Danger, wizardry make Potter magic

Dragons and mermaids and sphinxes, oh my! Everyone’s favorite scarred boy wizard is back in the next installment, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” set to hit theatres Nov. 18.

Already, people have begun to buy advance tickets for the movie. At the AMC Theatre in Hamilton, two of the three theatres for the midnight showing are sold out.

So what’s the big fuss about Harry and this fiery goblet? In this, the fourth installment of the series, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is entered in the Triwizard Tournament (insert ominous music here). Though Harry is not old enough to be entered, somehow his name goes into the goblet and spits out as the fourth champion. Facing three difficult challenges, the loss of support from both friends and schoolmates and the trials of puberty, Harry is up against a lot, making for both comical and harrowing outcomes.

According to headmaster Albus Dumbledore, in the book, “(The Tournament) was generally agreed to be a most excellent way of establishing ties between young witches and wizards of different nationalities – until, that is, the death toll mounted so high that the tournament was discontinued.”

However, with an array of security measures, guards and approved tasks, the Triwizard Tournament returns in Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts, though the preventative measures around the tournament do not keep Harry’s name out of the goblet.

Supported (and sometimes not supported) by his friends Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), Harry has to decipher clues to the tasks handed to him. He also has to find a dance partner/date for the Yule Ball, a very nerve-racking task indeed. At 14, the characters are beginning to have crushes, get jealous and have issues that teenagers tend to suffer from on top of fighting evil and trying to win a wizarding tournament.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Amanda Estes, sophomore English major, said. “In my opinion, the fourth book was one of the best . as they’re getting older, their adventures are getting more serious and should make for a great movie.”

The first PG-13 Potter film, the material has gotten darker and Voldemort (the resident bad guy) becomes more personified, with his hand heavier in events at Hogwarts and in the wizarding world at large. Directed by Mike Newell, it is 157 minutes long, three minutes shorter than the longest Potter movie so far, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” even though it is the second-longest book in the series thus far.

A number of big names and newcomers are in the movie, some which may come as a surprise. Gary Oldman reprises his role as Siruis Black, though only in the film for a few minutes, while Ralph Fiennes joins the cast as Voldemort. Johnny Greenwood and Phil Selway, both in the band Radiohead, appear in the movie as members of a wizard rock band called The Weird Sisters.

Because the book is so long, some parts won’t make it to the movie, and, while the Quidditch Cup takes up around 100 pages of the book, the powers that be decided to cut a large chunk of it out. A subplot based on Hermione’s interest in rights for house elves has been cut, as well as all mention of house elves, including Winky, who, in the novel, plays a central role. Ron’s family, the Weasleys, are also cut, though in the novel, Harry spends the end of his summer at the Burrow, the Weasley home.

Though scenes, photos and trailers for the movie have been easy to come by, they have done nothing more than fuel the fervor to see the upcoming movie. A bus trip put together by the College Union Board (CUB) is in the works, and fans are also preparing in a number of different ways.

Jessica Paciorek, junior biology major, has been crocheting a Gryffindor scarf, intending it for the release of the movie. “It was supposed to be done in time to wear to the new movie, but it’s definitely taking longer than I thought, so maybe it’ll be done in time for the movie coming out on DVD instead,” she said.

However, she is not letting her unfinished scarf, or exams, deter her. “I’m excited to see the movie – it’s giving me something to look forward to when I’m home for Thanksgiving break – other than turkey,” she said.