Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second installment of the Harry Potter movie series. The first (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) sort of set a precedent for the visual effects, imagery, and ability to stick closely to the book, so going into this one I had certain expectations.

Now, I hate going into movies expecting anything. Nine times out of ten, I'm going to come out disappointed.

I came out loving this movie.

Understand that this is not just more of the same. This movie is better than the first. The effects are better. The characters are better. Everything you liked about the first one is back, and it's better than ever.

The first movie was criticized for sticking too close to the book it was based on. I don't understand that; isn't that the point of making a movie out of a book - to bring the book to life on the screen? Well, apologies to the other critics out there, but this one stays close to its book, too, and I'm glad it does. Seeing the movie play out on the screen the way it did in my mind when I read the book... it was brilliance.

All of the original actors return to reprise their roles from the original (though slightly older and showing the signs of puberty; Daniel Radcliffe as Harry has a noticeably deeper voice than before, and you even get a bit of a crack out of Rupert Grint as he plays Ron Weasley). Radcliffe is a likeable Harry, and every kid always wanted friends like Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson).

The new characters were also wonderfully cast. Kenneth Branagh does a perfect job as Gilderoy Lockhart and Miriam Margolyes is exactly as I pictured Professor Sprout. The only character I wasn't too fond of was Moaning Myrtle, played by Shirley Henderson. I'm not sure if it was Henderson's annoying voice or the fact that she really wasn't how I pictured Myrtle that bothered me. Oh well - a small price to pay for such fun.

Sadly, this will be the last time we see Richard Harris in his role as school headmaster Albus Dumbledore. The role will need to be re-cast due to his passing. He was a perfect Dumbledore, and he will be missed. This will also be the last time we see Chris Columbus directing; he has passed the reins on to a new director, Alfonso CuarĂ³n.

Anyway, what this basically boils down to is that you should see this movie. If you liked the first one, you'll love this. If you haven't seen the first one, what have you been doing? Go rent (or buy!) the first one, enjoy it, and promptly see the second. You won't be disappointed.

posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 10:10 AM | Filed Under [ Media ]


Gravatar # Re: Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by Tanya at 11/20/2002 9:47 PM
Do you have any idea why it's named "Sorceror's Stone" in both book and movie in the States and ONLY in the States? All the rest of us call it what she originally named it "Philosopher's Stone"... why would they go to the trouble of changing the name and words of a book AND a movie (I saw the movie, but here it was also called the Philosopher's Stone) for one country? I mean, what was it about "philosopher" that was so offensive they'd go to such lengths?? I don't get it...
Gravatar # Re: Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by Tanya at 11/20/2002 9:50 PM
In case you didn't know about this change or believe me that they made two different movie releases, look at the music soundtrack selection on this page:
Gravatar # Re: Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by Travis at 11/21/2002 10:49 AM
Because people in the US are stupid. No one here would know what a "Philosopher's Stone" was. No kids, anyway. I can see it now:
Gravatar # Re: Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by Kyla at 11/29/2002 10:48 AM
Actually, my U.S. version, bought at Borders here in Santa Monica, they play in a Quidditch "pitch", not field. But the common words (behaviour/behavior) are all spelled *American*. But, I know what a philosopher is, and I still think I makes more sense as "Sorcerer's Stone"; I mean, if it predicted the futire, or solved people's problems, or something like that, philosopher probably would've been better. All this stone did was keep people alive (just don't see any philosophy in that).
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