My Media Picks: Music, Movies & More

I stay pretty busy and I’ll bet you do too! Life can be crazy hectic and sometimes we just need a break. I take my entertainment seriously and I thought it would be fun to share more often about movies, music, Netflix and Amazon Prime offerings, and podcasts, both picks and pans.

Maybe you’ll discover something fresh and new and by all means, feel free to share your own recommendations!



Cinderella (PG) – I have fond memories of the original animated version of Cinderella. It released on VHS when our oldest son was little and we watched it a lot. My 15-year-old daughter and I saw a screening of this new live-action Cinderella last week and I was charmed.

This fresh retelling remains faithful to the original and shows that Disney doesn’t need over-the-top bad guys or Maleficent-style antiheroes to tell a story. It offers us a simple message—have courage and be kind—and then shows what that looks like when you live it.

McFarland USA

McFarland USA (PG) – Disney has another winner here! I’ve been a Kevin Costner fan for a long time and I love him in this great role. McFarland USA is the true story of a high school coach who moves his family to a poor Hispanic community in California after his temper cost him a cushy job coaching football in Idaho.

Watching him transform a group of hard-working teen boys—they wake up early to work in the fields, go to school, and then return to help their families in the field at the end of the day—into an award-winning cross country team should inspire you and your kids that with hard work anything is possible.


Drew Holcomb Medicine

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors: Medicine – I’ve listened to this album almost continuously since its January 1 release. It was the soundtrack for the days and nights I spent finishing The Gift of Friendship, my second book, which will come out February 2016. Love it!


The Blacklist

The Blacklist Season 1 – Most-wanted criminal Raymond Redington turns himself in to the FBI on the condition that he will only talk to rookie profiler Elizabeth Keen. Red hands over information which helps catch criminals both known and unknown, his own personal Blacklist.

My #1 criteria for movies and television is in the characters: it’s crucial that I like at least one enough to care what happens to them. Otherwise, what’s the point? I’m heavily invested in this show. It feels like the old days watching Alias where the stories playing out in the characters’ lives are as important as the cases they solve.

We finished season one in a Blacklist marathon Friday night. This NBC series is currently in its second season on TV, but the first is available to stream on Netflix, who apparently paid $2 million per episode to show it exclusively. Hopefully that helps bankroll The Blacklist for seasons to come!

(Violent content. Not intended for children.)

What about you? What are you currently watching and listening to?

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