Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * · · · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * · · )

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I guess I am not a fan of Harry Potter. I learned this from watching the first movie, and the second "darker" movie didn't change this decision. Personally, I thought both Harry Potter movies were Scoobie Do episodes with magic. I thought they were trite, whiny kids with fancy accents wearing robes. I know I am not the target audience for this movie, but with a two and a half hour screening time and some pretty disturbing scenes, I am not sure who is. It has the story and acting talent of a no-attention-span kids movie but is too mature in scope and content.

After seeing Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, it is impossible not to compare them. They should both target the same general audience, teens between the ages of 13 and up, but one would think Harry Potter would sit better with the seven year olds and up. Do you want your seven year old to see Harry jamming a tooth through a book spouting blood into the air like a Sam Peckinpaw movie?

The set design and special effects aren't bad, but there is better movies out there for this kind of thing. I didn't think this was a good movie for kids, although I am sure fans of the genre love it. It was too immature for anyone over the age of 12 and too violent for anyone under it. I just didn't see a very big audience for it.

The DVD of Harry Potter is a fine representation of the film, but didn't blow me away with video or sound quality. It does have a 16x9 enhanced 2.35 to 1 transfer and a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There are a bunch of extras but not being a fan of the film didn't give me a lot of motivation to review it.

There are some things about this movie I liked, but not many. The mystery wrapped in a mages robe mixed with about forty five minutes of flying car footage just didn't sit well. The violence of the final battle and the intensity of the rest of the movie narrow the audience quite a bit. Its not a terrible movie, but nothing real great either. Wait for the Two Towers.