King CobraOverview -
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.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
Much like in the vein of 'Bully' and 'Party Monster', filmmaker Justin Kelly gives us an account on the real life story of gay porn actor Sean Lockhart, otherwise known as Brent Corrigan, and his involvement in the murder of his manager/director Bryan Kocis by two rival gay porn producers. Needless to say, it isn't hall happy endings in the porn industry.
Justin Kelly has conjured up an A-List cast here, including James Franco, Molly Ringwald, Christian Slater, and Alicia Silverstone, and has added some dark humor to his screenplay, however, the film wanders off on a few tangents in its short 92 minute run-time that takes the focus off the story at hand here. Corrigan (Garrett Clayton), a young man new to town, meets Stephen (Slater), and older gay porn producer who wants to film Corrigan performing sexual acts on camera. Stephen also takes a liking to Corrigan and once the films are finished, Corrigan becomes famous.
Meanwhile, rival porn producer Joe (Franco) and his semi-famous star Harlow (Keegan Allen) aren't doing as well as Corrigan and Stephen, particularly in the monetary area. Kelly consistently shows us the similarities and subtle differences in both these relationships throughout the film, where one might look better than the other, because of the illusion of nicer things around, the fact is that these are both predatory relationships.
This all leads up to the murder of Stephen/Kocis in that Joe and Harlow wanted Corrigan on their team and not Stephens. Besides the four male leads here, the other co-stars barely get enough screen time to conjure up any real story or character development, which is unfortunate, because Silverstone and Ringwald are quite good in their roles. 'King Cobra' is a decent take on this real life tragedy and underground world of gay porn with some dark humor and good performances. It's just a shame that the story meanders off the beaten path from time to time.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'King Corba' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc and a DVD Copy from Shout! Factory/IFC Midnight that is Region A Locked. There is no insert for a digital download here. The discs are housed in a hard, blue plastic case with reversible cover art. A couple of trailers play before the main menu startup.
'King Cobra' comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The look of the film is on the cooler side of the spectrum without any real warm environments. A lot of the film looks darker, which is more of a style choice than anything here. Detail is sharp and vivid in well lit closeups, showcasing individual hairs and makeup blemishes on the actor's faces. Wider shots never go soft either.
Colors look good here as well with decent blues and browns. Colors really pop when the neon lights are on screen. Black levels are deep and inky and the skin tones are always natural. There were no major compression issues either, leaving this video presentation with solid marks.
This release comes with both a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and a DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo option. The 5.1 option is the way to go for sure, since you will feel more immersed in the scenes with a ton of music and ambient noises. Sound effects are well balanced and loud, but never overly forceful and have some good directionality to them.
Ambient noises of people talking and the city life sounds always sound good from the rear speakers. There is a good low end here as well that brings the bass when music is present. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, or shrills, leaving this audio presentation with good marks.
Audio Commentary - Filmmaker Justin Kelly discusses making the film, casting the roles, and how this film differed from the true crime and book. Worth a listen if you liked the movie.
Outtakes (HD, 8 Mins.) - A collections of short deleted scenes and bloopers with laughter from the cast and crew.
Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.
'King Corba' is technically sound and a good telling of a true crime story. The casting and performances are top notch too. The script does stray from the main path at hand, but still manages to do a decent job in getting its point across. The video and audio presentations are both good, and the small amount of extras are worth listening and watching if you loved the film. I only wish there were some more interviews with the real life people here.
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