Tuesday, November 29, 2005

No more Lionel Barrymore

For the past several decades the most prominent Mr. Potter that showed up around this time of year was Lionel Barrymore playing the nasty Mr. Potter in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life.

But over the last few years, Barrymore's Mr. Potter has been supplanted by a much different and younger Mr. Potter. Harry Potter that is.

That's right, I recently sat through the latest Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. And like the first three films, it's a winner. Our trio of young wizards are another year older, and as they get older, their adventures become more and more threatening. Of course I'm referring to teen angst and budding romances for Harry, Hermione, and Ron. There's also the not-so-small problem of a reborn Lord Voldemort. Good stuff all the way around.

If you like to suspend your disbelief for about 150 minutes and immerse yourself in a fantasy world of wizards, wonder, romance, and danger, then see this movie. If not, well, don't go see the movie. You won't hurt my feelings at all.

Spoiler Alert!!!! You've been warned.

My only quibble with the movie has to do with the second of the three tests Harry and the other champions have to accomplish as part of the Triwizard Tournament being held at Hogwarts. Harry and the others must go underwater to retrieve something precious to each them that has been hidden underwater. It turns out that the "precious" items are four people, each precious to one of the four contestants. One of the four contestants can't complete the task and she resigns. Harry winds up saving his "precious" in the person of Ron Weasley along with the little sister of the contestant that was forced out.

The storyline seems to indicate that if Harry or any of the others failed in their task, the end result would be that the characters put in the water would be left there to die. Is this really the case or did I miss something? If so, I think parents would be wise not to send their wizard children to Hogwarts. Quiddich injuries are one thing, but to die as bait in a Triwizard event? That's beyond the pale.

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