Harry Potter 4

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Logo

By July, 2000, I was well-aware of the growing Harry Potter phenomenon, though I was still more than a year away from picking up a book myself. Oddly enough, I just happened to be at a book store the night this book was released, gazed upon the bustling, costumed crowd and thought, “Man, this book series is nearly as popular as the as yet unwritten Twilight series.”

Book Review

This was the first long book: nearly twice the length of the third book (but only about half the length of the book I’m going to write Real Soon Now.) It introduced us to many new characters, new subplots, and for the first time ever, page numbers beginning with a seven.

For once, the book didn’t begin at the Dursleys (much to the chagrin of the actors portraying the Dursleys). Instead we find ourselves at the Riddle house where we get a quick peek into the main plot line: Voldemort places his now most-trusted servant at Hogwarts in order to ensure that Harry wins the Triwizard Tournament, touches the Triwizard Cup, and gets transported directly to Voldemort, just so he can kill Harry.

Odd, then, that this most-trusted servant spends almost an entire year right next to Harry and doesn’t do anything. He could have killed him the very first day of Defense Against the Dark Arts. I can see it now.

Mad-Eye Moody: And the third Unforgivable Curse is . . . [points his wand at Harry] Avada Kadavra! [Harry drops dead. End of series.]

Movie Review

The movie was directed by Mike Newell—the first Harry Potter film by a British director. I’d only seen one of his films before: Four Weddings and a Funeral so I wasn’t sure what to expect on this outing. Given how much I really, really liked Cuarón’s offering, and given the length of the source material, anything could have happened.

I wasn’t surprised to find a highly compressed story line with just about every single subplot discarded in an effort to just “get on with it.” It was a bit odd to see things on the screen in the first five minutes that I swear were on page 300 in the book.

And yet, it moved along quite well as a movie. In fact, for the first time ever, I was actually happy to see the film dispense with the frivolity and dive immediately into the main plot. Granted, this is because I forgot to hit the bathroom beforehand and was really sorry I purchased the “medium” seventy-two ounce soda. But it worked nonetheless. We may have lost a vampire along the way, but Harry once again survived otherwise insurmountable odds to see another volume in the series. Is there anything that boy can’t do?

2 Responses to “Harry Potter 4”

TexasDeb said
June 21, 2011 at 6:44 am

The Potter series lost its shiny for me about halfway through. Not knocking the books per se, just recognizing they are written for kids. Given a choice I like books (well) written for adults. As it should be.

Barely made it through the Twilight series but it is much shorter and those are so clearly really meant for teen girls and/or Mormons (seriously, significantly chaste/monogamous glitter vampires?).

One book in to the Hunger Games trilogy with the second and third books on their way from the library. Another movie in the works there apparently so at least I’ll be caught up on that franchise….

I guess that is the mark of true success in YA fiction these days. If your book(s) are in production talks for film(s) you are golden.

Wondering – are kids and grown ups who wish they still were kids the majority of folks still going to the movies in this economy?

    Charlie said
    June 21, 2011 at 7:41 am

    You mean, there are grown ups who don’t still wish they were kids?