Went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with Jason yesterday. All in all, we enjoyed it. They obviously had to cut a lot and change some parts of it, but we knew that going in and I think that knowing helped. I did get the feeling that they were trying to cram a lot in…jumping from one important part directly to another without much transition. But the movie was long as it was, so I guess they had no choice. It was definitely darker…scarier overall. Jason was fine with it, but definitely would have been too much for Kyle.
I did feel that they captured the overall feel of the book…that is one thing that I have liked about the movies. I love the kids who play Harry, Ron and Hermione. I am not thrilled with the new Dumbledore. I read an interview where he said that he has not read any of the books and does not think that he needs to. I personally think that he is missing the essence of Dumbledore which is a shame. I do think that they got the graveyard scene dead on…it was very much like I had pictured it. They did mess up the wording of the incantation to bring Voldemort back to life…seems like a simple thing to have gotten right, but what can you do. I did miss that Harry did not win gold by winning the tri-wizard cup and therefore did not offer it first to Cederic's dad and then to Fred and George, I missed seeing the Winky story line and how they had to switch quite a bit around to make it work, I missed seeing more of Snape and Sirius, I missed the Rita Skeeter as an animagus story line, I missed seeing the blast-ended skrewts and seeing Hagrid and the kids' relationship develop.
I do hope that the kids don't grow up too fast and will be able to do all 7 movies…it will be interesting to see. In my eyes, Ron is getting a bit old already (he had stubble on his face in the opening shot!) but maybe that is because I know that he is 18 already.
One thing that the HP movies have really helped Jason understand is that the book is almost always way better then the movie. We talked a lot about what they changed and left out and why they probably had to. What I really miss is the development of the characters…we never really saw why Harry, Ron and Hermione became so close and we never really saw why Harry and Snape are at odds. In the books, this comes across more slowly and much better. In the movie, they don't have the time to get into it in much detail. They just kind of assume that folks know the background and go from there.
Considering the amount of pressure there is to bring a loved favorite book, I do think that they have done a good job overall. Jason came out of the movie saying that he can not wait for book 7…and neither can I.