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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets /

Rated: PG

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Kenneth Branagh, John Cleese, Rupert Grint, David Bradley
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Produced by: David Heyman, Chris Columbus
Written by: Steve Kloves, J.K. Rowling
Distributor: Warner Brothers


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     Here we are again, yet another year has passed, another wind has blown; and yet again a new Harry Potter film has come out. The second is a few steps down from the first, but engages in new, fresh material which is more or less inspiring, and is fun for young fans at the same time. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets may have better special effects, and a more intelligent plot than the first, but I still prefer those of its originator. The first half an hour is too artificial looking, and even at times awkward to watch, but when the story takes off everything is magically enchanting. The sequel to the fabulous and admirable Sorcerer’s Stone is an excellent score, but lacks the personality of the first.

     This new adventure opens up to a lonely Harry Potter in his room on Privet Drive with the drab of a family who adopted him. They are getting ready to have guests over for dinner, and Harry, as usual, must stay in his room, not make a noise, and pretend like he doesn’t exist. He enters his room only to see a house-elf standing on his bed. The elf, named Dobby, speaks with amazement as he says the words, “Harry Potter, what an honor it is.” The two have a long conversation, which interrupts the dinner party quite a few times, but Dobby is never discovered. The bottom line: “Harry Potter must not return to Hogwarts this year!” Dobby had done everything he could to make this possible. He stole all of the mail Harry was supposed to be getting, created fury between Harry and his so-called "parents", and when Harry officially tells Dobby that he is going to return to Hogwarts, the little elf uses his magic to throw a cake into one of the family friend’s face. Harry is immediately blamed for this, and is locked and bolted into his room, without food, for days.

     He is most luckily saved by his best friend Ron and brothers. They drive up to his window in a flying car, and are able to pull the bars which encage the glass off of the frame. Harry and his owl, Hedwig, barely escape his Uncle and Aunt, Vernon and Petunia. After putting up quite the physical fight from either side of the window, the three boys are able to pull Harry into the car, with the help of an abnormally strong engine. The four station at Ron’s house after the trip, where everyone except Harry gets quite the beating for using the magical car. They stay there for less than a week in the movie, though it’s practically the whole summer in the book, than leave for Hogwarts. Ron’s brothers have no problem getting there, but for Ron and Harry, it’s the most hectic experience of their life. They are spotted driving the magical car in the “Muggle” world, cannot run through platform nine-and-three-quarters, and are almost killed by the most giant, and ancient tree in the entire magical world. Once they finally make it to Hogwarts, they are in for a big punishment, but not nearly as much as what comes the next week. While serving detention Harry starts hearing voices, and sees words written on the wall. “The chamber of secrets has been opened.” This chamber was founded thousands of years before Harry was born, by a man named Slytherin, and had been searched for many times by the leaders of Hogwarts, but never found. “Who opened it, why, and where is it?” are the questions that face Mr. Potter.

     I found the movie as a whole to be of lesser value than the first, but the direction, by Chris Columbus, and the cinematography by Richard Pratt, was much better than the first. The special effects were much cleaner looking, and the Quidditch match was a lot more true to the book. The combined aerial shots to go along with the always wonderful original score were fabulous also. The costumes weren’t as good as the first, but the sets were. Though I liked the beautifully done chess match in The Sorcerer’s Stone, and it was better than the final showdown in The Chamber of Secrets, this was another win for filmmakers. With excellent skill in filmmaking, acting, screenwriting, and plot; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a new and fresh sequel that will capture all fans hearts, and will make loads of dough along the way.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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