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Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Review)

You’ll remember back in March that Warner Brothers began the format jump on its acclaimed and super popular Harry Potter series. That batch of films, you’ll remember, started with the back four films, to coincide with the 4K Ultra-HD release of the first film in the prequel series in in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  They promised the rest of the films in the hugely successful franchise later in the year and here we are with almost two months to spare. The remaining four films, the first four years at Hogwarts, will be out on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on November 7th. This review will focus on a film serving as a big turning point in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Film 

The fourth movie in the Harry Potter franchise sees Harry returning for his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with his friends, Ron and Hermione. There is an upcoming tournament between the three major schools of magic, with one participant selected from each school by the Goblet of Fire. When Harry’s name is drawn, even though he is not eligible and is a fourth player, he must compete in the dangerous contest.

Harry Potter’s fourth adventure was a huge book and a pretty huge movie. The film features a lot of big action sequences revolving around the Tri-Wizard Cup Tournament and lends itself to big moments. There are a lot of characters, high emotions and people coming into their own in the film as well. The film also takes you for a crazy spin and the end and then punches you right in the gut before you go home.

As I mentioned, this was a big book. There are cuts made (Dobby stuff) and changes to the material that some work and some really don’t. Goblet of Fire features some of the more embarrassing things in the series that aren’t there on the page but show up in the film for some reason. Why the two other schools are made to be gender specific is beyond me. And why the hell they give a musical dance or entrance performance is beyond me. A really weird choice and a really bad one if you ask me. There are others too, but that’s the one that really sticks out to me.

What’s cool about Goblet of Fire is how there is a whole lot of smoke and mirrors going on in the film that you don’t realize and it feels pretty cool to have a rug pulled out from under you.  Many distractions come about, lots of stakes in different places and you’ve got a lot on your hand to figure out, just like Harry, Hermione and Ron do. And this one is actually managed in its pace and timing quite well. Its a long movie, but it never feels excruciatingly long or anything.

My qualms with aspects of the adapting aside, The Goblet of Fire is still an incredibly fun and big movie that really feel like an event. It has a finale that takes to an unexpected place and raises the stakes of the entire series an insane amount of notches. The first three quarters of this film feel like the last time we ever will have some true and innocent fun in the series. Shit gets real at the end, and ugly. But its also why Rowling’s series is so great. And the film DOES get the final moments very very right.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:01

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: I’m of two minds here on the new Goblet of Fire transfer. First, yes, this is an upgrade from the Blu-ray edition. The question is how much. There are moments here where its very much improved, but about that same amount of times where its pretty marginal. This film does provide much more to offer in the HDR glow department, but some of it looked good on the Blu-ray already (Train lights, school lights, etc), but then there’s the Harry and Voldemort battle that CLEARLY they have applied the HDR on gotten their brilliance on (Even the Ghosts look rad). Like the others, clothing and other things look more full upon comparison, but to the general eye, it may not be. The image is crisper and features more detail with a less bleached look. Overall, this is very strong picture quality over what already seemed like a very good Blu-ray image.

Depth:  Some solid work here, especially when Harry is being chased around by the dragon during the tournament. Foreground, middle and background people and objects all project a rather good depth of field. Motion is much smoother with rapid movements void of distortion.

Black Levels: Blacks are very well saturated and pull of some really haunting and lovely darkness in the halls of Hogwarts. No information seems to be lost no matter how dark a room, evening or attire is. No crushing witnessed on this viewing for the review.

Color Reproduction: Colors see a nice uptick in strength with their palette improved. Clothing is especially noticeable, especially in the “I’m wearing some blue” department. Greens are strong, like they have been the whole series, when it comes to nature. This film features much more color in it, with the incoming schools both having strong looks to their uniform. The blue flame coming from the Goblet also gives a nice HDR glow to go with your fireplaces and such. And, as mentioned before, the Harry/Voldemort face off is quite the doozy! If you want to see “how improved” this can offer, just skip right that scene when you get it.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones lean more natural and keep that way throughout the film. Facial features like sweat, acne scarring, moles, baggy tired eyes, lip texture, blemishes and more come through with ease at most distances.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English DTS:X, English Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, German 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latino) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Castilian) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Catalan 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latino), Portuguese

Dynamics: Once more, one last time…these movies have had really awesome DTS:X tracks. This one is no different. The film lends itself to more constant and colorful action sequences that really push and show off your sound system. Its a terrifically balanced mix and the movie really gives it its all in terms of providing a variety of scenarios with which to uniquely showcase its power.

Height: Dragons flying, debris falling and more natural overhead sounds make their way into your ceiling.

Low Frequency Extension: Camera flash bulbs, trains, destruction and rubble falling, wand blasts, and much more will get your subwoofer thumping.

Surround Sound Presentation: This one is quite an adventure with all the Tri-Wizard events that really bring a lot of elements involving sound travel, distance and such. No speaker goes unnoticed and they all contribute quite well as a team and individually to really liven up the film.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is full, crisp and well displayed in placement, motion and pitch.

Extras 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire comes with the Blu-ray edition (2-Discs) and an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film.  All of the supplemental material is on the Blu-ray edition, which is the same 2-Disc special edition that has been available for a few years.

Blu-ray Disc 1

In-Movie Experience

Focus Points

Blu-ray Disc 2

Behind The Story

  • Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 4: Sound and Music (HD, 54:12)
  • Conversations with the Cast (HD, 30:36)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Behind the Magic (SD, 48:51)
  • Inside Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (SD, 43:48)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The Adventure Continues (SD, 24:12)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Some Animal Magic (SD, 23:25)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Dark Matters, new Masters (SD, 13:02)

Deleted Scenes (HD, 9:58)

Trailers (HD, 3:33)

Summary 

The Goblet of Fire is an easy and fun watch for the Harry Potter movies. Its a big film. It comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a nice little uptick and improvement in the sound and video department. Like all the others, you get to keep all your extras from the previous releases of the film. Fans need not fear to upgrade the film. I’m sure the video is gonna be debatable on just how big an improvement it is, but the sound is a clear upgrade.  Grab it when you’re able to.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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