It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
Forced to spend his summer holidays with his muggle relations, Harry Potter gets a real shock when he gets a surprise visitor: Dobby the house-elf, who warns Harry Potter against returning to Hogwarts, for terrible things are going to happen. Harry decides to ignore Dobby's warning and continues with his pre-arranged schedule. But at Hogwarts, strange and terrible things are indeed happening: Harry is suddenly hearing mysterious voices from inside the walls, muggle-born students are being attacked, and a message scrawled on the wall in blood puts everyone on his/her guard - "The Chamber Of Secrets Has Been Opened. Enemies Of The Heir, Beware" . Written by
Director Chris Columbus instructed cinematographer Roger Pratt to bring a darker look to the film, reflecting the darker tone of the story. Hence, the sets were lit with more subdued lighting and the color palette was desaturated a bit. These changes would continue throughout the series with each film getting darker and increasingly desaturated. See more »
The magic clock in the Weasley home shows a "Dentist" label. The series' running gag is that the Wizarding world has no idea what dentists are and what they do. However, this label was added by Arthur Weasley, a Muggle Studies anthropologist who could easily have learned about dentists through his studies. See more »
[Hedwig wants to be let out of her cage]
I can't let you out, Hedwig! I'm not allowed to use magic outside of school. Besides, if Uncle Vernon...
Now you've done it.
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The film begins with some dark clouds, one of them moves aside to reveal the Warner Bros logo which zooms in then turns away out of the picture, some more clouds then move aside to reveal the film title shining a bit in the sunset. See more »
I was one of those people that read Philosopher's Stone after I'd seen the film. Enjoyed it so much I read the other three books, all excellent. Problem is though, because I'd seen the film first, the pictures you conjure up in your mind while reading the other books all tend to follow the faces and locations that you have seen in the film, you simply adapt it to the new plots and locations. Chamber of Secrets is pretty much exactly as I pictured it when reading the book. In fact as the closing credits rolled I felt like I had seen it before...
This isn't a criticism at all, the film-makers have done a great job of translating this book to the big screen, far more thoroughly than Philosopher's Stone. With this film there isn't too much that's left out.
Whilst I know Chamber Of Secrets is gonna get (and is already getting) loads of fantastic reviews, I have to say I found it a bit flat. I thought the first film was great fun and quite magical, although I'm afraid I disagree that the acting was great. Personally I thought the 3 children leads were pretty poor, especilly Emma Watson as Hermione (the way she delivers some lines made me cringe!) People often pass-off child performances as "well they're only children", but watch Natalie Portman in Leon or Haley Joel Osment to see quality child acting! Not much has changed here, although it is amusing to hear Harry and Ron with newly acquired broken voices... they'll be shaving next!
Apart from a larger part for Richard Harris (excellent as Dumbledore - will be sadly missed), it seemed that Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid and the wonderful Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall hardly had any screen time in this one. Perhaps it was that way in the book, can't remember. Shame though...
Was disappointed in the Quidditch match here. Being one of the best scenes in the first film, I expected a full-on assault for Chamber Of Secrets. We join the game towards the end, it consists mainly of Harry and Malfoy flying round and round underneath the seating stalls and is over way too quickly.
Kenneth Branagh seemed a very strange choice for the hilarious Gilderoy Lockhart. I always imagined a character like Terry Thomas when reading the books. I never thought I'd say this about Kenneth Branagh, but he actually seems to under-play the part (rather than wallop it with a sledgehammer like he usually does).
One thing that did bug me... the sound-track. The Philosophers Stone was great. Another classic John Williams score. Problem is, rather than write a new score that kept the main spirit of the original (which John Williams did brilliantly in the Star Wars trilogy), they seemed to have lifted entire bits of music used in the first film, particularly the dramatic parts that you associate with a certain scene from Philosophers Stone, and transplanted it into Chamber Of Secrets! Couldn't help thinking... cheap... cheap... cheap
Three of us went to see this film at a preview screening last night, and chatting afterwards we all felt basically the same way. Good film, good fun, but lacking the "spark" that made the first film so magical. Maybe because part of the fun of Philosopher's Stone was being introduced to this strange, quirky new world and its characters. In Chamber Of Secrets, we are now familiar with this so the story takes centre stage, and at the end of the day... it aint that strong.
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