Codec: VC-1 Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1 Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: LPCM 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit) English: Dolby Digital 5.1 French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Catalan: Dolby Digital 5.1 … (more)
English: LPCM 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit) English: Dolby Digital 5.1 French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Catalan: Dolby Digital 5.1 Danish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Dutch: Dolby Digital 5.1 Flemish: Dolby Digital 5.1 German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1 Swedish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (less)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Blu-ray delivers great video and audio in this fan-pleasing Blu-ray release
When Harry Potter's name emerges from the Goblet of Fire, he becomes a competitor in a grueling battle for glory among three wizarding schools - the Triwizard Tournament. But since Harry never submitted his name for the Tournament, who did? Now Harry must confront a deadly dragon, fierce water demons and an enchanted maze only to find himself in the cruel grasp of He Who Must Not Be Named. In this fourth film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, everything changes as Harry, Ron and Hermione leave childhood forever and take on challenges greater than anything they could have imagined.
For more about Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Blu-ray release, see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Blu-ray Review published by Greg Maltz on January 9, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
"It is not our abilities that show who we truly are," Hogwart's headmaster Albus Dumbledore
(Michael Gambon) tells Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). "It is our choices." Harry and his friends
Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) are back for a fourth year at
Hogwarts in the film translation of J.K. Rowling's hugely successful novel. But this time, Harry's
friends cannot help him as he is unwittingly entered in a prestigious competition that will ultimately
determine who is the most gifted wizard. Harry faces the tournament's dangerous challenges,
including a maze full of man-eating foliage and a deadly dragon. But he also must face the
embodiment of evil itself, Lord Voldemort, who is brought into human form by the forces of
Harry must survive a brutal encounter with a dragon in The Goblet of Fire.
Coming on the heels of the strongest and most technically dazzling Potter film, Harry Potter and
the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire is a bit of a letdown. The characters are older
and not as charismatic. Harry and Ron even harbor grudges against each other for much of the film
and there are other signs of growing pains as the children move firmly into adolescence. Comic relief
is in short supply. But the
larger problem is that the story has become much too formulaic and predictable, and the acting too
stilted. Different challenges are presented, but the premise and arc of the story is much the same.
Thankfully, those new challenges provide an opportunity to create dazzling special effects, and The
Goblet of Fire does not let us down.
While picture detail and definition is strong, the overall resolution has taken a step back from the
dynamic imagery of The Prisoner of
Azkaban. Digital manipulation appears to have dynamically squashed the picture a bit,
depth suffers. This is especially true where significant CGI imagery is used. The effects are
impressive, and rendered with great care. But the cost is the absence of gorgeously defined,
palpable imagery that 1080p is capable of delivering. Another factor is the slight aqua green tint
of the computer-generated scenes. It almost looks as if a translucent film of toothpaste was
applied to the
screen. For example, watch Harry fend off the dragon during the first challenge in the wizards'
competition. When Harry and the dragon take to the skies, the picture seems ever-so-slightly
obscured by a green
tint. The aqua green is gone during the brighter scenes which, not surprisingly, show superior
The audio, too, was a bit of a letdown compared to its predecessor. That said, the surround sound
was crisp, with pinpoint imaging of some effects. Voices were clear, with good detail, but many of
other effects and the massed strings prevalent in the score had a homogeneous quality to them
and did not sound as dynamic or vibrant as in The Prisoner of
Azkaban. The audio assigned to various characters, creatures and props at times didn't
seem mastered at the correct level.
Returning again to the dragon scene--which, done right, could have been a reference-quality,
standout in the series--the sound of the dragon flying and Harry's broom made noises that were
surprisingly similar. Now granted, I've never heard the flight of a dragon, or a broom either, for
matter, but one would think the dragon would create more voluminous audio effects and that a
broom would be relatively quiet. But that is not the way the sound was produced. Part of the
problem is that the 16-bit 5.1 PCM track, at 48 kHz, is not of significantly higher
than your average CD or DD track. That is not sufficient resolution for a complex audio mix with
music and a variety of sound effects.
Again, the content of the Blu-ray version mirrors the supplementary content on the original DVD
release. Thankfully, we do get an HD upgrade on the documentary, but the rest of the content
remains standard definition. The content includes: an HD 31-minute documentary entitled,
"Conversations with the Cast"; a 13-minute featurette, "Meet the Champions", about the
supporting cast; another 13-minute retrospective look at older footage in the context of Goblet of
Fire, entitled "Reflections on the Fourth Film"; an 11-minute analysis of what was involved in
preparing actor Ralph Fiennes for his role as Voldemort, entitled "He Who Must Not Be Named"; a
six-minute featurette showcasing the effects wizardry that went in to production of the dragon,
"Harry Vs. the Horntail"; a nine-minute study of the aquatic CGI world required in the second
challenge of the wizardry contest, "In Too Deep" and a similar seven-minute featurette, "The
Maze"; and a nine-minute behind-the-scenes look at some mindless fun "Preparing for the Yule
Ball". Rounding out the bonus material is 10 minutes worth of deleted scenes--eight scenes in all--
that offer no additional insight into the plot, and the requisite theatrical trailer.
While Dumbledore's message in the scene noted at the top of this review is really the moral of this
story--and it's a good one--the film fell flat for me. Perhaps The Prisoner of
Azkaban raised my expectations too high with its character development and quirky
humor, but I found the lack of comic relief and overdramatization weighed down Goblet of Fire
excessively. As I plodded through the Blu-ray versions of the Potter films, I was struck by the
narcissism of it all. In many of the films it is palatable, and we all can relate, to some extent, as we
each want to think we are special people and we discover unique aspects of ourselves as we grow
up. But of course the core of the Harry Potter saga carries this egocentrism to excess, and Goblet of
Fire was a bit too much for me to stomach. The film centered around a competition for Hogwarts
seniors, but Harry was entered into the contest by seemingly divine power, even though he was too
young. My eyes started to roll at that point. I'm all for superheroes and wizards, but trying to put
the two together in a prepubescent teen is just a bit much unless it is handled just right.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Other Editions
3-disc set $22.38
2-disc set Target
Blu-ray bundles with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (7 bundles)
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