SEE IT!!!!

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30 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

A Midnight Disappointment

4/10
Author: Khimaera Tia from United States
18 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before I hear the "You can't expect it to follow the books", the people who seem so firmly set on this was a good movie, best yet, and that it did the book justice I have to ask why.

In the first scene, it comes to the house of Riddle, as in the book. But instead of it just being Nagini, Wormtail and Voldemort in the room, there is also Barty Crouch Jr? What? I know that they had to cut things out but to manipulate the plot line so that things fit the way that the director wanted and not how many avid fans would want is beyond me. He had the option of making it a two part series, and in that I think he would have been able to do a lot more justice to the books then chopping it all to an atrociously choppy film. It was choppy, and for people who don't read the books it will be confusing and misleading, especially if they read them later on.

I had the, unfortunate idea that I should read the GoF before seeing the movie, as I was excited about all of the things that would happen. Some people don't miss the Dursleys, the Weasleys, and the opening feast, but I did. What happened at the Dursleys leaves things open for what happens in book/movie 5. At the Burrow we lost Mrs. Weasley, Percy, Charlie and Bill. Each of which did a lot of growing in the book and would affect later plot lines in the story. I know, they are lengthy, but the slow start to the story is put there for a reason. There is a reason for each of the scenes as they are written as per the book.

I understand that they would not be able to fit everything in, but to cut out people from the story, manipulate it as they have, what is going to happen in the sixth movie? In this story Fleur and Bill would have met by chance, but nothing. In this story, Sirius was a bigger piece of the plot, and one of the few that was holding on to Harry. They cut out a lot of Rita Skeeter and the effect she had on the book, the other characters involved. It was like this movie was not to be about the story, but simply the Tri-Wizard cup. Alright, let me try it from that angle.

In the scene with the dragons, someone was really CGI happy. This is obvious in the long, drawn out, far from the story line, Hungarian Horntail chasing Harry around the grounds of Hogwarts. Did I miss something in reading the books? The mer-people and the scene there was closer, a lot closer and yet still things were missing. The seats weren't over the water, they were on the shore, and one of the mer-people, the Cheiftaness no less was to be there. And lets not forget the champion eating hedges for the maze, instead of blast ended skrewts, the spider, the traps, and the Sphinx.

OK, I am dragging on.

Overall, acting was alright, not spectacular, but not frighteningly far from the story. Voldemort was played with a particular flair that left some to be desired but at least it was true to him.

What I am most disappointed about though, is simply the lack of the story in the movie, the choppiness of scene to scene. The missing characters who are in later books as well. It just makes me worry that if they cut this much out of GoF, what are they going to cut out of OotP? At least there was a bouncing ferret.

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207 out of 401 people found the following review useful:

can't get much better

10/10
Author: RJR_37 from United States Minor Outlying Islands
13 November 2005

I just saw the movie for the first time and i was very surprised on how good the movie relates to the book. this was my favorite book as it was transitioning into a more serious and in-dept story. No offense to the other books before as they were great too, but this is the story were its not so childish and the characters are becoming more mature and serious about their futures. the movie does a great job on its special effects, acting, and all together the direction movie went. The movie kept me on the edge of my seat with all the action, suspense(the dragon scene were especially good), and drama.If your a fan of the books, then I highly suggest that you go see it.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining but too short and too many omissions

7/10
Author: tony.newton from Surrey, England
21 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What summed this film up for me was the comments of my non-HP book reader wife and friend. "Didn't really understand it".

The JKR books are full of "tells" and explanations, with sub-plots taking on great significance later on. The book of Goblet of Fire is central to the denouement of many of these - and in the main they are left out of the film version in favour of action and CGI.

That said, it was not all bad, so I'll highlight what I liked first!

The teenagers' awkwardness as they explore their relationships, and the way this was handled in the build up to and the actual Ball scene. Hermione in particular was well portrayed, and Ron and Harry sitting like wallflowers while the rest of the school dance the night away was well done.

The look on McGonagall's face when she sees Ron's dress robes - priceless.

The Moaning Myrtle scene in the Prefect's bath is excellent, funny and well acted.

Mad Eye Moody was excellent, convincing and menacing.

The opening scene showing the splendour of the Quidditch stadium was breathtaking.

The graveyard scenes at the end were well done, and close to the book. Ralph Fiennes was excellent, if a little too "strong" to be credible so soon after his rebirth.

What did they do badly? Quite a lot actually. I realise how hard it must be to condense this long book into a 150 minute movie, but overextended scenes could have been shortened, and 20 minutes extra to cover some key current and future story lines would have been time and money well spent.

Dumbledore is mad! What has Gambon done to him? Would Richard Harris have grabbed Harry by the neck and shaken him, shouted at him? Would Harris be mumbling and doubting of his abilities, such that there is now almost no credibility that Voldemort should ever fear him? No. And neither does the Dumbledore of JKR.

No muggle taunting and no house elf in the Quidditch world cup scenes, meaning no explanation of the purpose of the riot and burning of the tented village, and no set-up of Bartie Crouch Senior as a key character.

No mention at all of SPEW.

The dragon fight scene is ridiculously long, and ridiculously expensive. Harry flies right out of the stadium, chased by the Norwegian Horntail on a trip to demolish large parts of the castle roofing tiles. The dragon can fly, for goodness sake - why would it spend 2 minutes climbing across rooftops to get to Harry when it could fly out and blast him from the air?

The characterisation of the new characters is poor - Fleur, Viktor and Cedric are all just cardboard cutouts for Harry to battle against.

The omission of almost all the interaction between Harry and Sirius, so crucial to the next two films. Make you wonder whether the film makers have actually read all the books.

The absence of any reference to Hagrid's half-giant heritage (subtly alluded to in one scene with Madam Maxime, but only if you know what you're looking for) which is so important to his role in the next film

No mention of the Minister For Magic's denial of Voldemort's return, nor his act of bringing the dementors to kill Bartie Crouch junior before Snape can use Veritas serum to make him confirm Harry's story - both key to Dumbledore's flight in the next book, and setting up for Umbridge to wreak her havoc.

A messy treatment of the Snape/Karkaroff relationship and history, again failing to set up the future doubts we have about Snape, who is still mainly just portrayed as a nasty teacher rather than key character of the 6th book.

The acting. Sad though I am to say it I thought most of the acting was poor in this film, especially from Emma Watson (who I've always thought was the best of the young actors) and Rupert Grint. To be fair this is probably more due to their hugely diminished parts in this film, but that aside I feel Hermione is portrayed more as Harry's mother figure, rather than the super-clever heroine who Harry can always rely on to get him back on track.

The Rita Skeeter storyline is shallow, with no set-up for the essential article in support of Harry, and no mention of her being an illegal animagus, and thus no capture and blackmail of her by Hermione.

The Maze is transformed from testing puzzles and magical scenarios that the 4 Champion's could reasonably expect to figure out/defeat, to a series of menacing hedges and roots that becomes the entirety of the final test. The winner just needs to be luckier and faster than the others - leaving no avenue for true Wizarding contest, nor for Moody's sabotage of Fleur and Viktor's efforts.

Finally (though I could go on) I was amazed that a director of Newell's status and past history should make Fleur such a lame character, fit only to be dressed in a skimpy swimming costume, and swiftly fail, with no explanation, in all the tasks.

As I've said, I sympathise with how hard it must be to condense such a long book and not miss out big chunks of it - and I think they did that quite well with the start - but I do feel they erred too much on the side of spectacle and not enough on explaining all the plot twists and lead-ins to the next book.

What will non-book readers make of it all!

Tony

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