So it's been a little while since I've been on the blog - so glad to be writing again!
This was actually excellent timing as well; I've been on a HP binge - I've been rereading the books for a while now and am actually rereading Goblet of Fire right now! I so love rereading the books - I crave reading them just like I'm reading a new story - it cracks me up every time.
Anyway... the comparison:
The Book: Goblet of Fire was never my favorite Harry Potter book - I liked it and it definitely represented a big change in the series, but I never thought of it as a favorite. The new characters weren't particularly likable, the plot line felt like it was full of holes, and the structure of the tournament felt like it constricted the way the book had to be written. I liked Mad-Eye Moody until I learned it wasn't him, Fleur and Krum weren't really endearing, Rita Skeeter sucks. The only new character you really like is Cedric, which by the end seems a little manipulated! Of course we have to like him - he dies! I really didn't love the villain plot line - it makes NO SENSE! Why the hell would Voldemort want to wait an entire year for Crouch to pretend to be Moody, so he can trick the Goblet of Fire and make Harry win, so he can make the cup the portkey. Dude - make something else a freakin' portkey. I mean, will it really be an accident for him to die in the maze? Really? So random. The plan is crap, just saying. If that is seriously the plan, no wonder Voldemort can't freakin' kill Harry. And I did not love the tournament stuff - the other books follow the school year, but it feels more natural than 1st task, 2nd task, 3rd task.
The awesome part of the book is, of course, the trio. You
see Ron's jealously rear its ugly head for the first time - with both Harry and Hermione. I liked the strength of Harry and Hermione's friendship here as well. I loved Ron's jealous spat over Krum - hilarious. The Yule Ball is one of my favorite events in the books. And, as always, the humor is there in spades. I freakin' love the Weasleys - they're all so funny in their own ways! (Now there are two new characters I wish we'd seen more of - Bill and Charlie!) Of course, the other part of the book that really makes an impact is the end. I mean Voldemort comes back - that's like the switch is flipped. We go from being a kid story to a young adult story right then. Now we don't have a weak version of the bad guy - the actual evil villain is a going to be a big part of the story.
The Movie: To be honest, one of the things I thought while I was reading the book was the fact that it would make a really good movie. While I didn't like the structured tournament for the book, I knew it would work really well for a movie. And there were some great parts of the movie - the Yule Ball was beautiful, the tasks were pretty cool, and the ending with Voldemort was spot on and scary as all get out. I loved all the Moody lines (mostly because they were straight from the book). And honestly, I didn't feel like the left too much out (S.P.E.W needs to be mentioned here however - because it wasn't mentioned in the 4th movie, it totally ruined my favorite Ron and Hermione moment in Deathly Hallows: Part 2). And... well, it must be said David Tennat is in Goblet of Fire - just saying. He's not in the movie for all that long, but he is there and he is, of course, awesome!
What I really did not like about the movie were some of the timing issues - the first 15 minutes of that movie are on fast forward. I mean the Riddle House is set up nicely, but I always expect the characters to have chipmunk voices during the World Cup because they are moving so fast through the scenes. Crazy. I mean the World Cup isn't an important plot line overall, but my goodness, the speed at which we go through that event is insane. And then... we spend 10 minutes letting the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons kids twirl around and have a 10 minute "dance lesson" with Maggie Smith (which is kinda funny, but still). And seriously - do these kids even go to school? I think we see them in one class -seriously that one class with Moody and that's it. I also will go ahead and say it - I took issue with the Hermione make over. She was very pretty during the Yule Ball, but it seems like they decided she was now pretty all the time. It wasn't that big of a change to be honest and I didn't like it. In the books, Ron walks right by her- he doesn't even recognize her because she looks so different. And she's back to normal the next day. Where was that? I mean, she just stays that way. The beginning of the make Emma Watson a pretty movie star rather than actually looking like the character!
In Conclusion: Obviously Goblet of Fire isn't my favorite of the books or movies, but I still remember my anticipation for them both - I was excited for them and even now, I can't wait to go back and read through the third task and Hermione catching Rita Skeeter. I also think that Goblet of Fire was one of the most commercial movies for the series - I mean the tournament is something people can understand. Incorporating the other schools allows from some new fun ideas and the ball is of course something that people will be drawn to. It is also that turning point in the series, so people will be in the know for the next movies/books. It makes sense for people to like this movie - it works on a lot of different levels.