Potter And The Chamber of Secrets (2002) - dir. Chris Columbus
Potter returns to Hogwart's for his second year in Magical-Scholastic
training. And now he is pretty well settled to begin afresh on
a new adventure. He is sprung from his room, away from the muggles
who desperately try to keep him as their virtual slave; released
by the Weasley Brothers in a flying car to which they affix a
chain to Harry's barred window and make away back to school, his
true home in this case; with Privet Drive being more like a tower
of imprisonment holding many bad memories.
Voldemort makes an appearance as his preferred manifestation of
youth, aspiration, and vigor - along with an impressive serpentine
basilisk at this bidding, which he orders to kill Potter, but
is eventually thwarted by Dumbledore's phoenix who plucks out
his eyes. Draco Malfoy's father plays a role in the film, along
with Gilderoy Lockheart, a popinjay-poseur opportunist par excellence,
which does speak to the faux "magician" type who frequently
takes credit for others' accomplishments, as well as natural occurrences;
jumping in at the last moment pretending it to be their own -
he may fool the muggles, but a true Magician can spot this type
Overall, it is analyzed that the film should be seen three or
more times in order to appreciate all of the quick scenes which
run by far too fast, as there is so much to the books, that each
one could quite easily fit into two films at a time, but for expedience,
was compressed into a little more than two hours. Viewing this
film in the theatre is amusing for an entertaining "night
out," but I believe it would be far more appreciated in one's
own Lair. Still, to experience this series to the fullest, the
highest recommendation is to read the books themselves, and then
the films will be far more vibrant.
Another element that was noted was in the instance when introduced
to "Dobby" the house elf, who appeared just as I imagined
him -- a masochistic character practicing self-flagellation for
the smallest infraction in slave conduct and who, through all
of his efforts, attempts to prevent Potter from attending another
year at Hogwarts for the apparent reason that he fears for his
safety. Although it is later divulged that he has another Master,
who himself does not wish Potter to return.
In one scene involving the house elf, Potter frees him from his
cruel master's rule by actually bestowing him an article of clothing,
thereby liberating him from slavery, which did receive a few handclaps
of approval from the audience, particularly from a negro woman
who obviously connected this as a metaphor for ancestor oppression...
but the question remains, "what does Dobby do now?"
For it is known that the slave-type encompasses most of humanity,
who are in the majority followers, necessitating a leader, a ruler,
a master, whether it be a so-called "God", messiah,
television, trends, etc. In this day and age, they still want
to be told what to do, but without the use of the word "slavery"
- so instead, PC terminology has been invented such as "team
player", "church group", "congregation,"
etc., that it may be more palatable - yet drones they remain,
no matter which connotation is used.
Overall, if one has been well entertained by the premiere film
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone, then The
Chamber of Secrets is well worth the watching.
[- Draconis Blackthorne]
Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (2001) - dir. Chris Columbus
wondrous world of Harry Potter opens up through the enchanted
pages of J.K. Rowling's books, as veritable grimoires masked in
fictional caricatures, but demonstrating subtle magical principles.
The books come to life in a veritable bibliomancy - the words
vibrate, a Magical glow emanates therefrom, & the pictures
come to brilliant life, jumping forth from the pages in dynamic
enchanted exuberance. And thus it has been for those who have
enjoyed these wonderful works.
I have found this film a marvel to behold, although I feel it
could have been twice the production had it been a tad darker,
as the books have tended to be. Unfortunately, producers felt
that the initial more gothic aesthetics would frighten children,
to whom the film is primarily directed. But I question the excessive
over-sheltering of children would only raise a populace of mollycoddles.
Speaking for myself on the Left Hand, I have always been attracted
to the darkest subject matter since I was a very young child.
The pervasive fascination for blood & gore in western society
is due to the lack of real-life bloodletting spectacles, practices,
& traditions in modern culture. In many societies, a boy was
not considered a man until until he had killed his first prey
in the hunt, or slain an enemy. Western Society compensates for
this natural bloodlust with horror movies & documentaries,
to stimulate that latently essential primal part of the psyche
which remains far too under-stimulated.
The first half of the movie seemed aesthetically darker, whereas
the second half was a bit 'lighter,' probably as a result of the
pusillanimity of Chris Columbus (who also directed "Home
Alone" as an indication). I believe a film of this caliber
would have been better directed by the likes of Tim Burton, who
has consistently brought forth the dark sides of the characters
he has worked with, & created films of magnificent & gloriously
gothic proportions, as Batman would be a major example; with a
musickal score conducted instead by Danny Elfman, considering
the current score unfortunately sounds rather tired & redundant
- not one of John Williams' better works. It just seemed that
he did not place too much effort into it, yet it still remains
memorable, but so much more could have been done with it.
A most poignant scene was towards the end, when Potter comes face
to face with Voldemort, in which he states, "There is no
good or evil, only Power & those who seek it. Those who do
not, are weak." Quite a Satanic statement!
The idea of a "School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" does
sound rather appealing (notice the distinction between the genders)
- the closest thing we have to that is the homeschooling initiative
which is espoused by most Satanists.
Overall, I found the film to be visually stunning, relevant to
the book, & it displayed a higher class of diction & politeness,
serving as a good example to the more bereft & vulgar infesting
the current populace. Recommended.
[- Draconis Blackthorne]