Less than magic for Potter fans

They were the eagle-eyed awkward squad who noticed the digital watch on the wrist of a survivor in the film Titanic — and the technician in blue jeans next to Maximus during a Roman battle in Gladiator.

Then, within two days of the film’s release, fans had detected at least 32 mistakes in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

These range from visible wires towing a flying owl, a miraculous recovery from an arm fracture and a cover-up job on Hermione’s increasingly shapely leg.

They include a change in the London station from which the Hogwarts Express departs, an unscripted plaster cast and an oversized basilisk.

The errors are being logged on moviemistakes.com, which posted 15 new reports of blunders, and on other fan websites. A further 10 complaints were disallowed as fallacious, as were grumbles about differences between the book and film.

All the mistakes are errors in the continuity editing of the film, which was finished on a strict timetable after the huge box office success last Christmas of the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The number of slips logged in the first weekend is higher than in the same period for The Philosopher’s Stone, in which 124 howlers have so far been spotted.

But Harry Potter is far from seizing the film world’s most unwanted title.

The most mistake-ridden film of recent years is The Matrix, with 178 slip-ups, followed by Titanic, with 152, The Fellowship of the Ring, with 146 and Spider-Man, with 144. Gladiator has 96.

By contrast, an older era of technical expertise without computergenerated effects produced 76 mistakes in The Wizard of Oz, 23 in Gone With the Wind and 14 in The Sound of Music. — Â

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