HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
OnTV Today's Date:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Rating: PG
Release Date: April 11, 2003
Running Time: approximately 163 minutes
Ten-second Rundown: It's the second year at Hogwart's, and Harry discovers he may be heir to an unnamable evil.


  • 19 Deleted Scenes

  • Self-guided tours of various locations

  • actor interviews

  • Interview with J.K. Rowling and screenwriter Steve Kloves

  • Set top games

  • Behind-the-scenes set construction documentary

  • Gallery of Production Sketches

  • A Tribute to Gilderoy Lockhart

  • "Spellcaster Knowledge Challenge" - trivia game

  • EA Game Demo
  • Choice Scene: At home with The Weasleys.

    Tech Specs: Widescreen, aspect ratio 2.35:1 (available in fullscreen, but why?), English and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, English, Spanish and French subtitles.

    When the DVD of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone was released last year, it came as a product immersed in the magic of Hogwart's. Pop it in to your DVD player, and every interface and every extra played into the idea that we were peeking into a real place.

    Charming, yes, amazingly detailed, yes, but very quickly frustrating to adult fans of the medium. The interviews had the air of maintaining a fiction, and most of the juicy stuff was either absent, or in the case of the deleted scenes, buried behind a series of challenges.

    This year, Warner Brothers Home Video has struck a much better balance with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It's still lush, maintaining the illusion for kids who don't want to dig deep behind the scenes. Though there are fewer extras overall, the package divides over two discs, allowing for the visuals and sound to be excellent in all areas.

    The film itself (read the Fanboy Planet review here) takes up most of Disc One, and it shows. That's a good thing, as the transfer is crisp. As director Chris Columbus and his team certainly worked hard to make a magical world come to life, it pays off to see everything as vibrantly as intended. And hear everything, too -- the ominous clicking of Aragog's children will haunt you for days.

    Perhaps the biggest surprise of the disc is the inclusion of an interview with creator J.K. Rowling, who was utterly absent from the first DVD.

    In tandem with screenwriter Steve Kloves, she talks of the difficulty of letting someone else apply their own vision. Though pleased with the final outcome, it's obvious that it took Rowling a while to warm up to Kloves. And when pressed by the overenthusiastic interviewer, both writers admit that the final film is a little light on what they consider a crucial element.

    Luckily, the deleted scenes work towards restoring it. A few are really just alternate takes of situations that remained in the film, but a few firmly underscore the racial tension between pure wizards and "mudbloods," the mixed breed magic-users such as Hermione and technically Harry himself. You may think that's too heavy for a children's film, but it's absolutely pivotal to the plot and overall arc of the series.

    As it stands in the final cut, many of the "Heir of Slytherin's" victims seem random; the deleted scenes clarify their place in the social strata. The cuts have been placed on the second disc, but with a decent effort at providing context to their place in the film.

    If I had one wish for this set, it would be that Warner had allowed a way to view the movie with these scenes restored to their rightful place. They add emotional depth to a movie that, though admittedly jam-packed, still feels a little shallow at times.

    The second disc continues with a few set top games that have become de riguer for children's movies DVDs. Here Warner Brothers may well have outshined Disney. Though DVD technology still hasn't moved us much beyond the controls pioneered by games like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace (in fact, slower than those), the environments on this disc are superb.

    In particular, "The Forbidden Forest Challenge" is amazing to see. So amazing that I got distracted and kept getting stuck in a tangle of spiders. But then, these games are not meant for me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    For those of us with an older bent, the disc provides interviews with the cast. A little on the brief side, they do provide insight into the personalities of the people behind the roles. And if nothing else, there is something sweetly melancholy about the late Richard Harris weighing in on his participation in the film.

    Finally, and as is only appropriate, you can spend a lot of time exploring the world of Gilderoy Lockhart. Firmly on the side of maintaining the illusion for kids, it's an amusing diversion and a close-up look into just how much detail Columbus put into this movie. Without the scrutiny of a DVD release, most of us wouldn't realize.

    Best of all, this package isn't overwhelming. It lacks commentary on the film itself, but then for almost everyone who loves this movie (kids and adults), commentary might just ruin the magic.

    And as we all know, that would be a crime worthy of exile to Azkaban.

    Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

    Derek McCaw


    Our Friends:

    Official PayPal Seal

    Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
    "The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
    If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
    Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites