Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Revisited
I took Alfonso's approach to CoS, and touched upon the movie with completely new sfx, music, effects, color grading and countless other updates.
As explained above, I wanted to make the Chamber of Secrets - just like my previous edit, Sorcerer's Stone Revisited - fit with a narrative and tone that fit the rest of the franchise much better.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
- ... and my entire "fanbase", if to call it such. Every single one following the thread has given amazing ideas and feedback, and made it possible for me to create - what I think - is the best way to now watch the Chamber of Secrets.
- The mind is easier to shock if it is not prepared for what it is about to see.
I enjoyed Andreas' "Revisited" cut of The Sorcerer's Stone, which although not perfect, was a very appealing edit that did make the film feel less like a kids' movie and more in keeping with later films. Sadly, however, I did not find that this edit managed that same balance, for a couple of key reasons.
First, let me say that I am not someone who worships The Prisoner of Azkaban an thinks it's a perfect movie. It definitely LOOKS the coolest, and the darker visual tone of the film is very fitting for kids entering their mid-teens. But I don't think that the warmer tones in scenes of the other HP films need to all be color corrected just to match PoA. It's fine for each film to have a bit of a different feel, and it's especially fine for them to be lighter and more whimsical as Harry is younger and his story is less intense. So all the color correction here looks great, but I actually don't much care. Just a personal preference.
There are many other efforts in this film that I read as making it try to seem "darker", "more adult", and "cooler". A lot of them plainly miss the point of the film, for me. First, the more glaring ones. There are a couple of music cues that are just really jarring and take you out of the movie. At 63 minutes in is the first time we're introduced to this pulsing electronic song with a driving beat that sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the string score throughout the rest of the movie. It's used again later to the same effect. There's also an acoustic guitar based tune at 2 hours 10 minutes that is obviously not meant to be in this film, as there has been nothing like it whatsoever to that moment. Those things just scream "FAN EDIT" to me.
This is also an aggressive trimming of a lot of scenes which convey information either about A) the magical world, or B) the narrative flow. The problem with the first trims are that while these bits aren't necessary for the plot (we can guess for example that Mom Weasley heard her sons come in without seeing the magical tracking clock), they ARE essential for Harry's character. If you've seen these films 100 times each, it might be easy to forget. But this is still a journey of Harry getting used to the magical world at this point. We're supposed to experience his wonder and amusement at many of the things around him, like a scary dark arts shop, or self-cooking bakeware. Anything that just "adds atmosphere" has been trimmed wherever possible in this edit, meaning all the wonder and whimsy is gone from this film...which is kind of the point. The other narrative trims similarly count on the viewer to either already be familiar with the story, or to not think about it. There are a lot of small trims that muddle the narrative, including:
-unclear what happened when Ron and Harry arrived at school
-unclear where their detentions came from
-unclear what Hagrid is doing all movie
-unclear how/why Riddle's diary got to Ginny (trims to both her and Lucius mean that we just have to accept the ending reveal without seeing)
-unclear Basilisk fight (doesn't look like has no eyes, line is removed)
Basically, the film feels like it was refocused to be a fast-moving, modern murder mystery...which is one of the less-effective points of the script. The story unfolds slowly over the year while a lot of other interactions happen, but in this film, it feels like the edit just wants to hurry up and get the plot done so that we can get to Prisoner of Azkaban.
This is most revealing in all the Hagrid cuts and the abrupt ending. For any viewers who feel that a movie can't show their heroes with morals or it's "virtue-signaling", the Harry Potter series is not for you. The whole thing is a thinly-veiled metaphor for Hitler and the rise of Nazi-ism, and that first becomes apparent in this film. The main point of this movie isn't the murder mystery, it's the clash of morals between Slytherin and the other houses. It played out in the past, and it's playing out in the new generation with the class warfare and 'race' warfare of the Malfoys of the world against the Weasleys of the world. The mystery is just to add a bit of suspense to how that will play out. The more important thing is how Rowling first shows the prejudice and discrimination against Hagrid and Hermione, as non-purebloods, and how this affects them. The scenes edited out here where Hermione explains about the term "mudblood", or where we see Hagrid being systematically disenfranchised, these are the whole point of the film. It's why the ending of the film is (admittedly cheesily) a celebration that Hagrid was vindicated. Sirius Black being at Azkaban has zero importance to this film or this story, and it's very awkwardly wedged in here as some kind of MCU teaser ending. It just doesn't work for me at all.
For people who hated Chamber of Secrets and still don't like it and really don't want to watch it, this might work as some kind of quick passthrough in a marathon on the way to PoA. But for real fans of the series, I just feel this edit misses the mark. There are too many changes here that don't fit the film, or seem to misunderstand the theme of the film. I sadly can't recommend it, despite the excellent technical editing.
This was an improvement over the last edit for several reasons. First Chamber of Secrets is just a much better film than Philosopher's was. Not only are the kid actors on a whole much better, but Chris Columbus’ directing isn’t as limp and boring. Second is that the editing for this edit is just much better than it was for the previous one. Most of my complaints from the previous edit are gone. There are still scenes cut that shouldn’t have been because they make later scenes feel as if they happen too fast or for no reason, getting the letters at the burrow is necessary for them to go to Dragon Alley because now we have no idea why they’re going there, and cutting out Lockheart deboning Harry’s arm makes the editing too obvious. However, now all these problems are contained to the first act and after the first petrification, there are no editing foibles except for one and before continuing on to what the film does well I have to get this out of the way.
On my first viewing not knowing about this edit before watching it, not revealing it was Ginny who was taken into the Chamber until Harry’s in it didn’t work because knowing it’s Ginny whose been taking really adds to the urgency. However, on a subsequent rewatch that change doesn’t bother me anymore. Now to go onto some more of the positives. The film feels more confident in its new tone than the first one did. The only time a musical choice feels jarring is in the very beginning of the film when the opening titles end and Hedwig starts screeching, and when Riddle explodes, because the original can be heard underneath it. I also thought adding music from films other than Harry Potter worked really well. I enjoyed hearing the musical track that you used during the 3rd petrification and when Harry figures out what the monster is. Does anyone know what that song is and where it’s from because I really love that track?
Most of the cuts you make I have to compliment. Removing the hand sequence from Borgin and Burkes and cutting right to Harry in Nockturn Allery is something the original should have done. I’m also glad that most of the deleted scenes were added into the film. I’m glad to see the flashback from the previous movie back into this one. This time it’s used sparingly, only twice, proving that in this case less really is more. Also, the ending is just too jarring. Yeah, I know the original ending is too cheesy, but so is the ending for Prisoner. Also, it now feels like a tease or a trailer for the next movie rather than an actual ending. However, it just seems that with the goal of this edit it was really impossible to have the ending work all that well. Overall I’d recommend this edit because it’s despite some of my gripes it was well done.
The second installment in the Harry Potter: Revisited saga, HP and the Chamber of Secrets: Revisited succeeds in taking Chris Columbus' view of the Wizarding World to a whole new perspective.
As per Sorcerer's Stone: Revisited, the visual editing is seamless, the A/V quality is spot on (and at times equivalent to that of an actual Blu-ray, the reworked narrative is rock solid, and the new score certainly helps to breathe new life to its respective scenes. And as far as I can tell, the oversaturated pinkishness of SS was taken up to 11 with this film, and this has thankfully been taken care of thanks to Andreas' fantastic colour correcting.
One teensy little qualm — the new score for when Harry stabs Tom Riddle's diary with the Basilisk fang is a little too loud to my ears, but I guess this is understandable since Andreas wanted to hide John Williams' original score as much as possible.
As I stated in my SS: Revisited review, if you Potterheads are looking for a darker, more mature take on the Columbus era, this beautifully-crafted fanedit is for you!
Next to Goblet of Fire this was my least favorite movie in the Harry Potter series. This edit brought new life to the whole movie! The pacing was so much better, and the tone with the music changes really brought this movie together. I liked this edit more than his edit of the Sorcerors Stone. I'm excited for more.
Same as the previous edit Andreas brings the characters to feel more realistic rather than over the top. Especially with Draco. I think the whole restructuring of Lockhart was well done as well.
First off, I'd like to say that this is a great replacement for the original movie. Andreas has masterfully rescored and regraded this movie masterfully making it fit in much more with the rest of the series. Although not staying 100% faithful to the book, making it a surprisingly darker movie.
Although this is just my opinion, I feel that sometimes Andreas went a little bit overboard with the scoring, sometimes the music is trying to make you more emotionally involved when you really shouldn't be, I'm not saying that the scoring was done poorly however, it was just sometimes a little bit too much.
Overall, Andreas is an amazing editor and deserves much credit for turning a dull children's movie into a worthy installation of the Harry Potter franchise.