Arizona Sky

"Bad"

Arizona Sky Review


Hindered by a painfully trite script and some poor directing choices, Arizona Sky is a missed opportunity to tell a touching story about two men finding their way to happiness after years of unrequited love and separation. The ghosts of Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist hang heavy over this production, but it isn't Brokeback Mountain. It's more like Brokeback Hillock.

We first meet Kyle (Kyle Buckland) and Jake (Blaise Embry) at the end of what appears to have been blissful high school years spent together camping out, riding around in a pickup truck, and perhaps indulging in some slap and tickle along the way. At 18 years of age and living in the sticks, neither want to confront the love that dare not speak its name, and now time has run out because the better-off Kyle is heading to college, and most people who leave this small desert town never return. Jake will stay behind and work as a mechanic. They vow to stay in touch, but Jake is resigned to the fact that whatever it is they had, it's over now.

Sure enough, 15 years later Jake (now played by Eric Dean) is a harried movie producer in LA who hates his job. We know this because he yells into his cell phone a lot. Challenged by a friend to take a break, chill out, and do something that would make him happy, he decides to return to his hometown (there's never any talk of his family), and see what's become of Kyle, whom he has never contacted.

As for Kyle (now played Jayme McCabe), the years have not been kind. Fifteen years down the line he is a poor mechanic, who for some strange reason now talks like a deep-in-the-woods hillbilly who should probably be greasing the rollercoaster at Dollywood. When Jake shows up, Kyle's reaction is along the lines of (I'm paraphrasing): "Well, I never woulda reckoned that a big ol' city slicker like y'all would come on back around here in that fancy auto-mo-bile." Why director Jeffery London chooses to depict the adult Kyle as a mountain man, complete with scruffy beard, is a mystery.

He's also, it seems, a local saint renowned for his good deeds and acts of quiet charity despite his own poverty. Kyle and Jake are both thrown by their reunion and aren't sure what to do. Neither is London. He provides a rainstorm so that his characters must get all wet and strip to their tightie-whities in Kyle's home, but then he skips the inevitable sex scene (which really would have helped) and cuts to the next morning, when Kyle's best friend discovers that Kyle is "a big homo like one of those Brokenback cowboys." Will Jake throw away his LA lifestyle to move in with his long-lost love, who, we are constantly reminded, is a good cook? The indications are good, but we'll have to sit through a few more clichés and a bit more of Kyle's twang before we know for sure.

Dreaming... dreaming of grits and cornbread.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 18th November 2008

Production compaines: Jeff London Productions, Guardian Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jeffery London

Producer: Jeffery London

Starring: Eric Dean as Jake, Blaise Embry as Young Jake, Kyle Buckland as Young Kyle, Jayme McCabe as Kyle, Patricia Place as Elaine, Evan Cuthbert as Brian, Brent King as Steve, Emerson Smith as Heath, Bernadette Murray as Cora

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