THOUGHTS ON "HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (The Movie)"
Note: There may be some Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets "spoilers" below. Highlight the space in between the --> <-- if you prefer to read them....
If I were to sum up my opinion of the movie in one short sentence, I believe it would be, in the words of Ron Weasley, "Wicked and bloody brilliant!" :D
Although I'm still complaining that --> the Deathday Party sequence was totally omitted, <-- and --> there's not a sign of Peeves the Poltergeist anywhere, <-- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets still gets 4 1/2 stars from me for sheer fun and magic. :D
The sequel was, in my humble opinion, a great improvement from Sorcerer's Stone in many aspects.
Acting wise, our magical trio of Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe greatly improved their performances. Ron Weasley will definitely bring the house down with his goofy facial expressions and good character development. Other younger actors, Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy and Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley, were also very convincing in their performances. It would help though if Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) were more... arrogant and... irritating. :D And the Weasley twins should have been more goofy and funny. I also wasn't able to feel much of Oliver Wood's Quidditch obsession. The veteran actors though, still deliver the same quality of acting they did in the first movie. Richard Harris will always be, to me, Albus Dumbledore in the flesh, and I'm sure all the Potter fans will miss him terribly like I will. Casting a replacement will be an ominous task. Noteworthy among the new actors/characters in this movie are: Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy (Legolas' eeeeveeeeeelll twin! LOL); Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockheart; and Christian Coulson as Tom Riddle (who looks sinisterly cute. Heheh).
ILM did a good job with the effects, although I noticed about 2 scenes which could've done with some smoothing - scenes in the flying Ford Anglia, and one of Hagrid during the Quidditch match. Otherwise, the other effects seemed very natural, you won't even immediately see that they are special effects, they blend right in with the rest of the elements on-screen.
The creatures and ghosts were very cool too. Despite early reviews comparing Dobby the House Elf to Star Wars' Jar Jar Binks, Dobby was actually tolerable. I initially thought he would be very very irritating, but he isn't. Dobby --> banging his head on the wall, and using the bottle of Skele-gro and a lampshade to hurt himself <-- was actually how I imagined him in those scenes, which was a pleasant surprise. :) Moaning Myrtle was... well, whiny. Good for her. Heheh. Aragog and his HORDE of spiders of all sizes were too creepy for words, I found myself saying the words "icky", "yucky", and "creeeeepyyyyy" too many times, and the scene where --> the spiders were chasing Ron, Harry and Fang aboard the Ford Anglia <-- actually made me shudder. Creeeeeppyyyyyyy. The Mandrakes and the Cornish Pixies were cool too. The Basilisk was another story, though, --> it looked kinda like Godzilla, but with a longer body and a smaller head. <-- That's one creature I imagined will look different. Fawkes is absolutely, fantabulously wonderful. I want a pet phoenix!!!! :D
John Williams' musical score, although still reverberating with the now very memorable "Hedwig's Theme", still manages to accompany the movie wonderfully.
Some favorite scenes: Harry escaping from the Dursleys on the Ford Anglia; scenes at the Burrow; Harry and Ron on the way to Hogwarts; Ron belching out slugs; exploring Headmaster Dumbledore's office; the Quidditch match; the Polyjuice Potion sequence; Harry going back in time through Tom's diary; the Dueling club; scenes in the Chamber of Secrets. And, that cute scene at the Great Hall during the End of Term feast when --> Hermione ran into the Hall and hugged Harry, but couldn't quite give Ron a hug, and Ron and Hermione had this sheepish expression on their faces and they ended up just shaking hands! It was priceless! LOL. <-- That very very short scene after the end credits was really funny too. --> "Who Am I?" by Gilderoy Lockhart?!?!?! ROTFL. <-- I just remembered another scene I missed: --> Lockheart's Valentine's day project, which prompted the famous Singing Valentine for Harry. <-- Because of that omission, --> Ginny's infatuation for Harry was not very evident, except for what happened at the Burrow. This part should've been established more, as this is a foundation for Ginny's character development in the HP series. <--
The movie ran for almost three hours, but I didn't really feel it. There was a lot of magic and fun to go around.
More thoughts after I see the movie again this Sunday. One thing's for sure. I am spellbound. :D