Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Release Date: March 7, 2006

I have always heard that you should never judge a book by its cover. This critic found that you should never judge a film by its fanfare. After seeing this film I quickly realized that I had been missing out on three other movies I should have seen a long time ago.

The story begins with Harry having an unsettling dream. The dream portrays future events that could very well lead to his fate. Things are not the way they should be when evidence that the Dark Lord is rising comes to light. However, when awaking he finds himself in the company of his good friends and on his way back to Hogwarts.

The Triwizard Tournament is almost underway and three wizards of age from different schools must compete for eternal glory. The Goblet of Fire has selected its three competitors, but an unexpected event graces Hogwarts. The Goblet of Fire spews the name of a fourth competitor, Harry Potter. Controversy arises when this happens because not only is Harry not of the appropriate age, but he did not submit his name to the Goblet of Fire.

As evil brews in Hogwarts, Harry and his friends find themselves getting mixed up in more than just wizardry. Hogwarts is now filled with the students of two other schools, and interests are peaking. Harry finds himself developing an interest in a girl from another school, while Harry’s friend Hermione develops a crush on one of the Triwizard competitors. Harry faces formidable foes throughout the tournament, and later learns that his worse nightmare is yet in store for him.

The single disc version of this DVD does not come with a single special feature, not even a trailer. However, if you are willing to spend a few bucks extra you can get a two disc deluxe edition that comes with a trailer.

This film is a dream from start to finish. The costume design, sets, visual effects, and sound editing were all well above par. I was not disappointed in the least bit throughout this film. The colors in the scenery were magnificent, as were the computer generated dragons. The sound was audiophile heaven, spread over a near perfect 5.1 audio mix. If you were to buy this DVD (this will be the first Harry Potter movie I will buy, and I’m sure to buy the rest ) you would not be disappointed.

From a credibility standpoint, I have to point out that I am not a Harry Potter fanboy. I have never read any of the books, or seen any of the movies. So when I popped in the DVD, I was expecting to not know what the hell was going on. The film’s director, Mike Newell, did an amazing job with keeping the plot distinct and almost unattached from the first three films. I was worried heading into seeing the movie, I would be lost in a plot of which I had no background knowledge. I have to say that the directing in this film was very well done from the standpoint that I was able to keep up with the plot throughout the entire movie. I did not feel as if I cheapened my experience by not seeing the first three films. I used to think that the Harry Potter fanfare and story was a thing for kids and nerds, but then again I am still a kid at heart and everyone has a nerdy side. Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire is a fun and enjoyable film. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and felt as if I saw an individual expression, not just a money-making sequel. I liked the film so much that when it comes out on Tuesday, I am going to buy it and the three other installments.

The Upside:
This fourth installment in the Harry Potter series can be seen without seeing any of the first three.
The Downside:
I have heard that the books have a lot more depth to the plot.
On the Side:
The rock band at the ball comprises mostly members of Pulp and Radiohead.

Making the Grade:
The Film: B
The Extras: F/C+ (F for the single disc edition, C+ for the “Deluxe Edition”)
The Delivery: A
Overall: B

Click here to buy Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire from Amazon.

Tags: Movie Review, DVD, New Release, Harry Potter