Director Michael D. Akers, Jr. who previously made “Gone, But Not Forgotten” gives us a raw and emotional drama. Made on a small budget, the movie has no special effects but it does have a great script. “Phoenix” will mesmerize you so much that you will not want it to end.
When we first meet Dylan Wells, thoughtfully portrayed by Chad Edward Bartley, he appears oafish and slow. Yet as we get to know him we realize that he is simply the product of naiveté. He has a good job and a great apartment but something is not quite right. It seems that what is wrong s his relationship with his boyfriend Ken (Gaetano Jones). Ken just never is around when Dylan wants to introduce him to his friends. Until he was 23, Dylan made peace with this arrangement but after an argument, Kate leaves and disappears. Naturally worried, Dylan goes on a search for his lover and it takes him to Phoenix where he gets a surprise. Ken has been having an affair with another man, Demetrius (Jeff Castle) who is very sexy and even more than that, he is earthy. Now Dylan and Demetrius become allies as they begin, together, to search foe Ken and to find out what went wrong in their relationships.
What then happens is that in their search for their lover, the two men fall in love with each other and the sex they experience hot and passionate sex which also heals the pain of their losing Ken. What else happens in the film will be up to you to find out.
Inspired by the great Italian film, Antonioni’s “LAvventura”, this is a film that explores the nature of relationships and loves and does so in a beautiful and touching way. What Akers does with this film is push the envelope and in pushing the envelope has moved gay cinema forward.
This is a beautiful film when taken as a whole. There are parts that drag a bit but when looking at the entire film; we find the creation of a new genre for gay film.
I love this movie. It was enjoyable to watch but it was even more enjoyable to think about when it was over. There is so much to consider, there is much reflection on things seen. “Phoenix” redefines the nature of relationships and while doing so presents us with an interesting story line bolstered by good acting and an intelligently literate script. In fact there is so little in this film that does not go to make up a sensible viewing experience that it is not worth mentioning. See the film, think about it and draw your own conclusions. As you watch, I bet you will close out the world as you become engrossed in an excellent film that raises movies to an entire new level.