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PCR # 139  (Vol. 3, No. 47)  This edition is for the week of November 18--24, 2002.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three and a half stars!

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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Warner Brothers     
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, Robbie Coltrane and Kenneth Branagh
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Rated: PG
Running Time: 2 hours 41 mins

The holiday season is upon us and Hollywood has dropped its first big present down our chimney. And I'm happy to say that not only is it just what we wanted but it fits perfectly! And it's the rarest of presents - a sequel that outshines the original.

"Chamber of Secrets" begins with Harry anxiously awaiting the start of his second semester at Hogwarts Academy. He has spent an awful summer with his even more awful Aunt and Uncle. Even though he has been moved from under the staircase to his cousins' "extra" bedroom, Harry knows he's not wanted and can't wait for the start of school. Even a visit from a "house elf" named Dobby, who warns him not to go back to Hogwarts, can't sway him.

Once back at school, Harry meets up with his friends Ron and Hermoine. He also reunites with Draco Malfoy, one of the students in the House of Slytheryn. Thanks to the generosity of Malfoy's father, Lucius, young Draco has been named seeker on the Slytheryn Quidditch team. Unlike in the first film, the game here is fast paced and well done. The special effects are seamless and you actually feel like you are part of the team.

Once the studying begins, Harry begins to hear strange voices. He slowly begins to learn about an old legend concerning the school: The Chamber of Secrets. The more he learns, the more he discovers the legend is true. And it will take all of the magic and skills Harry and his friends have learned to keep the legend from coming true.

Everything about this film is superior to the first. The young cast, especially, have grown comfortable in their roles. Extra praise to young Radcliffe, who has managed to make the character of Harry his own. He and his young costars are much more relaxed in front of the camera, and that relaxation shows.

The supporting cast of instructors and faculty again shine, with newcomer Branagh, as Professor Gilroy Lockerly a joy as a teacher who would rather answer his fan mail then teach! Sadly, Richard Harris, who plays Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, passed away last month. It will be very hard to fill his shoes (my suggestion: Sean Connery).

The one drawback I have with this film is its length. While I admire director Columbus for staying as faithful to the book as he has, I'm afraid that younger fans of the series may begin to tire towards the end. With that being said, I heartily send out my own owl with the message to see this film! On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"  

This week's movie review of "Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith.   All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2002, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova.