Fast & Furious 7 is Currently Filming in Atlanta

Posted by Paul Murray on Thursday Apr 17, 2014 Under Georgia Film Industry

Filmed in Georgia: Fast and Furious 7

Fast and Furious fans who live in Atlanta will be happy to know that Fast and Furious 7 is currently filming there. Stars acting in the film have already been spotted around town, saying that they have been received with open arms. Lucky fans in the area may be able to see them, during their off hours.
Fast and Furious 7 expands on the story of Fast and furious 6, after Owen Shaw and his gang are dead. Dominic, played by Vin Diesel, and Brian, played by Paul Walker, are finally able to return to America and a normal life. But Owen’s brother has other plans for them, namely revenge. Will the crew be able to stop him?
Production for this film began in April, with choosing James Wan as the new director. The previous director left due to scheduling conflict. The script was once again written by Morgan, and it is being produced by Moritz. Earlier this year, in September, they filmed some scenes on the Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado.
There are scheduled street closures in downtown Atlanta on November 18 and November 25, to allow filming to take place. The police will be on hand to help direct the flow of traffic. There will be simulated gunfire and explosions, in keeping with the action of previous Fast and Furious movies. Citizens are advised to keep up with announcements, as there are several sites the movie producers are planning to use. The full list of sites has not been released.
This movie is only the latest in a long line of movies to grace Atlanta. Just recently the new Hunger Games movie filmed there. Other notable pictures include Remember the Titans, Child’s Play 3, and House of Payne. Even Fast and Furious 5 was filmed in Atlanta, which is why everyone involved in Fast and Furious 7 were particularly excited about returning there. In fact, Atlanta is sometimes called the movie making capital of the south, and the local film industry seems to be growing rapidly. When this movie comes out, fans from Atlanta and Colorado will have fun guessing which scenes were filmed in their areas.


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Monsters University Parent Review

As with many of the sequels that are coming out these days, Monster’s University is rewinding it all the way back to the beginning. It has been a long 12 years since Monster’s Inc. hit the theaters, and now we get to see just how Mike & Sully became such good friends. Like many lifelong buddies, this scary pair met in college but more specifically, at Monster’s University.

Mike and Sully couldn’t be any more different than they are. Sully finds being a scarer to come quite naturally while Mike finds himself trying a little too hard and failing a little to often. Sully is simply following in the footsteps of his father, who happened to be one of the most talented scarers in Monstropolis, while Mike is the first in his family with the desire to become the best scarer that he can be. It’s actually amazing that they ever became friends at all.

The story behind their friendship, however, really does make sense. Mike & Sully both arrived at Monster’s University at the same time. They both wanted nothing more than to become scare majors. The difference was that Mike & Sully had completely opposite strengths, which is exactly what would bring them so close together in the end.

You see, Mike was the brains while Sully was the brawn. Mike soared academically at Monster’s University and Sully soared as a natural born scarer from day one. The problem was obvious in that Mike couldn’t scare a fly and Sully couldn’t gain any ground with the academics. This was a problem that caught up with the pair all too quickly as Dean Hardscrabble dropped the hammer on both Mike and Sully leaving them both searching for new majors.

Monsters University of Monsters University by Southern Outdoor Cinema

The one thing that both Mike and Sully did have in common was determination, and they were both determined to get back on track as soon as possible. And then came the Scare Games, a winter competition between rival fraternities and sororities at Monster’s University. It was a competition that required teams to use each of the skills that would be required of any scarer graduating from the university. The only problem was that Mike and Sully needed to join a fraternity fast.

Needless to say, the pair get lucky and are able to join the Oozma Kappa Fraternity. They are also able to convince Dean Hardscrabble to let them back into the program if their fraternity wins. The only downside is that losing would mean the ‘boot’ for everyone in Oozma Kappa. It is a battle that is going to take both brain and brawn, something that this wacky fraternity has an equal amount of, which is what saves each of them in the end.

Positive Element

Behind all of the scare is actually a very positive lesson to be learned. While we all have weaknesses in one area or another, it is friendships that make us stronger. For Mike and Sully, this is a reality that they learn to live with on a daily basis. Mike Wazowski is quite the genius, and it is his smarts that brings Oozma Kappa to the point of victory, but not before bringing him to the realization that he needs much more than brains if he is going to succeed. Sully, on the other hand, has everything that it takes, physically, to become the best scarer alive, but he learns all too quickly that without brains, brawn is nothing.

The pair learn that individually they are flawed, but together they are unstoppable. This is a lesson that many would be much better off learning today.

Sexual Element

There is a very brief kiss that is shared between an engaged Ms. Squibbles and Don, while Don sarcastically comments on Squishy’s brother marrying his mother. Mike and Sully share an embarrassing moment while sleeping. Sully’s arm lands on Mike’s face and Mike begins kissing it because he is in the middle of a dream about a princess and a stable boy.

Violent Element

Mike and Sully must go through a fraternity initiation ceremony that involves them being spanked with a wooden paddle. Then there are the frequent frightening moments between human children and scarers on the job. There are also quite a few scenes that involve humorous violence (at least that is what it is made out to be). Hits, bumps and slaps are found throughout the movie.

Drug and Alcohol Element

There are mere insinuations to the fact. A party shows students holding red cups in their hands which could easily be taken as cups of beer. Loud music, dancing and sleeping students who look to be drunk during one scene.


Monster’s University is another Pixar materpiece but with mixed reviews. While it does bring up a very good point about the importance of friendships, it also portrays the college party scene in a disturbing, yet up close and personal, way. A college frat party where everyone has a red plastic cup in hand while listening to loud party music. Really? Now how many parents aren’t led to believe that those red plastic cups are filled with alcohol? And if parents get that impression, how many children are possibly wondering the very same thing?

Then there is the hazings, the frat initiations and the plain old super-scary moments with children in their bedrooms and the scarers terrifying them. These can all be quite disturbing to youngsters frequenting this movie in particular.

On the other hand, there is the very distinct importance of friendship portrayed in Monster’s University. Mike and Sully share a very special kind of friendship. In fact, their friendship is the kind that makes them better individuals because of it. It is an important lesson that many would be much better off learning on a personal level today. It is something that we need even at a very young age.

Monster’s University is unmistakably a Pixar masterpiece, however, it is one that will be left to parents to decide on for their own individual families.


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About Paul B. Murray
Paul is founder of Southern Outdoor Cinema, an outdoor cinema event production company based in Atlanta and a dad to 2 pre-teen girls. When he is is not traveling to create outdoor movie nights for communities, he is spending time playing board games, reading books and of course watching movies with his girls.

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Tax Day: 4 Movies About Money

Posted by Paul Murray on Monday Apr 14, 2014 Under Movie Articles

4 Best movies about money

Money is something that many of us can definitely use more of and whether it be money that we get back during tax season or money inherited from a relative, the only thing that matters is that we find ourselves with more of it. Well there are more movies relating to money than expected and narrowing them down to a few of the favorites wasn’t as difficult as first thought. Below is a list of four of them with the top pick being an appropriate money related movie and all that we have to say is “Show me the money”!

Jerry McGuire (Show me the money)
Tom Cruise plays Jerry Maguire, a sports agent with one of the major sports management firms in the area. He’s successful, liked by everyone he comes in contact with, and can negotiate even the toughest athlete into jumping on board. The problem is that Jerry seems to be developing a conscience and what’s worse is he decides to write his thoughts down on paper and share them with everyone in the firm. You see, Jerry now feels that representing an athlete should be more about the long term relationship than about the immediate profits and he hopes that everyone else will share his new thoughts on the matter. Unfortunately, the higher-ups don’t and Jerry gets fired. While Jerry’s former associates scramble to steal all of his clients, only two people have the courage to join him, Dorothy (Renee Zellweger), a former staff accountant and Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a football player with too much pride to be all that he can be on the field. Together the three prove that it truly is more about the relationship than it is about a contract on a piece of paper that clients are looking for in an agent.

Mr. Deeds

When an extremely wealthy media magnate by the name of Preston Blake (Harve Presnell) dies leaving 40 billion dollars behind with no known heirs to inherit it, his associates scramble to find a way to take control of the money. Then the unexpected happens and a very distant relative by the name of Longfellow Deeds (Adam Sandler) is located in a small town in the middle of nowhere running the local pizzeria. The only way that Deeds will be able to claim his extremely large inheritance is to go to New York City where Blake’s former associates, Cecil Anderson (Erick Avari) and Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher) are supposed to help him finalize everything and take control of the money. But Cecil and Chuck have much different plans in that they hope to find a way to get their hands on the fortune instead. Between the scheming duo out for his inheritance and the sleezy tabloid television producer out for a story, Deeds must fight to keep it all together while doing the right thing in the process. With an ending that will literally take you by surprise, “Mr. Deeds” is a definite “must see” for those who have never seen it before.

Pretty Woman

Pretty woman is the movie that made Julia Roberts the movie star that she is today. It is a story of love and how it can be found in the most unlikely of places. Julia Roberts plays Vivian Ward, a princess stuck in the body of a hooker simply waiting to be freed. Richard Gere plays Edward Lewis, a corporate shark who has recently become single once again. And together, they make more of a pair than anyone would have imagined. While on his way to the Beverly Hills Hotel, Edward stops to ask Vivian for directions and decides to retain her services for the week in exchange for $3,000.00, a new wardrobe, and a complete makeover. Before the week is over Vivian will become the princess who has always been trapped inside of her body, Edward will find true love where he would have never expected to find it, and together the pair will show us that fairy tale dreams still do come true.

Wall Street

This true to life story of power, and how very real and dangerous it can be on Wall Street, follows Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) and his life through its highs as well as its lows. Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) is the very young banking investor who finds out, after joining forces with Gekko, that greed will always be the name of the game on Wall Street. He learns this lesson the hard way, and only after getting into a relationship with Gekko’s daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan) who would rather remain estranged from her fresh out of prison father than take a chance on getting hurt yet again. If there is one lesson that Jake takes from his experiences with Gordon, it’s that investing on Wall Street is much like swimming in a tank full of sharks. Sooner or later you will get eaten and that is just how it goes in the greedy world of investing.

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Filmed in Georgia: A Friggin' Christmas Miracle

“A Friggin’ Christmas Miracle” is an upcoming holiday film starring Robin Williams and Joel McHale (NBC’s ‘Community’) as a father and son who are a part of a dysfunctional family trying to get through the Christmas season. The film also stars Candice Bergen who portrays Robin Williams’ character’s wife and Lauren Graham (NBC’s ‘Parenthood’) as Joel McHale’s character’s wife.

Portions of the film were shot in the small town of Norcross, Georgia. Norcross, which as of 2010 had a population of 9,116, is easily accessible from the major highways, but has been able to stay seemingly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Atlanta. It is the 2nd oldest town in Gwinnett County, being chartered a town in 1870. Due to the town’s rich historical background, it was selected to the National Register of Historical Places in the 1980s.

The specific location of filming while the set of “A Friggin’ Christmas Miracle” was in Norcross, was at the Norcross Station Café, which used to serve as a train depot in the early 1900s. The restaurant is located in the historic downtown of Norcross at the corner of Jones St and South Peachtree St. According the to restaurant’s owner, the place had never been used for a film or a tv show. (As of a recent article posted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the restaurant’s lease was put up for bid and was then outbid. The restaurant may be forced to close).

Actors Joel McHale and Lauren Graham were onset filming during the set’s visit to Norcross. They could be seen walking along the sidewalk and standing outside the main door of the Norcross Station Café for the film’s scenes. Actors dressed as elves and one as Santa were also on hand for the Christmas-themed set.

Norcross, Georgia isn’t exactly known for being a place to film movies or tv shows, but besides the scenes shot for “A Friggin’ Christmas Miracle”, ABC’s show “Resurrection” (previously known as “The Returned”) began filming in the area as well earlier this year.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The victors of the 74th annual Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta, have earned a well deserved break, and they are finally able to enjoy peace in knowing that their fight has come to an end; or are they? Are the Hunger Games truly over for the only two tributes ever to survive the horrendous games together, or has their fight just begun?

Katniss and Peeta sacrificed everything, nearly committing suicide during the games, because of their true feelings for each other. While many see this as the act of love that it truly represents, there are those who look at it as an act of defiance against the Capitol. This is a problem for President Snow, the primary oppressor in Panem, and it quickly becomes a problem for Katniss and Peeta.

They were promised many things, including a lifetime of support from the Capitol, but what they are left with is a shallow victory indeed. Everything that they were made to endure, for the prize of stardom and fame, is for nothing in the end and the end is soon to begin for them both. You see, there are changes coming to the 75th annual Hunger Games, in honor of the third “Quarter Quell”, and former victors are expected to be a significant part of this change. In fact, they will be fighting right along side new comers to the bloody games.

Positive Elements

The sacrifice that Katniss and Peeta made, during the last Hunger Games, offered much hope to those witnessing the unselfish act, and it is what transforms the next Hunger Games into what it will become. The games have always been about survival, and more specifically about an individuals will to survive, and this year will be no different. However, there will be one incredible twist and that is the fact that the fight will not be between one tribute and another, but rather between the combined efforts of the tributes and those who continue to oppress them.

That’s right, the tributes (many of them anyway) have decided to stop fighting against one another and begin making the very same sacrifices that Katniss and Peeta made for each other. This is all due to the fact that they were greatly affected by the original sacrifice they witnessed in the last games. But what they don’t realize is that the sacrifices that they will be making will be much greater than they might have first expected.

One of the tributes (Haymitch) is approached by both Peeta and Katniss, at separate points during the games, and is asked to help the other survive no matter what the cost. This is just one more act of sacrifice, by the two most important individuals in the game, and is what continues to feed the fire that is the tributes will to survive together. Needless to say, sacrifices are made throughout the 75th annual Hunger Games that affect more than just those involved in the game itself.

People everywhere begin to take life threatening risks simply to support Panem and its growing rebellion. This sacrifice spreads throughout each of the 12 Districts and leads directly to the two most important people to Katniss; his very own mother and sister. Their message to Katniss is communicated quite clearly: We are nowhere near as important as everything that is going on in Panem at this point, so don’t worry about us.

Sexual Elements

Peeta, Katniss, and Haymitch share an elevator ride together with Joanna, another tribute in this years games, that turns into a strip show as Joanna removes all of her clothing in defiance against being forced to continually dress up for the cameras. The view is of Joanna’s bare back although the three additional elevator riders see a whole lot more. Joanna also asks Peeta how he feels about the fact that the whole world wants to sleep with him.

Katniss and Peeta share an unusual love in that Katniss has feelings for Gale, the hunting partner that she shared much of her childhood with. They kiss at several points throughout the movie, but those kisses are nothing compared to the kiss that Katniss and Peeta share on the beach during one scene in particular. This stirs up very definite conflicting feelings in Katniss as her feelings for Peeta continue to grow stronger. Katniss and Peeta end up sleeping together, in a non-sexual way, for the purpose of helping to stop the constant occurrence of nightmares.

Violent Elements

The violent acts that the tributes experience is, by far, the worst that moviegoers will see, but it is by no means the only violence witnessed. Tributes are stabbed in the stomach, torn apart by creatures that have been genetically modified, shot with arrows in the chest, killed by a poisonous mist capable of causing the skin to blister, cut down with an ax, and much more! The violence is, at times, very brutal and while it is simply a means to an end, it can be quite horrific.

Drug and Alcohol Elements

There are several elements throughout the movie including one scene, in particular, where Katniss is injected with a sedative, but only after using this very same sedative during the attack of another man. There is yet another scene where Gale is beaten with a whip, and then immediately injected with morphine.

Katniss pays Haymitch a visit, at his home, and states that she is in need of a drink. Haymitch replies, “Finally, something I can help you with.” and she does exactly that. There aren’t too many forms of alcohol that Haymitch won’t drink which is probably why he is either in a drunken state, or is on his way there, throughout the movie. His mission is typically to escape the pain of his past.


Katniss wants to live and she wants everyone she cares for to live as well. What she comes to realize quite quickly is that running is not the answer. The answer is in staying and fighting for what she believes to be true. Along with Peeta and the others, she learns that the true fight is more about coming up with the best way to live her life while she still has life in her body.

There is nothing more prevalent throughout the movie than sacrifice, and amidst it all is the horrifying bloodshed that we are made to witness. Would the message have been the same had the violence been omitted from its storyline? Possibly however, it is there and it represents Panem’s constant fight against those who would threaten their freedom to love and care for those closest to them.

The Hunger Games: “Catching Fire” is a movie full of what might be considered to be controversial scenes to some, but to others it relays a very distinct, and much needed message. Watching this movie will come down to personal preference (as it does with most movies of its kind) and will be determined on an individual basis.


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About Paul B. Murray
Paul is founder of Southern Outdoor Cinema, an outdoor cinema event production company based in Atlanta and a dad to 2 pre-teen girls. When he is is not traveling to create outdoor movie nights for communities, he is spending time playing board games, reading books and of course watching movies with his girls.

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