Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Widescreen DVD Review

Reviewed: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Widescreen DVD
Official Site:
Harry Potter at Warner Brothers

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, someone has entered the Harry into the Triwizard Tournament, a “friendly” competition between magical schools. The boy wizard battles through challenges as he tries to make it through his fourth year at Hogwarts.

Most of the other Harry Potter movies do the book justice. Though they leave out some details, they mostly keep the essence J.K. Rowling injected into the original work. However, I was woefully saddened by the detail of Goblet of Fire. The movie did not show the hilarity of Harry at the Dursleys’ house. Instead, the story began at the Weasley’s house. I feel like the Quidditch World Cup was completely botched. No Quidditch was even played! The Yule Ball, while lovely, took too much of the movie as it was jazzed up to emphasize Hollywood teen drama. The final challenge of the Triwizard Tournament was lacking, since it included none of the challenges listed in the book such as the sphinx’s riddle or the vicious spider. Also, so many fun details were left out. I’m sure movie viewers would have loved Ludo Bagman, the fat ex-Quidditch player; veela, the ultra-sexy creatures of the wizarding world; Winky, Barty Crouch’s house elf who is shamed early in the book; and the blast-ended skrewts, one of Hagrid’s class creatures whose name is self-explanatory. Overall, however, the plot was similar to that of the book. The scenes were well-acted and similar in dialogue. I know certain details had to be cut. As a fan of the book, I just feel a few too many were taken out.

The movie makes up for the plot cuts with the gorgeous special effects. The dragons were simply gorgeous. Every part was so beautiful and fluid that you could begin to understand why Hagrid likes them so much. Also, the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament, which takes place underwater, was so wonderful. I could feel myself swimming with Harry through the challenge.

The DVD itself is terrible, though. There are no special features. That’s right. Nothing. The only options are to view the movie, select scenes, or change the language. The point of the DVD is to give the viewer extra insight into the working of the movie. Unfortunately, Goblet of Fire’s DVD does not even try.

Overall: The movie, though not as strong as the others, is still pretty good. However, the DVD is just plain pathetic.
Final Score: 3 out of 5

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