“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

harrypotterchamber
Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him.

harrypotterchamber4kuhdStudio: Warner Brothers
Year: 2017
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Run time: 161 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; DTS:X
Aspect Ratio: 2:1
Disc Spec: 2 BD / Digital HD
Region: A

This second annual production design festival starts with Harry reuniting with Hermione and Ron, and his arch-rival, Tom Felton’s Draco, as they prepare for sophomore year at Hogwarts. Many of the old faculty return, including Dumbledore, the stringent McGonagall, and the gloomy, hostile Snape. There’s a new recruit, a totally engaging Kenneth Branagh as the charming, narcissistic Gilderoy Lockhart, who is more engrossed in fan mail than teaching defense against the dark arts. But all’s not sound at Hogwarts. A sinister conspiracy is looming, with someone plotting to burglarize the renowned Chamber of Secrets and let loose a monster. It’s up to Harry and his mates to expose the perpetrator before Hogwarts finishes.

All real inspiration motivating this hat-in-hand outing is rooted in Rowling’s original ideas. The Harry Potter stories don’t break new ground, but they merge time-honored fantasy blueprints into a breezy, creative and contagious concoction, but Columbus isn’t poised to make any real leaps with the material, and periodically this suit-following sequel seems more like processed merchandise than a live, three-dimensional film. It pleases, meets expectations, but doesn’t blow one’s mind.

All of the unforgettable moments happen in the powerfully dynamic latter half of the movie, including an staggeringly accomplished gathering of giant, inhospitable spiders and a likewise arresting encounter with a massive snake. These scenes, with their perfect virtual worlds and graphic effects, minify even the most imposing sequence from the first movie. The film’s other significant effect is Dobby the computer-generated House Elf, who at once manages to be little more compelling and a little less grating than Jar-Jar Binks, sans minstrelsy.

Movie Quality: 9/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 4K/2160p with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ receives a nice 4K remaster that really helps boost the quality of the film. Considering that this film is 16 years old, it already looked good in high definition but this the new 4K master gives it that new coat of paint.  This is one of those films that shows how much picture quality has transitioned from the various formats over the years and now on to the 4K Blu-ray format. What is interesting here is that this is a rather darker looking film that does benefit with the transition to 4K. From the colors to the details, your jaw will drop if you look for some of the superb details that the film gets in this new presentation. Colors are natural looking providing an excellent looking picture. Flesh tones are natural and accurate looking. Details are where this film shines the most with the camera even panning away in many scenes. HDR isn’t as prevaliant here as one would hope for, but that is very understandable considering the age of the film. For a film set as a period piece, this western really shines through.
Video Quality: 10/10

The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix, DTS:X. Like the video, the audio gets a nice upgrade here on Blu-ray. The rears get a ton of activity throughout the movie between dialogue, the score, and action sequences. I was quite impressed with hearing the various magical affects in the soundfield sound so life like. What is rather impressive is the use of the center channel where all the dialogue comes through. All of the dialogue and action pieces come through so clean that it is amazing with what can be done on the audio front.

Audio Quality: 10/10

Special Features

  • Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part 2: Characters [HD]
  • The Chamber of Secrets Revealed
  • Screen Tests [HD]
  • Deleted Scenes [HD]
  • Behind Hogwarts
  • Additional Scenes
  • Game Preview
  • Lockhart’s Classroom
  • Activities
  • Spellcaster Knowledge

Special Features: 7/10

Final Thoughts

Another criticism I would have was that the film was perhaps too long; it was criticised for sticking too faithfully to the plot of Rowling’s novel- an ironic criticism, given that some of the later films were criticized by Potter devotees for precisely the opposite reason. Nevertheless, this is overall an excellent film, and a worthy successor to “Philosopher’s Stone”.
Overall Rating: 9/10