5 Movies to Watch For Thanksgiving

Posted by Paul Murray on Monday Nov 24, 2014 Under Movie Articles

Movies About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day falls on November 27th this year, and is celebrated both in the United States as well as in Canada. It is a special day that we set aside to be thankful for all of the blessings from the previous year. There are plenty of wonderful movies that work very well on Thanksgiving Day, and here are a few of the favorites.

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays brings a reality to the movie screen that many face during the hectic holiday season with family. It stars Holly Hunter as Claudia Larson, your average hard working individual who loses her job right before the Thanksgiving holiday arrives. With plans to spend Thanksgiving with her family in Baltimore, Claudia begins to feel even more “on edge” than usual when going home for the holidays. Claudia’s husband, Walter (Steve Guttenberg), is disliked by her brother Tommy (Robert Downey Jr.) who is openly homosexual, her daughter, Kitt (Claire Danes), is staying behind and has informed Claudia that she intends on losing her virginity to her boyfried, Claudia’s sister, Joanne (Cynthia Stevenson), is stuck in a phase that nobody likes, and her aunt, Gladys (Geraldine Chaplin), has a bad habit of drinking too much when visiting and confesses her past lust for Claudia’s father Henry (Charles Durning). Needless to say, Claudia can look forward to one of the most interesting Thanksgiving holidays she has ever been through.

Funny People

George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is a comic superstar with a talent for what he does. The only problem is that he finds out that he doesn’t have much longer to enjoy doing it. You see, George finds out that he has a very rare blood disorder, very early on in the movie, and that it is very likely that he will die within a year. He decides to do something that he really enjoyed doing, and gets back into stand-up comedy. During one of his club performances, George meets a fellow stand-up comedian, Ira Wright (Seth Rogen), who is struggling to make it in the business. He notices something about Ira that he likes and decides to hire Ira as a personal assistant. He also tasks Ira with the job of writing the jokes that he will use for his performances. The relationship between the two starts out very well, and Ira is more than happy to be able to move off of his friend’s pull-out sofa, and in with George. But things begin to change when Ira starts to see George for who he really is, an egocentric and very selfish individual.

Free Birds

Free birds is the animated tale of two turkeys who must learn to work together if they are to going to succeed at keeping turkeys’ off of the holiday menu forever. This task will not be easy as the two turkey heroes are different in every way. However, they quickly learn that it is more important to put their differences aside and succeed, than it is to work individually and fail.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

While traveling back home to be with his family for the Thanksgiving holiday, Neal Page (Steve Martin) gets unexpectedly bumped from first-class to coach on his flight. He learns, all too quickly, that he will be seated next to Del Griffith (John Candy), an annoying salesman who he can’t seem to get away from. It begins with a snowstorm that forces their plane to land in Wichita instead of Chicago, and continues with the lack of any rooms available in the four-star hotels in the area. With no other options to choose from, Neal is forced to stay with Del in one of the cheapest motels around. After a torturous and sleepless night, Neal blows his top, and has a few choice words for Del. Del responds with the all too familiar “your welcome anyway” speech which makes Neal feel as guilty as can be. Their journey continues with a bumpy train ride, and an even bumpier refrigerator truck ride, but Neal and Del are destined to be bosom buddies before the movie is over.


Pocahontas tells the story of an Indian princess, and an English sailor, who share a forbidden love that everyone disagrees with, but no one can stop in the end. Capt. John Smith lands in the New World on a mission to plunder its riches, but ends up on a completely different mission of his own. Pocahontas is destined to marry the village’s greatest warrior, but soon finds out that plans are meant to be changed. The two meet and begin a romance that seems to be wrong in every way. The only problem is that it feels nothing but right to them both.


About Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC, is the LARGEST producer of high quality outdoor movie events in the United States for movie studios, film festivals, marketing agencies, Fortune 500 Companies, schools and cities. Southern Outdoor Cinema produces extraordinary outdoor movie experiences with big screens and bright and colorful images so that your audience members feel like they are at a real Hollywood film premiere. Contact Southern Outdoor Cinema to receive a free consultation for your next special event.

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Alexander’s Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a Walt Disney Studios motion picture based on a popular children’s book. It is rated PG due to rude humor, language, and behavior, and it is directed by Miguel Arteta. The cast includes Jennifer Garner, Steve Carell, and Ed Oxenbould.

Alexander Cooper comes home after a terrible day at school where he managed to set the science lab on fire. He hopes that his family will make him feel better. Rather than getting some much needed solace, he has to listen to them talk about what a great day they all had while they eat dinner together. Alexander goes to bed worrying about tomorrow which happens to be his birthday. He can’t sleep and decides to make a birthday sundae for himself. He adds a candle which he blows out and makes a wish. He wishes a bad day upon his family so that they would understand how he feels.

When he gets up the next morning he discovers the entire family has over slept. His dad needs to get to a job interview, and his mom worries about showing up late to a celebrity book reading that she’s in charge of. Emily, his sister, awakes with a cold on a day where she’s supposed to perform in the school musical. His brother will soon find out his evening at the junior prom won’t be perfect.

Although films like this often portray unrealistic situations, this movie does contain situations that many families may come up against. The switch is that in normal life you probably won’t experience all of these problems on one particular day. This fact makes the humor behind each scene relatable to the average parent. Children enjoy the slapstick comedy found throughout the film such as a baby licking a marker and turning his face green.

The parents are portrayed as hard working, intelligent, and caring. They try their hardest to turn things around for their children throughout the story. They try to make sure each child’s special event becomes just that, a special and memorable event.

Positive Element

The theme of this movie is to keep your head up when you’re in the middle of a terrible day. It will get better, and when it does, you’ll appreciate it all the more.

Throughout the film the characters support each other the way family should. It ends up making them even stronger than they were to begin with. They come together, and they find the humor in an otherwise horribly bad situation.

Sexual Element

After accidently walking in on her son while he’s in the bathroom, the mother makes the statement that she’s “seen every penis in the family.”

Reference is made to a teenage couple making out in a minivan. A toddler boy is shown using the potty without any clothes on, but explicit details are omitted.

Cell phone pictures show women in bikinis with a boy’s face placed over theirs. Three hired men who are supposed to perform at a child’s birthday party end up being strippers. After they are told to keep it PG they alter their performance and keep their clothes on.

The words “butt-crack” and “boobs” are in the movie as well as the dad announcing that he wishes he could swear.

Violent Element

One boy places another one’s face on pictures of women in bikinis with an app on his smartphone. After texting the images to classmates, the victim is ridiculed by his peers.

One character’s shirt is caught on fire during a scene in a restaurant. He does extinguish the flames without injury. Another scene depicts a student’s notebook in a science lab catching fire. The notebook catches a poster on fire as well, but the teacher is able to put both fires out.

While taking his driver’s exam a teen boy loses control of the car while answering his cell phone. Both the car and public property are damaged as a result.

Drug and Alcohol Element

A teenage girl who is suffering from a cold ingests a large amount of cough syrup. She does this so she can still be in the school’s play. She becomes drunk, and she is shown vomiting twice. In a restaurant characters are seen drinking socially.


The overall theme of caring for others elevates Alexander’s Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day above its shortcomings. It does give parents and children the chance to enjoy a live action movie about family and allows them to laugh together. It is not recommended for children 12 and under. Parents should take the PG rating seriously and consider their child’s age and maturity level before letting them to see this film. This is definitely not a family friendly movie for all ages.

Parents of any age child should discuss situations shown in the movie with their kids. Bullying, drunkenness, and bad language all make an appearance. Even though it is funny in the movie, they need to understand just how serious this behavior would be in real life and that it would have consequences.

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Southern Outdoor Cinema

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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Parent Movie Review – Big Hero 6

Posted by Paul Murray on Thursday Nov 13, 2014 Under Parent Movie Reviews

Parent Movie Review - Big Hero 6 | Southern Outdoor Cinema

Disney/Pixar has created a superhero movie that is suited to the younger audience members. Compared to live action superhero films, Big Hero 6 is a family friendly movie. It’s a story about a young genius named Hiro Hamanda and his best friend who is an inflatable robot called Baymax. When a villain tries to take the duo on, they recruit others to form a team they name Big Hero 6. The movie has a PG rating due to action scenes, peril, and questionable humor content. It’s 102 minutes long and directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams. The cast includes Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, and Jamie Chung.

Hiro has already graduated high school at the young age of 14. He is something of a robotics prodigy who just hasn’t found his direction in life. Instead of furthering his education, he decides to make extra money by illegally gambling. He sneaks out of his home during the night to join in on underground robot battles where he places wagers on the outcome of each fight.

His brother is taking a different path. He studies under Professor Robert Callaghan in a robotics program. Tadashi, the brother, tries to inspire Hiro by taking him to school where he can introduce him to the other students. Tadashi also lets Hiro take a peek at his latest invention. This invention is an inflatable robot called Baymax who is designed as a health care companion.

Tadashi loses his life during a fiery explosion. This is when Hiro finds that something from the school has been stolen. Now that it is in criminal hands, Hiro teams up with Baymax and Tadashi’s friends to find the villain who now has the item. This becomes the group known as Big Hero 6.

The beginning of the movie introduces viewers to the characters. There is Aunt Cass who looks after Hiro and Tadashi. As with other superhero movies, the team of Big Hero 6 needs to discover all of their superpowers and learn how to work together as a crime-fighting group. Similar to Batman, this team has a butler who helps them perfect their abilities. The scenes where he helps the team along their journey to becoming superheroes are quite enjoyable. The second part of the movie becomes a typical crime-fighting action film that portrays weapons, heroes in peril, and fistfights.

The character of Baymax is quite engaging. He looks similar to the Michelin Man as he is a large white balloon. He has a gentle personality due to the fact that he was designed to take care of others. Baymax is full of personality and heart.

Positive Element

The superhero Baymax has a big heart He is hesitant when it comes to being a crime fighter as he was created to care for other’s emotional and physical needs. Children will be able to pick up on this nurturing side of Baymax.

As for Hiro, his loss for direction in life is corrected by his brother who puts him on the right track. Children will be able to watch how this character discovers his purpose in life by setting goals and staying focused. It’s a valuable skill many young viewers can benefit from.

Although one character does die in this movie, it is used as a teaching moment. Baymax offers the grieving character suggestions on how to feel better and move through the grieving process.

Sexual Element

There is very little sexual content in this movie. Embracing between characters is shown only briefly.

Violent Element

This movie does contain scenes with frightening images and situations of peril. One man is killed due to a fiery explosion. Hand to hand fighting is done among some characters, and in a superhero context, weapons are used. A young boy engages in illegal gambling and becomes threatened by thugs. During a car chase, characters are seen careening down a road. A few of the scenes may frighten younger children. There is also mild name calling in the script.

Drug and Alcohol Element

As one of the characters suffers from a low battery he acts like he is drunk. In a celebration of a new building opening up, a man is shown raising a glass of champagne as in a toast.


Although Big Hero 6 does contain some questionable scenes, the overall message portrayed by the film is positive. There is a large amount of violence portrayed during the second half of the film, but it is mild compared to live action superhero films. Parents need to take into consideration their child’s age and level of tolerance for more intense situations.

Embracing is brief, and the alcohol reference is mild. Young children are not likely to be disturbed by the robot losing battery power, and may not associate it with how an intoxicated character would behave. Once again parents need to take their child’s perception of such scenes into consideration before viewing the movie.

The positive message of setting goals in life, overcoming obstacles, and staying focused is excellent. These are skills every child can carry with them throughout life. The grieving process is also shown in a positive light that can help young viewers deal with similar situations found in real life.

All Rights Reserved
Southern Outdoor Cinema

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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3 Movies to Watch on Veteran’s Day

Posted by Paul Murray on Monday Nov 10, 2014 Under Movie Articles

Veteran’s Day is a Federal holiday that is celebrated on November 11, in the United States, in memory of all those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. There are quite a few amazing movies perfect for watching on Veteran’s Day and here are just a few of them.

Forrest Gump

Forest Gump is the Oscar-winning classic film starring Tom Hanks as Forest Gump, a relatively average guy with a relatively above average IQ. At first glance, there would seem to be nothing special about Forest however, he manages to spend much of his life in situations that the average individual would never have imagined himself in. The most amazing part of it all is that he doesn’t even try to be involved in any of them. Forest inadvertantly gets to teach “the King”, Elvis Presley, how to dance, serve in Vietnam with honor, meet Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and John F Kennedy, discover the all too familiar break-in that takes place at the Watergate, defeat the world-famous Chinese national table tennis team, become one of the first to invest in Apple Computers, and even spend several years of his life running back and forth across the entire country. Yes, Forest is a special guy who doesn’t ask for much out of life. The only thing that he does seem to want, throughout the entire movie, is to be with his one true love, Jenny (Robin Wright Penn).

Act of Valor

What should have been a simple snatch-and-grab rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative, turns into a race to save the entire world from one of the most terrifying global threats imaginable. Act of Valor is a fictional account of the reality that is the day to day life of Navy SEAL operations. It tells the story of one Navy SEAL team in particular, whose simple recovery effort turns into an edge-of-your-seat fight for life. While out on a standard mission, the team discovers much more than they bargained for. Watch as this highly trained team of SEALs works against the clock to do what they do best, and destroy the threat before it destroys everyone alive.

Dear John

Dear John is a story about true love, and its ability to bring about two distinctly different sets of consequences in life. When John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a young soldier serving in the military, falls in love with Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), it seems like a love that will never end. John spends the next seven years making it through each deployment simply because of the letters that he receives from Savannah. However, when the letters suddenly begin to change in tone, an unexpected chain of events results in consequences that neither John, nor Savannah, would have ever expected.


About Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema, LLC, is the LARGEST producer of high quality outdoor movie events in the United States for movie studios, film festivals, marketing agencies, Fortune 500 Companies, schools and cities. Southern Outdoor Cinema produces extraordinary outdoor movie experiences with big screens and bright and colorful images so that your audience members feel like they are at a real Hollywood film premiere. Contact Southern Outdoor Cinema to receive a free consultation for your next special event.

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Fall-o-ween and An Outdoor Movie

Posted by Paul Murray on Tuesday Oct 28, 2014 Under Event Productions

Fall-o-ween and an outdoor movie in Kennesaw

Once the air turns cooler and the leaves begin to fall, many parks and recreation departments start planning their annual fall festivals and Halloween parties. The challenge is to not only make the event fun for all ages, but to make it a memorable one. Several towns are adding an outdoor movie to their event line up in order to do just that.

Choosing a scary film or monster movie can be the perfect ending to a fun filled day of games, activities, and trick-or-treating. Families can gather with their friends and neighbors for a safe and memorable Halloween evening that can be enjoyed by all.

An Atlanta suburb recently decided to add an outdoor movie to their annual fall activities. They started by turning the local park into a Spook Park. Next they invited area residents to come and enjoy the day with friends and family. Everyone was encouraged to dress in their best Halloween costumes to add to the excitement.

Star Wars look-a-likes

On the day of the big event, people arrived in some pretty amazing costumes. The Spook Park was soon filled with princess, ghouls, super heroes, and even some favorite characters from the movies and television. Costumes ranged from the cute to the scary. Guests were rewarded for their efforts with costume prizes every 30 minutes. Judges dressed as zombies roamed around the dance floor during the Monster Mash Dance Party picking out their favorites.

Outdoor dance floor

Along with the dance party there were plenty of other activities, inflatables, and amusements to enjoy. Carnival games like the ring toss were set up throughout the park where both the young and old could test their skills. Children had a wonderful time burning off that extra energy as they played with all their friends. They could also join in the many children’s crafts available during the event.

What most of the kids were really excited about was the trick-or treat trail. This was a great way for the little ghosts and goblins to get their fill of Halloween candy. Parents loved that it was in a safe and friendly environment that took many of the typical worries away.

Costume Constest

What would a fall festival be without pumpkins? This event had plenty of impressive displays. Everyone got a chance to watch the professional carvers show off their talents as they created unique jack-o-lanterns to add to the decorations.

After all the dancing, game playing, and trick-or-treating, guests were ready for the much anticipated main attraction, an outdoor movie. Event planners chose Goonies which was perfect. It kept the Halloween theme going without being too scary for the little ones to attend. Everyone laid out their blankets or set up lawn chairs where they could sit and relax after a day of fun. The children settled down as they sifted through their candy and treats, and as the sun went down, the movie started.

Everyone who attended or even helped plan the event had a great time. Adding the outdoor movie was a great way to draw attention to the fall festival and all the other activities going on in the park that day. Best of all, watching the Goonies under the stars surrounded by family and friends will be a memory none of these people will soon forget.

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