First sequels are the true test of an enduring movie franchise, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets passes with flying colors. Expanding upon the lavish sets, special effects, and grand adventure of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry's second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry involves a darker, more malevolent tale (parents with younger children beware), beginning with the petrified bodies of several Hogwarts students and magical clues leading Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) to a 50-year-old mystery in the monster-laden Chamber of Secrets. House elves, squealing mandrakes, giant spiders, and venomous serpents populate this loyal adaptation (by Sorcerer's Stone director Chris Columbus and screenwriter Steve Kloves), and Kenneth Branagh delightfully tops the supreme supporting cast as the vainglorious charlatan Gilderoy Lockhart (be sure to view past the credits for a visual punchline at Lockhart's expense). At 161 minutes, the film suffers from lack of depth and uneven pacing, and John Williams' score mostly reprises established themes. The young, fast-growing cast offers ample compensation, however, as does the late Richard Harris in his final screen appearance as Professor Albus Dumbledore. Brimming with cleverness, wonderment, and big-budget splendor, Chamber honors the legacy of J.K. Rowling's novels. --Jeff Shannon
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: Great product, great price. Comment: I purchased this for my husband for a great low price. I received the prouduct in excellent condition very quickly..Would order again. Customer Rating: Summary: Excellent Comment: This movie is excellent.
There is so much material in the book that folks should not be suprised that the movie does not have everything in it. I was happy that so much managed to get in to this movie. However, in cutting much out, sometimes you must add a smaller, shorter, piece of business to cushion the change.
I am happy to see as good a movie as this is. Customer Rating: Summary: Year Two at Hogwarts Comment: After the phenomenal success of J.K. Rowling's first four Harry potter novels and the first Harry potter film, there was no doubt that the boy wizard would be returning to the big screen. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, we are given a darker tale that explores the pasts of Hogwarts' students and professors. It was with this story that author J.K Rowling first began to experience a backlash from more conservative parents. Most were disturbed by the themes of death and violence, which Rowling insisted was her way of being more realistic and that by including these themes her books would be grounded in a universal reality. However some parents did not accept her explanation. They even went so far as to suggest that Satanism and a belief in witchcraft inspired the Harry Potter books and films. At first deeply insulted and angered by these preposterous accusations, Rowling later would dismiss them with her signature wit and sense of humor.
Furthermore this ridiculous controversy had no affect on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' Box Office intake. The film was a hit!
As Harry Potter prepares for his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he is warned of a dangerous plot against the students. He's told of this plot by a manic house-elf named Dobby, who is forced to inflict injuries upon himself whenever he disobeys his master. Between bouts of self-abuse, Dobby explains that his allegiance to the wizard family that owns him prevents him form saying anymore, but he is adamant that Harry Potter should not return to Hogwarts, for Harry's own protection. Harry, obstinate as ever, tells Dobby that he must return to school, so Dobby goes about creating obstacles to prevent this. Dobby, it turns out, has been stealing Harry's mail, making him believe that his friends weren't writing him over summer holiday. Dobby did this in hopes that Harry might not be so eager to return to school if he thought his friends no longer cared about him, but this wasn't the case. After Dobby gets Harry into trouble and Harry's uncle Vernon locks him in his room, Harry's best friend Ron comes to the rescue. Ron and his brothers, Fred and George, show up at the house in a flying car and save Harry from the monotony of staying with his ill-tempered relatives.
Ron and his brothers take Harry to their small home in the English countryside, where Harry meets the rest of the Weasley family. Harry and the Weasleys go to Diagon Alley, where magical supplies can be bought, to buy all of the children's materials for the upcoming year at school. They bump into school bully Draco Malfoy and his father, Lucius, who harass the Weasley children for being poor.
When Harry and Ron are unable to take the train to Hogwarts, they take the flying car and are seen by muggles (non-magic folk), not to mention the fact that they crash into the school's Whomping-Willow tree. As punishment they are given detention. While Ron is given the task of polishing medals and trophies, Harry must assist the new self-obsessed teacher, Professor Lockhart respond to his fan mail. But that's the least of Harry's problems. Harry begins to hear an eerie voice reverberating through the walls, and he follows it and it leads him to a message written on the wall in blood. "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir... beware," it reads.
As Harry, Ron, and Hermione uncover the meaning of this cryptic message, they realize that no one at Hogwarts is safe. An evil from the past has been awakened and students begin to turn up, literally, petrified. Soon no one can be trusted and some are even pointing the finger at Harry, but when Hermione and Ron's sister, Ginny become victims and the safety and freedom of all at the school is jeopardized, Harry must prove his innocence and save his friends. But can he find the Chamber of Secrets before it's too late?
As with the first film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was written by Steve Kloves and directed by Chris Columbus. The film is more selective in what content is included from the book, but overall it is a very successful adaptation. In many ways this film is superior to the first film. The special effects surpass those in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in realism, detail, and style.
The acting has also improved as can be seen in the children's performances. On a sad note, the brilliant actor Richard Harris, who plays Headmaster Dumbledore, passed away shortly after the film's completion. The cast features Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as Ronald Weasley, Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley, Kenneth Branagh as Professor Lockhart, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid, Maggie Smith as Professor MacGonagall, Alan Rickman as Professor Snape, and Richard Harris as Headmaster Dumbledore.
Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts tests his courage and his skills while showing viewers that greater challenges are to come.
I also recommend the superb soundtrack by John Williams. Customer Rating: Summary: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets-Bluray Comment: love each and every Harry Potter film so I'm sort of biased, but I will comment on Picture quality. Very good picture quality for an older Potter film coming from WB. I give it a solid 4/5 as there is a bit of softness throughout the movie, but still looks great coming from the DVD version I've seen so much of. Customer Rating: Summary: Better acting, that's for sure. Comment: The trio is growing up. And so are their acting skills. I loved the ending with the... wait no spoilers! Great movie!