# 242 – Harry Potter (magic special 2)

It was 41 posts ago when I posted the first magic special and since then I have yet not seen the final Harry Potter movie – which is sad and more sadder is the fact that I’m still on a dry-spell so the third magic special might take a long time.

Anyway, the first post focused on the first three movies so this one will continue with the next two – the fourth and the fifth one. Sadly this post is gonna start on a high and end with a sadder note – not thrilled about that but this is how the cookie crumbles (see what I did there, a movie reference!). Back to business, so before the fourth movie The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) came out and just one year later Potter was back on the screen.

The Goblet of Fire (2005) is no doubt my favorite from all the movies (not including the last one at the moment) and don’t dare to say it is because of Robert Pattinson. I liked his role, yes, I thought his story from all the wizard tournament supporting characters was the most interesting. Back then he was also unknown for the so called crazy-American-teen market and I am a bit disappointed about that because his acting skills are rather good – minus the Twilight Saga which is due to bad-book-material. But let me get this straight – The Goblet of Fire is not my favorite because of Robert Pattinson!. Now, enough about Robert, lets talk about the movie that I have seen countless of times because I like this one the best.

This movie is the real beginning of the return of the one who can not be named – his flesh-form which is brought onto the screen by Ralph Fiennes. He is lovely, I specially like him in Red Dragon – he seems sweet and kind but he knows how to play characters that are so evil inside. Still he manages to appeal to me as a bad character more than others villains – a skill beyond the regular actor. The return in the books was amazing, so it was the movie – in the end the movie didn’t really leave out anything that important and it followed the books quite nicely. Many might say the opposite because some things were changed from the books but for me they made sense and I wasn’t disturbed by them. So for me it is a great version of a book-to-movie situation.

In this case, talking about the graphics is pointless cause by then it all was done in a manner of near perfection. Talking about acting is also ridiculous cause they were still growing as actors and to be honest, by then they were pretty good already. But I would like to talk about the hair – every one of the main characters from Harry to Ron to the twins – what was the costume/make-up/style what ever department thinking with these haircuts. I would’ve understood one of them but all four boys had long hair – so different from their characteristics that it felt a bit odd to me. So in conclusion, The Goblet of Fire represents the bad-hair-movie, the beginning of the villain without he nose – and of course the amazing Wizard Tournament.

It took two years for the fifth one to come out, so in 2007 The Order of the Phoenix was in the movies and this is one of the most unsuccessful versions of the book-to-movie in my opinion. On one hand I think it is normal when you have a book that is literally too heavy to hold. Reading the reasoning why things were cut and scenes were altered makes sense too from the point of view of the movie. On the second hand it doesn’t really go with the book nor the story and there was too much altering next to cutting and leaving out things. Cause for me the fifth book was very important not only because of the fact that nobody believed that Voldemort was back but because it also pinpointed the beginning of Ron’s Quidditch playing – it was totally cut, all of the Quidditch was left out and that was a big no-no. I understand it, I totally get the reasons and everything but I still feel like the fifth book was about Ron a lot as well and not only the emotional journey of Harry. (If you check out the short facts you’ll see something disturbing about the length of the movie.)

It is no surprise that the fifth one lacks the entertainment level that the book was offering: the darkness of the movie was rather slow-moving and not pleasing. I consider the fifth movie as my least favorite book-to-movie but definitely not the worst of the movies from the visual side but this is mostly due to the fact that it was made in 2007. All in all, fifth one is the only movie I haven’t watched more than two times and it will probably stays that way.

Short facts about the fourth and the fifth Harry Potter movies:

  • The Order of the Phoenix was the only screenplay that wasn’t written by Steve Kloves. Michael Goldenberg wrote the fifth screenplay.
  • Budget for both movies was $150 million.
  • The Order of the Phoenix had a better box office – almost $ 940 million.
  • Although the fifth book is the longest, the movie itself is the shortest – only 138 minutes!
  • The Goblet of Fire has a 7.5 score and The Order of Phoenix 7.3 score in IMDb.

The third and final post of magic special is on its way and will be in the blog as soon as I get the chance to watch the final installment of the saga.

# 205 – Water for Elephants

I was certain that I wanted to read the book before watching the movie, so it took me a while to get the chance to do so. Finally I did both and I must say, I’m very happy that I read the book before the movie cause I wouldn’t have read the book after watching the movie – and I loved the book!

Water for Elephants is a movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson as Marlena and Jacob who fall in love (obviously). Then there’s the villain who manages the circus where Marlena and Jacob work, August portrayed by Christoph Waltz who is amazing. What was quite disappointing was that in the book the circus had two big names – August and the owner, in the movie August was both and it felt a bit weird. Although the screenwriter Richard LaGravenese has much experience (he also wrote PS I Love You onto the screen) reading the book just before seeing the movie showed off the weaknesses. A part of the book that I really enjoyed was Jacob’s mundane days as an old man: the movie had none of that. I guess they tried to make the movie all about the love story while the book has much more depth to it – the reason why I’m not surprised that this movie has mixed reviews. It is interesting that it still maintains a 7.0 on IMDb – although the movie has Robert Pattinson in the lead, we can’t trust the score (he won a Teen Choice Award for this – get it? Teens!).On that note I have to add that I never had issues with Pattinson’s acting skills – it’s just his role as the Sparkles that doesn’t suit me.

Keeping in mind the screenplay and the differences from the book, the acting still managed to save most of the movie. I mean, it was a great cast and I am a sucker for animals in movies – the elephant was adorable and the chimp as well.  But just because it turned out to be another romance movie with some drama in it I can’t say it’s my favorite. It could’ve been similar to The Notebook moment, it had that vibe in the book, but instead it was toned down and distanced from the present while putting more emphasis on the Jacob and Marlene story.  If you haven’t read the book, you might like it more but I’m giving it a 3,5 out of 5 because various elements of the movie/book made it still enjoyable to watch.

PS: In my case, the book cover was this lovely version of the movie poster so I ended up liking this one a lot, it has all the main elements of the story and it looks elegant.

# 48 – New Moon

I was so bored that it couldn’t get any worse so I finally decided to watch something totally pointless to pass my time. I thought really hard to come up with a movie that didn’t need many braincells and was easy to watch. The winner was – ding-ding-ding – New Moon. I had to wait for it for 30 minutes and I almost changed my mind but thought that in order to like great movies (and recognize them) I have to sit through some bad ones. I have already mentioned in my previous posts that I’ve seen Twilight and haven’t had the courage to see the sequel jet, I’d rather not talk about the third one – who knows when I’d be able to see that one! (Did you know the fourth one is in two movies just like the last Harry Potter!?)

Movie started. So far so good. Kristen’s acting is intolerable though – she has some what an emotionless face in the most important moments. Like when Edward leaves – she just stands there with her mouth open breathing differently. Or like in the end when Edward almost gets killed she holds her hands in this awkward pose next to her neck (holding her shirt maybe?) and yells emotionless words at the vampires. That’s the problem – she has played characters who are so called “I don’t care” girls like Joan Jett but Bella has all the colors of emotion and she isn’t able to portray them in my opinion.

The special effects were so much better – I mean – there were special effects! The vampire running and the fight, much cooler that before – money must be a great thing to have. The movie itself is ofcourse based on a book, I read it a while back so I don’t really remember but it felt like they rushed the end. The beginning where Bella wants the adrenaline was too long in my opinion though it was important – Jakob needed some screen time. That brings me to the point I saw right at the beginning – I thought Jakob and Bella had much more chemistry on screen than Bella and Edward. That made me laugh because weren’t Robert and Kristen dating at that time? Oh well, this is it, I rest my case by saying – no more bad acting please!