Saturday, 19 July 2014

Film Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Part 3

Here’s the next part of my multi-part, not-so-live liveblog of the second Harry Potter film. In last week’s post Harry and crew had a Herbology lesson, Lockhart proved himself to be easily as bad a DADA teacher as the guy with Voldemort attached to the back of his head, people started getting petrified and the school duelling club outs Harry as a Parselmouth.

72. If I was Harry, I don’t think I’d be travelling anywhere alone. If there was someone with me at all times then I’d always have an alibi if people did suspect me of turning random people to stone. But Harry’s not that sort of a guy. He heads back to the common room by himself, hears a voice and a second later he’s stumbled across the heir’s latest two victims. Oh and there’s a bunch more spiders being creepy and spidery.

73. We get to see Dumbledore’s office in this film. Not only is his password kind of cute (Sherbet Lemon) but he’s got the funkiest escalator thing in the world to get up there. Dumbledore’s office is filled with all sorts of cool looking metal doodads.

74. While he’s waiting for Dumbledore Harry has a brief conversation with the Sorting Hat, who tells him he’d have fit in Slytherin; not really what Harry wants to hear. As if the day can’t get any better, Harry goes to take a look at a big bird in the office which promptly bursts into flame. It’s okay because he’s a phoenix (and the theme music which plays for Fawkes is lovely). Baby Fawkes is very cute in a fugly sort of way.

75. Things start looking up when Dumbledore explains that he doesn’t think Harry attacked anyone. This is the perfect opportunity for Harry to share the whole hearing voices thing. I’m sure Dumbledore knows that he’s lying but he lets Harry go when he says there’s nothing else to tell him.

76. And now it’s Christmas time. I love Hogwarts in the snow. And the enchanted ceiling in the Great Hall. I would love to go somewhere where it could snow indoors. I love snowy weather.

77. I’ve been on a bit of a diet for the last week and a half and those cupcakes which Hermione has laced with a sleeping potion look delicious. In fact, all the food at Hogwarts looks delicious. I wish my Hogwarts letter had arrived when I was eleven!

78. The kids’ reactions to the Polyjuice Potion are great. I always think of the acting in the first two films as being a bit wooden, but I think they actually improve a massive amount by this one. I don’t feel like they’re just kids speaking lines as much as I did in the first film.

79. Hehe, I love the bit where Malfoy asks Harry, as Goyle, why he’s wearing glasses and when he’s told they’re for ‘reading’ he replies ‘I didn’t know you could read.’ I always find myself wondering how Hogwarts caters for children with learning difficulties like dyslexia. I mean, there’s a lot of Latin to learn, how do they cope?

80. As I’ve watching this before there’s not much in the conversation with Malfoy that is new to me. But I’m noticing things in the background. The Slytherin dungeon common room doesn’t look very cosy. I think it looks cold and damp and there’s a window at the back that might be looking out into the lake. Not the sort of place I’d like to hang out.

81. Hermione’s transformation with the potion didn’t go so well, but I think Ron might be a closet furry. He seems thrilled to see Hermione’s acquired a tail!

82. Myrtle’s flooded the bathroom because someone’s thrown a book through her. I feel sorry for her being so miserable all the time.

83. Does anyone else think of all the old warnings about internet chat rooms when they watch the bit where Harry is having a conversation with Tom Riddle? I suppose the old warnings still hold true, except I don’t go on them any more. The only difference being that the person Harry is chatting to wants to show him a video, rather than asking ‘u got a cam?’

84. Anyway, Harry’s taking a little trip down memory lane, not his memory obviously, but Tom Riddle’s. Someone’s dead and Dumbledore’s looking much younger, which makes sense as it’s fifty years ago (I mean the Dumbledore looking younger thing, not the someone being dead).

85. I like the way that everything is kind of in sepia except Harry. It makes him really stand out, plus everyone knows that black and white and sepia tones are universal signs of things taking place in the past.

86. It always bothers me that you don’t get to see young!Hagrid’s face in this scene. It’s obviously Robbie Coltrane’s voice but it doesn’t sound like it’s coming out of someone who’s supposed to be in, what? Third year? It’s just a little thing that bugs me in this film.

87. Harry shares this information with Ron and Hermione, just as Hagrid appears on the scene. I love that he basically knows they’re referring to him when Ron mentions ‘mad and hairy’. I’ve never thought about it before, but Hagrid telling the trio that they’d ‘best be looking after [themselves]’ kind of sounds like a threat when you consider the possibility that he was the one who was opening the Chamber before and might be on to them now.

88. Harry’s stuff has been thrown all over the room and the diary’s missing. It kind of looks like the room when I’ve been trying to empty the shredder. Bits of paper everywhere!

89. And Quidditch has been cancelled because Hermione has been petrified. She was found with a mirror. Either Hermione has suddenly become really interested in her personal appearance or that mirror is a clue!

90. With McGonagall’s new sanctions for travelling around the school, there’s no hope for Ron and Harry, all that remains of the trio, for getting out to visit Hagrid. So it’s time for the invisibility cloak to come out again. Hagrid is unnaturally jumpy, apparently expecting another visitor.

91. That visitor shows up with Dumbledore. It’s Sigfried Farnon. I mean, Minister for Magic, Fudge. And he’s brought Lucius Malfoy as backup. While Fudge is there to get rid of Hagrid, Malfoy’s getting rid of Dumbledore. Luckily Dumbledore seems to know that the boys are hiding under the cloak, offering them some sage words of advice before going willingly. Hagrid makes an attempt at a similar sentiment; judging by the look on Fudge’s face he thinks he’s doing the right thing by getting him locked up!

92. Harry figures there’s no time like the present and leads Ron out into the woods after the spiders. I agree with Ron as he laments the fact that they couldn’t follow butterflies instead. I think the only thing I’d be less willing to follow than spiders would be things with stingers at one end!

93. As with our last trip into the Forbidden Forest, this one is very dark, resulting in me being able to see the light that the boys are carrying as well as best part of my living room. This suits me fine though. I’m deliberately not looking at the screen because I know that right now there is a really big spider on it. At this bit in the cinema I kind of edged my way up my seat until I was practically standing up. We were right down the front of the cinema as well. It was awful.

94. Ron is making noises an awful lot like the ones I make when I suddenly notice a really big spider in the room. Ironically there’s a little spindly spider above the TV which has been there for a day or so and I’m quite comfortable with it, but the big one of the kitchen wall this morning had to go ASAP!

95. While I’ve been waffling the boys have learned that Aragog, Hagrid’s pet spider was not responsible for the attacks fifty years ago which means not only was Hagrid wrongly expelled, he’s also been wrongly imprisoned. Aragog has also announced that his family are now going to eat Harry and Ron because a family of gigantic spiders is going to get through a rather large grocery shop each week.

96. Luckily the car shows up and seems to have forgiven Harry and Ron for its getting beaten up by a tree several months before.

97. I’m still writing most of this without actually looking at the screen. Even though it’s dark and I can barely make out what’s on it, the few glances I’ve risked have showed definite scuttling movement and there’s no way I can cope with that right now!

98. Ah, and I can relax. There are no more spiders on the screen! Phew!

And next week will be the final installment before we move on to an equally long review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, sorry about that. I’ve given up trying to be concise, it just doesn’t work for me. Anyway, next week’s review will include: Ginny Weasley being abducted by the memory of the Dark Lord, Lockhart being a complete coward, and Harry doing battle and generally saving the day again.

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