Crime / Drama
Crime / Drama
This ripped-from-the-headlines drama covers the early rise of gay porn headliner Sean Paul Lockhart a.k.a. Brent Corrigan, before his falling out with the producer who made him famous. When Sean decides he'd be better off a free agent, a cash-strapped pair of rival producers aim to cash in by any means possible.
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February 18, 2017 at 08:45 PM
Good Show, Fun Ending
I watched because I like crime shows. This one was set in the gay porn industry and a young man (very well played by eye candy Garrett Clayton) made famous by it and his unscrupulous producer. The movie was combination story about the young man's ascent in the porn industry, murder of one of the protagonists, a rival producer and his lover. 2 central plots around each of the 2 producers lives that converge at the murder.
I thought all the male actors were good in this especially Clayton that is convincing, starting the movie off as a naive youth and in the end maturing into a clever man - nicely done. It was off beat for sure but I liked it.
I think male nudity would have been gratuitous. Franco held in balance the crime story and male sexuality well in this movie.
King Cobra: The unvaried sequel to Boogie Nights
"I like to think that I'm gay in my art and straight in my life - James Franco.
In another recent missed opportunity James Franco proves once more that he is talented but highly pretentious when it comes to his craft. With recent films like - Milk, Howl, Wild Horses and most recently I am Michael; Franco again argues that he is shaping his view of what he considers art - His directorial work is more of the same, contemporary period literature that sometimes never translates well to the screen. In King Cobra, we see the same results all too familiar by now.
Sean Lockhart (Garrett Clayton) decides to meet with gay porn producer Stephen (Christian Slater) in the hopes of becoming a star within the industry. Stephen instantly believes Sean has the makings of a star and soon begin to work together producing videos under the pseudonym "Brent Corrigan" - Quickly rising to fame Stephen takes complete ownership of Sean not allowing to him to leave or work freely with others - Or raise his pay.
Meanwhile, two aspiring porn producers Joe (James Franco) and Harlow (Keegan Allen) in debt try to produce a film with the rising Bret Corrigan, only to be stopped by Stephen; who wants 80% of the profits made.
Director Justin Kelly (I am Michael) once again struggles on two themes - who is this movie for ? - And what this movie is about ? - with a similar theme related back to I am Michael about the struggles of homosexuality and what it means to be a gay man - or how it feels to find acceptance from your loved ones - this is briefly touched on, but not strong enough to make us care or connect with anyone in this film.
To his credit, Kelly who also wrote the screenplay tries to craft a story leading to the incident we already know is coming - Establishing the motives and reasoning behind Sean's decision to later venture off on his own - the end of his partnership with King Cobra - and perhaps a message about the industry itself. With all this juggled, King Cobra falls under the weight of being just another "based on a true story".
For his role, Garret Clayton plays it slow and naive. A deer in headlights unsure of his prospects and goals. Christian Slater also good does his own interpretation of his character, playing him with aggression and lust. James Franco is fine in his role, but ultimately feels and still looks like James Franco playing a part - with Keegan Allen being the standout of the film.
King Cobra is a darkly entertaining exploit that although retains the true story element - would rather have style over substance.
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A cutthroat business
The still very much active Sean Paul Lockhart, aka Brent Corrigan's career and the scandal associated with it is the subject of the film King Cobra. Disney twink actor Garrett Clayton plays Corrigan and I'm sure Clayton probably has a limited future with the Magic Kingdom. He joins a list of players like Shia LaBoerf, Miley Cyrus, and Lucas Gabreel who've appeared in less than wholesome projects. I don't see any more Teen Beach movies in Garrett Clayton's future.
Subsequent to the story told here, Sean Paul Lockhart has gone to mainstream entertainment and gay stories of the non-pornographic nature. I know a few gay adult film stars who have other lives and have diversified their interests and entertainment roles like Lockhart in order to survive. A lot don't survive for one reason or another.
One of those who didn't is Christian Slater playing the producer who discovers Clayton and makes him a gay porn star sensation in the middle Bush 43 years. But this relationship which has some resemblance to Liberace and Scott Thorsen goes the same way with Clayton chafing under Slater's dominance.
His name Brent Corrigan was trademarked by Slater making him unable to work under what has made him a star in the gay porn world. At the same time Clayton reveals that Slater used him before his 18th birthday and that trashes Slater's career as well.
There's a parallel story of James Franco and Keegan Allen also a porn producer and his Trilby like star told and they want to have Clayton's services with the trademark name. Therein lies the seeds of the tragedy that takes place.
James Franco created this project and I wish he'd just come out of the closet already. Are you fooling anyone?
The gay porn world is certainly part of the gay culture, no getting away from it. Some say this is exploitive. I'd say no more so than Boogie Nights and you see how much acclaim that film got.
I hope this leap into most adult type material augers good things for Garrett Clayton.