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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

The adventure continues with "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". This year at Hogwarts Harry suddenly finds himself an unexpected competitor in the deadly Tri-Wizard tournament where Harry, the odd-man out, will have to battle not just for fame, but for his life. With darkness, death, and doom all around, Harry does his best to avoid falling prey to either the dangerous Tri-Wizard games or the conspiring minds of Lord Voldermort's loyal followers.

The cast includes: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint; with Maggie Smith and Gary Oldman.

Written by: Steven Kloves (screenplay) and J.K. Rowling (novel).

Directed by: Mike Newell.

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Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller.

Tagline: Let the games begin!

Rated: PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images.

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"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" begins Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts Academy of Magic with the spectacular Quidditch World Cup where Ron Weasley's (Rupert Grint) icon, Romanian Quidditch star Victor Krum (Stanislav Ianevski) will appear in lieu of his team's quest for the title. In between the fantastic special effects and other magical elements of the wizardry games of Quidditch however, a more sinister force lurks. As Ron Weasley and the Weasley family, Hermione (Emma Watson), and Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) celebrate they are suddenly interrupted by an invasion of evil haunts, Lord Voldermort's Death Eaters, that storm through the "Quidditch tailgate", burning and pillaging all that's in site. Before escaping to the safety of Hogwarts Academy however, Potter looks up in time to witness the mark of the Dark Lord hanging ominously in the sky. It seems that perhaps, dark days may lay in waiting.

Still, back at Hogwarts all seems well. Upon returning to the Academy Harry is greeted by the slew of familiar friendly faces, including headmaster Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), his trusty sidekick Minerva (Maggie Smith), and longtime companion Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane). Of course friends like Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), and others are all to be found anxiously awaiting the beginnings of their new year of magical education. Even more exciting is the prospect of the Tri-Wizard challenge, the greatest wizard tournament in all of history. The winner of the tournament is notoriously held as the greatest wizard in practice; fame and glory and all bestowed upon their reputation! Still, with the recent rampage at the Quidditch tournament, and the notorious reputation for the deadly travails of the Tri-Wizard games, Dumbledore enforces a strict stipulation upon potential contenders; they must be seventeen years of age to compete.

As the fame-seeking contestants line up, Harry shies away from the all-knowing, all-seeing "Goblet of Fire". Being both too young to compete, and disinterested in placing himself obstinately in the realm of death, the last thing Harry expects is for the Goblet to select him as a potential contender. Still, after announcing the contenders from fellow male and female wizardry academies; the infamous Victor Krum and Gabrielle Delacour (Angelica Mandy) respectively, the Goblet selects two candidates to represent Hogwarts': Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) and Harry Potter. As half the hall stands in amazement at how Harry's name could possibly selected, the other half stands outraged that he would defy the rules and enter the competition when he is far too young to qualify. Still, others like the annoying gossip columnist Rita Skeeter (Miranda Richardson) and the nefarious Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) relish in the conspiracy and make haste to spread the anti-Harry rumors.

Though Harry is insistent that the Tri-Wizard cup is the last thing he covets and remains fully adamant that he was not complicit in entering his name into the Goblet of Fire, still, best friend Ron begins to speculate Harry's sudden "change of character". Likewise Minerva and Dumbledore are speedily fretting over Harry's safety and assign longtime friend and current Dark Arts professor Alastor 'MadEye' Moody (Brendan Gleeson) to act as guardian on Harry's behalf. As the Tri-Wizard cup gets underway Harry and Alastor work to devise plans, sort of, on how to survive the deadly challenges and still remain a contending participant in the tournament. But as Harry continually seems to flounder during the challenges the last thing anybody expects, or wants, is for Harry to succeed; that is, until he is nearly killed and his sudden defeat of the horn-backed dragon wins him instant notoriety among fellow fickle Hogwarts students.

In between the hullabaloo of Tri-Wizard competition of course is the love story, which four books later, emerges as quite a complicated scandal of multiple love triangles as exposed at the notorious Tri-Wizard Ball. Harry likes a girl Cho, but Cho has chosen to attend the ball with fellow competitor Cedric. Likewise Hermione has been asked by Victor Krum much to the surprising discontent of Ron, etc. etc. As the innocent love stories unfold the tournament is quickly back on schedule with the final challenge- the maze.

With dark magic and ominous paths ahead, the four contenders enter the maze with the challenge of locating and seizing the Tri-Wizard cup. Still, once in the maze people become bewitched, and quickly the contenders find that their biggest archenemy may be themselves and each other, rather than the labyrinth's ominous myriad of dead-ends. As Harry and Cedric seize the cup together they are instantly capitulated into a spooky graveyard where none other than the dark lord Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes) and his gang of evil-doers awaits. Their in the graveyard Harry witnesses Voldermort's rebirth into pseudo-human form. Having acquired a drop of Harry's blood, Voldermort seems to have acquired the strength and power necessary to undo his greatest adversary. Still, the hapless Harry battles to the best of his ability while Cedric lay helplessly at his side.

Will Harry be able to outdo Voldermort and his evil posse- including some quite unexpected, or perhaps not so unexpected, familiar faces? What's more, what of the Tri-Wizard tournament, and Cedric? Meanwhile everyone back at Hogwarts' anxiously awaits the outcome of the tournament, unaware, and unsuspecting (save for Dumbledore and gang) of the evils that lay waiting for their friend, Harry Potter…

As the fourth in the series, and in contingency with the preceding three films' progressive movement towards shock-factor, scare-factor, and all things extreme, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is by far the scariest, most intense in content and themactics of the four films. For any "Potter-head" this is a must see as it expands the narrative and character development of all included in the series. Likewise there are some important revelations included in this particular storyline which only makes the highly anticipated fifth film all the more enticing. However, it should be interesting to see how the directors fare with the ever evident challenge of the "puberty-inflicted" main cast. Between Ron's sudden masculine build and baritone voice and an emergence of "manhood" in the protagonist, the young though evidently maturing Daniel Radcliffe, it should be very interesting to see just how appropriate to age, or "young" these males look in the following film. Likewise even Hermione is beginning to look quite the young lady, as opposed to girl, though with her I believe the aging factor will be less of a problem thanks to makeup and other tricks used to make women look years younger.

Technically "Goblet of Fire" is great. Visual effects and animation abound and are flawlessly executed in a seamless fusion of graphic artistry and realistic stage props. Hogwarts is as magnificent as ever, though I wish more internal sequences were shot. Still, the amazing grounds and scenic landscape surrounding the film make the Academy as novel as can be. As far as sound and original score, etc. goes; the film is a well composed, technical piece of art. It executes like a machine, and "Goblet of Fire" effortlessly continues the wild adventurous narrative of the fictitious prodigy Harry Potter and gang. All that's left to do is clap at the end of the film and await the next in the series. Still, that aside, I must admit I was slightly disappointed with the abrupt ending and the sudden anti-climactic mood quickly established in an effort to "wrap things up". Though I understand there was a particular motive involved with staging the ending as such so as to prepare for the beginning of the following film, still, the quick tonal shift was slightly jarring and not as smooth as one might have hoped. All the same, as with all its preceding films, "Harry Potter and the Goblet Fire" was an enjoyable ride for both child and adult as like.

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" was nominated for the 2006 Oscar for Best Achievement in Art Direction (Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan). Additionally the film received 22 other critical film association nominations and won 3 awards: the BAFTA award for Best Production Design (Stuart Craig), UK's Empire Awards' Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema, and the U.S.' Motion Picture Sound Editor's Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing in Feature Film-Foreign.

Main Characters:

Daniel Radcliffe plays Harry Potter, Emma Watson plays Hermione Granger Rupert Grint plays Ron Weasley.

Other Main Characters:

Stanislav Ianevski plays Victor Krum, the Romanian Tri-Wizard contender.

Robert Pattinson plays Cedric Diggory, Hogwarts' other Tri-Wizard contender.

Michael Gambon plays Albus Dumbledore, headmaster at Hogwarts.

Maggie Smith plays Minerva McGonagall, Dumbledore's loyal associate.

Robbie Coltrane plays Rubeus Hagrid, Harry's longtime guardian.

Matthew Lewis plays Neville Longbottom, Harry's fellow Hogwarts roommate.

Alan Rickman plays Severus Snape, fellow Hogwarts professor.

Brendan Gleeson plays Alastor 'MadEye' Moody, Harry's Tri-Wizard coach.

Ralph Fiennes plays Lord Voldermort, the nefariously evil Dark Lord.

Miranda Richardson plays Rita Skeeter the annoying journalist.

Angelica Mandy plays Gabrielle Delacour, a Tri-Wizard tournament contender.

Tom Felton plays Draco Malfoy, Hogwarts' notorious troublemaker.

Jason Isaacs plays Lucius Malfoy, Draco's father.