Harry Potter the Making of Diagon Alley (2014)

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Title: Harry Potter: The Making of Diagon Alley

Release: 30 June 2014 (USA)

Language: English

Rating: 7.7/10

Runtime: 42min

Stars: Mike Aiello, Helena Bonham Carter, Patrick Braillard

Genre: Documentary, 2014

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Discovering the Real World of Harry Potter (2001)

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Discovering the Real World of Harry Potter picks up where the blockbuster film and bestselling books leave off. This critically-acclaimed documentary explores the myths and legends that inhabit the real world of Harry Potter. Follow award-winning documentary filmmakers as they offer insights to witches, wizards, Greek Gods, Ancient Celts, ghosts, magical creatures, alchemy, and ancient spells. Extra Features: The Ghostly Visitors of Harry Potter; Harry Potter’s Alchemical and Herbal World; In the Footsteps of Harry Potter; Harry Potter and the Holy Grail.

Title: Discovering the Real World of Harry Potter

Release: 10 December 2001 (USA)

Language: English

Rating: 6.3/10

Runtime: 48min

Director: Shaun Trevisick

Writers: Shaun Trevisick

Stars: Hugh Laurie, J.K. Rowling, Gavin Scott

Genre: Documentary, 2001

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

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Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Release: 15 July 2011 (USA)

Language: English

Rating: 8.1/10

Runtime: 130min

Director: David Yates

Writers: Steve Kloves (screenplay), J.K. Rowling (novel)

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, 2011

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After a perfunctory couple of shots lifted from the end of the first installment of The Deathly Hallows, the film begins in earnest with a scene of slow, quiet urgency at an oceanfront cottage that could have been imported from Jacques Rivette’s Out 1. The Harry Potter franchise’s winding-down films, all four directed by David Yates, rely heavily on such calm-before-the-storm moments as the hour of Voldemort’s inevitable defeat draws nigh. As the director himself has evolved from an efficient and vaguely stylish, yet unsure, functionary into the greatest director of blockbuster cinema since Steven Spielberg, the sense of unhurried, supple balance rarely departs from even the busiest, most deafening, most f/x-laden sequences. As a firestorm rages through a seemingly infinite attic space, Yates’s camera (presided over by Eduardo Serra, who lensed seven of Claude Chabrol’s last eight feature films) circumscribes enough screen space to anchor the chaos to a stabilizing, grounded structure with reassuring x-y axes, giving the viewer the pleasure both of frantic motion and its container.

If that’s a little too egghead-cinephile for you folks, bear with me. Essential to understanding the magnitude of Yates’s achievement is to deliver him from the lukewarm deathblow of “workmanlike,” which is perfectly appropriate for Mike Newell’s turn at bat, and far too kind to the toxic Chris Columbus. The fact that Yates marshals a mile-long grocery list of business with the grace and poise of an orchestra conductor, and makes it look easy, isn’t just flattery, it’s an indication of his method. The unavoidable flurry of activity and getting the treasure and escaping certain death and all that, the prostrate-before-Rowling, infernal importance of each “from the book, do it right” moment, the prestige of a project this scale, all of these symptoms of prideful self-commemoration are inseparable from a nonchalant, wistful distance, an attitude of smallness that calms it down, and gives us, as Ratatouille’s Anton Ego might say, a little perspective.

These two indices of scale (macro and micro) are never far apart from one another. There’s nothing new, for example, about a horde of bad guys getting ready to storm the good guys’ stronghold (curiously, every face in the horde seems to have a sufficient fill lighting; hey, aren’t you supposed to make CGI effects dingy and hard to see, as demonstrated in Peter Jackson’s movies?), but Yates pivots the whole, expensive panorama on a furtive single step, the squeak of one leather boot as the chief baddie tests Hogwarts’s force field. For Yates, casualness and abstraction are inextricable from the emotional force of his direction. Images that have been worn to a nub from overuse (the Cloak of Invisibility, Dementors, Disapparating) reacquire elegance, if they ever had it to begin with. Even the image of Lily Potter being struck down—only one of a thousand moments Columbus fumbled in The Sorcerer’s Stone, from which the shot was lifted—gains emotional resonance and abstraction through reframing and repetition. The only sequence that risks getting a summons for excessive exposition (the last dip into the Pensieve) is saved by a fluid, unstable fragmentation reminiscent of Gondry/Kaufman, and the unexpected welling up of longing and heartache in Alan Rickman’s brilliant performance. (His is one of the deftest balancing acts of the year, operating as the film does on multiple octaves.)

Deathly Hallows: Part 2 also sounds strange. The horcruxes emit a steady, maddening, low whine, similar to the one heard throughout Lars von Trier’s Antichrist. The goblin custodians of Gringotts wield what looks to be a U.S. Army version of a baby’s rattle to rend a pale, keening dragon into submission. The alarms at the same institution sound like the protest of a thousand alley cats. There’s also the combined timbre of half the British stage—a crowd from which Rickman, Maggie Smith, and Ralph Fiennes distinguish themselves. Sometimes the acting is that of high, dry, scene-stealing camp, and sometimes it’s like Yates has read my mind and knows that all I want ever

y now and then is for a character to stand completely still and not say anything. That in itself may prove a divisive issue. Some will complain that the film doesn’t explain every last thing that’s happening and why, or provide ample context, blithely assuming you’ve read the books, and simply plows ahead. Good. I haven’t read more than a few chapters of any of the books, except for The Sorcerer’s Stone, and that was over 10 years ago, but for a finale like this—in stark contrast to the never-ending conclusion of New Line Cinema’s Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Based on the Novel The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien—it’s safe to say that less is more. A lot more. Is the story really of such paramount importance at this point? Hogwarts becomes Precinct 13 and Voldemort is the Death Star—there you go. The big picture is backdrop, as Yates, while gently weaving the shuttle of parallel editing between these two major movements, finds limitless opportunity to depict smallness and stillness in the chaos and hubbub, reshaping the bombast and branding around the most minute contours.

by Jaime N. Christley (13 July 2011)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

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As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Release: 19 November 2010 (USA)

Language: English

Rating: 7.7/10

Runtime: 146min

Director: David Yates

Writers: Steve Kloves (screenplay), J.K. Rowling (novel)

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, 2010

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In Harry Potter and the Torturous Moping, er, Deathly Hallows, Harry and best pals Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) go on the run from evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), who having had Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore assassinated (by Alan Rickman’s traitorous Snape) in the prior Half-Blood Prince, now seeks global domination via the murder of the boy wizard. With the ministry of magic under his control and transformed into a Third Reich-style government bent on persecuting humans and half-human “mudbloods,” Voldemort has cast a reign-of-terror pall over England, which director David Yates visualizes through a color palette made up of blacks, grays, and lesser grays. As the film’s tagline suggests, “nowhere is safe,” so the three heroes flee to the remote countryside and forest, where they set up tents, debate how to find and destroy “Horcruxes”—for you non-Potterphiles, those are enchanted objects containing fragments of Voldemort’s soul—and generally fret about their on-the-lam circumstances. When during this do-nothing period Ron freaks out at Harry for being clueless about how to save them, as well as for supposedly putting the moves on Hermione, his rage is at once misplaced (Harry’s no amorous backstabber!) and yet completely justified, as it’s all too easy to relate to frustration over such a static, navel-gazing scenario.

Except, that is, unless you’re one of the Harry Potter faithful, who will surely appreciate Yates’s continued fidelity to his source material, which is so great that this Deathly Hallows is merely Part One; the concluding segment of J.K. Rowling’s seventh novel won’t appear until next summer. Yet such dedication to accuracy proves an anchor weighing down these proceedings, with countless sequences practically begging to be trimmed so as to kick up some much-needed momentum. In this regard, Yates is not all that different from Chris Columbus, whose first two Harry Potter films were similarly fixated on exacting reproduction of Rowling’s tomes above all other cinematic concerns. Aside from an intro airborne ambush and a skirmish with Helena Bonham Carter’s sorely underutilized Bellatrix Lestrange, whose unhinged malevolence briefly enlivens the climax, Yates’s film is a thoroughly inert affair, and even in those more action-packed moments, the director sabotages any potential tension and excitement by editing his CG-heavy centerpieces to ribbons. For all its self-conscious panoramas of doom and gloom, there isn’t a single memorable image or incident in Deathly Hallows, just a few drearily derivative sights (like Harry facing a room full of lookalikes, or his smeary recurring dreams about the past) and the diminishing-returns banter of lovebirds Ron and Hermione.

As with its predecessors, Deathly Hallows‘s narrative is driven by gobbledygook devices: supernatural totems, indestructible weapons, enigmatic incantations, and vital symbols that hold the key to unlocking the secrets of aged myths. Two fleeting incidents—one involving the trio disguising themselves as adults to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic, the other featuring Ron being confronted by a horrifying vision of Harry and Hermione making out in the nude—capture a stinging sense of adolescent maturation. However, instead of focusing on its characters’ tumultuous feelings, such as Hermione’s grief over erasing her parents’ memories of her, or the sadness that overwhelms a momentary Harry-Hermione dance to Nick Cave’s “O Children,” the film largely fixates on the investigation and use of magical thingamabobs, which in and of themselves hold no meaning and thus reduce the narrative to a series of perfunctory mysteries. Even the scenic vistas of the apocalyptic English hillside, often punctuated by zooming aerial cinematography over land and sea, come off like stale leftovers from The Lord of the Rings, an impression also advanced by the participation of loyal house elf Dobby, who until his tragic last breath (in a scene that fails to pack any emotional wallop) remains a far cry from Gollum.

Yates not only delivers all setup and no payoff, he delivers a setup that’s neither thrilling nor consequential. Rather, this incomplete cliffhanger of a tale hardly gets the ball rolling toward its inevitable Harry-Voldemort showdown, unless one considers as significant progress Voldemort acquiring a Very Important Wand and Harry and Ron squabbling and then, through plotting that might generously be dubbed “slapdash,” reuniting in the nick of time to acquire a Very Important Sword and make nice-nice with each other. Toward film’s conclusion, an inspired sepia-toned animated interlude about the legend of the Deathly Hallows (crafted by Ben Hibon) provides a jolt of unique visual splendor to match the ominous foreboding of Alexandre Desplat’s sinister score, not to mention features striking silhouettes that exude more personality than does the cast’s usual gaggle of esteemed British thespians. Alas, that sequence is also, from a storytelling standpoint, so excessive (a concise verbal recounting of the fable would have sufficed) that it merely exacerbates the overriding impression that this final Harry Potter saga has been stretched egregiously thin over two features not to do proper justice to Rowling’s work, but simply to accommodate rabid fans and pad Warner’s coffers.

by Nick Schager (17 November 2010)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

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As Harry Potter begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as “the property of the Half-Blood Prince” and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort’s dark past.

Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Release: 15 July 2009 (USA)

Language: English

Rating: 7.5/10

Runtime: 153min

Director: David Yates

Writers: Steve Kloves (screenplay), J.K. Rowling (novel)

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, 2009

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince doesn’t bother with establishing backstory—at this point, if you’re not a Hogwarts alum, you have no business here in the first place. Which is all well and good, except that for those intimately familiar with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), Ron (Rupert Grint), and the rest of the wizardry gang, there’s no surprise, only obligation, to be found in experiencing the remainder of these big-screen Potter adaptations, of which this sixth is at once rich in character and wispy in narrative. To an extent even greater than Order of the Phoenix, this Potter only takes a baby step forward, its central tale about Draco Malfoy’s (Tom Felton) attempts to assassinate wizened professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) so lean that it soon becomes a background concern, and culminates in a manner that—given the emotional and practical significance of said well-known tragedy—comes off as dispiritingly perfunctory. If only the anticlimactic ordinariness of this finale were a means of highlighting the mundanity of evil. Mostly, though, David Yates’s second turn behind the camera never manages to generate the dramatic momentum necessary to create requisite suspense or a sense of import, furthering the impression that this chapter is merely a plot placeholder.

And yet despite this thinness, Half-Blood Prince nonetheless often feels fruitful thanks to diligent concentration on the romantic plights of its three pubescent protagonists. Whereas preadolescent fears (of fitting in, of leaving home, of discovering an unknown adult world) were married to distant Voldemort danger in the early films, this latest yarn equates consuming hormonal desires (both frustrated and realized) with pressing malevolent threats from Voldemort’s cadre of Death Eaters, who at story’s beginning have begun brazenly attacking not only the forces of good but also Muggles themselves. Ash-gray clouds and dark steel-blue hues once again cast an ominous pall over the proceedings, and sights of wondrous magic prove sparse and fleeting, mainly confined to Dumbledore’s sumptuous revitalization of a dilapidated house interior and an ill-fitting visit to the elder Weasley brothers’ gag shop. Now almost completely removed from the ooh-ah-whoa fancifulness of Chris Columbus’s first two installments, Yates’s film has a reserve that suits its somber tone, a mood cast primarily by the thwarted amour of Harry for Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), here mired in an unhappy relationship to a fellow student, and Hermione for Ron, whose Quidditch fame has resulted in copious snogging with a doting admirer.

By throwing its weight behind these lovesick dynamics at the expense of main-storyline progression, Half-Blood Prince comes off as vital in the moment but somewhat more trivial in retrospect, its burning passions lending added depth to characters who—six sagas in—are believably multifaceted, while at the same time serving as distractions from the general go-nowhere status of the action at hand. After much pining and pouting, Harry extracts the crucial secret of new potions professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), thus propelling him and Dumbledore on a mission to a crystal cave where black liquid must be drunk and ghoulish dead monsters must be avoided. In this, the film’s most vigorous sequence, and again during Harry’s later would-be showdown with Snape (Alan Rickman, letting each word ooze out of his mouth like puss from a wound), Yates crafts indelible widescreen panoramas of defiant youth under siege. Still, wand-waving combat is the least magical element of this Potter, which derives its potency primarily from the squinting, puffed-up performance of an excellent Broadbent, mature turns from its three increasingly capable stars, and a recognition that, for teens, having to face dawning apocalyptic warfare is no more harrowing than attempting to understand—and woo—the opposite sex.

by Nick Schager (14 July 2009)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

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With their warning about Lord Voldemort’s return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Release: 11 July 2007 (USA)

Language: English

Rating: 7.5/10

Runtime: 138min

Director: David Yates

Writers: Michael Goldenberg (screenplay), J.K. Rowling (novel)

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, 2007

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Gone are any traces of childish wonder and prepubescent discovery in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the series’s once buoyant disposition now obliterated by dread, powerlessness, and crushing responsibility. British TV director David Yates’s adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s fifth Potter adventure is doom and gloom and then some, pitting the teenage wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) against a fascistic government-appointed Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher (Imelda Staunton’s Dolores Umbridge), a Hogwarts student body warped by media slander into believing he is lying about Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) return, and his own burgeoning fury at his Chosen One status. Pallid, morose grays encircle Harry like a noose, a lethal pallor in keeping with the film’s replacement of the franchise’s familiar juvenilia (Quidditch, pal Ron’s wisecracks) with an adult sensibility marked by enraged indignation. If only that anger received suitable resolution, Order of the Phoenix might have approached the superlative heights of Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban. Regrettably, though, Michael Goldenberg’s herky-jerky script isn’t up to the task, failing to overcome the material’s status as a way station on the road to Deathly Hallows, as well as excising just enough crucial information to make the climax resound with all the force of a percussive triangle chime.

Harry begins his latest venture in a righteously foul mood, spying signs of the impending apocalypse in playground rides (shades of Terminator 2) and underground tunnels illuminated by flickering lights (traces of Irréversible?), as well as in a pair of ghoulish Dementors whom he repels, an act which lands him in front of the Ministry of Justice for improper use of magic. There, paranoia reigns supreme (thanks to Voldemort duplicity), and while Harry finds himself exonerated and free to continue studies, Big Brother sends Big Sister Umbridge to Hogwarts to make sure no rabble is roused. Repressive decrees quickly become the norm, delivered with a smile and a high-pitched squeak by Staunton, who magnificently embodies Rowling’s villain as an autocratic and sadistic cat lady-grandma decked out in dainty hats and pink cashmere sweaters adorned with ostentatious broaches. She’s the film’s bilious nexus, repugnant for her disciplinary torture and her attempts to codify and institutionalize intolerance and inequality from a seemingly unassailable position of power. When she’s on screen, Yates’s saga is legitimately maddening, tapping into feelings of subjugation and persecution with a primacy so potent that it makes one long for even less of the tale’s peripheral enchantments, potions, and Weasley Brother candy concoctions.

Like Rowling’s novel, however, Umbridge is merely one component of this overstuffed Potter chapter, and although much of the surrounding detritus has been trimmed to moderate levels, the wealth of stuff going on in Order of the Phoenix nonetheless proves a wearisome burden. There’s Harry’s romance with nondescript Cho Chang (Katie Leung) and relationship with kindred outsider Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione’s (Emma Watson) dawning affections for each other and fractured rapport with Harry, Sirius Black’s (Gary Oldman) work with the titular Order to mount a resistance to Voldemort, and the covert defensive magic lessons Harry gives to students behind Umbridge’s back. The importance of these plot strands varies but their perfunctory treatment is by and large uniform, and they mainly serve to muddy the narrative waters with so many details that next to nothing seems vital. Multifaceted thematic concerns are a significant reason why the Potter series speaks to a diverse global audience, but the disjointedness of the film seems primarily the result of trying to serve two masters—Rowling’s text and the cinema—and eventually choosing to kowtow to the former at the expense of the latter.

Still, Yates partially atones for Mike Newell’s unexceptional Goblet of Fire, attacking Harry with a flurry of superb flash-frame nightmares in which Voldemort’s noseless visage coldly stares at him from a train platform and—more tellingly—from a mirror. As with its predecessors, the chief battle is within, and an impressive Radcliffe manages grown-up anxieties with endearing authenticity even as the story habitually turns its attention away from his emergence into adulthood and toward ho-hum CG giants, centaurs, and broom flights over the Thames. Radcliffe’s gaggle of illustrious British co-stars help bring a modicum of substantiality and class to even the most trivial moment. No cast member, however, can rectify the general stasis of Rowling’s book, in which only minimal progress is made in Harry’s maturation, nor overshadow the fact that by critically truncating a key subplot about an object hidden within the Ministry of Information (envisioned as a bureaucratic hellhole of dark hallways lined with towering shelves), the film fatally weakens its conclusion’s punch. And moreover, now that Harry has ditched childhood, it seems high time the franchise also dispatches with its immature and draggy literal-mindedness, here found in everything from the opening’s angry storm clouds to Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) enlightening pupil-adversary Harry about the big bad world with Disney Channel clichés like “Life’s not fair!”

by Nick Schager (10 July 2007)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

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Harry finds himself mysteriously selected as an under-aged competitor in a dangerous tournament between three schools of magic.

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Release: 18 November 2005 (USA)

Language: English

Rating: 7.7/10

Runtime: 157min

Director: Mike Newell

Writers: J.K. Rowling (novel), Steve Kloves (screenplay)

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery, 2005

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Now that puberty has struck the Harry Potter universe, the series ought to move away from the insipid kid stuff. But there’s still all that huffing and puffing of computer-generated phantasmagoria to contend with, involving fire-breathing dragons, shape-shifting mazes, and magical wand lighting effects. This gives a quick fix to the fantasy crowd, but to anyone who expects a little more for their money, the entire Harry Potter franchise has proven itself old hat. The characters still react to spells with profound amazement, but we’ve been so inundated with Lord of the Rings and its ilk that this Hollywood manufactured magic has primarily lost its luster. Whenever a mystical beast showed up, I inwardly sighed, knowing I’d have to endure a barrage of phony baloney effects. You just know Harry will pull through, so there’s not much in the way of suspense. The best one can hope for is the filmmakers will speed through the action promptly and efficiently, and at 157 minutes this entry in the series unfortunately drags on.

What’s more fascinating about the Potter series, following the somewhat inspired awkwardness of emerging puberty in Prisoner of Azkaban, is watching young Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) figure out what to do with their emerging sexuality. The best sequences in Goblet of Fire have little to do with whether evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, his performance buried under a ton of stretchy make-up) will kill Harry, since that outcome is never in doubt. Instead, the best sequences involve Harry and Ron’s shy inability to muster up the courage to ask Hermione to the annual wizard’s ball and her seething frustration with her pathetic Jules and Jim compatriots. Her interest in a handsome young jock (strapping Bulgarian Stanislav Ianevski) who treats her like a princess at the ball gets ruined by Ron’s bitter sulking and Harry’s complacent indifference. Goblet of Fire taps into that bitter curse of inarticulate young love, particularly inspired in a scene where Harry works up the nerve to ask another girl to the dance and getting politely, gently rejected.

Those small moments of teen angst, which seemed to comprise the whole of the generally superior Prisoner of Azkaban (where David Thewlis’s werewolf professor set the stage for suppressed desires raging within), are handled well by the teen actors, now in their fourth year at Hogwarts and growing agreeably into their roles. But what would Harry Potter be without its conventional Nancy Drew plots, which always somehow overwhelms the character development by having Harry & Co. undergo various trials by fire. This time, it has to do with the Triwizard Tournament, which pits Harry against student representatives from rival schools, which, as usual, is an elaborate trap schemed by outside forces to bring about the return of Lord Voldemort. The weakest scene, indeed, involves the return of Voldemort in a creaky graveyard. Considering he’s the most one-dimensional stock villain imaginable, at least at this point in the Harry Potter series, there’s remarkably little in the way of threat coming from the Dark Lord.

That leaves the assembly of British character actors to pick up the slack, and many of them turn in enjoyable cameos as they punch in their clocks. Brendan Gleeson has the most fun as a Dr. Strangelove type: a one-legged, one-eyed, battle-scarred professor waddling around the hugely constructed CGI sets giving his fellow cast members the evil (one) eye. Michael Gambon takes wise old Professor Dumbledore in an earthy, humane direction, and Miranda Richardson hams it up beautifully as a smarmy journalist. The usual suspects (Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane) have their moments to shine, while unlucky Gary Oldman’s appearance is as a CGI facemask of talking coals and embers emerging from a fireplace.

Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuarón showed sensitivity to the characters and placed them in a Charles Dickens landscape, attentive to all the musty details of aged locations. Goblet of Fire is a workmanlike effort by Mike Newell, who helmed Four Weddings and a Funeral and shows no talent for action sequences but has an underlying sweetness in his approach to young love. Audiences that have grown attached to young Harry, Hermione, and Ron will be pleased to see them working through their growing pains. Would that the fantasy elements of the Potter series were as fantastic as the simple act of surviving young adulthood.

by Jeremiah Kipp (15 November 2005)