November 25 - December 1, 2005 • Vol. 25 - No. 47

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
—Possibly the Best Potter of Them All

by The Blonde and The Maven
Film Columnists

For this fourth installment of Harry Potter, there is a new twist. Goblet of Fire is directed by Mike Newell, who was asked to direct the first movie, The Sorcerer's Stone, but declined. The British director has worked on such films as Donnie Brasco, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Mona Lisa Smile.
The task of screenwriter was again filled by Steve Kloves, who also adapted the other three books for the screen. This is a daunting task, as anyone who has read the book will tell you. There was a lot of ground to cover and much had to be condensed, so readers beware. The most glaring omission was at the very beginning. There are no Dursleys and much of the World Quidditch Cup is omitted.
The action really begins at Hogwarts when the students learn that the Tri-wizard Tournament will be held at their school. This event occurs every 100 years and is an exercise in international co-operation between Hogwarts, Beauxbaton and Durmstrang; all magical academies. The tournament includes three tasks to be undertaken by an exemplary representative from each school. The student must be at least 17 years old and submits his or her name into the Goblet of Fire, which is spelled to choose the best candidate. There are, of course, spells to prevent underage submissions but somehow, someway, someone submits Harry's name, so a fourth competitor is chosen. Obviously Professor Dumbledore and the others are deeply shaken, as this is a dangerous tournament; Harry does not have the magical education to complete the tasks. But because of the way the event is structured, all names chosen by the Goblet must participate or the tournament is null and void. Harry's participation causes much jealousy amongst fellow students who think he is just trying to garner more accolades for himself. Even his friend, Ron, is angry with him.
There is more to the story than just the tournament. The fourth year students (at 14 years of age) are now in the hormonal confusions of adolescence. Due to the Christmas Ball, our intrepid male students must gather the courage to ask a female to the dance. The humor saves the movie from being just another action flick. Poor Harry and Ron are ill equipped to handle this task well!
Meanwhile dark events are unfolding as Lord Voldemort is resurrected. Ralph Fiennes (Schindler's List and The Constant Gardener) plays the uber-villain with superb sliminess. Before the film ends, Harry will meet and hold his own against “He Who Must Not Be Named,” but he will not defeat him yet. For those who have not read the book, someone in the tournament dies. This is not a game (or film) to be taken lightly.


Story continued on bottom

The Blonde: The Goblet of Fire was like The Never Ending Story meets Jumanji meets all the other Potter films...I have to say that all the Potter films, and this one in particular, display true excellence in creative thinking, writing, and imaginative storytelling. One of the more amazing aspects of the Potter productions is how the characters seem not to age in spite of the real-life actors growing up. For me, however, I keep thinking how more than fantastic it is that J.K. Rowling (author of all the Harry Potter books) gets to see her visions come to fruition. Her storytelling is so amazingly detailed, that it enables the director and visual effects artists to present what we as moviegoers get to experience and enjoy on screen; all from the mind of ONE woman! Truly brilliant!

The Maven: I don't want to sound like a broken record, so I will say this just once. Many things had to be left out of the movie or it would have run for six hours. Having said that, this film was dark, but exciting. It moved along at a fast pace and kept me at the edge of my seat. There was more violence, but it was not mindless destruction. After all, Harry and his friends are older now and are facing more danger. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) showed more of his acting chops here. He seems to get better and better with each film.

The Blonde: Did you know that Las Vegas has 13.417 resale properties on the market?



The Maven: Maybe the school of Hogwarts has a room to rent you. Other than that, stay with the film.

The Blonde: WELL, aren't we a bit testy today? Before I resume, the Mav and I would like to wish all our readers a belated Happy Thanksgiving. That said, I want to state that this two-and-a-half-hour film simply whizzed by! One more comment I must add is that I think the Potter series is one of THE MOST remarkably well-cast stories ever. It makes the unrealistic events appear as though they could actually happen! ALMOST! Ya know, I saw a priest on television stating that, in his opinion, the Potter films are disgraceful—this one being the most horrible and evil of all. He went on to say that if we allow our children to see it, it will destroy their moral fiber. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?? IT IS A FILM! IT IS ENTERTAINMENT! WE ARE TALKING FANTASY HERE, F0LKS! Moving along, People magazine voted Matthew McConaughey the sexiest man alive. I do think he is a doll, but not the sexiest man alive. For me, it is still Antonio Banderas. What is your vote on that, Mav?

The Maven: I used to think Matthew was really cute and wondered why he was still single. Now that I know he hasn't worn deodorant in 20 years, I understand!

The Blonde: I realize that you are a maven, but how in the world would you know this bit of info?

The Maven: It was in a People magazine article! Blonde, you need to read and not just look at the pictures. You're a Big Blonde Girl now!

The Blonde: OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! I don't have time for such mindless reading! But, speaking of mindless, I feel bad that they cancelled poor Martha Stewart's reality show! I thought it had potential.
The Maven: Martha's “Apprentice” had potential, but it was too much like Donald's! I guess most people only have room for one “Apprentice.” About the film...I think Brendan Gleeson, who plays "Mad Eye Moody," stole every scene he was in. Even better, Moody is the first Capital Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher that is not destroyed, run off, or fired. He is a great addition to the cast.

The Blonde: I agree! He gave a marvelous performance. His eye did bug me, though. After I say that, every mother in the world would love to have that 360-eye vision to watch their kids with. Please tell me his eye wasn't a result of the Lasix Eye Surgery. I am scheduled for that surgery next month! Mav, didn't you think the talking newspaper in this film would be a great addition for Entertainment News & Views?

The Maven: Not only that, but the 'spelled' pen and paper Rita Skeeter used would come in real handy! Speaking of TomKat, I hear he bought an ultrasound scanner for home use. If he is so anti-drug and anti-psychiatric treatment, how can he think of bouncing sound waves into Katie's womb just to get a look at baby Tom or Tomisima?

The Blonde: Oh, don't be so mean. He is donating it to a hospital after they are finished with it. Listen, so he has an ego. He is a product of Hollywood! At least HE wears deodorant! Back to the film...I felt that Emma Watson, who played Hermoine, gave her best performance in this Potter film. She proved herself to be a quality actress. I would like to see her act outside of the Potter films in the near future. Did you get a good look at Lord Voldemort's (played by Ralph Fiennes) nose? It looked like the mark of the same plastic surgeon who did Michael Jackson’s!


The Maven: I have no trouble recommending this film. It flows nicely and has a lot of humor and action, as well as magic. In many ways, it's the best so far in the series. It will hold your interest from beginning to end. I rate it a solid B+ for its brimming with brilliant behavior and would have given it an A+ for just another hour of this story.

The Blonde: I, too, enjoyed the cute, sense of humor and levity this film displayed. I don't recommend this for younger children. For all others, you will find it a dark, but magical story. With each new series, we get to enjoy more advanced, modern, artistic, visual perfection. I also rate this film a B+. For your movie snacks, enjoy some Good and Plenty Candy as this film IS PLENTY GOOD!!! DON'T FORGET THE POPCORN!
1. Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley in Warner Bros. Pictures’ fantasy Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Photo by Murray Close

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