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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets(2002)
Harry returns for his second year at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry along with his best friends Hermione and Ron. He ignores warnings not to go back to Hogwarts by a mysterious house elf named Dobby. Soon into the school year strange things start happening. Students are found in a petrified state, messages written in blood appear on the walls and Harry starts to hear voices in his head. It becomes apparent that someone has opened The Chamber of Secrets... but who is responsible and can the dark forces that lurk there be stopped?
For more about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Blu-ray release, see the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Blu-ray Review published by Greg Maltz on December 17, 2007 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Griffiths (I), Fiona Shaw, Harry Melling
Director: Chris Columbus
» See full cast & crew
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Blu-ray Review
The second film in the Potter saga boasts solid HD glitz and punch.
Reviewed by Greg Maltz, December 17, 2007
How confusing. After the Blu-ray version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix proved itself a technical knockout and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone appeared lackluster, I had no idea what to expect from the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets BD. Thanks to Warner, Harry's second year at Hogwart's appears in stunning detail and clarity, with excellent sound quality as well. The acting, especially from Harry himself, is also an improvement, with a bit more emotion and passion shown from young Daniel Radcliffe. The plot and effects are also handled in a more engaging way, and the saga starts to hit its stride.
Chamber of Secrets kicks into high gear when Harry is visited by Dobby, a troubled house elf who warns the young wizard not to return to Hogwarts because of a mortal threat. After the elf gets Harry into trouble with his abominable aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley (Fiona Shaw and Richard Griffiths), Harry is locked in his room with bars installed on the windows. But Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) rescues Harry in a flying car. At Hogwarts, they are reunited with Headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Richard Harris), friend Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and the rest of the students and faculty. Harry soon realizes that the elf was not bluffing. A menacing force is emerging from within Hogwarts itself. Together, Harry, Ron and Hermione must use their resourcefulness and burgeoning magic skills to pursue a series of clues. Some lead into the darkest of places, including a nest of giant spiders in the middle of the forest. Eventually, Harry unlocks the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets, but can he defeat the evil that lies within it?
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Blu-ray, Video Quality
While the first film appears soft and diffuse, Chamber of Secrets has very good definition and contrast. With rich colors and convincing skin tones, it also shows none of the slight digital sheen within the grain noise observed in Sorcerer's Stone. Detail in textured clothes, facial expressions and hair are good. But the predominant beneficiary of the definition is the barrage of special effects, which are handled better this time around compared to the first film, where they appeared more canned.
Even the trickly integration of the basilisk is very good, if not seemless. The CGI animation sacrifices some depth in the picture, but it does not get in the way of the overall quality, and is actually quite convincing. Watch the climactic scene in the chamber when the blinded snake lunges repeatedly at Harry. He scrambles for safety on a sculpture, stabbing at the basilisk's head with a sword. Though the animation does not convincingly address "weight" or "gravity", te CGI integrates well with the film, with a realistic, unpixellated characteristic to the edges of the snake. The visual details add to the overall interaction between Harry and the basilisk, making the scene more convincing.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The sound definition also adds greatly to the impact of the special effects. Again, taking the example of the scene with the basilisk in the chamber, each element of the serpent's movements is characterized by a tonally distinct sound. When the basilisk strikes, there is plenty of deep bass and mid-bass rumble, as the rocks of the sculpture break apart from the impact. Although the sounds are palpable and convincing, they occasionally have a canned quality that does not perfectly match the visuals. For exampls, in the quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin, the broomsticks sound more like flying jets than brooms moving through the air. Yet the overall impact is very impressive, and the audio quality has as much to do with this as the video. Surrounds are aggressive and so is use of the LFE channel. I would have liked to hear this mix in 24-bit resolution, but clearly Warner is unprepared to deliver the best that Blu-ray can offer.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Unfortunately, the features remain in standard definition and the BD boasts nothing new beyond what was included in the standard DVD release more than four years ago. Those featurettes were quite good. They include a quarter-hour conversation with J.K. Rowling, who discusses the story, and with Steve Kloves. Another featurette of the same length, Building a Scene: Filmmaking Magic, delves into the costumes, lighting and sets of Chamber of Secrets in a way that children will be able to understand. The bonus material includes 18 minutes worth of deleted scenes. They are more significant than the Sorcerer's Stone deletions, and some of them appear good enough to be included in the theatrical version--well, they aren't presented in 1080p, so it's difficult to judge. The 20-minutes "Interviews with Students, Professors & More" offers question-and-response selections with members of the cast. The answers aren't earthshaking, but it is an opportunity to "virtually interact" with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Tom Felton, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Kenneth Branagh and Jason Isaacs. Rounding out the supplementary material is a brief recap of The Sorcerer's Stone, entitled "Year One at Hogwarts" and the trailer for Chamber of Secrets, albeit in standard definition. Clearly, Warner is producing content for the lower- capacity HD DVD, and simply porting it over onto BD.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a step up from The Sorcerer's Stone in every way. It does not live up to the intensity and quality of what would come later, but it gets an easy recommendation for adolescent audiences and for adults who want to see a good screen adaptation of an imaginative story. The technical merits of the Blu-ray are strong, although one wonders how much more fulfilling they could be if Warner fully capitalized on the advantages of the format.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Other Editions
Blu-ray bundles with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (7 bundles)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Blu-ray 3D Bundle ... - September 23, 2011
On November 11th, Blu-ray 3D versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2 will be available with select Sony 3D products. The exclusive "Harry Potter 3D Experience" bundle will accompany purchases of either Sony's BDP-S780 Blu-ray 3D disc ...
• Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection Blu-ray - September 20, 2011
Warner Bros. has unveiled the first look at the U.S. version of the complete Harry Potter collection, which is due on November 11th. Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection will include Blu-rays of all eight Potter films with a limited selection of extras. ...
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