Stephen Speicher

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Rate this movie   28 votes

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30 posts in this topic

I give it a 9.

The movie is probably the best of the series, however, it's also the one that has taken the most shortcuts with the book. They're not super important, but they do change the feeling a bit.

The movie is appropriately dark and somber, and the actors are really starting to shine. It's now a race against time to have them complete the movies before they look too obviously old. They certainly look more like 16 than 14 here.

Ralph Fiennes is great as Lord Voldemort, and I'm really looking forward to seeing more of him.

Moody is absolutely awesome, but a bit too bumbling and expansive. I would have prefered him a little bit darker and more mysterious.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

The director chose to remove the house elves from the story, and replaced them with Barty Crouch Jr. He also removed the whole Skeeter / Animagus thing.

With the book so big and rich, it's understandable, but I do miss some of the side stories and context.

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I gave it a 9 as well, and my comments pretty much mirror Joss'.

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I'm sorry to say I was disappointed in the movie. I have enjoyed the previous Harry Potter films, but the story in this one seemed discontinuous and fragmented, not hanging together as an integrated whole. I hasten to add that I have not read the books, but Betsy, who read them all, said that she mentally filled in what was not presented in the movie. Perhaps those who already know the story find it more comprehensible due to their knowledge from the book, but to me as a stand alone movie this one was the least accomplished of the series.

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You aren't the only one who was a little disappointed by this one. Jennifer Snow blogged about it here. She specifically talks about some plot elements that shouldn't have been left out.

Since I've read the books, I was able to fill in the gaps like Betsy. After reading what Jennifer had to say about it, I can understand how a person who hasn't read the books would sense something was lacking.

That said, this book had by far the richest plot of the entire series, and to fit it all in (which they've done a good job of in the other movies) would probably require at least another hour added to an already long movie. As Jennifer also points out, though, the director could have done a better job selecting what to include and what to nix.

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This one was much darker than the previous films. I was actually a little choked at the end.

I really enjoyed it and agree with Joss that Ralph Fiennes was excellent!

I haven't read the books either, but my son said this one followed the book more closely than the last one. It did seem apparent that the story would've made more sense had I read the book.

It's not my favorite Harry Potter film (stand alone - as Stephen said), but it was a joy to see. :) I gave it an 8.

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WARNING: SPOILERS CONTAINED IN THIS POST

That said, this book had by far the richest plot of the entire series ...

I completely disagree with this evaluation of the plot of Goblet of Fire. I thought the plot was poorly conceived and extremely ridiculous. I might change my mind, if someone can explain to me why so much hassle was necessary to get Harry to touch the portkey to Lord Voldemort. Why couldn't Moody simply take Potter aside one day and have him touch something else more common, like a broomstick? The entire plot revolves around the silliest, most unlikely kidnapping scheme I've ever seen.

Also, I thought the tournament tasks were ridiculously dangerous. No headmaster in his right mind would allow his students to risk life and limb in such a manner. The fact that the tournament ended up costing one student his life and nearly killed the others speaks volumes about Dumbledore's lack of concern for wizard life.

Life certainly is pretty cheap in Rowling's world.

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I really enjoyed the movie. There were a few parts from the book that they left out (and I wish they hadn't!), but overall it was still quite a treat to watch :). It is especially so in light of what else is available :).

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I once heard someone call Atlas Shrugged "irrational and unscientific" because "Galt's motor isn't based on any known scientific principle."

An Objectivist might consider the Harry Potter books evil because they are about people who can do magic -- i.e., violate the Law of Identity.

In both cases we are dealing with art and it is a mistake to take every detail literally. The idea is to look for the abstract essence. In the case of Galt's motor, the abstraction is a great human creation that is useless without its creator. In the case of Harry Potter's magic, the abstraction is a special human ability that must be developed and be used wisely.

That's why I don't agree with Mr. Swig's criticism of the movie. If taken literally, yes, there are plot holes you could drive a truck through and decisions that could be considered very irresponsible. That's not the point. The books and this movie are about the battle of Good and Evil and the importance of the Good winning.

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WARNING: SPOILERS CONTAINED IN THIS POST

I completely disagree with this evaluation of the plot of Goblet of Fire. I thought the plot was poorly conceived and extremely ridiculous. I might change my mind, if someone can explain to me why so much hassle was necessary to get Harry to touch the portkey to Lord Voldemort.

Such a hassle probably wouldn't be necessary in real life. I didn't say the plot was believable, I said it was the richest of the series, meaning it was the must suspensful, engaging, and contained a lot of crucial turning points.

I would agree with the specific points you made, but I regard them as non-essential. There are a lot of things in good art that are far-fetched and outlandish. That's part of what makes it fun. :)

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I have a number of remarks of this movie, with some also regarding the book.

1. The plot is driven by Voldemort, not Harry. It is only in the end that Voldemort's plan goes wrong. Harry is passive, and strikingly non-thinking, acting in great deal on his feelings. The book has this error, but the error is much greater in the movie.

This is in stark contrast with the plot of the other books and movies, which is considerably better.

2. The world cup. The movie builds up the excitement for the game, and then, suddenly, skips it. I, for sure, was disappointed.

3. Incompleteness. Some parts of the plot was only shown halfway, f.instance Skeeter. Other important information was left out, mainly on Snape and the death-eaters.

I think that's all. But don't misunderstand me, I thought this movie was good - but it's not as good as the others.

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I went back to see the movie a second time, and upon reflection, I would take the grade down to 7.

I agree with most of the comments, and I now think that the director & screen writer did a poor job of adapting the story to the screen. I also think that the director didn't read the other books. I do agree with the blogger who says he has made the next movies much more difficult.

The producers should consider Peter jackson for the next movie(s). Jackson has demonstrated his hability to sum up long, complicated plot lines into movies.

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In the case of Harry Potter's magic, the abstraction is a special human ability that must be developed and be used wisely.

But Harry doesn't use his magic "wisely." He survives by luck. And if you don't believe me, perhaps you'll believe it when it comes from Harry's own lips. In chapter 15 of Order of the Phoenix, Hermione is having trouble convincing Harry that he's really good at Defense Against the Dark Arts and should start teaching them what he knows.

"You know what, I'm not sure I want someone this stupid teaching me," Ron said to Hermione, smirking slightly. He turned to Harry. "Let's think," he said, pulling a face like Goyle concentrating. "Uh ... first year -- you saved the Stone from You-Know-Who."

"But that was luck," said Harry, "that wasn't skill --"

"Second year," Ron interrupted, "you killed the basilisk and destroyed Riddle."

"Yeah, but if Fawkes hadn't turned up I --"

"Third year," said Ron, louder still, "you fought off about a hundred dementors at once --"

"You know that was a fluke, if the Time-Turner hadn't --"

"Last year," Ron said, almost shouting now, "you fought off You-Know-Who again --"

"Listen to me!" said Harry, almost angrily, because Ron and Hermione were both smirking now. "Just listen to me, all right? It sounds great when you say it like that, but all that stuff was luck -- I didn't know what I was doing half the time, I didn't plan any of it, I just did whatever I could think of, and I nearly always had help --"

Ron and Hermione were still smirking and Harry felt his temper rise; he wasn't even sure why he was feeling so angry.

"Don't sit there grinning like you know better than I do, I was there, wasn't I?" he said heatedly. "I know what went on, all right? And I didn't get through any of that because I was brilliant at Defense Against the Dark Arts, I got through it all because -- because help came at the right time, or because I guessed right -- but I just blundered through it all, I didn't have a clue what I was doing -- STOP LAUGHING!"

I have to say, I agree with Harry. He's not skilled or wise. He's just a lucky boy. So the proper abstraction to draw from this is that the good wins by luck (or prophecy, in Harry's case).

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I have to say, I agree with Harry. He's not skilled or wise. He's just a lucky boy. So the proper abstraction to draw from this is that the good wins by luck (or prophecy, in Harry's case).

I certainly agree that Harry is pretty stupid at times (e.g., he should be much more ready to go to Dumbledore - of course, it would kill the whole plot). Yet I don't think you're being realistic here. Harry survived at least 1 plot to kill him per year, for 6 years in a row. That cannot be just dumb luck, notwithstanding what he says. Statistics just won't allow that.

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I certainly agree that Harry is pretty stupid at times (e.g., he should be much more ready to go to Dumbledore - of course, it would kill the whole plot).  Yet I don't think you're being realistic here.  Harry survived at least 1 plot to kill him per year, for 6 years in a row.  That cannot be just dumb luck, notwithstanding what he says.  Statistics just won't allow that.

Besides that, if you go back and read what actually happened, Harry showed an admirable clarity of thought under pressure, fully knew what was going on, and acted on it. Sure, there were also occasions where he was in the right place at the right time, but so what? He always had to take some sort of action to see it through to the end, and to take that action, he first had to clearly recognize the facts for what they were. He had to recognize when some lucky event would work in his favor before he could use it to his advantage.

I think that the quoted passage was meant to demonstrate Harry's discomfort with the pedestal he was put on in the wizarding world (which is understandable, considering the stark contrast to his life with the Dursley's), not that he truly wasn't deserving of the praise he was receiving.

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But Harry doesn't use his magic "wisely." He survives by luck. And if you don't believe me, perhaps you'll believe it when it comes from Harry's own lips. In chapter 15 of Order of the Phoenix, Hermione is having trouble convincing Harry that he's really good at Defense Against the Dark Arts and should start teaching them what he knows.

I have to say, I agree with Harry. He's not skilled or wise. He's just a lucky boy. So the proper abstraction to draw from this is that the good wins by luck (or prophecy, in Harry's case).

Spoilers (I seem unable to manipulate text in my browser, so look at this first!)

I don't think your selected quote proves this at all. One of the ways of looking at that scene is that Harry is wrong in what he saying there, which is why the other two keep laughing the more he goes on. If I remember correctly, the classes went very well, and that aided him later.

Not to say that he hasn't had luck from the beginning. But, so what? There are virtues he has shown that have aided him on his adventures, among them: independence, integrity, and honesty, courage. I don't know if I could accuse him of using his magic "unwisely" since he has been faced with things no one his age is supposed to deal with.

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Also, I thought the tournament tasks were ridiculously dangerous. No headmaster in his right mind would allow his students to risk life and limb in such a manner. The fact that the tournament ended up costing one student his life and nearly killed the others speaks volumes about Dumbledore's lack of concern for wizard life.

Life certainly is pretty cheap in Rowling's world.

Kind of like we do with high school football? Kids die playing that all the time, and suffer many other horrific injuries. Seems life may be cheap in our world as well, if cheap it is to be called.

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Harry survived at least 1 plot to kill him per year, for 6 years in a row.  That cannot be just dumb luck, notwithstanding what he says.  Statistics just won't allow that.

We're talking about fiction here, not reality. Rowling can invent whatever statistics she wants for Harry. He can be as lucky or unlucky as she wants him to be.

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There are virtues [Harry] has shown that have aided him on his adventures, among them: independence, integrity, and honesty, courage.

Yet, Harry is sorely lacking when it comes to the primary virtue of rationality. This is why he must depend so heavily on the "virtue" of luck.

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Kind of like we do with high school football? Kids die playing that all the time, and suffer many other horrific injuries.

Kids don't die "all the time" from playing high school football. I played high school football for four years, and nobody died. There was a track athlete, though, who was bitten in half by a Horntail dragon.

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MisterSwig, I have a question. Your dislike of the film goes beyond a "I don't like it" to an "I hate it." May I ask what specific thing about this movie (or Harry Potter in General) makes you so emotionally charged? Your reaction is the kind I'd expect against someone praising Mein Kampf...not a kids book.

I'm not trying to be offensive at all ! :). Knowing that emotions stem from our ideas, I want to know specifically what ideas of this movie appear to be strong enough to warrant hostility.

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Kids don't die "all the time" from playing high school football. I played high school football for four years, and nobody died. There was a track athlete, though, who was bitten in half by a Horntail dragon.

Is the assertion that nobody died at your high school in the four years you played there to be proof against my assertion that kids die (I'll amend to often enough) playing football? They are risking death or very serious injury, that is simply a fact. How terribly irresponsible of the adults involved.

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Yet, Harry is sorely lacking when it comes to the primary virtue of rationality. This is why he must depend so heavily on the "virtue" of luck.

And here I was under the impression I was reading about a kid growing up! Not always fully applying the principle of rationality to all his actions and decisions. Yes, this sounds familiar, I think they call it adolescence.

I still disagree about the degree of luck you are ascribing to him. But, regardless, give the kid a little room to grow up. He does, you know.

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MisterSwig, I have a question.  Your dislike of the film goes beyond a "I don't like it" to an "I hate it."  May I ask what specific thing about this movie (or Harry Potter in General) makes you so emotionally charged?  Your reaction is the kind I'd expect against someone praising Mein Kampf...not a kids book.

I'm not trying to be offensive at all ! :).

I'm not offended, and it's a good question. But, before I answer, let me just point out that Harry Potter is not just a "kids book." It's a cultural phenomenon! People of all ages love Harry Potter.

Now, I dislike Goblet of Fire because it seems like everything about it, except its page length, is inferior to the previous three stories, which I mostly enjoyed. I've already written about the plot being much too ridiculous. But the problems don't end there. The characters act more and more irrational and evasive. Harry is incredibly passive and dependent upon others in this story. It's almost as if he doesn't have a brain of his own. Other people are always telling him what to do and how to survive. He can't figure it out himself. And, also, the miserable theme has something to do with the amazingly powerful enemies routinely deceiving and manipulating the almost totally ignorant and uninterested heroes, who would rather engage in a bloodsport tournament than overly concern themselves with the question of how and why Harry's name was put into the Goblet.

Those are a few of the general reasons why I dislike the fourth book and movie. Basically, I think it's mediocre literature with a view of the universe leaning toward the malevolent.

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1. The plot is driven by Voldemort, not Harry. It is only in the end that Voldemort's plan goes wrong. Harry is passive, and strikingly non-thinking, acting in great deal on his feelings. The book has this error, but the error is much greater in the movie.

This is in stark contrast with the plot of the other books and movies, which is considerably better.

I find this comment interesting, because I didn't have this impression at all. The Triwizard Tournament was primarily a diversion and it served its purpose admirably. Harry was too busy trying to get through the tasks to pay adequate attention to the slightly-more-subtle signs of Voldemort's interference with ongoing events. Throughout the book, at least, he's worried about all the various suspicious happenings and it is Hermione that urges him to pay attention to the tasks because she's worried that something horrible will happen.

Remember also that he has to keep up with his regular schoolwork during all of this, too. How much time do you have left to follow plot threads when you're buried in classwork AND working on an independant project on the side? Not very much.

More generally, though, I'm not certain it's a good idea to complain that the bad guy drives the plot. In literary conflicts it is ALWAYS the evil that sets the terms of engagement; if the good was setting the terms there wouldn't be any conflict, and hence no story.

It is when the good guys take over and start setting the terms that the conflict is resolved and the story comes to a satisfactory conclusion . . . well, if it's a happy ending, which it really ought to be. :)

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