Reviews: family entertainment, documentaries, resources, books, music
Reviews: family entertainment, documentaries, resources, books, music
AFA Staff
AFA Staff
AFA Journal staff reviews movies, books and other resources

Photo above – The Secret Order of the Patriots team leaves from tactical warfare training. Mickey and Sully learn the importance of operating as part of a team.

July-August 2015 – Pirates, principle, and peril – Mickey Matson, a fun family film
Action, adventure, fantasy, cutting-edge technology, and pirates. That is all most families will need to know about Pirate’s Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson to be interested in viewing it. The second of the Mickey Matson series, Pirate’s Code takes place 500 days after the first installment, in which Mickey defeated the evil Copperheads and was inducted into the Secret Order of the Patriots.

But evil never dies, and Mickey discovers some leaders of the Copperheads are at it again. This time they have enabled Admiral Ironsides, who plans to use a massive Tesla Coil to destroy every electronic device on the planet. Mickey quickly learns he can’t defeat Ironsides and his motley crew alone. He needs the help of his team.

Pirate’s Code is a fun, family friendly film reminiscent of a Disney Channel special in the best ways. It teaches the lessons of humility and teamwork and is filled with humor and surprisingly well-rounded characters for a children’s film. 

Because this is an action film, there are a few moments of peril and several fight scenes in which people are hit with shovels, and several punches are thrown. However, no blood is shown throughout the movie. One caution comes in a scene  when Mickey and a friend are training in a pool where he does not wear a shirt, and she is wearing a tankini and swimsuit bottoms. Pirate’s Code is available online and at bookstores.
Reviewed by Teddy James


undefinedHope Bridge 
After his father commits suicide, Jackson Spencer cannot rest from the painful search for an answer to explain what his father had done. As the teen journeys through grief, anger, and identity crisis, he meets others who have been down a similar path. 

Hope Bridge focuses on difficult and emotional themes, especially how suicide devastates surviving friends and family members. The mature content of this movie, including teen violence, suspense, and discussions of drugs, death, and grieving, makes it best suited for adult and older teen viewers.  Producers Christi and David Eaton, having experienced suicide twice in their own family, created the movie as part of a suicide awareness movement. Additional resources for those impacted by suicide or suicidal thoughts can be found at, where the movie can also be purchased.
Reviewed by Stacy Long


Can a person really overcome past mistakes and change? That is the central question of the new film
Virtuous starring Erik Estrada and Brandy Allison. Simone (Allison) is approached by a millionaire’s grandson, who forces himself into her apartment and tries to rape her. In the course of protecting herself, she shoots him. Unbeknownst to her, the millionaire has the district attorney in his back pocket. The DA convinces the police to ignore her plea of self-defense and charge her with manslaughter. Other subplots involve soldiers caught and tortured in Afghanistan, a female reporter who is made to feel she should sleep with a coworker to further her career, and a female judge with a verbally abusive husband.

The movie has many strong positives. It is full of gospel truth and themes of redemption and finding fulfillment in Christ fill every frame. However, because of a lack of character depth, subpar acting, and forced dialogue, some of the most powerful scenes fall flat.

There are no language or modesty issues. There are a few scenes with drinking, but it is shown in a negative light. There are discussions of rape, prostitution, and drug use, but not in graphic detail. In one scene, a wife stands up to her verbally abusive husband and says, “You are going to pack your things and get your butt out of my house.” The scene is pivotal for both characters as she shows she has learned her worth and he sees his words do cause pain.
Review by Teddy James


undefinedGod Breathed
In his newest book, God Breathed: The Undeniable Power and Reliability of Scripture, Josh McDowell examines the trustworthiness of the Bible. He details how scrolls of papyrus were made, bound, and written on. He documents how the writings were passed down from one generation to the next, and how he came to possess the Lodz Scroll from 1450-1500 AD. While he spends ample time discussing the Bible’s history, the thrust of the book comes in discussing its inspiration and power.

God Breathed will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of any Christian who would like to know how the Bible came from scrolls of kosher calf skin to leather-bound books.
Review by Teddy James


undefinedCAUTION: The Father’s Love
While the movie The Father’s Love has received some attention in Christian circles, strong cautions are in order. The plot follows the course of an adulterous affair, and very suggestive scenes depict extramarital sex and immodest dress. The main character repeatedly makes compromising and sinful decisions, even after a salvation experience. The spiritual angle to the story is not clear enough to redeem it from the many negative elements. 
Review by Stacy Long 


undefinedCAUTION: Trials of the Heart 
Based on author Janette Oke’s series, the first episode of season 2, When Calls the Heart – Trials of the Heart, continues the Hallmark television pioneer series set in Coal Valley. When Calls the Heart was great family entertainment throughout the entire first season. Episode 1 of season 2 continues the story with faith filled moments and relationships that are proper and charming. 

Unfortunately, however, this episode should be considered with caution. There are instances of alcohol consumption, bar fighting, and many displays of low necklines both in town and on the frontier. 
Review by Debbie Fischer