Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Discussion)

I saw this several weeks ago. I have pasted comments from Marc and Mitchell below about the film, followed by some of comments of my own.

Marc 11/29/2005

Well, I’m up snowboarding at Whistler right now and caught the most recent Harry Potter movie (Goblet of Fire), which on Reid’s 10 point scale I’d give a 7/10. For comparison sake, I’d rate the other three Potter movies like this:
1. (Sorcerer’s stone) 5/10
2. (Chamber of Secrets) 5/10
3. (Prisoner of Azkaban) 8/10

Mitchell 12/5/2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The fourth-best of the HP films, and a really, really good addition. Judged strictly on its own merits (and not in comparison to the novel), it is thrilling and exciting in a way that more teen movies should be; something on the level of the Goonies, but with a lot more angst.

Strengths: Emma Watson as Hermione is turning into quite an actress. Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley is quite strong, too. The visuals are as terrific as always (especially the Quidditch World Cup sequence), the soundtrack is one of the best I’ve heard in recent years, and the action breakneck and creative. Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter and Brendan Gleeson as Mad-Eye Moody are terrific in roles that should have been given more time. The story is great. The setting is fantastic, as always.

Weaknesses: I’m not sure that someone who hasn’t read the novel will get everything. Daniel Radcliffe doesn’t seem to be developing particularly well as an actor. The movie seems to happen to him. I’m not particularly fond of this Dumbledore.

I definitely need to see it again, but in my first viewing, my heart raced, I had difficulty keeping still, and I found myself wanting to embrace the characters. That’s not a common occurrence for me, leading me to give this an early rating of 9/10.



Except for the first book, I haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books. In my view, unlike most film adaptations, enjoying the film will be very difficult unless you’ve read the books. I enjoyed the first film the most probably because I got to see characters I like on the screen and in such a way that remained faithtful to the books. While the first film remained faithful, I don’t think it stands well without having read the book. Readers of the book can fill in the gaps–deficiencies–of the films.

I never liked the acting in the films. The actors are cardboard and do not bring the characters to life, nor do they convince the audience of a strong friendship. The best thing about the actors is that they are good physical representations of the characters. What I imagine the characters to look like matches fairly well (or at least does not strongly go against) the chosen actors.

This version, as Mitchell mentions, had gaps in the story that left me confused. Even Larrilynn got confused despite reading the book (albeit a long time ago). I disagree with Mitchell that this film stands up on it’s own. I don’t think any of the Potter films would do well if the novels didn’t exist.

5 Responses to “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Discussion)”

  1. Marc

    You can tell just by the ratings above that I’m in between Reid and Mitchell on this one. Regarding some of the points.

    No doubt in my mind that enjoyment and understanding of the movies are enhanced by reading the books. Even with that, I thought the first tow films were mediocre.

    I am somewhere in between Mitchell and Reid with regards to the acting. I think all the actors measurably improve from the first movie to the last. I don’t know that any actors could play those roles any better. I think there’s still room for improvement. So while I’m not as impressed as Mitchell is with several of the actors, nor am I as harsh as Reid is.

    The last two films were exciting. My opinion is that the best of the films was the third, which I thought was the tightest, had the most interesting resolution, and the best supporting characters – I thought Lupin and Sirus were outstanding. The fourth film had the best action sequences, although I thought that the best sequences was the first one and the last one was merely ok until the climactic scene.

    In any event, I think this series is generally improving, with the caveat that I have read the series. From what I remember of the fifth one though, it’ll be very difficult to bring to film given the length of the book and the subtleties that are brought into the characters.

  2. Reid

    To me, the necessary details and backstory and the acting taking away from the action scenes. They’re technically interesting, I guess, but the drama is not there–unless you bring over what you know from the books. That’s my theory anyway.

  3. Marc


    You didn’t think the dragon scene was cool?

  4. Reid


    I thought the dragon scene was OK. Part of the reason I wasn’t more excited was that I don’t think the film did enough to build up the dramatic tension to make those action scenes more exciting. I felt a little lost and disinterested because of this.

  5. pen

    I was disappointed in this movie, although I was disappointed with all the movies so far . . . when I first saw them. Somehow, when I watch them a few years after they’re released, I am not so critical. But since it hasn’t been a few years for Goblet of Fire . . .

    So far in the HP series, Goblet of Fire is my favorite book and I don’t feel that the movie did it justice. The transitions (especially in the beginning) seem to be abrupt cuts, which made following the storyline confusing. I also don’t think that the movie did much to move the characters along except for the story arc.

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