114 of 125 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2003
I'm a senior citizen who loves Harry Potter. I have read the first 3 books and will purchase "The Goblet of Fire" on books on tape.
I won't go into the plot. Suffice it to say it follows the book. The acting was wonderful by our 3 main stars. There is not enough of Alan Rickman, a truly wonderful actor. Kenneth Branagh was so-so and I don't know the man who played Lucious Malfoy but he was perfect. I hated him in "The Patriot" and hated him even more here. Richard Harris will be sorely missed. What a fine performance for his last film.
I never realized that the film was 2 3/4 hours. The time flew. The special effects are outstanding.
I liked the further character development. You see what a wonderful and loving family Ron Weesley comes from. You find out why Hagrid is the way he is. You also get to realzie why Draco Malfoy is the way he is when you get to see the father.
There was so much to see. So much to enjoy.
For the first movie, I saw the movie first and then read the book. For this story, I read the book first and then saw the movie. Either way, I was thrilled with both movies.
I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward the the third movie.
If you haven't had the opportunity to see "The Chamber of Secrets", please go and see it. It's a treat for the eyes, mind and soul.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I made a much longer review about the Ultimate editions of the Harry Potter films in the review I posted for the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray] so I am just going to go over the highlights concerning this specific film in this review. For full details on why I think the Ultimate Editions are awesome, see my Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray] review.
The HD video and sound are excellent in this version of the film on blu-ray, just like they were for the other Ultimate Edition release. Yes, they are double dipping on this release (which is one of the reasons I think the price is relatively low), but I think it is worth it considering the fact that we are getting the extended edition of the film in blu-ray HD, plus an hour's long documentary with never before seen behind the scenes stuff as well.
The blu-ray disc contains both the theatrical release, and the new extended version with cut scenes put back in. This film has 13 minutes of extra footage (most never seen before). The extra footage makes a *LOT* of scenes make more sense with those scenes back in! For instance, one of the new scenes shows Harry meeting Hagrid on the stairs on his way up to his dormitory. Hagrid is holding the dead chickens which were being killed in the book. Minutes later Harry stumbled upon the Hufflepuff boy who has been petrified by the basilisk. Minutes after that, as Harry is in Dumbledore's office explaining himself, Hagrid bursts in saying he knows it couldn't have been Harry, and that he would be willing to swear so to the Ministry of magic. With the extra scene back in showing Harry and Hagrid meeting on the stairs, it suddenly becomes clear how a.) Hagrid got there so fast, b.) how Hagrid knew Harry was in trouble, c.) that Hagrid was so SURE Harry was innocent. You will encounter scenes that expand your understanding of the films like that all over the extended edition.
As for the extras, the blu-ray special features disc is the reason to buy this set. Specifically, for the hour long documentary included in each ultimate edition containing all of the behind-the-scenes stuff I have been wanting to see for such a long time now! They also do in depth interviews, and show stuff we have never seen before. I LOVED watching all of the green screening stuff they showed concerning Quidditch, the flying car, etc.
I love the set, I love the price, I love the quality of the films in high definition blu-ray, and I love the extras. 5 stars, for this edition, no question.
124 of 153 people found the following review helpful
"The Chamber of Secrets" novel in the Harry Potter series is generally considered the weakest of J. K. Rowling's books - it does not have the joyful discovery of "Philosopher's Stone", the dark twists of "Prisioner of Azkaban" or the epic nature of "Goblet of Fire", but is simply a very good story. However, I predict its relative simplicity will make "Chamber of Secrets" the most successful book-to-movie translation in the series, as it is undoubtably better than the first movie, and it will be a daunting task for film-makers to tackle the intricate plot lines of book three and the collosal book four.
Like all the books, "Chamber" begins midway through the summer as Harry's twelfth birthday is nearing, and again he faces a rather dismal one in the company of his horrible uncle, aunt and cousin. Excitement is already on the move however, as when Harry enters his bedroom the house elf Dobby is waiting for him, who warns him that under no circumstances is he to return to Hogwarts, where a great danger is waiting for him.
But return he does, after being rescued from his family by the Weasley family and the now-famous flying blue Ford Angelia, and indeed finds what Dobby promised - something is stalking the halls of Hogwarts, putting all the students in great danger. Taking it upon himself to save his beloved home Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione seek out the clues, and find themselves facing a terrible evil. In a story filled with giant spiders, savage willow trees, magical swords, disembodied voices, mysterious diaries, glorious phoenixes, flying cars and Quidditch matches, the action and excitement doesn't let up until the ending credits.
Once again Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson return as the three main protagonists, and I'm glad to say that while their acting was a little awkward in the first movie (understandable for newcomers) they've mellowed out and are much more natural with their characters and each other. Under-rated actor Tom Felton is again wickedly good, and Maggie Smith (McGonagall), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid) and Alan Rickman (Snape) roll out brilliant performances. Unfortunatly I can't say the same for Richard Harris - Dumbledore in my mind is an elderly yet lively and energetic man, yet here I was petrified he was going to kneel over any second.
The best part of any sequel in a series is the myraid of new characters to see, including the afore mentioned Dobby, the mysterious and sinister Tom Riddle, the narcissic Gilderoy Lockhart (played with great pizzazz by Kenneth Branaugh), and pompous Cornelius Fudge, and more of the Weasley family - more from Julie Walters as Molly Weasley, an introduction to Arthur Weasley, and from George, Fred and (especially) Ginny.
Three performances stick out though: Lucius Malfoy was great - cold, calm and elegant, this guy just *oozed* sinister charm, Moaning Myrtle, with her high-pitched sobs and shrieks was an unexpected surprise and Colin Creevy, the forerunner to Book Four's reporter Rita Skeeter and J. K. Rowling's dig at the media was a small, but essential gem, and I love that split-second scene of horror on his face as the runaway Buldger hurtles towards him!
Finally the sets, costumes and props are lovely, but the special effects are only so-so. The Quidditch game (again more visually exciting than any written account) is very good, as is the 'monster in the chamber', but the phoenix, spiders and Dobby could have used some tweaking.
All in all, a fun, interesting, colourful, sometimes-scary, and faithful adaptation to a beloved book, that (along with the Two Towers) brought 2002 to a fantasy-filled climax in the movie industry.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2003
Suspected of being responsible for the attempted murders of several Hogwarts students, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) spend their second year unraveling a dangerous mystery that threatens the very existence of the academy. This is a wonderful film that introduces several great new characters, such as the conceited and comical Guilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branaugh) and the evil Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs), as well as boasting terrific visual effects and costume design. I am so gratified that director Chris Columbus and writer Steve Kloves have been granted the long running time of over two hours to do full justice to author JK Rowling's magical world. The respect paid to the source material really shows on the screen.
The death of Richard Harris, who played Albus Dumbledore, heralds what may become a problem with this series as it plays out over the next five projected films. It is unlikely that all of the actors who portray the large cast of main and supporting characters will be able or willing to devote so much of their time over the course of the next five years to the production and promotion of a single film franchise. The producers might lessen this problem by spreading out film production rather than trying to release one every year, but then they run the risk of having their principle actors age out of their roles. Fans should be prepared to see more roles recast with other actors before this series reaches its end./
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2002
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets far exceeds the first film in tension, excitement, laughs, and gasps. You can tell a real difference in physical maturity of the three main characters, but more importantly their acting has also matured a good deal as well. Daniel Radcliffe gives a charming performance as everyone's favorite wizard, Harry Potter, and Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are adorable and hilarious as Harry's sidekicks, Ron and Hermione. This film provides a great deal of enjoyment for children, but the adults aren't left out in the cold since there are plenty of impressive (and believable) special effects and heart-stopping thrills. Fans of the book won't be disappointed either as only minor adjustments were made in the transition from page to screen. Adults with small children beware, there are a few "gross-out" scenes in this movie, and some of the spectacular beasts could frighten the little ones (think slugs and enormous spiders...enough said).
52 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2002
The magic is back! Harry, Hermione, and Ron Weasley return to the screen with yet another adventure, bigger and better than ever, as they begin their second year at Hogwarts. With a veritable flick of his magic wand, director Chris Columbus offers up �Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,� the second chapter in the on-going saga of everybody�s favorite young wizard, who is joined this time around by a new instructor (teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts), as well as some formidable new opponents. There�s also a couple of surprises along the way as Harry encounters a rather singular character in his bedroom, and another deep in the Forbidden Forest. And, yes, there IS a Quidditch match.
Harry�s second year at Hogwarts begins inauspiciously with a warning to stay away; someone-- or some�thing�-- doesn�t want him there. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is undeterred, of course, and is soon back in Gryffindor House along with his friends and fellow students. But the warnings persist, now written in blood on the walls, and they portend an ominous fate for Harry, as well as many of the other students of witchcraft and wizardry. The messages indicate that the �Chamber of Secrets� has been opened, and that dire consequences (for some unknown reason) are about to befall many of those in attendance at the school. And this is serious business; enough to make Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) fear that Hogwarts may have to be closed indefinitely.
So it�s up to Harry, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) to get to the bottom of the mystery. And they don�t have much time; already one of the students has been found literally �petrified� in the hall, and the perpetrator is still unknown and at large. Harry knows the answers can be found in the Chamber of Secrets, but the questions persist: �What� is it, exactly, and �where� can it be found?
As if channeling the spirit and imagination of author J.K. Rowling (in whose heart Harry Potter was born), director Columbus brings this film vividly to life in a swirl of excitement and colorful characters. He sets a perfect pace that will keep even the youngest members of the audience enthralled, and his transitions are impeccable, always moving the story forward with nary a single lull or hesitation. It�s a film that will grab you in the opening frames and sweep! you along to the finish.
Written for the screen by Steven Kloves (adapted from the novel by Rowling), the story is compelling, the dialogue is fresh and crisp and, as expected, the special F/X are the absolute best. And Columbus uses it all to great effect, aided in no small part by the exemplary work of film editor Peter Honess, the original score by William Ross and John Williams, Roger Pratt�s brilliant cinematography, and last, but certainly not least, the engaging performances turned in by his young stars and veteran performers alike.
Young Daniel Radcliffe�s portrayal of Harry is so complete and natural that, simply put, he IS, and will forever be, �Harry Potter.� It�s the kind of definitive performance that will always, without question, be a part of Radcliff�s life, putting him in such dignified company as Sean Connery (James Bond), Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Holmes). And, for better or worse, that�s not such a bad place to be. He has a gift, and if he uses it wisely, he has a long and successful career ahead of him.
The characters of Hermione and Ron Weasley are definitive, as well, but not in the way that Radcliffe�s Harry is, but inasmuch as it would be impossible hereafter to accept anyone else but Watson and Grint as, respectively, Hermione and Ron. Their portrayals are solid, endearing and entirely convincing; who will ever forget Hermione�s adamant stare, or Ron�s bemused expression of befuddlement? Though without a doubt they will always be associated with these characters, they have the kind of talent that should take them successfully beyond their �Potter� personas. And hopefully they will make choices in the future conducive to their auspicious �star-making� turns in these films.
Kenneth Branagh gives a delightful performance as Gilderoy Lockhart, the new instructor at Hogwarts, whose self-importance has made him a legend in his own mind. He is pompous and self-serving, but in a fun kind of way that allows you to see immediately beneath the mask of his vanity and his puffed up ego; he�s the Wizard of Oz revealed as the man behind the curtain. And Branagh plays him perfectly.
In this chapter we�re also introduced to Draco Malfoy�s father, Lucius Malfoy, played with deliciously restrained malevolence by Jason Isaacs. After meeting Lucius, it�s easy to see that Draco (Tom Felton) is an apple that didn�t fall far from the tree.
Also turning in a memorable performance is Shirley Henderson, as the empathetic, disenfranchised ghost, Moaning Myrtle, doomed to forever roam the lavatory in which she met her untimely and premature demise. With very little screen time, she manages to make a decided connection with the audience, which makes her an effective and integral part of the story.
Reprising the roles they established and made their own in �Harry Potter and the Sorcerer�s Stone,� are Richard Harris (Dumbledore); Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid); Alan Rickman (Professor Severus Snape); Bonnie Wright (in an expanded role this time, as Ginny Weasley); Julie Walters (Mrs. Weasley); John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick); Richard Griffiths (Uncle Vernon); Fiona Shaw (Aunt Petunia); and Harry Melling (Dudley).
The additional supporting cast includes Toby Jones (extremely effective as the voice of Dobby, the House Elf), Christian Coulson (Tom Marvolo Riddle), Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprout) and Sally Mortemore (Madam Pince). Be forewarned, there�s a scene in the Forbidden Forest that will absolutely make your skin crawl; but it�s all a part of the fun, and by the final scene of �Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,� you WILL, without a doubt, believe in magic.
69 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2002
The Good: It is everything the first was-it is still great! It's still a must-see movie for any Harry Potter fan. It may not have the suspense and the gripping scenes Rowling's book has but it's still a fantastic feature! Chris Columbus once again does a wonderful job on the movie. He keeps the Harry Potter 'magic' alive. He has created something that in the near future will be a classic. The characters, the plot, the inventions, and the suspense are all wonderful! Emma Watson once again plays her role to the best of her ability. She is perfect for the role of Hermione! The movie certainly has more than it's share of charm; charming characters, the magical 'charm', and the sheer image of Rowling's peculiar inventions. The film's special effects and the acting will impress you. This sequel to 2001's 'movie of the year' is scarier, longer, more suspenseful, and more interesting than the first. But you obviously need to know the story of the first book (movie) to understand and enjoy this installment. The late Richard Harris (Dumbeldore) is first a surprise then an immeasurable relief--and fated to be the proudest legacy of the movie that is a beautifully crafted dark fable. In fact this installment is something you would enjoy even if you haven't read the books! The wacky inventions will impress you (as I mentioned before). Another thing that I was impressed by was the enigmatically stunning phoenix (a Greek mythical bird that burns into flames). This feature has tons of new things; New characters, extra school lessons, new creatures, and new inventions! Overall it's an excellent installment!
The story revolves around Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) who has not had a fine summer. Not only has he had to put up with his haughty Aunt Petunia (Fiona Shaw) and Uncle Vernon Dursley (Griffith) and their fear of his magical abilities, but also it seems as if Harry's best friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) have forgotten him - as they haven't responded to a single one of his letters. Then, unexpectedly and strangely, house-elf Dobby emerges in Harry's bedroom and warns of great danger if the aspiring wizard should attempt to return to Hogwarts. Dobby than tries to prevent the wizard from attending his 2nd year at Hogwarts. Although they faced a dangerous mishap at Platform 9 and 3 quarters, the worst was yet to come. The news of the flying car (that Harry and Ron rode) had reached Snape. But basically (Later) the 3 youngsters continue their adventures this time trying to find out about the deadly 'chamber of secrets'. Watch them unravel the haunting mystery at Hogwarts!
Bad: There isn't really anything 'bad' about Harry Potter. Gilderoy Lockhart however, was very annoying. Snape was as usual the mean, cruel, hateful, and despising teacher at Hogwarts. But if you think about it, that's the way Rowling has made them... so I guess there's no 'bad' in the movie!
Ugly: In only a word... "snakes". Creepy, crawling, slithering, slimy, ugly reptiles! However 'snake-lovers' (like the majority of the people I went with) would enjoy the 'snake scenes'.
Harry Potter is a creative work of art! Overall rating: A+
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2009
To start off this isn't a review of the movie itself, by now you should have already formed an opinion of the movie for yourself or from other reviews of just the film. This is a review for the Ultimate Edition.
Two words: Absolutely Amazing!
This isn't just some scam from Warner Bros to get a few more dollars squeezed out of the Harry Potter movies, this is brand new and refreshing. Warner Bros packaged this set to be (or what appears to be) the last Harry Potter set to be had. Everything that you could want in a collectors set it included here.
The booklet included is surprisingly well done. The book keeps with the theme of the special feature exclusive to the ultimate edition. For example, in the Chamber of Secrets edition the booklet is all about the characters and their development, both at the beginning of the series and how they have evolved through the years. Included are stills from the movie, pictures of the theme (ie. characters, buildings, sets), and my favorite... concept art.
As for the character cards that are included they aren't anything super special but at the same time they aren't cheaply done. The cards are solid and printed well. I could see where some people will find them very satisfying and a highlight of the edition.
The thing that I was most impressed with, however, was the presentation. Finally someone released a special edition of a film and made it presentable and convenient. The boxes are made to look like books that fold open and are neatly packed on the inside. Also on the inside of the book there are images from the film, making it look very much like a collector's item. Warner Bros has really set themselves up nicely for the release of the next six of these.
Overall I was extremely pleased with this edition of the movie and cannot wait for the rest to be released.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2003
I wasn't a big Harry Potter fan until I was forced to watch "The Sorceror's Stone" Now I can't get enough. I've read all the books available and I've seen the second movie several times and I can't wait for more! The introduction of Draco Malfoy's father brings in even more of the larger story that is Harry Potter's future. The movie is true to the second book and surpasses the effects of the first one. The movies (and books) are maturing with Harry and I can't wait to go see it again.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2002
"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" not only meets but far exceeds the standards set by its predecessor, 2001's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." "Sorcerer's Stone" went on to be the biggest worldwide hit of 2001 (and of all time next to Titanic) due in large part to the popularity of J.K. Rowling's hit series of books that it was based on, but as a film it easily stood up on its own merits combining the right amount of action, eye candy FX, humor and "whodunit" mystery intrigue. "Chamber of Secrets" keeps the tradition going, and then some!
"Chamber of Secrets" is the adaptation of J.K. Rowling's second book in the landmark Harry Potter series, the story of a boy wizard who through a twist of fate is locked in mortal combat with an evil wizard. The series follows his (and his buddies Ron and Hermione's) (mis)adventures as they progress through 7 years of study at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Chamber of Secrets chronicles their adventures during their 2nd year at school where Harry becomes the prime suspect in a string of deadly attacks against his fellow classmates as the mysterious Chamber of Secrets has been opened. What exactly is the "Chamber of Secrets" and if it wasn't Harry who opened it, who did?
THE COOL THINGS:
All the stunning visual eye candy from "Sorcerer's Stone" is back, bigger and badder than ever! The world of Hogwarts is once again depicted just as grand as before, if not more so. For fans of the first movie the revamped Quidditch scene will hit you harder than before like a psychotic Bludger. Also, the addition of the new "wizard duel" scene will strike you just as hard as any of the Lightsaber battles of Star Wars fame. Overall, if you're an FX freak you'll love CoS as much as SS, if not more.
The actor's performances in this film are just brilliant. Rupert Grint's Ron Weasley and Kenneth Branagh's Gilderoy Lockheart as well as the Jason Isaac's Lucius Malfoy and Dobby the House Elf easily steal the show and bring Rowling's depictions to life just as you'd imagine it.
- Wizards duel
- Quidditch Match
- Flying car
- Harry vs. The "Secret" in the Chamber
Fans of the books will once again (or at least should) be pleased with this very true and near perfect translation of book to silver screen. Like the first movie, very little was changed from the book with just a few "minor" deletions of scenes or "rearrangements" from the book. Once again, as movie adaptations of books go, the Harry Potter movies are almost as perfect as you'll get.
Readers of the books should know what kinds of things to watch out for in this one. For the somewhat squeamish there are scenes with slugs, spiders, giant snakes and a few other things that may upset you that you'll want to look out for or be mindful of if you are bringing very young children.
Overall, once again, if you are a fan of the series (or even if you are not), "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" should easily top the list of movies you should definitely see. Fans of the book will appreciate seeing everything come to life and fans of great movies will marvel at all the action, humor and visual eye candy this one has to offer.
Can't wait for the "Prisoner of Azkaban" movie and the Chamber of Secrets DVD.
Highest Recommendation. (Like you didn't know...)