Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Director: Mike Newell
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes
Viewed in theaters: 11/23/05
Best Achievement in Art Direction (lost to Memoirs of a Geisha)
I don't know if by the time the fourth film came out, I just learned to accept the Harry Potter movies (I had plenty to bitch about with the first three!) or if this one was better than the previous three. I think it's a bit of both. Overall, I thought Mike Newell did a great job with Goblet of Fire considering they managed to squeeze a 700+ page book into a two and a half hour movie. Of course, there were some b-plots from the novel written out like the whole SPEW crusade - not that I minded since I can't stand Dobby. I find GoF to be the most movie-friendly of the book. With the three tasks for the Tri-Wizard Tournament involving dragons and mermaids and the Yule Ball, there's plenty of action to translate to the screen.
They toned down Hermione from the last movie and this time she wasn't front and center and stealing Harry's spotlight and she was actually shown (gasp!) reading a book.
I saw the movie with my mom when I saw it in the theaters and I had to give her a little review of everything HP since her only experience with the franchise had been seeing the first movie. It was a little sad...she didn't even know who Voldemort was when I mentioned him. After we watched it, she said, "I didn't know it was going to be so scary! That dragon, that snake, those skeletons in the graveyard!" Now, personally, I wasn't scared by the movie, but it definitely takes a darker turn than the previous films. However, there are some funny moments to balance out the darkness, such as any scenes with Fred and George or Ron dancing with Professor McGonagall when she's teaching the students how to dance. I also always crack up when Harry tells Ron, "I don't know what happened last night and I don't know why" even though it's not supposed to be funny, but it made it sound like they had some funny business going on.
And, finally, a Harry Potter movie where the ending doesn't want want to make me gag or roll my eyes!
To date, this is my favorite Potter movie of the six that have been released.