Nitpicking Movies: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

After the smashing success of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the franchise needed a strong follow-up. Failure to keep the momentum could have caused the film series to stumble, as happened with Disney’s ill-fated attempt to adapt all seven Chronicles of Narnia. Fortunately, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets did the job well.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets provided a strong second chapter that continued the trend of staying mostly true to the novels that served as source material. It showed that Warner Brothers had struck gold with the casting of Daniel Radcliffe and demonstrated the progressively darker tone that sequels would take.

It also has several things that make me scrunch up my face and go, “Huh?” So, as with its predecessor, I’m going to launch into a series of nitpicks about this film.

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The Anatomy of Nerdrage

Argument

2018 marked the year I burned out on fan forums on the Internet. I always knew those places bred negativity, but I also like to communicate with nerds about nerdy things. Unfortunately, the deadly seriousness with which some people treat their hobbies eventually made me something of an Internet recluse.

It didn’t help that I familiarized myself with the controversy surrounding The Last Jedi, that Pathfinder announced a new edition, that the Hulk got punked by Thanos in Infinity War, or that Doctor Who introduced a female Doctor. Change hit all my areas of interest, and that always brings a wave of negativity with it.

But the big question is: Why? Why do people take entertainment so seriously? Why does it seem so much easier to focus on the negative rather than celebrate the positive? And what can fans do to create better discourse in the future?

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The Pathfinder Playtest: Where Did These Changes Come From?

Pathfinder Playtest

Parts of the Pathfinder Playtest seem like a jarring change to the system to me. That’s mostly because I spent 10 years running a game that used very few rules beyond the Core Rulebook or the Beginner Box. The major change to the action economy and the removal of old multiclassing, for example, feels weird.

That said, I did stay on top of new rules releases as part of my whole freelance writing thing, so I can see that many of these major changes still have Pathfinder DNA. If you’re wondering where all these changes came from, it mostly boils down to a decade of optional rules expansions.

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The Pathfinder Playtest: Character Creation

Pathfinder PlaytestPaizo Publishing released their first look at the next edition of Pathfinder last week, offering a free playtest rulebook that people can use to put the new system through its paces. Character customization remains a large part of Pathfinder’s appeal, but the process by which you create your hero has changed.

Has it changed for the better? That depends on what you want out of the Pathfinder RPG.

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Vice Admiral Holdo was Smarter than Fans Give Her Credit For

Vice Admiral Holdo

Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi below.

Of the many points of controversy in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the behavior of Vice Admiral Holdo ranks as one of the film’s most frequent criticisms. Why couldn’t the film have used an existing character, like Admiral Ackbar? Why does she have such a problem with ace fighter pilot Poe Dameron? And why didn’t she avoid a mutiny by letting others aboard the ship know she had a plan to escape the First Order?

Based on the failure of her plan in The Last Jedi, you could argue that she should never have held the position of command that she did. But while she was far from perfect, she actually filled her role much better than most fans give her credit for.

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Your Feelings Betray You: Luke Skywalker and The Last Jedi

Last Jedi

I’m late to the party when it comes to The Last Jedi, but the fact that I didn’t see it until seven months after its release gave me a chance to witness the controversy around the film. Fans either love the film or hate it, and for a myriad of reasons. Of all the controversial points in the movie, the portrayal of Luke Skywalker seemed to serve as the biggest lightning rod, and I find this controversy very interesting.

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