5.8/10
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8 user 3 critic

Phoenix (2006)

Unrated | | Drama | 30 January 2006 (USA)
Inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni's 1961 classic L'Avventura, Michael Akers' "PHOENIX" is infused with symbolism and a sexy spark. Dylan Wells (Chad Edward Bartley) has a good job, a great... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Chad Bartley ...
Dylan Wells
...
Demetrius Stone
...
Ken Sparks
...
Gunther
...
Lewis (as Conrad Corral)
...
Resort Trainee
Laura Slik ...
Resort Clerk
...
Work Site Security Guard
A.J. Sullivan ...
Detective Smith (as AJ Sullivan)
Michael D. Akers ...
Additional Voices (voice) (as Akers Michael)
Sandon Berg ...
Additional Voices (voice)
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Storyline

Inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni's 1961 classic L'Avventura, Michael Akers' "PHOENIX" is infused with symbolism and a sexy spark. Dylan Wells (Chad Edward Bartley) has a good job, a great apartment and an exciting relationship with Ken Sparks (Gaetano Jones, Boystown), his sexy well traveled boyfriend who just might be "the one." A great life, or so he believes, until Ken's visit for Dylan's 23rd birthday party is unexpectedly cut short when Ken is suddenly called away to tend to a failing real estate deal, and then disappears.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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A modern gay classic. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

30 January 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Michael Akers' Phoenix  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The art piece that Ken gives to Dylan looks very similar to the urn that Jack has his mother's ashes in in Aker's film "Morgan". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Morgan (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Love, Relationships, and Trials
6 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

PHOENIX is the third feature by Michael D. Akers as a director and writer (here sharing the credits with Sandon Berg) and as with his other two features 'Matrimonium' and 'Gone, But Not Forgotten' there is a sense that Akers knows how to tell a good story, a story based on universal themes but just happening to be using gay characters to explain a similarity in all manners of love whether they be straight or gay.

LVN Dylan (Chad Bartley) is celebrating his 23rd birthday by setting his apartment with flowers and dinner, expecting his love of one year to arrive for the surprise. The love is Ken (Gaetano Jones) who arrives late and barely notices the setting, giving Dylan a clay vase as a gift and then telling him he must dash off to Phoenix for a failing real estate deal. Dylan is hurt then angry and breaks his gift, sending Ken off to Phoenix in a miff. Sorry for his behavior Dylan takes the money enclosed in a Birthday card from his folks and flies to Phoenix to apologize to Ken. But surprises arise in Phoenix: Ken is missing, Dylan traces the broken vase to discover chef/ceramist Demetrius (Jeff Castle) and learns that Ken and Demetrius have been partnered for seven years! Neither Dylan nor Demetrius is pleased with Ken's lying and cheating but they gradually admit to finding solace with each other and spend time together, including a physical encounter that leads to others as the two prolong Dylan's stay. How the love triangle is broken but remains influential is the resolution of the story.

Akers has the sensitivity to not make the story have the happy-wappy Hollywood ending: he also has the talent to capture love encounters in a very sensual way. The actors are all attractive men and given the lack of prior experience each has had, they offer fairly strong performances - especially Chad Bartley. The film is desperately in need of editing as there are extraneous scenes galore (the landscape scenes are far to brightly sun drenched for the desert locales captured. But in the end the film is successful in that it does present the joys, trials, and disappointments in love relationships in the gay community that could have easily been in a straight character movie - and that is refreshing! Grady Harp


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