Parent Movie Review – Cinderella

Posted by Paul Murray on Friday Apr 1, 2016 Under Parent Movie Reviews



Movie Synopsis:
The most recent adaptation of the Cinderella story has an original opening that many fans enjoyed. Instead of starting out with Ella acting as the household maid at the beck and whim of her evil stepmother and two stepsisters, she is happily living with her mother and father. Cinderella has a truly enchanting life with an absolutely huge country mansion filled with little animal friends what communicate with her, and of course her two loving parents who are both alive and well. Sadly this fairy tail lifestyle doesn’t last for long and shortly after the film starts Cinderella’s mother becomes bedridden with an incurable disease. Before dying she bequeathed her only child with the advice to “have courage and be kind.”

Years pass and Ella’s father, a merchant searching for companionship, decides to marry Lady Tremaine to fill the loneliness in his heart. She has two daughters, Anastasia and Drizella, who are the same age as Ella and it seems to be a perfect match. Only those who know the classical story know that the match turns out to be anything but perfect. When Ella’s father dies she is left alone with her selfish and overly vain stepmother and two stepsisters. They treat her like a slave, making her wake up at the crack of down to complete a list of chores a mile long. The evil trio go out of their way to make Cinderella’s life a nightmare. All she has to help her through this troubling time are the furry animal friends and her mothers words of courage and kindness.

After the king of the nation falls ill there is a ball held to help the prince find someone that he may be able to marry. Everyone is invited tot he ball, especially eligible young ladies. Cinderella and her stepsisters are bubbling with excitement but each for different reasons. While Anastasia and Drizella are only looking to marry the prince and become queen, Ella is just looking for a chance to have a night of fun and freedom from her daily life. Everyone gets ready but before they leave Lady Tremaine and her daughters dash any hopes Cinderella had of attending the ball by destroying her dress and leaving her with no way of getting to the castle. Luckily, with the help of her fairy godmother Ella is able to attend the ball and meet the prince only to have to leave him at midnight. The rest of the movie follows the classic and beloved Disney tale and had a very happy ending.

Positive Elements:
There are numerous factors of this film that have a positive influence on young watchers. For example, until Lady Tremaine and her daughters are in the picture, Cinderella lives in a very happy and healthy home. She has two parents who are kind and love her. In this environment she grows to be a lovely woman. Even when her father is looking to marry again she humbly thinks of only his happiness. Ella proves to be a strong role model by never giving up on the words of hope her mother gave her, even in the presence of her evil stepmother, step sisters, and even prince charming. She is against the idea of forced marriages that don’t contain any love and are occur for financial and political reasons. Most importantly Ella teaches young children the value of forgiveness by excusing her stepmother and stepsisters.

Spiritual Content:
There are many allusions between the fairy godmother and a guardian angel. During the entire film Cinderella believes that there are good things in the world and if she stays faithful to her creed nothing bad will ever befall her. When Lady Tremaine and her daughters dash her hopes of attending the ball she is overwhelmed and her faith waivers. This is when the fairy godmother helps Ella with her magic, turning a pumpkin into a carriage and some mice into horses. There are also references to Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella symbolizing dark temptations and selfish living. The stepmother’s mean cat is named also named Lucifer.

Sexual Content:
Unlike other popular films to be released in 2015, Disney’s Cinderella is fairly tame in the sexual content category, making it perfect for views of all ages. The women in the film do wear a few low cut dresses and there is a scene showing Anastasia and Drizella in only their undergarments but nothing is ever exposed to the audience. There are also a few kisses between Cinderella’s parents and herself and prince charming.

Violent Content:
Once again there isn’t to much violence for parents to be concerned of in this Disney film. There are a few fights, which are meant to be more humorous than deadly, and a few threats shared between characters. There are a few deaths in the movie but they are very tame. There is no blood or gore.

Crude or Profane Language:
Phrases such as ,”oh gosh”,”oh lords,” and “bloomin'” are used on a rare occasion and there is some name calling by Lady Tremaine and the step sisters including “hussy”, “wench” and “stupid”. No actual curse words are used throughout the film.

Drug and Alcohol Content:
There are no drugs used during the movie but Lady Tremaine drinks wine.

Other Negative Elements:
Gambling and harsh treatment of Ella from Lady Tremaine and her daughters.

Out of all the new live-action films that Disney is producing Cinderella is one of the more tame adaptions. of course there are the evil stepmother and stepsisters which embody everything evil, but Ella’s hope, courage, and kindness outshine they devilish efforts. She stands as a good role model for young children. Parents should be wary of the body images presented on film, for the low cut clothing and corseted waists are unhealthy.


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Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema of Atlanta, creates extraordinary outdoor movie events that captures
all the senses of their client’s audience while recreating the nostalgic feeling of a close-knit
community gathering.  For a free event consultation contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at

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Parent Movie Review – Zootopia

Posted by Paul Murray on Tuesday Mar 29, 2016 Under Parent Movie Reviews


Zootopia – Parent Movie Review

 The newest romp adventure from Disney Animation Studios is so trending in topic and original in presentation it strikes the adult viewer as the most un-Disney like film they ever created for us. The film is for both children and adults, family entertainment, and the inspiration can’t be missed, although the film avoids following footsteps in its forging new territory for Disney.

The animation is visually dazzling to both young and mature audiences. The screenwriters delivered intelligent and attention holding script, which holds center stage in Zootopia, and put WDAS at the top of their award winning game. There is a definite new milestone this year in Disney as their films are modernized and yet still rediscover their talented and original style.

The story line is that mammals have all evolved to live in harmony in a large city of the future. Bunny Judy Hopps wants to be the first rabbit policewoman, and partners a fox con artist to expose a conspiracy in the department. This pairing provides great humor, as they hold personal grudges and prejudices against each other, and portrayal of inter-species bias connects powerfully to today’s sexism and racism employment issues. The point making banter is sometimes surprising and always spot on, in a fun packed story completely original. This is exceptionally welcome from Disney, who has for years been adapting work. This film is funny and witty, producing both at the same time. Since Pixar ranks at top peak of modern animation, WDAS had to borrow some elements and as a result the work feels like Pixar with a seasoning of Disney dashed here and there.

In the story line, the partnership of Bunny Hops and Fox succeed in their solving of the conspiracy crime, but when accepting their award, Bunny reverts to her roots and advises the audience that the city’s predator populations have reverted to their savage beginnings, and future police work needs to recognize that. This betrayal hurt Fox and he abandoned Bunny until their forgiving and understanding reunion at the climax of the film.

Undoubtedly, the bunny element depicts women trying to break the career glass ceiling aspects and the predators are today’s minorities, as this plot line incorporates bullying dangers and sexual exploitations. These might not please all parents of young children, and some humor might fly over the younger viewer heads. However, if this is what modernization requires, Zootopia satisfies that requirement without become crude and offensive to the family genre.

Which brings this review to the only parental guidance warnings within the film, and it must be noted that these are slight, fleeting and small incidents, but still might inflict fear into a small child without appropriate parental guidance:

Profanity: There are no profanities; however, twice irreverent use of “God” is made.
Drugs and Alcohol: The plot requires characters to work within a plant based lab and discovery is made by the law.
Violence, Gore: Using ketchup as blood, there are scenes of facial scratching, leg cuts, and a pained scream in confrontation scenes, and one character’s eye is blinded by another’s attack.
Nudity, Sexual Inference: Scene from floor of two female characters on toilet, only feet shown, and there are nightclub scenes of nude animals not wearing the customary clothing of the film costumes. Nothing private is revealed due to the animal’s fur, but the nude significance is there. “Gazelle”, celebrity dancer, appears throughout the plot performing her nightclub entertainment skits.
Frightening Scenes: A friendly character accidentally reveals her own inner bias in a public announcement that causes hurt and embarrassment by her betrayal so that she resigns from the police in shame. Scenes of children being bullied could be upsetting. In one plot turn, a drink turns the sympathetic friendly predators back into dangerous killing animals.

The emotional positives of forgiveness, reconciliation, sympathy and helpfulness are ingrained throughout the animation and screenplay. Whenever the dialogue might be over a child’s comprehension, the animation displays the emotion felt. The character voices are celebrity actors who will be familiar to adult audiences and enhance their humorous dialogues by their personal identification. The ethereal visual of the overview of Zootomic sends a better-than-life enhanced beauty that signifies the pleasant existence of all those living there amid equality, complete lack of bias or hurtful prejudice.

Zootopia is indeed a very good movie that explains the negatives of hurtful bias and discrimination in any living mammal. It is clearly carefully crafted for every nuance and attention holding message. The themes do not feel heavy; instead, Zootopia presents the young and old audience with a fun adventure wrapped delightfully in a funny, entertaining Disney film.

Zootopia has been presented in many languages of the world, although some countries inexplicably retitled the film, “Zootropolis” with the production company’s permission. The content of this film should be acceptable for children aged 6 and up; younger children might not understand the jokes nor the more adventurous and volatile scenes and might feel fear in what should be an entertaining Disney movie outing with their supportive adults.


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Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema of Atlanta, creates extraordinary outdoor movie events that captures
all the senses of their client’s audience while recreating the nostalgic feeling of a close-knit
community gathering.  For a free event consultation contact Southern Outdoor Cinema

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Parent Movie Review: Norm of the North

Posted by Paul Murray on Friday Mar 25, 2016 Under Parent Movie Reviews


The norm of the North is an American animated adventure of a polar bear (Norm), who can communicate with people. The animated comedy film was directed by Trevor Wall and features voices of among others Heather Graham, Rob Schneider to name a few. This movie released on January 15th is a production of Splash Entertainment and Assemblage Entertainment.

In the Movie Norm of the North, it starts with a failed attempt of the polar bear (Norm) to catch a seal and when he finally manages to capture it he reveals his reasons for not being a killer. He also reveals that he, like his grandpa, is a rare polar bear with the ability to talk to humans. These makes Norm get teased and scoffed at by other bears and animals in his community. Norms only friends in the community is the little lemmings. His father, the polar bear king of the north, is too disappointed by Norm’s kind hearted nature.

In this tale Norm and other bears, caribou, seals to name but a few are renowned for having a significant dance performance to entertain tourists at their winter home in the Arctic. Visitors can’t get enough of a dancing, back-flipping, twerking polar bear who somehow knows their lingo. Animals start getting steamed when they realise that a lot of humans are flocking the frozen north with the aim of turning the Arctic wilderness into a vacation home destination something that gets Norm alarmed too. Norm determined to put an end to the arrival of luxury mobile condos, he and his three lemmings friend sneak onto a cargo ship headed to New York City.

When in New York City Norm learns that Greene Homes, the company behind the building of holiday luxury condos in his Arctic home is hiring a spokesperson for promotion purposes of the holiday homes. Norm pretends to be a human dressed in a bear costume and auditions for the part. Norm is convincing that he gets hired by Vera the company’s marketing manager. Norm starts to gain popularity and struggles with when to reveal his identity and convince the people not to allow Greene’s plan of building holiday condos in the frozen north.

Violence Content
In the tale Norm’s lemming friends appear to be virtually indestructible. They however at some point get stomped on, flattened, battered about to name, but a few of the wrath they face, and they seem to come back to normal with little noticeable damage. There are instances in the tale where Norm is seen to swallow several live blowfish whole as well as an orca gobbling up a seal.

Norm and his grandfather thump into speeding cars and are seen falling from a high height into the ocean depths where Norm gets pinned to the ocean floor by a large piece of metal debris.

Also, there is a man dressed as a bear seen fighting with two guys as well as humans and animals who are seen shot at by tranquilizer darts.
Sexual content
In the film when Norm and other animals are putting on a performance for the tourists, Norm is required to wear a purple spandex suit. A character Vera yells Norm; please come out of which Norm takes a quick look at his attire and replies that he thinks he just did come out. There is a scene where Norm the fully furred bear is seen dropping his bath towel.

Norm is also seen urinating in a fish tank and potted plants as well as many backsides seen being poked and wiggled at the camera.
Drug and Alcohol Content
There is no drug or alcohol use in this film. However, there is a scene where a man says that he smells like sweet vermouth that is an aromatized wine flavoured with among others spices, flowers, seeds to name a few.
What parents should know about the Norm of the North movie is an animated adventure involving a polar bear who communicates with humans and is on a mission to protect his Arctic home from turning into a holiday home destination. The movie has lots of jokes that will have your kids laughing.


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Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema of Atlanta, creates extraordinary outdoor movie events that captures
all the senses of their client’s audience while recreating the nostalgic feeling of a close-knit
community gathering.  For a free event consultation contact Southern Outdoor Cinema

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Parent Movie Review: HungerGames MockingJay Part 2

Posted by Paul Murray on Tuesday Mar 22, 2016 Under Parent Movie Reviews


The Hunger Games final installment is known as Mockingjay Part 2, but it is not exactly the kind of movie you would take your kids off to. You first have to get past the idea that this movie is entertainment for children. It is not. These are movies filled with violence and sexual innuendo that basically never stops. The attacks on a capitalist society are just as bad, and you will feel yourself cringing as an adult when you are watching this movie with your kids. There are many things to look out for if you still want to brave this movie with your kids or your family.

Violent Content
The Hunger Games are violent from start to finish, and there is no way to get around it. These are movies about kids killing other kids, and more people are going to die than in your standard war movie. You might have felt ok showing your kids Midway or Bridge On The River Kwai because those are historic movies that tell your kids about things that really happened. This is a movie that uses violence to get the end of the story plain and simple.

You will see people skewered by arrows shot by the main character, and you will see people die in explosions and other ways that are quite gruesome. That alone makes it very hard to watch, and you need to be prepared for gut-wrenching deaths that your kids are probably not ready for. You can stop right there and think about how much violence you want your kids to see.

The advanced special effects and the plotline require a lot of people to die in this movie, and this movie uses violence to make its point. The point could have been made in a more civil and wholesome way, but the book and movie companies want parents to think that this movie is actually for kids. Please remember that it is not.

Sexual Content
You have to get past the fact that the whole movie is pushing a certain couple into bed together, and it is making their love story seem romantic when it is just a way to survive a war. This is not how you would want your kids to act, but it seems to be the only way that this movie will portray relationships. Remember that there is no Christianity in this movie, and there are basically no morals. That is going to be hard to explain to your kids because the movie is rife with intrigue that is created with the use of any moral compass.

Drug and Alcohol Content
Drugs and alcohol are not really present in the movies, but the problem is that people are poisoned just to make the story keep moving along. So, you are not seeing anything that is asking your kids to do drugs or drink, but they might as well be if they think that it is cool to go into an arena to fight and kill other kids. Two of the kids in the movie actually tried to commit suicide together in an earlier movie, and you have to wonder what kind of message this movie is sending when these kids are doing such things.

You do not want your kids to get any ideas, and it is better that you just keep them away from this movie so that they do not think that anything they could do is not as bad as what happens in the movie. Kids will think like this, and you have to protect their young minds from all the excessive sex and violence that is fueled by poison and the occasional alcoholic drink.

The Verdict
This is a very easy movie to review because it is nothing more than a gratuitous attack on capitalism that uses attractive young actors to make the movie seem appealing. Anyone who is watching this movie will be shocked by how much violence is in it, and the movie does not even have a good resolution because two people who should not be in love or even thinking of having sex are doing just that. The torture scenes are violent in a way that is truly disturbing, and it is not a movie that kids should be allowed to watch.

You would be much better off reading the books with your kids so that you can explain it to them. You will be able to let them into adulthood later in life knowing that they will not want to watch movies like this, and you can avoid the questions that they will ask just by skipping the movie. It is impossible to explain such a violent and sexually-charged movie to your kids when there is nothing else to talk about.


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Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema of Atlanta, creates extraordinary outdoor movie events that captures
all the senses of their client’s audience while recreating the nostalgic feeling of a close-knit
community gathering.  For a free event consultation contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at

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Parent Movie Review – Alvin & the Chipmunks: Road Chip

Posted by Paul Murray on Tuesday Mar 15, 2016 Under Parent Movie Reviews


Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are at it again in Road Chip. Once more Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Jesse McCartney lend their voices to this lovable trio.

This time around they are trying to figure out how to stop Dave from proposing to girlfriend Samantha. Seville played by Jason Lee, feels that his “boys” need a more normal upbringing so he takes them off the circuit and starts producing himself.They are disappointed but that soon turns to fear when they find an engagement ring in Dave’s drawer. The intended bride to be, Samantha, has a child of her own, namely Miles. Miles has a propensity for tormenting small creatures i.e. chipmunks. Neither the chipmunks nor Miles want this union so they set out to stop it. Instead they learn important life lessens along the way plus they learn how to become better friends. Alvin, Simon, Theodore and Miles reinforce the need for positive role models in a childs life. The chipmunks need a mom and Miles needs a dad to help wrangle this bunch of mischievous children.As Alvin’s plan usually do, this one goes awry causing many goofy antics to ensue. While this movie has negative aspects, it has some really good ones too.

Positive aspects
This scripts wonderful moments come in when Dave wants to adopt his “boys”. They discuss the importance of having a father in a young child’s life. They also discuss the need we all have to feel like we belong. This movie also shows that no matter matter how how different two people are they can still find common ground. This pic chomps down on the notions of friendship and familiar loyalty. It offers a nice gesture at adoption too. The main topic however remains about the importance of teamwork and family bonds. The foursome also learn that just because you disappoint or disobey your parents their not going to quite loving them. Also that there will be logical consequences to your actions.

Sexual aspects
There is embracing between Dave and Samantha, and then they share a kiss. The movie shows party goers wearing short shorts, short skirts, midriff baring tops and low cut dresses. Women wear skimpy bikinis at the pool and Miami Beach. Expect lewd comments from Alvin. Also he performs hip thrusting gyrations while singing. Theodore sings that he likes big butts.

Violent aspects
Many people get bopped or thumped in this movie, with glee, like on the Three Stooges. An air marshal chasing Alvin, Simon and Theodore, gets an chipmunk slingshot to the crotch. He gets pummeled in a bar fight, smashed face first into a road sign. Then he gets toothpicks thrown at his face where they stick. Most of the violence comes from the bully , Miles, against the chipmunks. He throws them around, pins one to a revolving windmill, and dips one head first into a cotton candy machine. He bends and twists Alvin around like a toy to prove he’s stuffed. Plus a bunch of squirrels tear up a kitchen and living room with their teeth.

Drug and alcohol
Squirrels are taken out by nuts covered in cough syrup. As the movie progresses people are seen drinking beer and wine. Dave and Samantha are imbibing on margaritas. The air marshal is by far the worst example however because he becomes falling down drunk and passes out. When he wakes, he can’t remember what he did the night before or how he got the two tattoos he wakes up with. The movie shows him drinking moonshine containing drinks. All in all, the movie focuses more on the dancing than on the drinking.

Alvin and the Chipmunks-Road Chip is basically the same jokes different storyline. However, it still comes off as funny for the kids and cute for the adults who have to watch it five million times once it hit Blu-Ray and DVD. It isn’t any worse than some of the cartoons they have out nowadays.Alvin, Simon, Theodore, and even Miles have something to teach children today. Miles teaches that it’s important to have a positive father figure around. While Alvin, Simon, and Theodore would probably get in less trouble with a good mother figure. This movie stresses the importance of family bonds and the love that comes with those bonds. It also shows that no matter what your parents will stand right beside you. All in all, it’s a good movie for movie night.


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Southern Outdoor Cinema

Southern Outdoor Cinema of Atlanta, creates extraordinary outdoor movie events that captures
all the senses of their client’s audience while recreating the nostalgic feeling of a close-knit
community gathering.  For a free event consultation contact Southern Outdoor Cinema at

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