Posted: 10 March 2006 at 10:11am | IP Logged
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith
Directed by: Mike Newell
Goblet of Fire, the fourth installment in the Harry Potter series, arrives on DVD March 7th. Much like the films, the DVDs seem to get better and better. This latest release is by far the best one yet!
The extras on the previous DVDs have regrettably been targeted exclusively to the younger fans of the series, leaving older viewers out in the cold. Prior DVD releases have consisted mostly of a selection of games (that were not really playable from a remote) and a few two minute featurettes. Goblet of Fire ; however, is practically bursting at the seams with material!
The DVD features over eight full length featurettes which include documentaries, a variety of deleted scenes, and interviews. While there are still a lot of games, these are more enjoyable than those in the previous releases. Additionally, the DVD features some fantastic animated menu screens, reminiscent of some of the Star Wars DVDs. While navigation can be a little difficult at times, you get the hang of it pretty quick. Let's take a look at the features:
What a big surprise! In the past this section has consisted of only little snippets, but the additional scenes on this DVD are full length scenes - and really good ones too! The audience gets to see the full rock concert, additional moments from the Yule ball, and a scene with the Hogwarts students singing the school song (I wish this had been included in the final cut). In fact, many of these scenes contain some vital information to the series, like Professor Snape speaking to Karkaroff about the Dark Mark on his arm, and much more. Hopefully there will be an extended edition one day like the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Preparing for the Yule Ball
This is a fantastic featurette! It really shows how much work went into putting that sequence together. Covering everything from the transformation of the Great Hall into a winter wonderland, to the costume designs (and how they had to create an individual dress/suit for every single extra on set), to training the actors to dance (I almost doubled over in laughter). Mike Newell makes a really funny comment about Daniel Radcliffe saying, "God did not necessarily mean him to be a ballroom dancer."
Reflections on the Fourth Film
This is a great introspective look by the cast and crew on their experiences while working on the films. It's nice to hear Dan, Rupert and Emma reflect on growing up with each new release. The trio also discusses how the fourth film differs from the other installments of the franchise. Definitely a highlight on the DVD!
Triwizard Task Featurettes
There is a lot of information here! The viewer is taken through each step the team of cinematic wizards took from conception to finish in bringing these magical scenes from the page to the screen. The audience gets to see the SFX animatics, getting an understanding of how complicated the whole process can be. There is a lot of work that goes into creating just a few minutes of footage.
It is especially interesting to see behind-the-scenes footage of the cast working underwater in these huge tanks constructed at Leavesden Studios. The final feature on the maze is my personal favorite. Director Mike Newell gives a lot of insight, discussing how he wanted the maze sequence to be more psychological in nature, like a horror movie.
Meet the Champions
This documentary features interviews with the three champions, played by Robert Pattinson, Stanislav Ianevski, and Clemence Poesy. Each give some pretty hilarious answers to some great questions. The feature also takes us through what a day is like for them on set, and shows us how crazy things got for them. It's a really genuine, honest, and unpretentious look into their lives on the set of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire . Really funny!
He Who Must Not Be Named
As a Harry Potter fan, this was my favorite feature on the disc. The much anticipated appearance of Lord Voldemort is one of the defining moments in the series. The viewer really gets to see how cautious and careful the filmmakers were with realizing the character perfectly. The feature gives us a peek at concept art, as well as interviews with the artists, CGI animators, and the costume designers that helped bring the character to life.
All in all this is an amazing DVD, packed with all the special features and extras fans have been waiting for. Unfortunately the DVD does lack a blooper reel and audio commentary by director Mike Newell, even though Newell remarked that he had recorded one. Hopefully we will see his commentary on a future edition. Make sure you pick up the two disc edition for all the special features. Overall, a great viewing experience!