Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (DVD)

Starring Alan Rickman et al

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R 59


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FPB certification number
Number of Discs
TV System
South Africa
  1. 2
FPB Consumer Advice
FPB Rating
  1. Chris Columbus
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (DVD)
Running Time
  1. Alan Rickman
  2. Daniel Radcliffe
  3. Kenneth Branagh
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Following on the superb success of last year’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is here but does it deliver the goods?

I got to see it on at the Grandwest Casino’s Cinema 2 this past Saturday. The movie was showing in two cinemas and Cinema 1 was already full. Well I don’t know about Cinema 1, but the Starz Cinema 2 delivered the goods by the bucketloads. The theater’s sound was absolutely magnificent. Everything was just right, with wonderful surrounds, bass which flapped your trouser legs and crystal clear center sound.

Visually director Christopher Columbus continued the great work he started with The Philosopher’s Stone, and once again produced a fully realized version of J.K Rowling’s novels. The Chamber of Secrets is a real treasure for the eyes from the sprawling corridors of Hogwarth to the damp and dark Chamber of Secrets itself. Almost every frame of the movie contains some form of visual effect seamlessly blended between the live action and the CGI on screen.

Fans of the book should enjoy the movie immensely. I did find the movie did not do such a good job of explaining certain things. Perhaps the filmmakers assume most of the audience will have a working knowledge of the books. I do think someone who has not read the books might miss some details.

Still the movie is somewhat darker in tone than the first one, but then what can one expect from a world which deals with magic and the dark things which go bump in the night. Some little one’s might want to sleep with their mommies after they’ve seen the movie which has some nasty big spiders and even bigger snakes in it.

All in all Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is an enjoyable movie and one which can bare repeated viewings.

8 / 10

A film review by Steve Rhodes
Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

Lots more of the same isn't better. In HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, again directed by Chris Columbus and adapted for the screen by Steven Kloves from a J.K. Rowling novel, we continue where we left off last time. This super economy sized version of HARRY POTTER certainly gives viewers more HARRY for their money, but its bloated length -- almost three hours of the same thing as last time -- wore out this critic. Still, for those whose only reservation about the long first episode was that it wasn't long enough, this HARRY should make them ecstatic. It certainly wowed my family of avid HARRY fans.

Parents with younger HARRY fans will have two potential problems. In addition to the fidget factor caused by the picture's excessive length, they will have to worry about the nightmares it may cause their tykes. Its PG-rating is a joke. This should-have-been-PG-13 movie had even my 13-year-old jumping. There are many quite violent and frightening images as well as some gross ones like Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) puking large, slimy slugs.

Daniel Radcliffe repeats his role as Harry Potter, but it falls to Emma Watson to again, as Hermione Granger, steal the show. She's a real charmer whose entire film career consists of nothing but the POTTER films. Why other producers don't snatch her up for their movies is a real mystery.

The movie's mystery this time revolves around the infamous "Chamber of Secrets." Some bad guy -- or gal -- opened it, causing no end of potentially deadly problems. Harry and Company are trying to solve the mystery, as the fate of Hogwarts School itself hangs in the balance.

The two best parts of this episode are two new characters, Dobby the House Elf and Gilderoy Lockhart. Dobby is a masochistic little figure who looks like Yoda's distant cousin. He is voiced imaginatively and sympathetically by Toby Jones.

The author of "Magical Me" and other best sellers, Lockhart is a five-time winner of Witch Weekly's best smile award. This humorous character, who is a slightly fraudulent wizard like the one in THE WIZARD OF OZ, is played with gusto by Kenneth Branagh. "Fame is a fickle friend, Harry," he tells his young pupil in one of many good lines. "Celebrity is as celebrity does." Branagh manages to capture almost all of the script's best dialog.

After scenes lifted from the horror spoof EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS and other films, Harry finally proclaims, "It's over." Don't breathe a sigh of relief, however, because the movie drags on for another twenty minutes after that.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS runs an incredibly long 2:41. It is rated PG for "scary moments, some creature violence and mild language" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up, depending on how susceptible they are to nightmares.

My children love it!!!

Region details

DVD Region 2

Region 2 - Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories.

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