Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

That spider is an asshole.

Heh heh – no kidding.

Saw it today with my kids and really enjoyed it. It’s a good yarn.

Good to hear. My family will be seeing it early next week. Is is too scary for a 5 year-old? My daughter had no problems with the first installment, but I have read that this one is scarier.

BTW Mark, I will be in St. Louis tomorrow with my wife and daughter for a concert. Any parts of town I should avoid? Like the places where you used to sell porn to Charles Nelson Reilly :D


Warning to non-Harry Potter fans: stay away from this 3 hours of dentistry.

I have not read a word of the books, and I missed the Chris Columbus-fueled “magic” of the first film, so I am pretty much a Harry Potter newbie. But in terms of children’s movies I thought Chamber of Secrets was an interminable bore. I have no idea how faithful it is to the book, but the film is witless, clumsy and has all the charm and wonder of an Egg McMuffin.

And that redheaded kid who just looks shocked/constipated all the time – god I wanted him dead two reels in. I was rooting for Alan Rickman the moment he showed up, but, alas, Harry is the hero in the end.

Buy the Monsters Inc. DVD if you want to entertain your kids – unless they have a Harry Potter addiction, in which case you probably don’t have much choice in the matter.

I agree with Jim. I’ve read the first two books and saw the first movie on opening day too. I found this movie slow and boring.

Everyone else seemed to like it, particularly my 9 1/2 year old son who can describe in detail whether each line of dialog was verbatim from the book.

I checked the credits for the director as there were a few ‘acting moments’ I thought were clearly done incorrectly and couldn’t believe Chris Columbus would make technical mistakes that a boob like me could spot.

It’s pretty faithful to the book, but this book was even longer than the first, so it was a tougher job to edit it down to ~170 minutes. I think the first adaptation was much better - excellent, in fact. Unfortunately, each book in the series gets longer and longer, so this is only going to be a bigger problem in the future.

I liked the first movie pretty well, though I’m no rabid fan of the books. I think I would have loved them when I was 10 years old. I thought the Chamber of Secrets book was fine - it didn’t give me any preconception that the movie would stink.

The best part was there was no preview for The Two Towers. I’m so eager to like that I was going to try to leave the theater to keep it a surprise.

My 8-year-old daughter and her friends liked it a lot. I loved all the scenes with Kenneth Branagh, who was hilarious. But Alan Rickman, who was great in the first one, seemed kinda wasted in this one, as did Maggie Smith. Kind of amazing that they could make such great characters so dull this time. And I’m afraid I have to agree about Ron Weasley (the redhead that Jim Preston wants to strangle)–he seems like he could be a decent enough young comic actor, but the director really shoulda told him to take it down a couple notches, and to stop making the same grimacing face over and over for 2 1/2 hours.

Kids, like mine, who memorized the books are gonna love it. But I’ll echo the sentiments that non-fan adults probably shouldn’t bother–unless you want to see Kenneth Branagh’s best acting job in years.

unless you want to see Kenneth Branagh’s best acting job in years.

Ouch. True, but ouch.

After seeing Chamber of Secrets, I don’t get what’s going on with big budget “kid” movies these days. Shouldn’t kids at least be given plenty of exciting scenes and engaging pacing? But the latest Star Wars movies and now this Harry Potter snorer were long and dull.

Kids deserve better. Well, maybe not better. I mean, they’re kids, what do they know? But at least they deserve faster, funner, fancier.


Two words: Spy Kids.

My kids loved it. It may be a bit too long, but just about every scene has something fun it – pictures that talk, letters that talk, flying cars, etc.

I don’t understand why Spy Kids doesn’t get more respect. It’s a really funny movie. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the second one in theaters.

In hindsight, I didn’t really like the first Harry Potter film. It was fine while I watched it but it faded from memory really quickly. From the posts in this thread, I think I’ll avoid the second one.


I don’t understand why Spy Kids doesn’t get more respect. It’s a really funny movie. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the second one in theaters.

In hindsight, I didn’t really like the first Harry Potter film.[/quote]

The first Harry Potter movie was just so…bland. It had no vision or sense of style, everything just seemed “generic fantasy”, which shouldn’t have been surprising since everything director Christopher Columbus does features decent production values but is bland and style-less, unless its style is schmaltzy, in which case it’s poor man Spielberg.

Even as a kid, I don’t think I’d have liked those movies (not commenting on the books). I’d much rather, as a kid and now, see Spy Kids, Iron Giant or the Toy Story movies.

But Chris Columbus is British, because J.K. Rowling insisted on British cast and crew!.. oh, wait, no, nevermind. Chris isn’t British, he’s from Penn. That’s why it sucks, because he’s not British, right? That must be it.

I enjoyed it, but found it oddly slow in places. Some scenes that merited only one page in the book (or weren’t even in it) were needlessly extended in the film just because of the special effects (the spider chase, the rogue bludger, the basilisk chasing Harry around). And the ending was just goofy, not at all like the book (although I have a theory as to why it was done that way).

The biggest problem I had with CoS was NOT ENOUGH SNAPE. My favorite Snape line (when he surprises Harry and Ron after they arrive at Hogwart’s in the flying car) wasn’t even IN the movie. That line was practically written with Rickman in mind. Grr. I’m glad Columbus isn’t directing the next one.

So which one of these sites belongs to you, Sparky?

“I’d much rather, as a kid and now, see Spy Kids…”

My kids hated Spy Kids. It’s the kids movie they love to hold up as an example of terrible movies they’ve seen. I think they just couldn’t stand the kid actors, for one thing.

The third one (oddly enough) will be directed by the guy who directed “Y Tu Mama Tambien.” Not only is he not British… he’s Mexican! And, I’d argue, he’s fantastic.

Of course he got the gig, not necessarily from that movie but because he directed this one.

Didn’t Columbus do Goonies? That was a good movie. I liked that movie as a kid. The kids acted like snot nosed smartalecs… just like real kids! Actually I still like that movie.

edit add … it was Richard Donner. NM.

edit add 2 … Chris Columbus cowrote it though with Spielberg.


Nah, I only write Quarter to Three slash fanfic: Tom/Mark, Wumpus/Met K, Bub/Bruce Geryk, Chet/Mr. Spock etc.

You should get some new kids.