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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Went to see the new Harry Potter movie tonight with Chris and Maire. It was a bit darker than I expected. More death and near-death and gross stuff (like the guy cutting off his own hand). Also more scary stuff, like the man-eating hedges and the battle with the revived Valdemort. I wasn't scared at any point, but I did almost start crying when Harry was collapsed sobbing over Cedric's dead body. For that matter, I was pretty shocked when Cedric actually got killed. It was so sudden and unexpected, particularly since Harry had just saved him from the hedges a few minutes before. Kids just generally don't die in kids' books, in my experience. So that was a shocker. Not that much of a kids' story at this point, I guess. I heard a kid crying very loudly (and being shushed by the people surrounding) in the back of the theater after somebody in the movie actually announced that Valdemort had killed Cedric. Apparently s/he hadn't believed/understood it until then.

Aside from the darkness -- which I don't mind ... I'm just surprised -- the movie also didn't quite have the Ron/Harry/Hermione camaraderie that I enjoyed in the previous movies. Mostly, Harry was just going it on his own in the big wizard contest. That was interesting, but it didn't have the multi-character focus. There were multiple characters, sure, but most of them were characterized only superficially (like the other wizard contestants). There wasn't the depth of characterization (of Hermione and Ron, especially) that the series had in previous films. Hermione and Ron felt like minor characters.

I thought the introduction of a romantic element (for all three of the main characters) was nice, given their ages. I wasn't sure how the movies were going to handle the fact that the kids are growing up, that Hermione is getting breasts, that the Weasley twins are incredibly tall now, etc. Shannon assures me that the books follow a similar timeline to the movies, so it's appropriate that the kids are turning into full-blown teenagers.

Some things confused me, probably because I haven't read any of the books. For example, I thought Fleur was killed by the hedges, but I guess not, since she was shown happily leaving the school at the end. I also don't understand how Ron, Hermione, and the other sacrificial lambs stayed alive underwater for so long before Harry et al. saved them. I guess the professors have more powerful magic than the students (well duh) and put them in some kind of suspended animation or something. They looked comatose. But they were still underwater a long time after they "woke up," while Harry was saving them. Confusion.

Anyway, so I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. The special effects were seamless and spectacular, and I had a good time, though I didn't like it nearly so well as the previous movie, because I *loved* that one.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 27th, 2005 07:02 am (UTC)
I take it you didn't read the book?
Nov. 27th, 2005 08:00 am (UTC)
Nope. I haven't read any of the books.
Nov. 27th, 2005 08:25 am (UTC)
*nod* That makes sense. Some of Potter's estrangement from the others is explained in the book, but not in the movie.
Nov. 27th, 2005 09:00 am (UTC)
Harry sends up "red sparks" over the spot where Fleur is pulled under - I assumed that a professor arrived and took her away. Either that, or the hedges aren't lethal - they just hold you captive.

And the children are still comatose until they actually hit the surface - when Harry is bringing them up, they've still got their eyes shut.

I liked the movie more the second time I saw it, probably because I was expecting something more like the 3rd one, the first time I saw it.
Nov. 27th, 2005 11:43 pm (UTC)
I saw Harry send up the red sparks, but she'd already been devoured by the hedges, so I was a bit confused. I guess I assumed the hedges were more dangerous than they actually were, which makes that entire task a lot less tense.

Now that you mention it, I do remember that the kids were unconscious while Harry was saving them. He couldn't just let them go while he was being attacked, but when he pushed them to the surface they just floated up.

Though I did like the movie quite a bit, I think I, too, would like the movie better on a second viewing, because I'd be able to enjoy it for itself, rather than expecting something as fantastic as the previous one.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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