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Goblet of Fire &c.

Oxford lay buried in a deep, off-white fog all day today. But I didn't mind at all. The only time I had to go out of the house was to walk to and from seeing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with redkitty23, both of us wrapped in gloves, scarves, warm coats, long black skirts and, in my case, my new sexy boots. Especially on the way back, when it was dark and wintry and we walked across my bridge deep in conversation about the film, the fog only served to make the journey feel like a real-life extension of the Hogwarts experience. Perhaps a cut scene featuring two particularly attractive young teachers, set on the rickety wooden walkway which crosses the steep valley behind the school.

Since this magical experience constituted the first time I'd worn my boots out of the house, and they do feel just like the sorts of boots a female teacher at the school might wear, they shall forever after be known as my Hogwarts Boots.

What about the film itself? Pretty damn good, though I agree with others that it wasn't quite up to Prisoner standards. But then, neither was the book. I very much want to see it again while it's in cinemas, anyway. So, good enough to spend another £6.50 on.

It's too late to go into detailed commentary about it now, so, pretty much at random:

Top moments:
  • Snape pulling back his cuffs with obvious enjoyment, ready to whack Harry and Ron on the head for the third time for talking during homework.
  • The Yule Ball.
  • Harry and Cedric's reappearance in the Hogwarts Grounds after the showdown with Voldemort. Especially the way everyone, including Amos Diggory, cheers wildly at first... until they realise what's happened.
Room for improvement:
  • Snape and Karkaroff discussing the Dark Mark - I understand that, like a great deal in the movie, this had to be conveyed quickly and concisely, but who on earth would fling open a door just as they were discussing a highly dangerous and sensitive issue, so that any Tom, Dick, or, say, Harry who was walking past could catch onto what they were saying? Utterly ludicrous.
  • The moment when Harry's name comes out of the Goblet. I didn't find his reaction, or almost anybody else's, in the book convincing at this point, and where the film could have improved on this, it didn't, really. The only slight improvement was that Barty Crouch Snr.'s insistence on following the letter of rules did sound more convincing and in keeping with his character. But otherwise, I really felt this could have been done a lot better.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 20th, 2005 11:49 pm (UTC)
I thought you'd like that bit with Snape rolling up his sleeves :)

I hadn't thought about the exchange between Karkaroff and Snape like that, and what you say makes perfect sense...there's no way that the door would just open like that. The subject matter is rather delicate, to put it one way, and Snape of all people would be very careful about the possibility of eavesdroppers...
Nov. 21st, 2005 10:43 am (UTC)
Indeed. And the way Karkaroff is pointing his arm with the Dark Mark exactly towards the door, so that Harry can get a good view of it. Come on!

Love your new icon, BTW.
Nov. 21st, 2005 09:11 am (UTC)
ARGH! commenting to this entry without reading the spoilers is really hard.

Anyway, have I told you that your new boots are indeed TEH SEX? because if not, well, they are.
Nov. 21st, 2005 10:45 am (UTC)
Hee, yes - well I admire your self-restraint if you actually managed to do so.

About the boots - no, you haven't, but you are entirely welcome to do so, preferably repeatedly. ;)
Nov. 21st, 2005 10:11 am (UTC)
I'm just trying to remember who Barty Crouch (Senior) reminds me of.

Well, apart from Hitler, of course.
Nov. 21st, 2005 10:50 am (UTC)
Hmm, yes - there must be lots, mustn't there? It's a traditional British sitcom / drama character: the joyless, buttoned-down workaholic who has destroyed their own personal life through excessive devotion to a warped, and ultimately fruitless, sense of duty. But I can't think of other examples at this time in the morning myself.
Nov. 21st, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC)
Arnold Rimmer, perhaps?
Nov. 21st, 2005 04:04 pm (UTC)
Yup, perfect.
Nov. 21st, 2005 10:47 am (UTC)
Did you not find a lot of it really rushed? The beginning and the end in particular. It felt to me like they'd just thrown it together willy nilly. The middle bit was good though. And I also liked the snape moment, yule ball was good, but the end of that seemed rushed too.
I wouldn't go and see it again, but that book was my favourite of them all. I had hoped the film would do it justice, which in places it did, but still. Not enough justice. :P
Nov. 21st, 2005 10:55 am (UTC)
Yes, I did, very much so. It was like:

Whoosh! - Quidditch World Cup - Whoosh! - Mad-Eye Moody - Whoosh! - Triwizard tournament - Whoosh! Harry's in the tournament - Whoosh! - Pensieve - Whoosh! (etc. etc.)

I'm worried that the films to follow will get more and more like this, as the books for 5 and 6 are even longer. It did rob a lot of important moments of their power and significance (although, on the other hand, that aspect was really well done with Harry and Cedric's return). But then again, we can't sit in the cinema for 6 hours, and I didn't feel there was much left in which could have been trimmed. This is partly why I want to see it again, to see if it feels a bit less rushed on a second viewing.
Nov. 21st, 2005 11:23 am (UTC)

I see your point. My thinking is that they left so much out, and then left things in that they didn't complete (Rita Skeeter as one thing) that should have planned it better so it didn't feel as rushed. Even if it meant leaving more things out, because lets face it, it's not gonna make much difference considering the great moments they could have had with some of the stuff. I longed to see Winky sat in front of the fire in the kitchens drunk on Butterbeer. But not a house elf in sight for the whole film. Also there wasn't enough Hermione and Ron, I know it's HARRY POTTER and the Goblet of Fire, but the books focus on all three of them and that's a very important part of the books for me, and so much of their relationships were left out, and yet they put that horrid scene in at the end of the Yule Ball with Hermione having a temper tantrum. What!!??? I don't know, I still enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn't as good as it could have been. I wish I could have directed it, then it would have been great. Honest.

So, sorry HP4 makers, 6/10 and a 'could do better' for you on that one.

Ranting review over. :) You'll have to let me know if it's better with a second viewing or not.
Nov. 21st, 2005 12:49 pm (UTC)
Book 5 was long-winded.
Book 6 was just, er, crap.
Nov. 21st, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen the new movie yet, but I think all of them up until now have been rushed in one way or another - there's virtually always something badly explained. But I think the directors are working on the assumption that people have read the books and are familiar with the story so they can get away with these edits. I don't know if that's such a positive thing, especially for those people that are choosing not to read the books.

As the story develops and the characters get older JKR needs to include more detail to show that they are growing up and becoming young adults. Book 5 is incredibly long and as you said we can't be expected to sit 6 hours in the cinema, but there's so much that can be edited out (that for some reason JKR hadn't done so in the beginning). I don't recall a single moment in that book where I didn't just want to throttle Harry. If the movie keeps it to just 2 tantrums everything else should fit in 2 hours :o)
Nov. 21st, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC)
I saw 1 and 3 without having read the books first, and had no problem following 1, but realised when I read the book of 3 that there was a lot of important stuff I hadn't really picked up on. I still enjoyed it, though.

As the story develops and the characters get older JKR needs to include more detail to show that they are growing up and becoming young adults.

Aye, but at the same time, she no longer needs to include material which works to set up the basic context of the Potterverse (e.g. how wands work, how come we never see witches and wizards, etc.), as that was pretty much covered by the end of book 2.

I do agree that there's a lot which can be edited out, though, as the film of Goblet of Fire shows fairly successfully in itself. And a lot of it is the jolly, comic stuff we're already familiar with by now - the Dursleys, classroom scenes, visits to Hogsmeade, etc. I'm happy to have that still in the books, as I take a the-more-the-merrier approach to them. But a film really has to be tighter, and focus on the plot.
Nov. 21st, 2005 01:45 pm (UTC)
The moment when Harry's name comes out of the Goblet.

Personally, I thought they did this bit quite well. Dumbledore's expression was a near-perfect combination of anger, fear and disbelief. Angry that Harry's name was in the Goblet at all (and possibly anger at the possibility that Harry had gone behind everyone's backs and Dumbledore's wishes to put his name in the goblet); fearful for Harry's chances of surviving the tournament; and disbelief that Harry would be stupid enough to put his name down.

Still, all-in-all, it's still a pretty good movie. Not as good as Prisoner, but then that was extremely good. :) Needs more Dementers...
Nov. 21st, 2005 09:43 pm (UTC)
I think it's Harry's own reaction that really rings false for me at that moment. I mean, wouldn't you in that situation stand up and say: "What? No! But - eh? But I didn't put my name in that goblet!" Instead, in both book and film, he seems to just accept what's happening without trying to protest his innocence.
Nov. 21st, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC)
I suppose that one could be explained away as Harry being in a state of shock, but JKR could have emphasised that point, I'll give you that. Something along the lines of the reaction Arthur Dent has upon seeing Slartibartfast's signature in the glacier on prehistoric Earth would have been fitting, or even a "Harry couldn't speak, he was utterly lost for words! He was minaspeptic, frasmotic, even compunctuous - his flabber truly had been gasted!"
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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