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topics
GreenCine Movie Talk
In The Theaters
I just saw it and boy does it...
318

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets -- what do you think?
Topic by: hneline1
Posted: November 26, 2002 - 10:18 AM PST
Last Reply: December 24, 2002 - 6:52 PM PST

author topic: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets -- what do you think?
hneline1
post #1  on November 26, 2002 - 10:18 AM PST  
I just saw "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and wondered what others thought.

*** SPOILER ALERT ***
but if you've read the books, you already know what's going to happen. :-)
hneline1
post #2  on November 26, 2002 - 10:45 AM PST  
I'll start.

I wasn't impressed. I liked the first movie because, even though the pace was plodding and I knew what was going to happen from reading the books, I still got a sense of wonderment at the onscreen images -- the owls surrounding Harry's house, the floating candles in the dining room, the boats carrying the first years to the school. There was a story there that drew me in.

But this second movie was unevenly paced, badly acted and scattered. For example, there were too many things crammed into the film from the book that weren't explained -- why did the car come back to save them from the spiders? We know why in the book, but it's not explained in the movie. And the acting was... distracting. I keep remembering that interchange between Hagrid and Professor Dumbledore when Hagrid comes into the Professor's office to defend Harry, and I mentally cringe thinking about the poor timing in the conversation (well, maybe that was the editing rather than the actors). And the plot just plodded along, staying true to the book, which meant that there were a lot of elements introduced that cluttered the storyline.

Well, sorry for bashing the film, but I had to get that off my chest. I mean, I love the books, and it's disappointing to see a poor adaptation to the screen. Probably my expectations were too high.

Oh, and what did I LIKE in the film? I liked Dobby the House Elf. :-)
pelikan
post #3  on November 26, 2002 - 11:35 AM PST  
i have to agree, after reading the book the movie didn't do anything for me, i'm guessing for somebody who hasn't read the book is probably just long & boring.

I mean c'mon, the movie was waaaaaaay too long. If they made book #2 almost 3 hours, can you imagine how long #3 & #4 are going to be? Plus with half an hour of commercials and previews, my total 'in seat' time was way over 3 hours.

Also, Ron's expressions were beyond pitifull.
dpowers
post #4  on November 26, 2002 - 12:46 PM PST  
wait, you guys are anime fans and you're complaining about plot holes... ;-)

i didn't have high hopes for this one. chris columbus is a charming klutz. i have hopes for alfonso cuarón directing the next one. unreasonably high, bound for disappointment, babe-like hopes.
underdog
post #5  on November 26, 2002 - 6:14 PM PST  
> On November 26, 2002 - 12:46 PM PST DPOWERS wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> wait, you guys are anime fans and you're complaining about plot holes... ;-)
>
> i didn't have high hopes for this one. chris columbus is a charming klutz. i have hopes for alfonso cuarón directing the next one. unreasonably high, bound for disappointment, babe-like hopes.
> ---------------------------------


Well, I liked it better than you guys apparently, although the same problems I had with the book I had with the movie. Of the 4 HP books the 2nd was the one I felt was weakest, although I still enjoyed the movie. Okay, the negative stuff first: The climax felt flat in the book and it feels flat in the movie. It just doesn't build up to much. Also, the end part with Hagrid coming back and all the kids applauding -- what was THAT all about? It didn't make any sense in the movie because he was hardly gone at all.

Being faithful to the book was okay in the first film because the first book was so great... They could have been less lazy and actually fixed a few things or enhanced it.

Also what this film was lacking over the first was the sense of wonder when they first arrive at Hogwarts. That whole part was purely wonderful.

BUT That said, I still enjoyed a lot of the 2nd movie, especially the first half. I loved the spiders den, Moaning Myrtle, Kenneth Branagh (although his character was kind of wasted in the film), Hermione turning into a cat, and all of the interaction between the three lead kids... I'd give the first one 4*'s out of 5 and this one three. The next one, you'll be happy to know, won't be directed by Columbus, thank God. Rumor had it that Branagh was considering it.. we'll see.

C
dwhudson
post #6  on November 27, 2002 - 3:10 PM PST  
For what it's worth, my 6-yr-old son loved it. I mean, it's probably worth something to someone, since some fellow GCers here have kids, too. He was worried about being scared, since word among the single-digit set is that this one is scarier than the first -- but he was only scared, thrilled rather, in a good way.

My wife, who went with him, enjoyed it as well, but primarily because she was with him. Myself, um... I'll probably wait for the DVD.

FOlmstead
post #7  on November 28, 2002 - 5:53 PM PST  
First of all, I've read all 4 books and loved them. I resisted for quite a while, then borrowed #1 from a friend's 10 y/o daughter. Rapidly, came back for #2 and #3. I hesitated reading #4, because I didn't want to run out, but after being reasured, by Alyson (the 10 y/o), that #5 was coming out within months (misinformation), I took the leap.

I really wanted to love the first movie. I eagerly awaited it's release last year. I felt the casting and the attention to plot and detail were fantastic. I loved the cast, which I cannot imagine being any better. Unfortunately, what that meticulousness left out was all the wonderful little things that made the books magical...characterization, relationships, etc. In the end, I was disappointed.

The second movie, which I saw on premiere day, left me feeling the same. I will say it's action packed pace kept me on the edge of my seat, and I really had no idea how almost 3 hours had whized by. But, in the end, it had the same flaw as the first.

Making a movie of a novel is very tricky business and to do it you really have to give up a lot of the original in order to achieve an artistically succesful film. It's almost like it needs to be "based on an idea from..." I don't think that would have worked with Harry Potter. The audience(kids)are too attached to the literal depiction of the books and, I believe that's what they got. These kids have read the Harry Potter books over and over again. If the movie wasn't true to those images they saw in their minds, it would have been a colossal bust. Therefore, I think Chris Columbus did the best job I can imagine, bringing Harry Potter to the screen. I suppose there may be some other way to achieve both goals... being true to the original and capturing it's magic too, but I don't know how.

So I say, if you haven't read the books, see the movies first, then read the books. If you've read the books, it's up to you whether you see the films... but if you love them as I do, I don't see how you can really resist.

dpowers
post #8  on December 7, 2002 - 11:05 PM PST  
saw it this afternoon. this is the book i read to my mom in the hospital, with voices, i have a better feel for it than for the other books.

of the movie: many very accomplished, very gripping scenes; hurried characterization, which is incredible, given the 3 hour running time and the relatively small cast of already-known characters; low on electricity, like an off-season amusement park, only the most important parts were fully operating, but the rest was there and looking as good as ever.

terrible loss, in taking away dobby's generally unstable personality, as that played into harry's adolescent self-consciousness, particularly in the bedroom scene at the start. movie-dobby was no threat until (inexplicably, in the movie) he started knocking his head against the furniture. book-dobby was wired, slightly mad, and instantly and obviously going to get harry in trouble. that missing tension = off-season amusement park.

i liked it but i think i'd recommend a good, well-cast audiobook over this movie.
dpowers
post #9  on December 8, 2002 - 9:09 AM PST  
SPOILER. DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE MOVIE.

i remember a scene in the book where ginny weasley tries to tell harry she's having a big problem and he blows her off because she's [a kid / a girl / got a crush on him / not one of his friends / not as important as his "hero" work / all of the above]. the scene happens in a hallway, before the book gets flushed. why was it cut? i think it was cut because it shows harry in a bad light.
bpiot
post #10  on December 24, 2002 - 6:52 PM PST  
> On November 26, 2002 - 10:45 AM PST hneline1 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I'll start.
>
> I wasn't impressed. I liked the first movie because, even though the pace was plodding and I knew what was going to happen from reading the books, I still got a sense of wonderment at the onscreen images -- the owls surrounding Harry's house, the floating candles in the dining room, the boats carrying the first years to the school. There was a story there that drew me in.
>
> But this second movie was unevenly paced, badly acted and scattered. For example, there were too many things crammed into the film from the book that weren't explained -- why did the car come back to save them from the spiders? We know why in the book, but it's not explained in the movie. And the acting was... distracting. I keep remembering that interchange between Hagrid and Professor Dumbledore when Hagrid comes into the Professor's office to defend Harry, and I mentally cringe thinking about the poor timing in the conversation (well, maybe that was the editing rather than the actors). And the plot just plodded along, staying true to the book, which meant that there were a lot of elements introduced that cluttered the storyline.
>
> Well, sorry for bashing the film, but I had to get that off my chest. I mean, I love the books, and it's disappointing to see a poor adaptation to the screen. Probably my expectations were too high.
>
> Oh, and what did I LIKE in the film? I liked Dobby the House Elf. :-)
> ---------------------------------

Well I just wanted to say, I have never read the books and I think the second movie was much better than the first one. The first one was just too geared to kids it seemed and this one was much more interesting plot wise. I was also happy that the game they play on the brooms was a lot shorter. That part of the first movie really seemed too long!

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