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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)


7/10: Character palette and story drives me to read the books
Sunday, December 1, 2002

A lot has been made about the pubescence of the three leads in this new Harry Potter installment and it is a bit disconcerting when Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) speak their first lines in those awkward cracks of pre-adolescence. However, their growing up, along with the physical blossoming of their friend Hermione (the perky and smart actress Emma Watson) seem mark a general growing up of the whole Harry Potter series. This one is more for grown-ups: the first one hooked the kid demographic and no doubt they will still be enraptured by "Chamber of Secrets." This is the film, however, that hopes to attract a whole new audience in the parents of those kids. It is darker and has more layers. The explanations about wizardry are less cursory and the acting seems stronger.I have never read the books so I bring an outlook to the films that is free of personal bias...

6/10: A slight decrease in quality
Monday, January 5, 2015

This film is the second entry in the hyper-successful Harry Potter franchise. In terms of box office, it became number 4 of the year 12 years ago. Like the first, it was directed by Chris Columbus ("Mrs. Doubtfire", "The Goonies", "Home Alone"), who did not return for film number 3, and written by Steve Kloves based on a Rowling novel. Kloves kept writing for all the films that followed afterward. Just like for Columbus, this was also the last performance for Richard Harris. The actor who portrayed Albus Dumbledore died not much later. "The Chamber of Secrets" included some creative inclusions of new characters and story lines, but it also fell flat on developing on some of the parts from the first film. Very early on we are introduced to Gobby, an interesting character and the Potter equivalent to Gollum from "Lord of the Rings". You could almost say that this film has a message against racism with the...

7/10: Always something evil sprouting up at Hogwart's
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Even a piece of children's fiction like the "Harry Potter" series can stir up controversy over the themes it deals with. Stories of witches and magic and supernatural powers and beings have cluttered literature since the days of Greek mythology, and people simply looked at it either as the remains of an ancient culture, a piece of art from a creative mind or a reminder of the many worlds out there which we know nothing about. In reading claims that the "Harry Potter" books and films open up the minds of children to magic, black or white and is a Pied Piper journey towards evil, I had to remind myself that as far as I can see, it's only a piece of fiction, that children have wild imaginations, and that as long as they are made aware that it is indeed, pure fiction, no evil can come from reading books or watching the films. If there are hidden...

6/10: OK, but I think for fans only
Monday, August 13, 2007

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" is, unfortunately, not one of the best Harry Potter movies despite (or perhaps because of) sticking relatively closely to J.K. Rowling's original novel (IMHO one of the better in the series). Some parts feel overlong and others too short, and there are signs that director Chris Columbus was growing fatigued in his second (and final) entry in the series.Overall I think we have a good fantasy film here. Other than Rupert Grint's Ron (Grint's whole range of facial expressions seem to consist of scrunching up his face in a Spielbergian "ewwwww" pose) the young actors were growing well into their roles, and the new adult performers are excellent. Kenneth Branagh is well-cast as the pompous celebrity wizard Guilderoy Lockhart, hired as the kids' second "Defense Against the Dark Arts" professor. The particular standout here is new cast member Jason Isaacs, who is the very image of petty...

10/10: The best Harry Potter film
Saturday, October 10, 2009

Not originally a fan of this series (really, not interested), I've got to say that I now see the widespread appeal of these Harry Potter movies! I actually first saw GOBLET OF FIRE (2005) when it premiered on cable the year after it's release and liked it enough to want to start watching this series. Then when ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (2007) came out 2 years later, I liked it, but it seemed to get really dark and serious more so than GoF and I really needed perspective in understanding the trajectory of these HP films. I went out and bought the 5-disc collection of SORCERER'S STONE, CHAMBER OF SECRETS, PRISONER OF AZBAKAN, GOBLET OF FIRE, and ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. It's apparent these films are purposefully getting darker as they move along, some staying very true to the source material, some taking liberties.Of the 5-disc set, I actually think this film, CHAMBER...

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