Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
UK / English
""Dobby Has Come To Warn You Sir." "Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him.
Good fun but not quite so fresh
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
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
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...
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.
|Nr of disks/tapes:||1|
|Storage device:||Divx 4|