Last night Shanna, Will, Heather and I made our way to the Midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at the Prytania. We arrived to the Theatre expecting a small crowd but were delighted and surprised to see a line extending out the door. The crowd was filled with gleeful, cheering teenagers which was nice to see. Yet another sign of returning normalcy.
I really liked this film but I'm not sure that it's the best film of the series. It's dark and full of splendid visual delights but lacks Alfonso Cuaron's overall artistic mastery in the Prisoner of Azkaban. I guess the main problem for me is that Goblet of Fire is my favorite book of the series and parts of its intricate narrative including Harry's inner turmoil are sacrificed in the service of big action sequences. I also missed seeing the Dursleys and Dobby, who were both presumably cut in order to spend more time on the Tri Wizard Tournament.
Book / Movie comparisions aside the movie does not dissapoint. There are plenty of great comedic scenes depicting the central character's pubescent development inlcluding a hillarious scene between Moaning Myrtle and Harry. The death eaters, who we see for the first time here, look spooky and fantastic. Voldemort is a frightening character to behold and is played skillfully by Ralph Fiennes. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Tri Wizard bits, especially the Black Lake sequence.
Goblet of Fire is great as a standalone movie and makes a fine addition to the expanded Harry Potter universe. However, if you require more complex and compelling material in your entertainment, I highly suggest reading the book.