My husband and I went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire tonight. The great thing about Greece is they don't dub foreign movies, so I don't have to test my language skills if I want to enjoy a movie. As an added bonus I can pick up new words here and there from the subtitles, so it is really a win-win situation.
The third and fourth Harry Potter books are probably my favorite. I realize that a lot of tough choices have to be made when you adapt a book for a film, and I don't dispute the screenwriter's choices, at least in this one. The big problem I had watching this film was the feeling of someone's hand on my back ushering me through the movie so quickly I barely had time to enjoy anything. (Here is where I say that Harry Potter and the Louvre can't really be compared, but it was the first example I thought of) Aside from a slight feeling of whiplash, I guess I survived. Unfortunately, though, this feeling of "rushing through" seems to make the movie feel a bit shallow, when the book is anything but.
As others have stated, this Dumbledore really sucks. I didn't like him in the third movie and I liked him even less in this one. This actor is not committed to the part, half the time he read his lines monotonously as if he was just doing a run-through, and he just doesn't have the composure and grace Dumbledore has in the books. In fact, I think you could safely say that this actor is Dumbledore on crack.
Other than that, I have no real complaints. The "head in the fire" wasn't how I pictured it, but I guess it worked. The dragon looked great, realistic even, the Durmstrang ship and Beauxbaton carriage were well done, and the atmosphere of the movie was set up well. There was even a great deal of good humor in some of the scenes (with Snape when the kids were discussing going to the ball) and the Yule Ball set was beautiful. The graveyard scene was nice and spooky and you can't beat Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort. Not to mention the Ku Klux Klan looking Deatheaters.
Still, I think we are getting to the point where there is just too much story to tell it in a movie. I honestly don't know how I could have made it better, keeping it within a two and a half hour time frame.