Sunday, November 20, 2005

eyeCandy: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) 3/5

I was going to write this review last night after seeing the new Harry Potter movie, but I decided to give myself some time to think about it. Not much has changed. I really don't understand why people are generally so impressed with these movies (even though the first and third were pretty good). To this end, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a lot like the previous Harry Potter movies - something that would be a great little hour and a half movie is self-indulgently stretched to its breaking point (this one is 2 hours and 37 minutes).

This time the faint plot line revolves around a young wizards' tournament, increased tension in Weasley and Harry's relationship, and a lot of supposed 14 year olds feeling the first rumblings of sexual awakening (speaking of which, please up the age in these stories or something - most of these "kids" are starting to look a little old). The movie is not without its merits: it is wonderful to look at - great special effects, nice cinematography, etc. - but that wears a bit thin over the course of two and half hours. I know there will be Harry Potter fans that don't agree with me, but for the average viewer, the pacing of these movies is seriously flawed. Please, lose some of the little personal vignettes and tighten up everything else. Again typical of the franchise is the fact that what's supposed to be the climax of the movie is terribly anti-climatic - this one has probably the least gratifying ending of any I've seen so far.

I was thinking about this review as I watched the film in the theatre, and somewhere around the one hour mark I even considered giving it four stars - this notion slowly died over the following hour and a half. I get the feeling that whoever is making the Potter movies thinks that they have source material at the level of literary significance of Lord of the Rings or something. This is definitely not the case. And please figure out what sort of movie you're making. Right now, these are kids movies that probably have parts that are too scary for a lot of kids and that continue long past kids' attention thresholds. This would be fine if the movies were totally geared towards adults, but then the "yay, everybody wins" kind of lessons and juvenile dialog and plot development would be seriously out of place, which they are. It's not that I can't watch and really enjoy material geared at kids, I definitely can and do, but these films are a total mess. Any genuine enjoyment that is achieved (e.g. great visuals, several funny moments, some interesting ideas, etc.) is completely undone by the audience being forced to endure what could be the story arc in a sitcom labouriously stretched over the length of an epic.
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11/20/2005 06:54:00 p.m.  


Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

Does anyone else think that these movies are highly over-rated? Is it just me? :-)

December 15, 2005 1:48 p.m.  

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