Sunday, November 20, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Whew - what a movie! Director Mike Newell did a great job of bringing a higher level of darkness, suspense and general noir to this fourth in the Harry Potter film series. And Steven Kloves' screenplay did what I didn't think possible - took the huge JK Rowling tome and condensed it into a single movie without leaving me feeling like there were any gaping holes. When I read the book, my friends who had also read it and I felt like they could have turned it into two movies - the first taking on the Quidditch World Cup and the second dealing with the Triwizard Championships. The screenplay sacrificed much from the first half of the book, with just the essence of the World Cup on hand, but this worked well to set the stage for the remainder of the story back at Hogwarts and dealing with Voldemort. Don't look for Dobby or the Marauder's Map, though - they're just left out. I was okay with this, though. In earlier movies I felt the storylines they had chosen to leave out or gloss over were a loss, but this film just works.

Let me also tell you - Sunday noontime is a much better choice than Saturday primetime for the opening weekend of a big movie like this. We had our choice of seats, it wasn't crowded, and the theatre wasn't a nightmare.

But the biggest news of all: The Girl enjoyed a Harry Potter movie. Yes, you heard it here. For once my thinking that she'd actually like a movie that she didn't want to see paid off. At one point I whispered something about Harry's feelings being hurt by something that had just happened, and she whispered back, "I know - and he's so cute!" Later she had to step out for a moment to hit the rest room, and she was quite dismayed that she was going to miss a few minutes.

All in all - go see it. Even if you were only so-so on the first three. This one's definitely more grown up (Harry is now 14, and the other students of focus are older teens), the suspense and fright level are higher, the whimsy is definitely lower, and the quality is through the roof.

Reality Check: The Girl enjoyed it. I doubt she'd go again, but she didn't regret my dragging her off to see it instead of letting her golf 9 holes. "That Harry is just so cute with his little red lips, his blue eyes and those perfectly waxed eyebrows!"

Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:07 PM