Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book in the Harry Potter franchise, the book was written by one of my all time favourite authors J.K. Rowling and it was published in book stores on the second of July 1997 just one year after the release of its predecessor.

As a child the Chamber of Secrets was my favourite book in the Harry Potter series and at the moment that opinion is still the same, Harry’s second year at Hogwarts spawned many of my favourite characters and moments in the story, I would say that the most memorable for me would be Gilderoy Lockhart the new defence against the dark arts teacher who is a snobby, big headed and manipulative liar which is written to be obvious to the reader at first but throughout the book you start to learn of some of the more horrid things he has done to become as famous as he is, of course you cant forget the introduction to the Whomping Willow either, the Whomping Willow is an extremely violent tree that lives on the Hogwarts Castle grounds, its notorious for attacking anyone or anything that comes near it by swiping at them with its massive branches and in most cases causing very serious damage, then there’s Harry’s weird first encounter with Dobby the house elf and finally you cant forget that this book also reveals the true identity of Lord Voldermort who had not been completely defeated at the end of the first book.

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Speaking of the first book it should be noted that the second entry in the series is much darker and is therefore mildly scarier in comparison, the book deals with some rather grizzly topics including the murder of a student, hearing voices, numerous students being petrified by an unknown force and certain creatures wanting to devour the flesh of Harry and Ron.

If you are a fan of the Harry Potter movies then you may be interested in reading the second novel since a lot of moments in the book were missing from the film adaptation, in particular my favourite chapter “The Deathday Party” where Harry, Ron and Hermione join the ghosts of Hogwarts in the dungeons to help celebrate Sir Nearly Headless Nick’s day of passing is one of my fondest memories of reading the Chamber of Secrets as a child, on top of this J.K. Rowling yet again does a fantastic job of making all of the characters lovable apart from the the more villainous ones and when the mystery of the book is finally solved it actually links back to the early chapters which is great because not only does that prove that J.K Rowling didn’t just throw together some half arsed answer but the reader is able to actually solve the mystery themselves before the answer is revealed which only makes the book worth reading even more.

Thank you for reading this review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

That was the last review for this month but April is going to be entirely dedicated to one of the most influential film directors of all time so look forward to that.

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was the first book in a long and beloved series of books written by one of the greatest authors of our generation JK Rowlingshot-a-014n

I cant imagine that anyone one on the planet doesn’t know the story of Harry Potter but just to be safe the first book is about an eleven year old boy who suffers tremendous abuse from both his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon who legally became his guardians after his parents Lily and James were killed by an evil Wizard known as Lord Voldermort, Voldermort tries to kill Harry as a baby but Harry survives hence why he is known as the boy who lived, while he grows up with the Dursleys who make him sleep under the stairs, praise their other son Dudley for hurting him and are genuinely terrible people, the only surviving memory Harry has of his parents is a lighting bolt shaped scar on his forehead that he was left with after the attack.

After receiving countless mysterious letters in the mail all of which are destroyed by his Uncle, Harry eventually finds out that he is a wizard and is sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry so that he can learn to become the legendary hero he was born to be, by now we have been introduced to one of the most important characters of the franchise Hagrid the grounds keeper and not too long after that we meet some of the other very important characters including Hermione Granger an intelligent but rather bossy young witch, Ronald Weasley who is very clumsy but has a good heart, Draco Malfoy the snobby school bully who thinks that his family is better than everyone else, Neville Longbottom who is the most important character in the franchise other than Harry but we will get to that another day, Severus Snape a potions master who really dislikes Harry, Albus Dumbledore the Head Master of the school and most importantly in this book is Professor Quirrell a seemingly nervous wreck of teacher who stutters every sentence and is constantly on edge.

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Hogwarts has four school houses Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor each student is placed in one these houses depending on their personalities the bravest and most courageous students are placed in Gryffindor, the most knowledgeable and witty students are placed in Ravenclaw, the most caring and loyal of students are placed in Hufflepuff and the most ambitious students are placed in Slytherin but a clever detail JK Rowling has hinted at in the series is that Gryffindor is the only house you can choose to join since you have to choose to be brave and if you have seen the movie or read the book then you know that this small detail plays a very important part in the Harry Potter story.

While on break after learning new spells and how to make potions Harry, Ron and Hermione accidentally enter a forbidden area on the fourth floor corridor and what they find behind the door is what leads them to start trying to unravel the mystery of the Philosophers Stone and who they believe may be trying to steal it.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone is one of the most important books in existence, not only was it the start of Harry’s journey into becoming a wizard but more importantly it was the start of JK Rowlings journey of becoming one of the most influential writers of all time.

This is a fantastic book, its well written to point where JK Rowling doesn’t explain things in a lot of detail so the reader is able to use their imagination to create a vision of the magical world in their own minds instead of how the author sees it, the characters are perfect you will find Hermione annoying just like Ron does but you will learn to warm up to her through out the book, Draco Malfoy and Dursleys are all really unlikable and you will hate them which is great because you are supposed to dislike them and Albus Dumbledore really does seem like a very wise old wizard who has a unique perspective on life,however there are one or two plot holes in this first installment but obviously due to spoilers I won’t go into them, if you are unsure as to whether you want to check out the Harry Potter books this is a really good place to start because not only is it the first of the franchise but its also the shortest and in my personal opinion one of the very best.

Thank you for reading this review of Harry Potter and Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

and yes Christmas reviews are coming, I promise 🙂

Beauty and the Beast the Enchanted Christmas (1997) Review

“WHO DISTURBES MY CHRISTMAS !!!”

BATBXmasTitleDo you remember that cute scene in Beauty and the Beast where Belle and the Beast played in the snow and started to fall in love with each other?

Do you wonder or even care about what else happened on that cold winter day?

Me neither but Disney wants more money so in 1997 they made up a load of nonsense and chucked it on a VHS tape for the whole family to enjoy.

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The Story to the Enchanted Christmas is that a Pipe Organ called Forte (Voiced by Tim Curry) is mad at Belle because she is stealing his Master who only now appreciates Forte’s music after the enchantress cast the Beasts curse, Forte’s music helps to soothe the Beasts pain caused by this event

Yes that’s right we went from one of the greatest villains ever made (Gaston) to a magic Pipe Organ.

Belle tries to teach the Beast about the magic of Christmas but this saddens him because it was on Christmas eve that he was cursed and Christmas only reminds him of his old ways.

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Forte hears of this and he tricks Belle into leaving the Castle to find a Christmas tree in the Black Forest, Forte tells the Beast and this makes him mad so he runs off to find and scald Belle

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Will Belle ever be found by the Beast?

Will the Evil Forte be stopped?

Will the Beast ever love Christmas?

Do you care?

No of course you don’t because its ridiculous and that’s where all of the movies problems begin, the plot is dumb and doesn’t make any sense at all because all of the events in this film are never mentioned in the original movie so its like they never happened, Tim Curry is annoying and so is everyone else I couldn’t even stand Belle in this film and shes my favorite Disney Character of all time, the animation is no where near up to par with the quality of the animation in the first movie, the songs have terrible lyrics and again are very annoying, when the characters talk the animation is out of sync with the dialogue, all of the new characters are boring and pointless but I will admit that the axe was kind of cool and finally it is so obvious that this was only made as a quick cash grab for Disney.

Beauty and the Beast the Enchanted Christmas is a revolting mess of a film, its an insult to the original movie and in some way it has slightly ruined it for me because now every time I see the winter scene I just know that this piece of crap is apparently going to happen even if I cant see it.

Thanks for reading my Review of Beauty and the Beast the Enchanted Christmas

The next Christmas movie I will review is

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you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

Anastasia (1997) Review

When I was a child I remember visiting my Grandmother and watching a bunch of Animated movies that she had on old VHS tapes, Anastasia just so happens to be one of those movies, as a kid I thought it was amazing and I watched it all of the time but now that I am an adult I haven’t seen the movie in 13 years.

Until now

Was it as good as I remember?

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The first thing that caught my eye was that Anastasia was made by Don Bluth who is famous for some of the greatest animated movies of all time such as An American Tail, The Land before time and the Secret of Nimh. I had a strong feeling that Anastasia would be just as amazing as some of his other work especially since I loved the film with a passion when I was a child.

Let me just begin by saying that the animation was incredible, everything in the film was extremely well detailed, the animation moved very smoothly and the use of a mixture of light and dark colours really helped build up the atmosphere for multiple scenes that were shown throughout the movie. The animation blew me away and it can easily compete with the animation of some of the Disney films of the time.

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The movies plot was really cool if not a little hard to follow.

A party is being thrown to celebrate 300 years of ruling of the Romanov Family, The Dowager Empress Marie is leaving for Paris and a very young Anastasia is sad that Marie is leaving.

Marie gives Anastasia a music box so that she will always remember her, at this point the films villain Rasputin enters the palace and is immediately told to leave, Rasputin says that he will not stop until the entire Romanov Family are dead.

Rasputin sells his soul so that he has the power to for-fill his dark purpose. With his new Dark powers Rasputin Controls the Civilians of the town to charge the palace, with little choice left the Romanov family flee Russia to find safety.

Anastasia and Marie are saved by a servant boy called Dmitri, Marie and Anastasia are about to board a train.

Marie manages to to board the train but Anastasia does not, they grab eachothers hand but they slip from each other and Anastasia falls unconscious.

We cut to 10 years later and Anastasia is leaving an orphanage to try and find her real family and to learn about herself and her past.

The films plot is really well structured and it allows enough time for the audience to be able to understand and sympathise with all the main characters that are introduced throughout the movie.

The music is really hit and miss with me because I love all of the instrumental music used to help build the atmosphere of certain scenes, its really well conducted and the final result being a combination of Choir and Orchestra is something really beautiful to listen too.

I cant say the same for the voice acting or any of the songs that are performed vocally, all vocal performances seemed really emotionless it felt as if the actors and actresses didn’t really want to be lending their voices to the film and because of this it really makes the whole experience a little boring and hard to watch with the exception of Christopher Lloyd who voices Rasputin because he did a remarkable job voicing the films main antagonist, you could really tell that Christopher Lloyd loved playing this role in the film.

I also did not enjoy the majority of the vocal songs for the exact same reasons as I previously stated again with the exception of the movies villain song which was catchy but I wont be adding it to my I-pod any time soon.

Watching Anastasia again really reminded me of a lot of warm childhood memories but it deeply saddens me that I found so many issues with such an important movie from my past.

I may not have enjoyed it as much as I had hoped that I would, but Anastasia will always be a very important film to me as it helps me remember what it was like being a little kid and visiting my Grandmother and even though my grandmother has not yet passed on, this movie will always be one of my fondest memories of her.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Anastasia

Have you got any films from your childhood which are very dear to you?

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan