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Movie » SS DVD Review » Disc 1: The Film
By Scott, Spy Reporter - May 28, 2002

Ok, for those who are not aware, probably everyone, this was only my second time seeing the movie. I didn't look for camera errors, like shadows and bad edits and stuff. They don't matter unless you're a nitpicker or a voter for Best Cinematography. I based my review on acting, flow, plot (based on the book), image quality, and sound quality. I'm going to start with the last and work my way towards the acting, if you feel like skipping around. My review may sound harsh, but it's part of the job. A true review isn't completely glowing, and just includes phrases of compliment....that's why you always see "Truly Exciting" John Doe of the Hometown News, not his entire review.

Sound: The speakers on my computer are pretty low quality, so bear with me if it is different with your entertainment system. I didn't want to have to watch it twice to do my review. All in all, the sound was good. I found it to be repetitive, with too much reliance on “Hedwig's Theme”. The Quidditch scene was probably my favorite as far as sound and music. It's got a car chase meets sword fight kind of a sound. The score for the troll and Voldemort scenes doesn't do much to make them scarier (as it should) and it's certainly not a memorable villain score, like the Imperial March from “Star Wars”. On sound effects, I really got annoyed when ever I heard an owl flying. If you've ever heard an owl fly, you know they don't make any noise. On a score of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest), I gave the sound a 3. It was good, but it could have been a bit better.

Image Quality: This is the reason I watched the DVD on my computer and not on our entertainment system. Our TV's picture is HORRID. The quality with HPSS (PS) is like the other DVD's that have come out recently. Plus it makes the wide-screen version more appropriate as I'm about 18 inches from my 17-inch screen anyway, not 5 or 6 feet like most TVs. I noticed the differences between real people/props and the CGI (computer generated image). When Ron and Harry are playing chess in the Great Hall, the pieces get blurry when they start moving, which was the same for the Quidditch. I realize they're moving fast, but there are problems beside that. I give the imaging a 5 out of 5. I know there were mistakes, but they woulda gotten a 4 in this section anyway, and I felt like giving points for effort. This movie WAS heavy in special effects after all.

Plot: It's about as close to the book as a movie can get. There were scenes cut but that's the way it works. It would have been nice if Ron hadn't gone into the Dark Forest...it will present a small continuity error in CoS if he says he's never been there before. The second Quidditch match would have been good to throw in, too. At least in mention, if not it's own actual scene. Aside from this, the movie was very, very close to the book, despite a few lines being altered here and there. My particular favorite being Rupert Grint's line "She needs to sort out her priorities." And even though there were some good scenes missing, I have to give this a 4 out of 5.

Flow: It seemed a lot better in the theater, maybe because I couldn't pause it to go eat or get a drink. Aside from that, I found the scenes a bit jerky with no good segues (pronounced seg-ways and means transition) between the scenes. An occasional narrator would have been a good idea there. It would also be a way to provide info from the books that wasn't included in the movie. Why they don't think of this I have no clue. Sadly I must give this a 3 because one minute it appears to be summer and the next it's Christmas.

Acting: I don't like to be mean, but the acting was mediocre at best. Veterans such as Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, and Alan Rickman did an excellent job, but as their screen time was minimal, it had no real effect on the over all perception. With inexperience against them, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint did the best they could. Maybe it was just the choice in which takes to use, but most of the time their emotions seemed forced, and I could tell when they were trying to remember a line. Again, for two of them (excluding Radcliffe), it was their first motion picture and it takes a bit to get used to the cameras and redoing scenes exactly the same over and over. Hopefully with experience comes comfort and comfort should be an improvement in CoS. I give the Acting a 3.

I believe this brings my totals to 3, 5, 4, 3, 3 for each section. However, I'm not going to average my ratings to make the final judgment (which would have been a 3.6). I'm giving this DVD a 4 out of 5. There were mistakes, there were parts I didn't like, but it was still very good. It had to be if it wanted to make me read the books (which it did). No movie is perfect, and this was a rookie cast for the most part. It was very enjoyable, they did a good job, and I'm probably going to watch it again in a couple days, just to get my own review out of my head. I hope you enjoy/enjoyed the movie as much as I did. @:op



  Movie » DVD Review » Disc 1: The Film
 » The SS Menu

Cast
Check out bios of cast members, complete with movie credits and contact addresses.

Crew
Find out about the filmmakers who bring the book to the screen.

Production Photos
Take a look at some photos taken straight from the movie's production.

Film Reviews
Read reviews from the iHP staff.

Soundtrack Reviews
See how the music lived up to the movie.

DVD Review
Disc 1 - The Movie | Disc 2 - Special Features