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The DVD features are excellent, much better than those found on the DVD of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. You don't have to jump through hoops to see all of the deleted scenes, there is a fun and informative look at the making of the movie; the tour of Dumbledore's office comes off nicely, and a number of interviews with Rowling, Chris Columbus, the actors and actresses, as well as some of the individuals in charge of creating the incredible look and feel of the movie are quite interesting to watch. A number of other activities, particularly among the DVD-ROM features, offer both adults and children a fun and easy way to linger in Harry's world for some time rather than leave immediately upon viewing the movie.
I haven't gone into detail here about the film because there's really no need to. Quite simply, this is just a great film. No longer are we and Harry oohing and aahing around every corner of the school corridors; the days of innocence and play are over as Hogwarts faces the prospect of closing. The darkness that will continually work its way into the Harry Potter storyline, greatly increasing the depth of even the most familiar of characters, begins in the Chamber of Secrets.
There were shocks and surprises along the way. The first shock was how much Daniel and Rupert have grown since the last film, in looks, height, and confidence. Daniel's lower voice took a few scenes to get used to as well. The biggest surprise was the brilliant portrayal of Gilderoy Lockheart by Kenneth Branagh, who stole every scene he appeared in and brought much of the humor of the books into the script.
Obviously keen to overcome some criticisms of the first film, director Chris Columbus tried to include as many parts of the storyline from the book as he reasonably could in the time and as a consequence the pace never lets up. Fortunately the plot isn't too complicated (unlike the next book) so kids won't have too much trouble keeping up.
Once again excellent performances from the adults and the 3 lead children, Emma Watson settling into the role of Hermione as if she was born to play her. Ruperts facial expressions of fear, whilst funny at first, did start to wear thin towards the end, and Tom Feltons portrayal of Draco was, to be honest, embarrassing, but cut thankfully short.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable film, better than the first, a little scarier (especially if you are afraid of spiders !) and a must have DVD for your collection when released.
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