- Ensemble Dark Horse: If you remember anything about this film, it's probably sweet old Movie Mason.
- Harsher in Hindsight: When Karen plans to ditch Bryan in their theatre to go see another movie with her friends that their mom didn't approve of, Bryan protests that some guy might break into the theatre and take him hostage. At the time, it just seemed a nice little joke about Bryan being a paranoid little kid. After the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shootings at The Dark Knight Rises premiere, it's no longer funny.
- Narm: The plot is focussed around the prestigious red carpet premier of a film called Midnight Mayhem. Aside from the cheesy sounding title, every detail we learn about it paints the film as B-Movie schlock, yet it's treated like Hollywood's next big hit.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Out of the gate the film introduces Pete's cast of quirky co-workers, who then get pushed to the background to make room for his little brother and sister. Not one of them is teased as a suspect, and their quirks are surprisingly downplayed and underused; Scary Terri only gets to tell one story through the entire film without being interrupted, and pretty much all of Mark's questions are perfectly reasonable in context.
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: In the midst of the harmless, cheesy antics (not much of which could be described as outright bad), we have Movie Mason's shockingly heartfelt speech about the magic of movies, and how they recapture the imagination of childhood and provide a whimsical escape from the real world, delivered with total tear-jerking sincerity by Mickey Rooney.
- Trapped by Mountain Lions: The subplot about whether or not Pete's mother will marry her boyfriend could be removed without much trouble. It's perhaps salvaged by the sweet moment of Mason providing them an engagement ring.
- Unintentionally Sympathetic: Pete is depicted as a bit of an uptight workaholic who needs to learn to relax and take some breaks. Bryan and Karen take plenty of opportunities to mock him as a tightwad who can't understand the pleasure of movies and accuse him of being an Aloof Big Brother. In practice however, Pete is shown to be a genuinely sweet and well-meaning guy who genuinely loves his job and seems to have a far more healthy work/home balance than the other characters claim. Even his supposedly dismissive behavior towards his siblings looks more like the result of managing the Megaplex during the film's chaotic events, rather than genuine malice on his part. This doesn't stop Bryan and Karen from taking plenty of smug potshots at him even when he's trying to connect with them.
YMMV / Phantom of the Megaplex