Harry's Secret - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
May 5, 2003 (Updated May 5, 2003)
by Cory Glore
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:special effects, a little bit more action, characters have matured, more humor
Cons:Dobby is kind of annoying
The Bottom Line: Prisoner of Azakaban is going to be awesome.
After reading the first book in the Wal-Mart layaway within 5 hours while waiting for the Nintendo Gamecube to be released, I eventually bought the other 3 of the books and read them all on a trip to Tennessee in the car there and back (yes I know, that's a whole hell of a lot of reading). After finishing them all, the Goblet of Fire had clearly been more interesting than any of the others, but so far only two of the movies have been released and I've enjoyed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets much more than I did Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Recommend this product?
Harry Potter is the most famous Wizard in the Wizardry world due to his legendary encounter with the evil Lord Voldemort, who killed his parents and gave Harry the lightning bolt scar on the upper right side of his forehead. Because of his parents being killed, Harry was sent to live with his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia Dursley, where he was brought up in a Cinderella like life. Harry's Aunt and Uncle hate Harry with a passion, and even more hate anything that has to do with the Wizardry world.
After Harry's first year at Hogwarts, Harry has now found a new home where he can feel like he's at - well, home. But of course over the Summer, Harry has to stay with the Dursley's, where he's basically locked up in his cousin's old bedroom in the attic, and the after a cake incident downstairs with a couple of people from Uncle Vernon's business, his windows are barred up too.
When Ron, Harry's best friend, hadn't received any letters from Harry over the summer, him and his brothers took their father's flying car and went to save Harry before his Aunt and Uncle kept him from returning to his second year at Hogwarts. The night before Ron comes to rescue Harry, Harry's is introduced to Dobby the house elf, who is the reason why Harry never received any letters from his friends over the summer (Dobby kept the letters so that Harry never received them). Dobby has a request of Harry Potter though, a request that "Harry Potter must not return to school, sir".
Ignoring Dobby's request though, and being quite sour at Dobby for keeping his letters from him all summer, Harry stays at Ron's house for the rest of the summer until it's time to go back to Hogwarts. But for some reason, Platform 9 and 3/4 doesn't let Ron and Harry through, so they take their magic car and fly to Hogwarts, causing much trouble along the way.
Well, after a lot of trouble and a close expulsion from school, Harry finally returns to Hogwarts, but at what price? There is a new terror in the Hogwarts walls this year, and students are turning up petrified all over the school, something that is coherent with the Chamber of Secrets - which has been opened. Who could have opened it? Only the heir of slytherin could have opened it, could it be Draco Malfoy? Harry Potter? And what the heck is up with the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher? Watch the movie to find out.
The Chamber of Secrets runs at a much faster pace than the Sorcerer's Stone because there didn't have to be any time wasted to introduce very many characters, and instead could get right to the point. The Chamber's been opened, and of course it's Harry, Ron, and the uber-cute Hermione that are trying to get to the bottom of what's happening to the school - and always seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, again.
Characters - Bloody Hell
Aside from the stuttering Professor that was Lord Voldemort's evil "henchmen" if you will, all the characters from the Sorcerer's Stone have returned in a perfect portrayal of their characters from the book. Ron, Harry, Hermione, Dumbledore, Hagrid, and the other Professors continue their roles in the Harry Potter universe. The most notable aspect of the characters maturing through the movie are the deepness in Harry and Ron's voice as they seem to have started to go through puberty (touchy subject I know, I won't get into it), and also their ability to act so naturally in their roles.
There are also new characters that are introduced in the Chamber of Secrets like Lucius Malfoy, Gilderoy Lockhart, Jenny (or Ginny) Weasley, Professor Sprout, and Tom Riddle, among other supporting characters that make an appearance in one or two scenes.
One of the things that made this movie even more better than the book is that the actors who play out Ron, Hermione, and Harry's role are exactly what I thought they'd sound like in the books. They act out the parts so well that it just seems like Jk Rowling based the characters in the book off of these real life people.
Favorite Character - Hagrid/Hermione
Least Favorite - Lucius/Tom Riddle
Special Effects - I wish Quidditch was real!
As were the special effects and CGI scenes in the Sorcerer's Stone, the effects in Chamber of Secrets are top notch, even better than the first movie's. The one and only Quidditch match, although no original shock/amazement value like in the first movie, is possibly the best filmed scene in the entire movie with amazing CGI effects with the brooms and the sheer amount of speed that you experience just from watching it. Like the first movie, the CGI was so well done that you'd almost think that it was a real sport, but then you remember that there's no such thing as witches and wizards and flying broomsticks (although my chemistry teacher does a damn good job at acting like a witch...).
Since the character backdrop and introductions were done in the first movie, that let the Chamber of Secrets to be less character driven and more action/story driven, and so it was. Like in X2, the Chamber of Secrets's story runs much faster and smoother than in the first movie, and there's also a lot more "action" scenes, at least as far as the Harry Potter books portray.
Although The Two Towers was clearly more epic than the Chamber of Secrets, I believe that there was much more CGI work and special effects work done in the Chamber of Secrets than in The Two Towers. Don't get me wrong though, TTT was a brilliant movie, but CoS just seemed to have a better emphasis on the visual effects, especially with the Quidditch.
DVD Extras - 9.0
The extras on the CoS DVD consist mainly of interviews with Ron, Hermione, Harry, different professors, JK Rowling - but to please the hearts of many, there are 19 additional/extended scenes that kind of extend the DVD extras to be more enjoyable. The menus are easy to access, so once you've picked what you want, just sit back and enjoy the interviews, they're very interesting.
Overall - 10.0
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets could easily be the best movie of 2002, and is a near perfect portrayal of the books, magical and all. The DVD has a bunch of cool interviews that will probably interest almost anybody as they go one on one with the different actors in the movie, and also the extra scenes are certainly something to look at. Prisoner of Azakaban was the second best book out of the current 4 in print, and so hopefully that when the movie comes out it will capture the magic of Harry Potter even better than the first two movies have.
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