...that "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" ROCKS!!!!
Saw it this morning.....drool...full of the Potter love.
***WARNING. This was only supposed to be a short post, but I got carried away. This may contain plot spoilers for those 2 people who haven't read the books and know what happens anyway. I warned you!***
Definitely the darkest so far, and fully deserving of its M rating I think. Very visual horror - the appearance of Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort returning to his body in particular. Just last week I was drooling over Ralph in "The Constant Gardener"; today he terrified me with his slit-nostriled, snake-eyed, softly spoken personification of evil. EVIL!!!
It was well adapted from the novel - but obviously most of the subplots were cut out. This had ramifications for most characters. We saw very little of Snape and McGonagall (they still left their mark though!), Gary Oldman was just a head in the fire briefly (undermining the close relationship he and Harry need to have established by the shocking end of Book 5), even Hermione was a bit useless, as they cut out a lot of the vital role she plays as Harry's dependable and fiercely loyal researcher/teacher. I guess they figure we know that by now.
Ron was hilarious as he spent most of the film moping - about school, about girls, about Harry, about basically anything. Rupert Grint is just superbly watchable. Fred and George (now with flowing locks) mischievous as usual, Ginny given slightly more of a presence, a wonderful idea to involve Neville in Harry's second task, a cute cameo by Moaning Myrtle and a sufficient use of Malfoy and his goons.
The Hagrid/Madame Maxime romance was nicely realised, but only alluded to Hagrid's giant ancestry. Cho Chang's appearances were sweet, if brief - especially with her fantastic Glaswegian accent. As for the Tri-Wizard champions themselves...well they actually had very little to do, as most of the action focused on Harry. Fleur was pretty but also pretty useless. Krum was suitably scowly, but didn't give me any reason to believe why Hermione would get so flushed around him. The best was undoubtably Cedric, who was believable and made you like him, which only made the end so much worse.
Brendan Gleeson was wonderful as Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody. I look forward to seeing more of him - even though it will no doubt be in a reduced capacity (if at all, knowing the brutal nature of the adaptations). And Michael Gambon proves again why Dumbledore rocks. He is full of strength and vitality, yet gets across those moments of weakness in which you realise the man who is truly wise is the one who knows he knows nothing. If that makes sense. You can tell both Gleeson and Gambon's Irish accents at certain points too!
A special mention to one of my very favourite actors - Miranda Richardson, who played nosy reporter (mmm, why does that appeal) Rita Skeeter. A fabulous characterisation - but sadly under-used. And the wonderfully ironic subplot of her being an unregistered animagus who literally "bugged" people's conversations was one of the few I wished they'd kept in.
There were some great set pieces - Harry's fight with the Hungarian Horntail (even if it was a bit over-dramatic - I don't remember the Dragon breaking free of its chain and chasing Harry around the Hogwarts castle turrets in the book!). The Yule Ball and the "asking-girls-out-and-having-to-dance-with-them" comedy that brought was a joy. Some decent music too, thanks to Jarvis Cocker and various other Britpop people playing the "Weird Sisters". The climactic graveyard scene was dark, and scary, and violent, and yet beautiful. The Quidditch World Cup at the beginning was very atmospheric - and it was a shame they couldn't at least show some highlights of the Ireland/Bulgaria match. The appearance of the Death Eaters and the burning of the camp was truly terrifying. And of course it incorporated an appearance by Bartemius Crouch, Junior, played by my new favourite - David Tennant.
I think Greg will be OK with this when I say - I want to marry David Tennant. ;) He is just a revelation as Barty Crouch Jnr. I've not seen him in a lot of things - like many others I've probably just become keen since he was cast as the Tenth Doctor. But for someone who has a great line in witty and charming, he makes a fabulous villain. Actually, that's probably why! He's only in a handful of scenes in this, but he completely captures your attention. And as for that tongue-flick.....
So David Tennant joins the relatively short list of "Men Natalie Must Try to Do It With at Some Point". The only other entrant this year was Richard Armitage, who played Mr Thornton in "North and South". Hmm. There's obviously something about Tall British Men with Dark Hair. ;)
And that was "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". Wow! Now I have just three sweet days in which to lord it over people that I've seen it ahead of its release!
Cheers all, Natalie.