Saturday, 6 September 2014

Film Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Part 1

We’re on to another set of reviews written almost live-blog style. Except I have no way of actually watching the film and blogging it live so I have to improvise slightly. It’s quite long because it’s a fairly longish film so I’ve divided it into five roughly equal sections.


1. Watching this I always find myself wondering how much this actually makes sense to people who haven’t read the books because it just sort of feels like snapshots from the book. I feel like it might be missing some of the context.

2. This one opens with dramatic music and a slightly scary Warner Brothers logo, we’re evidently heading into more grown up territory.

3. There’s a snake slithering through some place but it’s a bit hard to make out exactly where this is, but look, there’s the Harry Potter logo. It’s all dark and silvery too.

4. And a random old man is putting the kettle on when he notices a light on in a building opposite so he has to head out to investigate. General rule of thumb, if there’s ever anything outside on a dark night that needs to be investigated, particularly if it involves going into a dark cobwebby building, it can always wait until the morning. Always.

5. There are voices coming from a room upstairs. Wormtail is there with Doctor Who and they’re talking to Voldemort. Then the snake shows up again and things go very badly wrong for the old man.

6. And then Harry wakes up and he’s not at Privet Drive this time. Hermione’s waking him and Ron up and I have to laugh at the way that Ron clutches the blanket to his chest like he’s got something there to hide.

7. The Weasley crew are off early in the morning. It’s still pretty dark out and so far we’ve not actually been told where they’re going, unless we’ve read the book.

8. Mr Diggory meets them on the way and then Cedric appears from a tree. I’ve not seen the Twilight films so for me he is still Cedric Diggory.

9. The camera zooms in on an old boot and the music gets triumphant. Everyone grabs hold and we’re told it’s a portkey. The younger ones are all bad at travelling by portkey but the Diggorys and Mr Weasley just sort of stroll down casually out of the sky. They’ve done this before, haven’t they.

10. I love the campsite, though I’d have liked to have seen the campsite owner like in the book. The campsite is crazy and full of random magic things. Like the tent they will be staying in which is about the size of a small flat despite being a regular two person tent from the outside.

11. The Quidditch stadium is something else, but unlike the book they’re not in the Top Box, they’ve got seat way up the top which I suppose will give them a good view of the action. Action which we’re not actually going to see ourselves because they decided to make this into one film instead of two which would’ve been infinitely better.

12. We get a bit of a display of the Quidditch players at least, so we’ll know who Krum is when he shows up later. Siegfried Farnon, I mean Cornelius Fudge welcomes them all to the Quidditch World Cup, starts the action and then that’s it. We’re watching the celebrations back in the tent after the game.

13. And something bad is happening outside. Mr Weasley orders everyone back to the portkey and Fred, George and Ginny are separated from Harry, Ron and Hermione as Death Eaters start traipsing through the campsite. There’s a lot of people running and screaming, flashes of fire and then Harry is knocked unconscious.

14. Doctor Who shoots the Dark Mark into the sky and Harry comes round, magically having survived the fire which has burned all the tents to ruin around him. Hermione and Ron find him just after Doctor Who runs away and right before a bunch of wizards show up and try to stun them all for summoning the Dark Mark.

15. Harry catches up everyone who hasn’t read the books. The Death Eaters who caused the trouble were Voldemort’s followers. He tells them about the man and everyone leaves them with Mr Weasley.

16. And now we’re on the Hogwarts Express. Harry comes face to face with Cho Chang at the sweet trolley and gets a funny look on his face. Aw, he’s got a crush.

17. Hermione catches Harry scratching his scar and tells him that he should tell Sirius about the dream and the world cup stuff, so presumably Harry’s informed them all at some point when we didn’t see. Harry writes a letter and sends Hedwig off to deliver it.

18. Meanwhile the train heads to Hogwarts where a big coach with flying horses appears and nearly mows down Hagrid. Then a ship appears in the lake like a big submarine (kind of reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean actually).

19. Dumbledore decides to fill in everyone on what’s going on, which is just as well because unless you’ve read the books you probably don’t have a clue right now. He’s interrupted by Filch giving him a message as he runs up the Great Hall with a funny little run.

20. In the film world Beauxbatons students are all girls and the Durmstrang students are all boys. I don’t know why this change from the books annoys me, but it does. Whereas the girls are all pretty and graceful the boys do weird dancing with magic sticks. It’s quite cool actually.

21. We get a brief shot outside of the castle as someone stumps through muddy puddles towards the castle.

22. Hagrid is so distracted by Madame Maxime that he stabs Professor Flitwick in the hand with a fork. Ouch!

23. Dumbledore gives the students a bit more information about the Triwizard Tournament as Crouch and Mad-Eye Moody both arrive at the same time. We get a quick explanation of who he is, an Auror, and what he does, catches bad wizards. His eye is pretty funky, I like the way is sort of zooms in on things.

24. I love how everyone complains when Crouch tells them no one under 17 can take part but then just shuts up when Dumbledore tells them to. As Dumbledore unveils the Goblet of Fire we get a quick look at the people who are going to put themselves forward as champions, just to remind you who they are.

25. There’s a bit here which I don’t remember noticing before. It’s obviously night time and Karkaroff goes into the room with the Goblet of Fire, then shuts the door behind him. Ooh, are we supposed to think he’s up to something?

26. Who knows, because next up is Defence Against the Dark Arts with Moody. He gives them a very quick run down on who he is before launching into a crazy lesson about the Unforgiveable curses. P.S. Watch how the writing on the board changes between shots.

27. Ron mentions the Imperius Curse so Moody goes to a table with a bunch of gross looking bugs in jars, grabs a giant spidery sort of creature and makes it do all sorts of weird things like dancing on students heads. Everyone thinks this is funny until he starts threatening to make the creature do deadly things to herself.

28. Neville then pipes up with the Cruciatus Curse, which basically makes the spider thing writhe in pain which obviously upsets Neville which Hermione notices and yells for Moody to stop.

29. Which leads on nicely to the last Unforgiveable Curse, which she refuses to do. It’s Avada Kedavra and Moody kills the bug on Hermione’s desk, before drawing attention to Harry for being the only one to survive it.

30. The lesson’s obviously over and everyone’s on their way down out of the tower. Ron thinks Moody is awesome, Hermione less so. They stumble upon Neville who gets taken back up to the room they just left by Moody. The trio kind of shrug and watch him go.

Next week: The Goblet of Fire pops out the name of a fourth champion, Queenie from Blackadder is a tabloid journalist, Harry and Ron have a tiff and there will be dragons.


  1. I've watched all the Harry Potter movies but never read the books.

    1. I wish I could go back and read all the books over again. I love the way that Rowling plants little seeds for things which come back into play much later in the series. I'd definitely recommend them.


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