Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets is the second installment in a series of spellbinding adaptations from J.K. Rowling's novels, and the young wizards’ and witches’ second year at Hogwarts. This will be a year of adventure and danger when bloody writing on a wall announces: the Chamber Of Secrets has been opened. To save Hogwarts will require all of Harry, Ron, and Hermione's magical abilities and courage. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the In-Movie Experience with Director Chris Columbus, the featurettes: Creating The World Of Harry Potter, Part 2: Characters (HD 20:03) and Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets Revealed (HD 13:02), a teaser trailer, the theatrical trailer, TV spots, Screen Tests (HD 11:53), 19 deleted scenes (HD 17:02), and BD-Live functionality.
The 2.40:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on 35 mm Kodak film stock using the Panavision Panaflex cameras in Super 35 and sourced from a new 4K scan of the original negative. As with the previous release, the picture is quite a magical visual experience. Images are sharper and well defined compared to the previous Blu-ray Disc, with nicely balanced contrast and shadow delineation. Textures inside Hogwarts are well discerned. Still, other scenes can have a slightly soft focus. Highlights are brighter and blacks deeper, no doubt due to the HDR contrast enhancement. The imagery is nicely dimensional. The color scheme renders accurate fleshtones as well as natura hues, and deep blacks, and exhibits a wider color gamut with richer and warmer hues. The colors are perfectly saturated, for a bold and vibrant visual effect, with pleasing balance. The imagery exhibits exceptional detail and clarity, with finer shading intensities of color in the environs in and around Hogwarts. The most noteworthy effect of the UHD's increased detail and enhanced contrast is the visual rendering in the many scenes of student and teacher activity. Nuanced details in Hogwarts' often dim halls are also more clearly revealed. The long shots of the cavernous dining hall with its vast tables crowded with wizards and witches are particularly impressive. Closeups pick up tiny variations in skin texture, fabric details, and individual strands of hair and beards such as Hagrid's unkempt mane. Even effects-heavy sequences such as the many appearances of house-elf Dobby or Harry's flying battle with Draco Malfoy benefit from the UHD's more vibrant colors and refined definition. Even though both Chamber of Secrets and Sorcerer's Stone were photographed by different cinematographers, they share a common visual style as the brightest entries in the series. The following films exhibit a darker presence as Voldemort begins to spread. The underground passages leading to the Chamber of Secrets are brightly lit, as is the Chamber itself. A WOW! segment begins at 01:04:21 and ends at 01:08:24. Another is from 01:033:07 to 01:33:29. The picture is pristine throughout with no objectonable film grain. This is the best that the film has ever looked, a wonderfully pleasing picture, and fans are sure to be enthralled. (Gary Reber)
As with first in the series, the treatment for this DTS:X/DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1-channel soundtrack is far superior to the previous releases. The use of dimension, though, generally moderate in nature, with many selective instances, there is acute directionality, as well as substantial directionalized and aggressive surround activity. Dynamic range for this soundtrack can also be considerable. The phantom back surround channel still provides enhancement of the immersive listening space but also with some directional pans laterally and over your head. Some fine examples are the fly-bys of the car as it travels between the front and surround channels. Of course, to appreciate this fine dimensionality, one has to be seated in the “sweet spot” to realize the effective phantom imaging effect. The deep bass content for this soundtrack is more formidable than the first movie, with some instances even having the potential to threaten your subwoofer. In Chapter 8, for example, as the car is crashing through the trees, the LFE meter Trinnov monitoring system was pegged several times, and the output from the subwoofers was commensurably intense. There are also generous doses of very deep bass for the surround channels. When Harry and Ron finally locate the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, its opening reverberates through the room, and the attack of the Basilisk is equally thunderous. The music is another of the standouts for this soundtrack, and is an excellent recording, imparting a palpable perception of holosonic® envelopment. Even the presentation of the dialogue, which sounds very natural, delivers better spatial integration. The Immersive Sound elements consists of a banging of a head on the wall upstairs, a car that whizzes overhead and butts up against Harry's house, the Hogwarts' steam locomotive and whistle, flying car skirmishes and a crash into a tree, talking card, blue wizards sounds, arena sounds and voices, a snake voice, a screaming voice, an eagle stairway opening, wind and spider sounds, a talking spider, voice echoes, a dragon sound, flying bird, other atmospherics and sound effects, and an extended orchestral score. Except for the music, Immersive Sound elements are object-based and quiet brief. And while some carry some SPL weight and are effective, with exceptional power and precision, for the most part the perception is subliminal. As with the first in this Immersive Sound series, much in the way of soundscape dimension has been ignored by the sound designers. This is a great upgraded soundtrack and one that adds immeasurably to the experience of this entertaining movie. (Gary Reber)