Reeltime posts are not regular reviews but real-time commentary posted whilst watching the film. You can follow live or read the archived post at the end.
“I’m not allowed to use magic outside of school” in the opening lines sounds like the biggest foreshadowing ever.
Dobby is a low-rent Yoda with self-esteem issues and marginally better grammar.
“Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts.” So when Mr Dursley says it everyone hates him; when Dobby says it everyone loves him.
Dobby may have been doing everyone a favour by destroying that cake.
Three magically-trained students couldn’t come up with a subtler plan for a break-out than a flying car in the suburbs?
How sheltered is the wizarding community not to be able to find out basic things about the rest of humanity like what a “rubber duck” is? Wizards presumably take baths, right? Did their culture emerge wholly independently?
Not so different that they don’t flood Diagon Alley for the Back to School sales.
Ah, a serious Malfoy. Lucius is going to steal every scene he’s in, isn’t he?
Are we supposed to be shocked by his overt racist attitudes about consorting with Muggles when pretty much every other wizard has been making snide comments about them?
A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to. Except when he’s late.
Okay, admittedly a flying car in King’s Cross is significantly worse than in the suburbs.
Although Londoners are so jaded I doubt there would actually have been that much of a reaction.
We’ve got to get this car up to 88 miles per hour!
Herbie is pissed off. I don’t blame him.
Earmuffs and baby mandrakes. That’s almost health and safety consideration! Professor Sprout might be joining the competent staff list.
…until Neville faints and the response is “oh, just leave him there.”
“Grab your mandrake and pull”. Errr… I have entirely new concerns about this school.
Look at Mr Ornithology here! How did he recognise Ron’s owl from the other side of that giant hall?!
Brannagh is basically doing Lord Flashheart via Shakespeare.
Neville is 2 for 2. “Why’s it always me?” Because puberty will be so much more impressive when it hits this way.
Wait, so “Mudblood” is completely unacceptable but Muggle is fine? In fact, the only reason they view Mudblood as insulting is because they think Muggle blood is inherently inferior to that of a wizard. You’re insulted because you’re a bigot. I struggle to sympathise.
Harry’s taking potential schizophrenia very much in stride here.
Why is Hermione so familiar with what blood writing looks like?
“I strongly recommend caution to all.” Really, Dumbledore? Just this year? How is that not the school motto already?
I prefer Ron’s cup. The other one could be made by regular means without unnecessarily destroying a rat. This one requires magic. And a rat.
“Do you think there really is a Chamber of Secrets?” Because in a wizarding school with shifting staircases, the idea of a hidden room is blowing Ron’s mind?
Quidditch feels decidedly less compelling the second time round. Does the choreography improve in later films?
Malfoy’s trash talk needs work. “You’ll never catch me, Potter!” He’s doesn’t have to. He just has to catch the Snitch.
I suppose the ease with which they can fix major injuries does somewhat justify the callousness toward safety. Except when it can kill you.
“Terrible things are about to happen at Hogwarts.” Well yeah, that’s what we’re all here for, right?
“Hogwarts is no longer safe.” Errr….
Two boys and a girl “making potions” in the girls’ bathroom? That would definitely have gotten us in some pretty serious trouble at school…
“For full details, see my published works.” He’s growing on me – I can’t wait ’til I can use that line.
Kids are always really suspicious of other kids who speak foreign languages at first. Harry, just teach them some swear words in parseltongue and you’ll be golden.
Sherbert Lemon is the password to get into Dumbledore’s office?
Apologies. We’re taking a five minute break to resolve some technical issues with the liveblog. Stay tuned!
And, like my namesake bird (the Phoenix), we’re back!
I think my PC may have objected to watching Crabb and Goyle flavoured polyjuice potions being consumed.
Does the polyjuice potion not affect internal organs like vocal chords?
Monologuing Malfoy clearly hasn’t heard “show, don’t tell.”
Oh dear, Hermione furry fic is definitely a thing online, isn’t it?
Anagram-based villains are the new climactic chess battles.
The camerawork has actually improved a bit even if the direction has not.
“Mad and hairy”? These days I’m more trained to think he must be an excellent chef.
“It must have been a Gryffindor. No one else knows our password!” A quarter of the school are Gryffindors and you think it will stay a secret? Have you at least considered multifactor authentication?
A warning that school might get closed without a bunch of kids erupting into cheering? This film is really stretching my suspension of disbelief.
Yep, still stealing every scene.
Oh that’s clever. Having a whole load of eyes, spiders would be particularly susceptible to petrification.
Herbie Rides Again!
I’m impressed that they managed to create a charge of giant spiders that was creepy without being utterly terrifying to kids.
No one checked a student patient’s hand? I take back what I said about Hogwarts’ healthcare.
Fantastic Beast: Basilisk
Where to Find It: The Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
“Books can be misleading!” Wait, this isn’t a documentary?
Moaning Myrtle’s voice… it’s Queenie!
See, if wizards weren’t so detached from Muggle culture they’d know about Perseus and would have taken a mirrored shield down with them.
Ah, it’s Indiana Jones and the Chamber of Secrets.
Why would you hide this?! Why would you not make it your (evil, evil) office.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Harry.” T.O.M. 9000.
What a twat! Who does a reveal by writing floating text one letter at a time?!
And this is why you always keep a Phoenix around. You’re welcome.
“You may have blinded the basilisk. But he can still hear you!” Riddle hasn’t heard “show, don’t tell” either, it seems. As a climax, this fight really isn’t one. Bring back the spiders…
Okay, stabbing the book with the basilisk fang is actually pretty swift creative thinking from the Boy Wizard.
I can’t promise healing powers in my tears. Just salt.
Least convincing fake punishment speech ever.
Ahh, Voldemort transferred power to Harry when he attacked him. I guess that’s going to be pretty crucial later in the series…
“It is not our abilities that make us who we are. It is our choices.”
“My sole concern has always been, and will always be, the welfare of this school and, of course, its students.” Aside from the fact he’s obviously lying through his teeth, its nice to think someone has the students’ welfare at heart. Also, dude nails his dramatic lighting.
Oh alright, you get points for that, Dobby.
Awkward grins and hugging time! It’s a shame Hermione was taken out for the whole of the climax, even if she solved the puzzle that we never really saw.
Cancelling exams as a treat? Ofsted are going to love this. The purpose of exams isn’t to punish the kids.
Oh dear. Is this how we’re closing the film?
I suppose it’s about as awkward as the medal ceremony at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope.
Overall, I’d say actually a fraction better than the first film, but incremental improvements as everyone involved settles into their roles. I am now legitimately quite excited to hit the “real” films as I have heard from a number of you that watching Years 3 to 7 tends to be the consensus approach on rewatching them.
Thanks for the messages from those who joined live tonight. And that’s a wrap on Year 2!
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