I also found out about the official announcement of a complete, chronological, stereo, remastered CD of what to me is Ennio Morricone's magnum opus film score Once Upon A Time in the West. While I liked the expanded RCA Spain edition I have, this is billed as the definitive version... it has been cross referenced by some people on the message boards and it seems to be an accurate representation of the disc. I am as eager to hear this as I am to get the complete Fellowship of the Ring score in December. My insides are bounding with anticipation.
While there was a lot of volume, the easiness of each job meant that I had quite a lot of time to devote to music (Elliot Goldenthal's Final Fantasy score flashed across my screen and really hit the spot; we loves the Nomad, yes precious). and to Walter Tevis' novel The Man Who Fell To Earth, which was included in the Criterion DVD of the film, and which I am finding quite engrossing. I'll have more to say about that when I've finished the book.
I was able to put a gas in my car. Never before have I been more thankful for my prudence in picking a car that is very fuel efficient. I also found myself in the happy position of being able to cap off the night with a viewing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The first time I saw the film I was anticipating much because of my familiarity with the book, but this time I already knew what was adapted and how, so I could sit back and take pleasure in how it works as a movie.
I have to say that I enjoyed it a lot more the second time around. Mike Newell manages to keep the danger Harry is in constant, so that even though there are long stretches of the film dealing exclusively with dragons or grindylows or testosterone or whatever, the idea that something dangerous is happening is omnipresent, casting a shadow over even the happiest moments. The dynamic between the main three is spot-on as long as nothing too much is inferred by the audience by the very hands-on relationship Harry and Hermione have (which is established clearly in Chamber of Secrets, and any suspicions thereof should be dispelled by a later scene in which Harry is quite amused by Hermione stumbling over Viktor's "physical being").
Some elements are kind of clunky in the adaptation, but there is no way around them; the portkey's introduction in the book is pretty innocuous. While it is introduced early on in the book to provide a frame of reference for the Triwizard Cup, it's only one of the many ways that Wizards travel, and many of the others are dealt with in the book as well. The pace that seemed so strange the first time around now makes a lot more sense. I think perhaps I was out of synch with the film in its beginning originally because I was seeing what was different; by the time I got a bit further in I had gotten to the point and caught on to how the movie was playing out. I say this because I didn't notice anything off this time around at all.
People bitching about what was cut from the film ought to take a moment to think about how much of the film is, in fact, devoted to developing the characters. The book had to be pared down to a managable length, and the film does its best to keep the story centered where it should be. A lot had to fall away, but in terms of telling a very fast-moving story (the film is longer than the second one, but feels much shorter), it works really well.