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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

weather: clear
outside: 3°C
mood: poker face


To the parents of the three boys who were loudly yammering right into the back of my head, who kept getting hushed by me and everyone around me, at the 3:15pm showing of Harry Potter in Cinema 1, at the Silver City Riverport in Richmond, BC:

We know you both were sitting close by and you are SO lucky everyone didn't beat the living shit out of you in the theatre for not making your sons SHUT THE FUCK UP during movies. It may be fine for them to do this at home, but it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make sure they don't do that in the theatres.

Either buy a fucking clue or don't spawn. Thank you.

Cordially,

The Bride of the First House.


Advice to everyone who hasn't seen it yet (yeah, all three of you under that rock in the thickest part of the forest): go on a Monday matinée or some other Children Unfriendly time.

I thought CoS was really choppy. They cut things out everywhere and it was still almost 3 hours long. I think it might be worth their while to make two 1¾-2 hour movies out of each book and get in some details like why Hermione just gave Ron an awkward handshake at the end instead of giving him big a hug.

The time Harry spent at the Weasley's house wasn't developed enough.

Gilderoy Lockhart was portrayed as an idiot, but wasn't nearly as developed as he was supposed to be. The blue pixies were just one incident in a long string of blunders in that class.

Harry's reputation as the rumoured Heir of Slytherin and the contempt for him within the school, especially in the Gryffindor and Slytherin Houses, wasn't nearly as well brought out. There were so many things that Harry was supposed to do that makes everyone suspicious of him. Not just revealing that he was a Parselmouth.

Snape barely got any Potter Vendetta time in... and Snape's Potter Vendetta is IMPORTANT. Or at least it feels like it's important to me. Part of it is the foreshadowing and implications of Snape's relationship with Lily and James Potter that was hinted at in Prisoner of Azkaban. Part of it is my speculation about what will be revealed in Order of the Pheonix. But I believe there's a reason Snape treats Harry, Ron and Hermione the way he does and it was not shown much in the CoS movie.

Tom Riddle had a lot more background in the book. I don't know how significant it will be to the rest of the series, but I think it's noteworthy that Voldemort himself is a half-blood - half Muggle, half Wizard. And his Wizard half comes from his mother's side; his middle name "Marvolo" is in honour of his maternal grandfather.

I don't think "Marvolo" was his mother's maiden name. I think it was his maternal grandfather's first name. If Tom is the Heir of Salazar Slytherin, then it would make sense that the surname on his mother's side was "Slytherin". But then, an heir can be the son or daughter of a son or daughter in British culture. It's not like Chinese where an heir can only be the son of a son. If there are no sons, then there is no heir.

You're kidding me, right? THAT'S the Sword of Gryffindor?!?!?!?! It's a freaking DAGGER. And somehow, I had the impression that it was gold.

Another thing... I've always thought Basilisks were lizard-like creatures with four legs as opposed to a snake/serpents with no legs. Magic: The Gathering anyone? Remember the semi-nasty Lure/Basilisk combo in the Green deck? The drawing of the Basilisk was a four legged lizard thing. Basilisks, in real life (such as the one I saw in the Tropical section at the Vancouver Aquarium), are four legged lizard creatures as well. Do an Image Google for "basilisk" and the real life photos that come up are four legged lizards. I was wondering about that when I was reading the book too.

It just felt like everyone was sprinting around trying to speed-blurt all their lines before the camera cut away from them to the next scene. The whole movie was like a trailer for the book. If they keep up the one movie per book thing, Goblet of Fire is going to really suck. And that would be most unfortunate given the magnitude of the events the fourth book.

I really don't like that CoS focussed so much on The Trio. The Hogwarts' Faculty, the other students and everyone else just faded into the background.

Ginny Weasley is so cute =)

It's interesting that they pronounce "Lucius", LOO-see-us. In Gladiator, the boy was LOO-shus, so I've been reading it as LOO-shus in my mind. Jason Isaacs was okay in the part. I really thought John Malkovic would have been better though... much better suited to the part and, quality-wise, more on par with the rest of the cast.

The Aragog scenes were done well though.

We'll see what Alfonso Cuarón does with Prisoner of Azkaban.

WARNING: The TALKREAD for this post is crawling with spoilers.

[All My Movies]


Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
bride
Nov. 24th, 2002 04:49 am (UTC)
Hmmm... I had always pictured John Malkovic as Lucious Malfoy when I was reading. Malkovic has that thin, skeletal, evil look. Maybe that's better suited for the present day Voldemort... but that would be quite far off from Christian Coulson's Tom Riddle.

Re: Trolls

Potter-lore trolls are these big fat blobby bipeds that aren't very smart though... like the one they were fighting in the washroom in Philosopher's Stone. Malkovic seems too tall and too much like a mastermind for that.
(Deleted comment)
pne
Nov. 24th, 2002 09:45 am (UTC)
Was it called The Philosopher's Stone outside of the U.S.?

Yes. The original title was The Philosopher's Stone. Rumour has it they changed it to The Sorceror's Stone for the US because they didn't expect the US audience to know the legend of the philosopher's stone in mediaeval alchemy. (And they shot each scene of the film mentioning it twice, once for US release and once for UK.) At least, that's what I heard, so it must be true =)
bride
Nov. 24th, 2002 10:42 am (UTC)
Re:
they didn't expect the US audience to know the legend of the philosopher's stone in mediaeval alchemy.

Which is why, knowing the connection, I refuse to refer to it as "The Sorcerer's Stone".
bride
Nov. 24th, 2002 10:38 am (UTC)
Re:
Was it called The Philosopher's Stone outside of the U.S.? I've been curious about that, since my paperback is title The Sorcerer's Stone.

I think the Philosopher's Stone is the title outside of the US. I don't know why it's called The Sorcerer's Stone in North America.

I love the word "Philosopher" much better because it is refering to Nicholas Flamel. Although Flamel was a Wizard in Harry Potter (and thus, "The Sorcerer" might fit), he was an Alchemist in Victor Hugo's original novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". So I tend to think that it's more appropriate to call him "The Philosopher". It implies less fantastical magic powers and makes him more of an ancient, earthly quasi-scientist, which I think Alchemists and Philosophers are.
pne
Nov. 24th, 2002 04:24 am (UTC)
Warning, continues spoilers
go on a Monday matinée or some other Children Unfriendly time.

Saturday at 12:30 (early afternoon) worked well enough for my sister and me.

some details like why Hermione just gave Ron an awkward handshake at the end instead of giving him big a hug.

Yeah... when I saw that, I was wondering "WTF?". It's been too long since I read the book and I had absolutely no idea why she'd hug Harry but not Ron. It didn't make any sense at all just out of the context of the film. (Unless I missed something.)

You're kidding me, right? THAT'S the Sword of Gryffindor?!?!?!?!

Yes, I thought the same. Look like a cheap movie prop to me (which it probably was). Flimsy, too.

It just felt like everyone was sprinting around trying to speed-blurt all their lines before the camera cut away from them to the next scene.

Connected with this, I thought, is how Professor McGonagall goes off on a tangent about this legendary Chamber of Secrets which officially doesn't exist, in the middle of a lesson. Didn't seem like the sort of thing she'd do -- I'd've expected her to tell Hermione off.

Ginny Weasley is so cute =)

I had a fair amount of difficulty recognising her. Perhaps the scenes with her in were too short, but I often couldn't tell whether a given girl was Ginny or not. I get that sometimes with films.

I'm more partial to Hermione, though ;)
bride
Nov. 24th, 2002 04:38 am (UTC)
Re: Warning, continues spoilers
It's been too long since I read the book and I had absolutely no idea why she'd hug Harry but not Ron.

She had a big fight with him and they were not on speaking terms when Harry and Ron went down into the Chamber.

Flimsy, too.

And it was way too short. It didn't look like it would have gone right through the Basilisk's skull and poke out the other side while he was still holding it.

how Professor McGonagall goes off on a tangent about this legendary Chamber of Secrets which officially doesn't exist, in the middle of a lesson.

I can't remember now, but I don't think McGonagall told them about it that early in the book... I may have to go re-read...

I had a fair amount of difficulty recognising her.

I can totally see that. Somehow, the lighting on her made her hair very brown and not fiery red like the other Weasley children. She also didn't have a big enough part that you could get to know her face well, but the few times I saw her, I thought she was a cutie =)
colleend
Nov. 24th, 2002 10:26 am (UTC)
Re: Warning, continues spoilers
how Professor McGonagall goes off on a tangent about this legendary Chamber of Secrets which officially doesn't exist, in the middle of a lesson.

I can't remember now, but I don't think McGonagall told them about it that early in the book... I may have to go re-read...

The history of magic teacher Prof Binns (the ghost prof)was the one who told them about the chamber in the book
colleend
Nov. 24th, 2002 05:36 am (UTC)
The Ron hug thing- I hadn't read the book in a long time, SO i actually thought it was sexual tension! (yeah I know for 13 year olds..but that is what it felt like to me!)

I agree that they cut way too much out..I was very dissappointed that they didn't go to gringotts or have the death day party..PLUS through out the whole movie they call nearly headless nick sir nicholas..I don't think they call him that very often in the book...I hope movie #3 doesn't do that as it is my favorite book out of the 4...
bride
Nov. 24th, 2002 05:41 am (UTC)
Re:
The Ron hug thing- I hadn't read the book in a long time, SO i actually thought it was sexual tension! (yeah I know for 13 year olds..but that is what it felt like to me!)

13 year olds are certainly capable of strong crushes and romantic relationships. But I seem to remember Hermione and Ron had a big argument and were not on speaking terms. That's why Hermione stormed off to the library to do her own research which is where she was petrified.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
colleend
Nov. 24th, 2002 10:29 am (UTC)
I figured at some point they would get together...there is just too much pointing to it...
colleend
Nov. 24th, 2002 10:12 am (UTC)
Re:
i read the book again after we saw the movie..but at the time i was like..what?
trigeekgirl
Nov. 24th, 2002 09:16 am (UTC)
Gotta disagree with you on the Lucius Malfoy thing (though I pronounce it Loo-shus too). I think Jason Isaacs was perfect. Just the right blend of evilness and arrogance. On the other hand, they probably could have cast *insert whoever your least favorite actor is here* in the role, and as long as they had given him long blonde hair, I woulda been happy.

Oh, and I was SUPREMELY disappointed that we didn't get to see the DeathDay Party. That and the fact that Susan Bones was EVERYWHERE. Nepotism at its worst.
pne
Nov. 24th, 2002 09:42 am (UTC)
the fact that Susan Bones was EVERYWHERE. Nepotism at its worst.

Who was Susan Bones?
trigeekgirl
Nov. 24th, 2002 09:47 am (UTC)
Susan Bones is the character name for Eleanor Columbus, who just happens to be the director's daughter. Susan Bones is not in the book and she's certainly not Hermione's partner in various classes (not to mention the several close-up reaction shots we get of her).

This is a nitpick, I know, but I just extremely dislike when people insert family members into their movies, especially when there's no point to them being there. :)
bride
Nov. 24th, 2002 10:42 am (UTC)
Re:
Odd, I didn't notice...
xinit
Nov. 24th, 2002 09:21 am (UTC)
More than the first movie, CoS required that you had read the book in order to understand what was going on. A bit of that proverbial double-edged sword in that having read the book, one notices what was left out.

The hilt of the Sword of Gryffindor looked like those plastic ones with the big fake rubies that you may have seen as a child in cheaper stores everywhere. Frightening.

The snake-speaking in the first movie was dubbed nicely in English... this one wasn't. Unfortunate, but I assume that they did that in order to avoid the 5 seconds of explanation that nobody understood what he was saying. Instead there was a 45 second chase-the-spiders bit that was entirely pointless... The entire accusation of Hagrid thing seems pointless in the movie with the way it unfolds...

Trouble with Malkovich is that he isn't acting a part so much as being Malkovich in a costume... I find him a bit spastic in much of his recent work. Lucius wouldn't be a spaz.

The Ron / Hermione gloss-over was odd... they should have just avoided that bit at the end entirely. If you don't introduce the tension, don't end the tension - it makes people curious.

On the whole, the Lord of the Rings books seem to be translating better. Perhaps because it's easier to cut out a whole bunch of songs and descriptions of travelling than editing down the busy lives of teenage wizards.






bride
Nov. 24th, 2002 10:32 am (UTC)
Re:
The entire accusation of Hagrid thing seems pointless in the movie with the way it unfolds...

Tom accused Hagrid before. This time around he's trying to pin it on Hagrid again, in doing so, getting accused Dumbledore for keeping Hagrid around. Voldemort needed Dumbledore away from Hogwarts.
saturn939
Dec. 1st, 2002 05:05 am (UTC)
Hi, I found this entry via a link in one of the harry potter communities. :)

It's interesting that they pronounce "Lucius", LOO-see-us. In Gladiator, the boy was LOO-shus, so I've been reading it as LOO-shus in my mind.

It's an English linguistic thingie. We convert the "ci" sound to "sh", which is called a sibilant (Sibilant: linguistics. adj. Of, characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh): the sibilant consonants; a sibilant bird call. A sibilant speech sound, such as English (s), (sh), (z), or (zh).). So while in England they prounounce Marcia as "Mar-cee-uh", we say "Marshuh".

Hope that helped!
-Dejio
bride
Dec. 1st, 2002 11:12 am (UTC)
Re:
Immensely, thank you =) It doesn't really explain Gladiator, but I guess that'd be up to Ridley Scott (?)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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