Blogathon: Life, Love and the Movies

This blogathon is all about your life and the connection to movies. Here is my selection, enjoy. Continue reading


The Alphabet Movie Meme

The Alphabet Movie Meme is basically about combining each letter of the alphabet to a related movie theme or question. Without further ado, I present you my picks for the Alphabet Movie Meme. Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a combination of all three previous movies: you get baldy Voldemort, you get mystery and you get a phenomenal cast. Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

After the first two Harry Potter movies caused an unprecedented trend, Harry Potter is back again with a third movie based on J.K. Rowling’s novel. How good is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban really? Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsThe Harry Potter review series continues. After having reviewed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stonelet’s focus on the second part in the series. If we were to compare the first and second HP movie, we would find major differences. That is only if we pay attention to the storyline and the characters. But let’s not go there. The question is not whether the second movie is an improvement to the first one. Purely reviewing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, this sequel misses out on some strong aspects in filmmaking.

The best thing about sequels is that they can skip the introduction on characters and setting part. After all, the audience is fully aware what’s going on thanks to J.K. Rowling’s splendid novels. Consequently, the producers should take advantage of this. For instance, they could visually give more depth to the story. And they did, partly. Portraying the Chamber of Secrets showed a different reality to what we had been used to seeing in Hogwarts. I liked that.

Then there are the characters. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets introduces some fresh characters, yet again played by well-known actors. My favorite is Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. Something is missing in the movie though: these characters could have had a more significant role to play. For people who haven’t read the books, characters like Gilderoy Lockhart and Dobby the House Elf are completely new, thereby a character introduction to some extent is needed even though this is a sequel.

Although the main characters are Harry, Ron and Hermione, to the audience it may seem that Harry is the only protagonist. However in the books, it is all about friendship and love that help us through difficult times. These themes haven’t been expressed clearly enough in the movie, unfortunately.

For ten years ago, the movie looks stunning. The visual effects, especially those included in the duelling class, made the scenes more intense. The game of Quidditch looks more realistic than the first movie.

This is a typical movie. It is not bad. It’s just put together how it’s meant to be. Chris Columbus, the director, has not been able to digress from the story told in the novel and give his own twist to it. This is absolutely necessary in a motion picture. As the audience we want to see the characters we have read about come to life and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has done this to the point. There are no additions and surprises though: there is only mystery and suspense. The overarching themes of love, loyalty and friendship we saw in the first movie have been left out. That makes the movie entertaining in its own way, but typical in another.

Rating: C.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Yes, I am a big Harry Potter fan. I love the books by J.K. Rowling but I also appreciate the movies. The first movie, HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was directed by Chris Columbus. It is definitely a children’s movie, but it has some very important life morals, a magical storyline and fabolous settings. An original experience that must be savoured.

Most probably, if you like it or not, you have read the first book in the series. The story is about a young special boy Harry. He finds out that he is a wizard and so he can go to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. His adventures start there with his two best friends Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint).

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone knows like no other movie to create an entire visual world of itself. Hogwarts and its mystical creatures are breathtaking one by one. The moment Hagrid is introduced you know all the fun has started.

Besides the famous trio, there are also many others. Since this is the first movie in a series long to come, there isn’t any definite storyline. Instead Columbus chose for brief, stereotypical but passionate introductions. Ron loves food, Hermione likes studying and Harry needs to figure it all out. Indeed, a very familiar tone.

That means there is not much development to the story at the end. The relations between characters have been set and one can look out for more mystery to come.

It is not fair to judge this movie based on our knowledge of the series nowadays. Trying to review this according to the context in that time, you can also comment on a few things.

First of all I like the way Columbus has enriched the story with as many elements as possible from the original book. You may not see them the at first, but if you watch it for a second time, they are certainly present: the mysteries of Hogwarts, Harry’s connection to Voldemort and the theme of friendship.

Second, themes play a major role throughout the story. Friendship, as mentioned earlier, is explained thoroughly from different perspectives. Certainly those carry fitting messages towards the audience which are children and teenagers.

Moreover, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was one of the first movies to actually reflect modern society in a very composed manner. The (visual) distinctions it makes between the Wizarding World and the Muggle World contribute enormously to the greater purpose of the story. It provides an original, ‘alien’ vision to look at the little practical segments that serve to be helpful nowadays. Intriguing really.. Not just any movie gets to be nominated for three (!) Academy Awards!

This movie is a marvelous thing to look at, only if you can let go of the modern context and realize it is from the year 2001. In addition, being highly engaging: from the bustling streets of Diagon Alley to the mysteries surrounding Hogwarts and its Forbidden Forest. Let the Magic Begin!

Rating: B+.