I just watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the first time.
Spoilery details follow…
I really liked some of the changes that were made. I think in some cases, they tightened the story and actually made it better. For instance, Neville providing the gillyweed instead of Dobby was clever. I think it was a bit of foreshadowing for the next movie, when Neville will really break out and show us why he’s in Gryffindor.
My main quibble is that I didn’t get to see enough of the Quidditch World Cup at all. I really wanted to see that game. I suppose that would have added a good 10 minutes to an already long film, however.
It was interesting to hear Cho speak with a Scottish accent. Then again, I guess the books never made it clear where she was from. It could be Scotland as easily as elsewhere.
I didn’t think I was going to like Moody’s eye, but it was actually OK. Not how I pictured it, but OK. The courtroom scene in the Pensieve was great. I loved it. It was interesting to portray Barty Crouch, Jr. as wholly unsympathetic. That tongue-flicking thing that David Tennant did was really creepy. Actually, the film didn’t explain why Crouch, Jr. wasn’t in Azkaban, and I think they should have.
I don’t really like Flitwick’s new look at all. I didn’t realize that that was supposed to be him in the last film, but I finally put it together. He looks, frankly, like a pint-sized Hitler. For that matter, Crouch, Sr. was a little bit Hitler-ish, too.
I liked that the Death Eaters’ robes looked like Klan robes. I thought that was a clever touch and spot-on interpretation. I also liked the effects on the Dark Mark, both in the sky and on the arms of the Death Eaters. It was more frightening than I imagined.
Ralph Fiennes was frightening and brilliant. That whole graveyard scene was scary. I cried through most of it. It was so tragic. Actually, I really started crying when James told Harry what to do. That scene was amazing.
Miranda Richardson nailed Rita Skeeter.
Of course, the special effects were great. The dragon was amazing. I also liked the underwater scene with the merpeople. Voldemort’s regeneration was amazing.
I liked that the Weasley twins were finally given their due in a movie. In the books, they are so much funnier and have much more “on” time, and I always felt the movies shortchanged them. This one didn’t.
I was totally blown away. The movie was outstanding. Don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me, but I feel that if the book had been as tight as the movie, it would have been a better book. I have always considered it my least favorite of the series, but when I saw the movie, I realized what an excellent story it really told. I think it just needed some editing, maybe. (Ducks and runs.)