Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

In the fourth installment in the tales of Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Harry is now fourteen years old and Hogwarts is getting ready for the Quidditch World Cup and the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Here's a brief introduction to the story...

Voldemort's followers are stirring and when they cause havoc at the Quidditch World Cup it's seen as a sign that the Dark Lord is preparing to rise again. When the time comes round for the Tri-Wizard Tournament, held this year at Hogwarts, the names of those eligable are put into the Goblet Of Fire and the Goblet chooses one student to represent each of the three schools. But this year is different, the Goblet chooses four students - one from each school and...Harry Potter.

Harry is too young to enter the tournament but the Goblet has spoken and rules is rules so young Potter must pit his wits and skills against the formidable challenges ahead, some of which could prove fatal if he fails. And all the while behind the scenes, the Dark Lord stirs and schemes with his own plans for Harry.

This was the best Harry Potter movie so far. It's a very dark story and there are a few pretty scary moments in there. Harry, Hermione and Ron have grown up quite a lot since last year and so has the story telling. Romance has been added to the mix as the three find their interest in the opposite sex blooming along with their hormones. On the downside, there are a few bits that happen that aren't really explained or don't make sense and I have the suspicion that you'd need to read the books to "get it". Yes, I haven't read any of the books but my daughter has and she's of the same opinion as it's a big book and they've had to be pretty ruthless to get it down to movie length. Another gripe, probably due to the same time constraints, is that the editing is pretty tight in places and some scenes seem to get cut off pretty sharply and you're off somewhere else.

The CGI effects are absolutely excellent - the dragon chase and underwater challenge are really well done. Gone, or at least minimalized, are the childish effects and props from the earlier films - this is aimed at a slightly older audience and the darker tones definately make this the best so far.

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