Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter
Joined: Aug. 2001
||Posted: Nov. 26, 2003 8:40 am/pm
We're back from our trip. I won the coin toss and Rich and our son went to see "Elf" (which they both liked a lot) and I went to see HM at 11:30 am today.
All this is IMHO/YMMV, maybe some light spoilers. I can't shout this next paragraph loud enough:
LEAVE THE KIDDIES AT HOME!!!!!! (Possible spoilers in next paragraph, you are forewarned.)
Even though Haunted Mansion at WDW or DL is a family attraction, this movie uses elements from the theme park attraction, mixes them with haunted house "cliches' " and expands upon these ideas. It's not as bad as, say, a "Nightmare on Elm Street"-type movie. However, for very young children there are going to be intense scenes of spectres, ghosts, the seance that you see in the teaser trailers is MUCH more intense than the teasers let on, a hanging, someone "burning in heck" for what they've done and some other intense stuff. For adults with a sense of humor, maturity and perspective and who are familiar with the Disney ride it's not a problem. But for those with too brief a life maturity, who have short attention spans, who latch onto ideas and hone in, who can't tell between fantasy and reality particularly about hauntings or seances, and get scared with sudden noises, a dark-toned color pallette, and so forth, it's a mercy to them to "tag team" seeing this movie (one stays home with the kids, the other sees the movie, then swap) or hire a sitter, or buy this or rent it later on home video and see it after the kids are in bed or while they're in school or away from home. Perhaps age 10 or older can tolerate this movie's effects and certain sequences.
I liked this movie. I didn't think it was as bad as the Rotten Tomatoes reviews, but then again it's no Pirates of the Caribbean movie, either. I'd give it a 6-7.5 on a scale of 10. I'd definitely see it again. But not to the extent of multiple times such as with Pirates. Go see it, either in matinee or evening full-price feature. Fans of the ride will definitely be in familiar territory and I think will like a lot of this movie. It would have benefitted from some tightening up. I think the filmmakers were going for the sort of storytelling technique Walt Disney used to employ, which is start slowly, bring your audience up to speed with you, then tell your story. It seems to start too slowly if they are in fact using Walt's technique. Pirates handles the integration of ride references with the story more deftly, left the Disney fans in the audiences wanting more. HM I think has fully explored it's subject matter and definitely doesnt need a sequel. The IZ U Nelly music at the end is not as bothersome as viewing the music video of it on the movie's official WWW site was. And YES STAY TO THE END OF THE CREDITS especially if you really enjoy the theme park attraction.
If you live in the New Orleans metro area: Eddie Murphy makes a joke about jambalaya and the kind of seafood in it which is not authentic to the city's cuisine. And the last scene of the movie, just before the closing credits, is of something very familiar on a daily basis to many in the New Orleans metro area.
I saw the movie at Rave multiplex in Daphne AL, just outside of Mobile AL. Fabulous theatre. I saw the 11:30am matinee. Maybe 30-40 people were in the audience is all. No young kids were there but there were children. No one left, heard no crying or upsets. I was the only one to stay completely to the end. The showing I attended was not sold out by any means.
If movies make you "jump" in startlement, there's a bit of this in HM, in visual and aural "Boo!"-type brief things, and the moviemakers play with the audio in that you can hear sound travel through the theatre and not just coming from the screen. It's no big deal, just some little "Boo!" type things.
Movie has some intense stuff, but nothing mature adults and older kids can't handle. Some of it borders on PG-13. The movie is rated PG.
Trailers before the movie: Peter Pan (new trailer I've never seen before, makes it look a lot less like the Disney animated film, parents should take special note of this trailer before you let very young children see the movie in December), Hidalgo (re-cut trailer from the one that ran in front of Pirates of the CAribbean over the summer, since Hildalgo was pulled from a fall 2003 release it may have been re-editted due to test audience reaction), Miracle (about the US Olympic Hockey team of 1980 at Lake Placid NY), and Agent Cody Banks 2: Assignment London.
That's it for now. Anyone else see HM? What did you think?
Oh, and I think real estate agents might get a kick out of this movie.