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A Maze of Reviews for GoF

Movie Reviews
Posted by: Melissa
November 18, 2005, 09:51 AM

A number of national and local papers and websites published their reviews of GoF today, and we have a selection of them here for you.
The Irish Times gave the film three stars, which is "worth a look." "Goblet of Fire will prove hard work for those viewers not steeped in Potter lore. Watching this tiring series, one gets the impression that the directors and writers have been hampered by the knowledge that readers of the books may - in a similar fashion to those opera fanatics who bring the score to performances - spend the few hours carefully checking that every cadenza and crescendo makes it onto the screen."

Slate says, "Goblet of Fire has little in the way of niceties: no blithe schoolboy (or -girl) mischief-making, no wisecracking portraits, no bizarre but lovable pets, and barely a frame of Quidditch. (A murderous army of Death Eaters interrupts the World Cup festivities.) More terrifying, puberty has finished its work and dating is now neck-and-neck with Voldemort as Harry's most soul-wrenching preoccupation."

Salon's reviewer felt that "Cuarón's picture was a great romantic fantasy grounded in naturalism, and the first Potter adaptation to show any real understanding of its source material. Newell's movie is equally faithful to the fourth book's tone, but its poetry has a completely different texture. This is a brooding, somber story, a metaphor for the painful segue from childhood to adolescence. It balances the exhilaration of independence -- one of the great joys of growing up -- with the sobering realization that being a grown-up means there's no one around to protect you."

The Portsmouth Herald expresses surprise that this sequel is so much better than its predecessors. "[D]arned if this Harry Potter franchise isn't sharpening, expanding, growing into itself as it progresses. The fourth film in the series has a couple of those great out-of-body popcorn movie moments that popcorn movies have been missing this year. It's better acted, more beautiful, with the most dazzling effects yet, and lighter on its feet when it needs to be, more brooding and depressing when that's called for. "Goblet of Fire" is good enough that if they'd chosen to end this series at this film's climax, it would've worked, would've felt right and few would have felt cheated."

The Minneapolis Tribune felt that the fourth time was the charm for the series, and that "while some parts are quite disturbing, the movie's overall tone is not nearly as dark as that of its predecessor, "The Prisoner of Azkaban." That movie was relentless in its thriller atmosphere, but this one mixes in a heavy helping of lighter fare, alternating scenes involving danger with ones played for humorous effect."

About.com's critic felt the movie was plodding at times. "I do appreciate some nuances missed. There isn't much of a sense of Harry's relationship with Mad Eye Moody in the movie. There's no sense of who Krum is and why he's a hero who becomes a villain of sorts. Rita Skeeter’s magic quill gag doesn't read on screen, though the subsequent newspaper gag does. Fleur does absolutely nothing but look hot (she's a senior, right?). It's a shame there's not more room for these supporting characters to shine, but even for all the consolidation of plot, Goblet of Fire still feels long."

ABC's Joel Siegel, unfortunately, seems to be as mangled as Rita Skeeter by Harry's age, but also notes that Goblet is "darker than the others, and not for young kids. But I'm wild about this "Harry." It's the best of the bunch."

India's Rediff notes that the film is not for Muggles; the reviewer brought three people to the screening who hadn't read the books or, it seems, seen the first three films. During the graveyard scene, "The muggles near me were wondering what on earth was happenning. During the scene were Voldemort touches Harry (remember he could not do so without enduring pain in the previous books, thanks to the magical properties of his mother's love?), he says, 'Now, I can touch you!' The muggle on my left smirks and quips: 'What's so great about it? He is tied to a pole!' Vaild point, mate, but you have to read the books to understand the nuances of the script.

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