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Re:tro Re:view: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!

Jondee here at Hogwarts,

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The Harry Potter films are being screened at IMAX theaters beginning with the Fantastic Beasts event on Oct. 13 into next week. There was a short intro of Fantastic Beasts with J.K. Rowling, this is the most exciting trailer for the film, also a short interview with the cast of Fantastic Beasts. The dragons was Eddie Redmayne’s choice of task. The Goblet of Fire film was one of my favorite from the books, Order of the Phoenix was ruined by that film. The movie was directed by Mike Newell, who also directed the brilliant Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), he has the right balance of darkness, light moments, and this unexpected trial in Harry’s life. I expected Newell to continue with another Harry Potter film or the rest of the series. The other highlight is the music by Patrick Doyle who also composed the scores for Thor (2011), Brave (2012), and Cinderella (2015). It is full of memorable pieces that I replay many times, it has the John Williams theme, but gives it dark overtones. The standards of Harry Potter are all there; a new Dark Arts professor, the threat of Voldemort (finally realized here in the form of Ralph Fiennes), and Harry going through another semester. There are changes though, no Dursleys at the beginning, instead Harry stays at the Weasley house, called in the Burrow in the books. We also get the larger Wizarding World with the Quidditch World Cup which only has the teams introduced and not the game play. Then, we get schools from other countries; the Bulgarian school that had Grindelwald, the Dark Wizard that battled Dumbledore, as a student, it is a twist on the Sturm und Drang, “storm and drive”, German art movement, also the Beauxbatons which means “beautiful wands” from France. Fleur Delacour, “flower of the court”, is part Veela in the book, magical creatures like nymphs, their looks made males instantly fall for them.

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The movie, after all of those diversions, opens with the graveyard of the Riddle family, we saw from the last film and book, that Voldemort was once known as Tom Riddle. New viewers won’t be lost though, the caretaker walks up to see Wormtail (Timothy Spall) introduced in Prisoner of Azkaban and an unknown man played by David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor! This was before Tennant was the Doctor and his performance is sneaky with the flicking tongue which gives the clue for his character. Voldemort kills the caretaker and this vision haunts Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) through most of the movie. Radcliffe has to expand the character a bit with a potential romance and actual death, also physically with the swimming scenes. He is wakened by Hermione (Emma Watson) and also Ron (Rupert Grint). Watson also has a grown up role with Hermione, the conflict of teenagers is through her, the feelings toward Ron. We also get Grint troubled being under the shadow of Harry, more comedy with his pursuit with Harry to find a date to the dance, and his practice dance with Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith). They head off with Ron’s father and siblings meeting Cedric Diggory played by Robert Pattinson pre-Twilight. There is also Ron’s younger sister, Ginny (Bonnie Wright) whom Harry saved in Chamber of Secrets. It would have been nice to see a budding romance with asking her to the dance, but Neville (Matthew Lewis) asks her. His role is mostly comedic with his botany knowledge, dancing, and then the sadness of his parents under the curse. The group walks to a boot on a hill which is the Portkey that transports them to the Wizarding World.

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This leads them to the tent that opens to a small cabin, Harry remarks “I love magic”, and then the Quidditch World Cup where they are confronted by boasting Draco (Tom Felton) and his aristocratic father Lucius (Jason Isaacs). This is really to introduce the star Quidditch player, Viktor Krum (Stanislav Ianevski). Also, there is an attack by Death Eaters that knocks out Harry and he wakes up in the desolation of the aftermath. He sees the unknown man from his dream cast the Dark Mark into the night sky. On the train to Hogwarts, Harry sees Cho Chang (Katie Leung). Circumstances keep them apart, but this is the most sensible because all of the British Wizarding families are connected. So Harry dating Ginny is like going out with a second cousin. Yeesh! Hermione and Ron makes more sense since she comes from a Muggle family with no bloodlines intermingling. They reach the school and are introduced to the Sturmdrangs and Beauxbatons. Next, we get the other great addition to the films, Mad Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson)! Thankfully, he is in the following films. Mad Eye is one of the most effective catchers of Dark Wizards, Gleeson’s performance is spot on, unpredictable, and has his own plan. Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) announces the Triwizard Tournament that is only open to students who are 17 years old. Harry is only 14, but for some reason he is chosen. This becomes a dangerous game especially since Harry is not at the spell level as the others. He has to face the Hungarian Horntail dragon, the menfolk of Black Lake, and the maze. I remembered a sphinx in the final maze, but this is transformed into a living maze in the film. Five Goblets of Fire out of Five!