All posts by timchuma

About timchuma

Photographer from Melbourne, Australia.

Upgrade (2018)

Director: Leigh Whannell

Starring: Melanie Vallejo, Logan Marshall-Green, Abby Craden, Harrison Gilbertson, Benedict Hardie, Richard Cawthorne, Christopher Kirby, Betty Gabriel

Upgrade Trailer

Whoops! I mean…

Tagline: The Cyberpunk movie we never knew we needed…

Despite their popularity, I have never seen any of the SAW franchise or Hostel as although it has been said “Humans take perverse pleasure in sham agony and death (roller coasters, horror flicks, televangelism). “ (Uncle Al) I am not that interested in it apart from the Raid movies.

Now that Leigh and James are established directors in Hollywood they can get to do their own thing from time to time and this seems more like a passion project than a traditional blockbuster. I did not know it was even filmed in Melbourne until the robotic voice at the start announced Film Victoria as being involved.

We have already entered the biomechanical age thanks to the endless middle eastern war in Afghanistan, it is called a graveyard of empires for good reason and all those soldiers being blown up by IEDs in Iraq has led to advances in artificial limbs and replacement body parts. We are not really at the stage where people would want to replace a body part for greater advantage as yet.

Also the interface and infection control must have been worked out in the future as a friend’s contact lens scratched his eye and he was done for the day.

The story is a standard revenge plot with a tech billionaire offering a deal the hero can’t refuse so he can walk again and also find his wife’s killer. Complicating matters is there is already a detective on the case and our hero has to pretend he is still a quadriplegic.

Although it is a fully tech-integrated world there are still low tech spaces like the Old Bones bar where technology is forbidden and surely there would be hippie communes in this world?

I did like the VR refugees as it reminded me of the “Better than Life” episode of Red Dwarf and also the Polish/Japanese movie Avalon set totally in VR.

There were very good fight sequences and stunt coordination with a nod to the Raid movies as they seem to have influenced a lot of movies these days.

I had no problem with the acting and the story seemed to flow well. It did seem to be a believable world with a balance between sci-fi utopia and scummy sections. The utopia is for the rich and the poor people get the worst deal. Docklands is also a slum I would agree. Great shots going over the Bolte Bridge.

With Cyberpunk 2077 coming out in the near future I am sure there will be talk of a movie adaptation, not sure they really need it or one of Deus Ex with this film out. There is enough storyline in those two games that they don’t really need a movie made of them the same as Skyrim.

BONUS!

Cyberpunk (1990) Full documentary

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Benefit photos (2007 – 2017)

Melbourne International Comedy Festival (2007 – ongoing)

Birdhouse – A Celebration of the They Might Be Giants
featuring Casey Bennetto, Scott Edgar, Tim Minchin, Steven Gates, Aurora Kurth, Ennio Pozzebon,
Ross McFerran, Eden Ottignon, Ben McKenzie, Particle Man, Josh Earl, Mal Webb, Andrew Mclelland,
Geraldine Quinn, Scott Brennan, Mick Stuart, Cam Rogers, Simon Hall, Karlis Zaid, Otto Rot, Sammy J, Birdman, Kirsty Byrne, Bec Healy
New Ballroom, Trades Hall
Saturday, 21st April 2007
http://photos.timchuma.com/Birdhouse/

23 Positions in a One Night Stand
A benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC)
with Casey Bennetto, Scott Edgar, The New Earth-Hour Generation, Otto Rot, Renegades of Folk, Sheridan, Jim Lawson, Geraldine Quinn, Anyone for Tennis?, Simon Hall, Andrew McClelland, Xani Kolac, Beau Heartbreaker, Michelle Baginski, Zack Adams, Wes Snelling, Benn Bennett, Kirsty Burn, Penny Ashton, Astrid Rot, Aurora Kurth, Alan Brough, Eddie Perfect, Hooray for Everything, Birdmann, Carl Pannuzzo, Ali McGregor, Adam Hills, Lize Wolgramm
Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2008
Trades Hall, Saturday 29th March 2008
http:// http://photos.timchuma.com/23Positions1NightStand/

Life on Mars?
Benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
with MC Casey Bennetto, Scott Edgar, Jordie Lane, Beau Heartbreaker, Wes Snelling, Claire Jenkins, Defah Dattner, Clare Bowditch, Aurora Kurth, Axis of Awesome, Geraldine Quinn, Tim Minchin, Andrew McLelland, Stephen Gates, The Audreys, Elana Stone, Kristy Burn, Simon Hall, Scott Brennan, Ali McGregor, The Suitcase Royale with Sveta Dobranoch, Flap!, Tripod, Astrid Rot
Trades Hall, Saturday 18th April 2009
http://photos.timchuma.com/LifeonMars/

Something Good – A Tribute to Carole King
Benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
with Casey Bennetto, Scott Edgar, Wes Snelling, Pastel Vespa, Andrew McClelland and the Monkees, Elana Stone, Kelly Wolfgramm, Geraldine Quinn, Penny Larkins, Carl Pannuzzo, Georgia Fields, Aurora Kurth, Defah Dattner, Clare Bowditch, Die Roten Punkte, Eddie Perfect, Kirsty Joosten, Tripod, Mike McLeish, Gabe Andrews, DEATHCLOCK (Axis of Awesome and Dead Cat Bounce), Rebecca Barnard, Xani and Meg Kolac, Lior, Nick Roy, Ali McGregor
Trades Hall, Saturday 10th April 2010
http://photos.timchuma.com/SomethingGood/

Just Like Heaven
Benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
with MC Casey Bennetto, Scott Edgar, Mal Webb, Wes Snelling, Tully Sumner, Rebecca Barnard, Angie Hart, Ladygarden (Clare Bowditch, Aurora Kurth, Defah Dattner), Eddie Perfect, Geraldine Quinn, Anyone for Tennis?, Kirsty Joosten, Selina Jenkins, D. Rogers, The Twoks, Flap!, Nicholas Roy, Adam Coad, Stephen Gates, Die Roten Punkte, Tripod, Ali McGregor
Bella Union, Saturday 16th April 2011
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/Just-Like-Heaven

Somebody to Love – a tribute to the music of Queen
2012 benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
with MC Casey Bennetto, Scott Edgar, Geraldine Quinn, Selina Jenkins, Simon Hall, Andrew McClelland, Nilusha Dassenaike, Tina del Twiste, Ben McKenzie, Kirsty Joosten, Helen Yotis, The Twoks, Mike McLeish, Sophie Koh, Eddie Perfect, Tripod, Anyone for Tennis?, Karlis Zaid, Wes Snelling, Die Roten Punkte, Stephen Gates, Emma Donovan
Bella Union, Saturday 14th April 2012
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/Somebody-to-Love

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough: A Tribute to the Songs of Michael Jackson
2013 benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
with Casey Bennetto, Scott Edgar, Wes Snelling, Benny Davis, Sammy J, Carl Pannuzzo, Pippa Evans, Deffah Datner, Aurora Kurth, Clare Bowditch, Axis of Awesome, Georgia Fields, Sarah Carroll, Mike McLeish, Selina Jenkins, Kirsty Joosten, Ben McKenzie, Andrew McClelland, Die Roten Punkte, Virginia Gay, Sophie Koh, the Von Muiznieks Family Singers, Eddie Perfect, Geraldine Quinn, Dave Callan, The Twoks, Eliza & Talei Wolfgramm, Ali McGregor, Simon Hall
Bella Union, Saturday 13th April 2013
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/Dont-Stop-Til-You-Get-Enough

Cheek to Cheek – a Tribute to the music of Fred Astaire
2014 benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
Musical directors: Biddy Connor, Enio Pozzebon
The Band: Zoe Barry, Nick Karasvvidis, Mathew Bird, Enzo Ruberto, Sophie Dunn, Tully Sumner, David Henry, Lizzy Welsh
Special guests: MC Tina del Twist, Casey Bennetto, Bobby & the Pins, Die Roten Punkte, Scott Edgar, Andrew McClelland, Mikelangelo, Saint Clare, Randy the puppet, Eden Read, Em Rusciano, Yon, Nath Valvo, the Glittery Tapping Wonderland Dancers
Northcote Town Hall, Saturday 12th April 2014
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/Cheek-to-Cheek-12-04-14

I Got the Music(al) in Me!
An ASRC Benefit
with MC Tina del Twist, Andrew McClelland, Anne Edmonds, Aurora Kurth, Die Roten Punkte, Em Rusciano, Geraldine Quinn, Luis (Lessons with Luis), Nath Valvo, Randy the Puppet, Rhonda Butchmore, Scott Brennan, Scott Edgar, Tom Ballard, Yon, Andrew Hansen
Toff in Town, Sunday 12th April 2015
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/I-Got-the-Musical-In-Me

Dolly! Asylum Seekers Resource Centre Benefit
with MC Tina del Twist, Andy Saunders, Anne Edmonds, Dolly Diamond, Geraldine Quinn, Gillian Cosgriff, Nath Valvo, Otto Rot, Randy, Scott Brennan, Selina Jenkins, Shirley Gnome, Tessa Waters, Thomas Jaspers, Trevor Ashley, Bob
Band – Biddy Connor, Dave Williams, Enio Pozzebon, Kate Connor, Matt Bird, Ross McFerran, Steph O’Hara, Tully Sumner, Vicenzo Roberto, Zoe Barry
Toff in Town, Sunday 3rd April 2016
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/Dolly-ASRC-Benefit-03-04-16

Bold as Brass
A benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
with MC Geraldine Quinn, Adam Richards, Andy & Luca Saunders, Casey Bennetto, Gillian Cosgriff, Kai Smythe, Kai Smythe (Hairy Soul Man), Michelle Brasier, Otto Rot, Sammy J, Scott Brennan, Scott Edgar, Tom Ballard, Wes Snelling
Band Biddy Connor, David Barclay, Geraldine Quinn, Lizzy Welsh, Matt Bird, Sonia Horbelt, Steph O’Hara, Tully Sumner, Vincenzo Roberto, Zoe Barry
The Toff in Town, Sunday 9th April 2017
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/Bold-as-Brass-ASRC-Benefit

I missed 2018 unfortunately due to not living in Melbourne at the time.

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These Machines Cut Razor Wire (2012 – 2014)

These Machines Cut Razor Wire 2012
Benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
with MCs Denise Hylands/Les Thomas, The Cartridge Family, Kate Walker, Tully Sumner, Fraser A. Gorman, Nigel Wearne and the Cast Iron Promises, Alex Hallahan and the Woodland Hunters, Uncle Bill, Bell St Delays, Jed Rowe Band, The Stetson Family, Jeff Lang, Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir
Thornbury Theatre, Sunday 15th April 2012
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/These-Machines-Cut-Razor-Wire-2012

These Machines Cut Razor Wire 2013
Benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
with Les Thomas, Beautiful Change, Suzannah Espie, Fraser Gorman, Nigel Wearne, The Stillsons (duo of Justin Bernasconi and Cat Canteri), Alison Ferrier, Ruth Lindsey, Bill Jackson, Ashley Davies, Chris Wilson, Jeff Lang, Charles Jenkins, Mandy Connell, Jed Rowe
Thornbury Theatre, Sunday 14th April 2013
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/These-Machines-Cut-Razor-Wire-2013

These Machines Cut Razor Wire 2014
Benefit for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
with Van Walker, Saint Jude, Les Thomas, Little Foot, Oh Pep Duo, Brooke Russell, Justin Bernasconi, Cat Canteri, Mandy Connell, Ben Smith Band, Berlin Postmark, Ruth Lindsey
Bella Union, Saturday 22nd March 2014
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/These-Machines-Cut-Razor-Wire-2014

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Other events

A Nymphtastic Christmas
with the Nymphs, Henry Wagons, Cash Savage, James Kenyon, Mikelangelo and Saint Clare, Tracy McNeil and Luke Sinclair, Sweet Jean, Major Chord
Toff in Town, Wednesday 18th December 2013
Ticket sales raising money for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
http://photos.timchuma.com/gallery3/index.php/Nymphtastic-Christmas-2013

Monster Fest 2018 – Category III: The Untold Story of Hong Kong Exploitation Cinema (2018)

Director: Calum Waddell

Featuring: Daniel Yee Heng Chan, Godfrey Ho, Josie Ho, Mike Hostench, Bey Logan, Sean Tierney, Calum Waddell, Anthony Wong, Gan Kwok-Leung

I can’t really say I am a big fan of Category III movies, the one time I saw one was at the dodgy VCD theatre of Chinatown Cinema and it was There’s a Secret in My Soup. Was the one time I saw one of the security guards in the centre site down and watch part of the movie (the sausage on the power drill scene.) I am sensitive to movies with violence against women as there is enough of it in real life and I don’t like seeing it at all so I decided to pass on most of these movies.

These days I know a lot more people who watch Hong Kong movies and enjoy these type of movies so I thought I would check out this documentary to find out more about them.

The documentary is structured with various interviews from people with short clips from each movie in between. I would have liked to see longer clips and have them full screen but some of these movies are hard to find and only on VCD now so quality would be an issue.

There were an interesting range of people being interviewed. I hadn’t heard of some of them before, but they had some interesting opinions.

Anthony Wong was the best, there was a mention of him at an awards ceremony. I asked on a movie forum and someone posted the following.

13th Hong Kong Film Awards – Anthony Wong wins best actor

The 14th Hong Kong Film Awards Winners

Anthony is not afraid to speak his mind and stand up for things

Compared to documentaries such as Mark Hartley’s Not Quite Hollywood or the Canon Films doco it seems a bit more standard. I still have had people ask me when it is coming out on DVD.

There were quite a few stories behind the production of the documentary but I won’t go into them here. The same is true with every documentary though.

As an introduction to the Category III section of the Hong Kong film industry this movie does its job well and all the movies featured are listed at the end so you can look them up after.

If you know a bit more about the films then by all means still watch it, just don’t expect to learn more than you already know.

Rampant (2018)

Director: Kim Sung-hoon

Starring: Hyun Bin, Dong-Gun Jang, Eui-sung Kim, Ju-hyuk Kim, Woo-jin Jo, Dal-hwan Jo, Derek Chouinard

This movie was produced by the same people who did Train to Busan and I have to answer the question does it top that movie? Not really, but it is a different movie and it seemed they wanted to go in another direction with it.

In a bit of a confusing prologue a ship on fire is raided and one of the party is attacked, only to turn and kill his whole family and the village. Cut to three days before and we see the rebels meeting with the smuggler on the ship to get weapons for a revolt.

The revolt is found out and the plotters are tortured to reveal the ringleaders, but the crown prince wants to spare the plotters as he is the real one behind it. He makes the ultimate sacrifice, taking his own life.

Prince Ganglim (Hyun Bin) arrives back in the country from Qing unaware that any attack has taken place. He is attacked by assassins and encounters the undead shortly after (they are referred to as ‘demons’ in the movie.) He ends up being rescued by a group of villagers who explain what happened and beg him to get help from the capital. He is a reluctant prince and does not want to go but eventually agrees when he sees how desperate the situation is.

Cut back to the capital and the war minister is making plans of his own including getting rid of one of the assassins who escaped the undead and making sure a concubine is attacked by a demon to spread the infection.

The film slows down a lot every time it cuts from the scenes with the zombies to the palace intrigue, it almost seems they are from different movies or from one of the popular Korean historical TV dramas. It seems to be something you would have in a TV series where you have more time to tell the story and not a movie.

The prince leaves the village with some protectors but they get stopped at a checkpoint and told only the prince can go to the capital. He promises to return with some soldiers.

The stakes go up once the action moves to the capital as there is an attack on the king and the zombie situation gets out of hand. The war minister has planned this as he wants to start again from scratch and not be subservient to the Qing dynasty.

They do have the guns from the smuggler by this point but only the war minister and his cronies have them and the prince has to make do with swords. After fighting all night they manage to beat back the zombies, who retreat in the daylight as it burns them. Will they make it through the next night? Will the zombies escape from the palace into the capital? What happened to the village and the promise of the soldiers to defend it?

It is an interesting premise to have a zombie movie set in a historical period but it does slow it down somewhat in this case with the historical drama sections mixed in. The weapons they had to use were a bit basic. Surely they would have had access to the Hawcha rocket arrow launcher to take out hordes of zombies. The script writers seems to conveniently forgotten it. I have no idea which years of the Joeson dynasty it takes place in though.

There was no problem with the costumes (I do love those tall hats they wear) and settings as they all seemed to look good especially the palace where some of the heaviest fighting takes place.

The characters seem to be archetypes with the bad guy being stereotypically evil, the good buy being a reluctant hero and the other characters filling the usual supporting roles.

In comparison to Train to Busan the stakes don’t seem to be as high as you don’t get to find out enough about the characters to care about them. The action scenes look cool and there is plenty of gore with the zombies attack but it doesn’t seem to have the same impact.

I would still recommend this movie if you are a fan of zombie movies and historical action movies. For the next movie they should do a zombie movie in space to mix it up a bit.

Shadow (2018)

Director: Yimou Zhang

Starring: Chao Deng, Li Sun, Ryan Zheng, Qianyuan Wang, Jingchun Wang, Jun Hu, Xiaotong Guan, Lei Wu

In a complicated opening we learn that the Commander has been replaced by a “Shadow” raised since he was a child to protect his master from palace intrigues. There was a lot going on in the opening scenes and I kept falling asleep due to being tired. It doesn’t help that the movie is slow paced on purpose to develop the characters and situations more.

The kingdom has had its’ home city taken over and the king advises against trying to retake it by force. The commander ads his two cents and ends up being stripped of his rank by the king and dismissed. Another peace offer involving the king offering the princess for marriage backfires when the prince wants her to be a concubine instead.

The commander and his double train to try and defeat his adversary in the challenge but are getting nowhere. Madame suggests that they use a parasol and move in a more feminine way, que lots of fluid movement and swishing water.

The double goes to the duel, knowing that he is not meant to win it and just act as a distraction for some other fighters to sneak into the city. Amongst the fighters is the princess who is seeking revenge after being slighted by the concubine offer. Will the plot succeed? Who lives and who dies? Will there finally be some action? Well I’ll let you find that out for yourself.

While there is no problem with the staging, costumes and sets the pacing was a bit slow for my liking and I was waiting for it to get to the action.

Great performances all round especially from the princess who gives it to the prince who slighted her.

When it does finally get to the fight scenes they are well staged and artistic. The scene with the fighters surfing down the hill on the steel umbrellas is a bit silly but not played for laughs.

I would recommend this movie if you would like a historical drama with some action thrown in.

Moira Finucane’s Dance Hall

featuring Moira Finucane, Maude Davey, Mama Alto, Clare St Clare, Paul Cordeiro, James Welsby, Berlin Willow Sizer

The Famous Spiegeltent, Luna Park

Thursday, 11th October 2018

I hadn’t been to one of Moira Finucane’s shows since Glory Box a couple of years back and I had been following this one via social media as it toured but did not think I would be able to see it.

Seeing the show pop up at the Speigeltent I said hello to Clare and she asked if I was coming to see it so I couldn’t say no as I had not seen her in so long.

I ended up getting the peanut gallery/artist tickets but was upgraded to a table when I arrived for the show.

The layout of the show is quite a bit different than the last one I saw with dance numbers, songs and some storytelling by Moira Finucane in some sections.

Moira acted as MC and had her own performances during the show.

Paul Cordeiro and James Welsby did some excellent dance numbers including the splits multiple times. My favourite dance of Paul’s was the Bollywood number and James was great doing the Vouging.

I did like having the other cast members holding torches to illuminate whoever was performing,

Maude Davey was quite versatile and even ended up doing a comedy routine dressed as the world.

It was great to see Mama Alto again and her singing was the best as always.

Clare St Clare was my favourite in the show and I got to talk to her after we got off the carousel.

Berlin Willow Sizer was from Mirbo North supposedly and did some great numbers.

After the show finished all the audience got to go on the carousel and have Maude Davey sing while we rode it. For some reason I thought this was only going to be for the deluxe ticket holders. There was a ride on the ghost train next but I did not have the premium ticket.

Special mention must go to the stage monkey who had to climb up a ladder to throw rose petals down and clean things up between acts.

All the acts were very good and I enjoyed having the performers rove around during the performances and sometimes have the acts come in from a direction you did not expect.

A great show and hopefully they all go on to do more shows and a repeat season after they finish.

Project Gutenberg (2018)

Director: Felix Chong

Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Aaron Kwok, Dmitry Mazur, Jason Moehring, Rick Pokrajen-Harmon

Lee Man (Aaron Kwok) is in a Thai prison when he is gotten out by the Hong Kong police who want to question him about the whereabouts of a major counterfeiting kingpin the Painter (Chow Yun-Fat). He is scared that he will be killed, but agrees to tell them if they offer him a deal.

Cut to 1985 when Lee Man is a starving artist living in Vancouver with his girlfriend. Ten years’ later and he still hasn’t sold any of his art. A gallery owner offers him a job copying a work by Albrecht Durer to sell off at high prices.

Unknown to him the Painter takes an interest in his work and turns up to his girlfriend’s exhibition, insulting his work that was snuck in there to get his attention. Lee Man runs out to stop the Painter driving off and they go for a drink. He offers him his card if he wants some work.

When Lee Man finds out the work is to be counterfeiting $100 bills he is dead against it, but the Painter manages to convince him otherwise. He ends up burning his own painting for some strange reason and goes to meet the plane.

On the plane to Hong Kong he meets the usual suspects who are going to be part of the enterprise and each of their roles are explained. There is quite a lot of detail put into the scenes of setting up the counterfeiting operation with the drawing of the forgery, engraving the plates, printing test copies and trying to source the special paper and ink for the notes.

When they go to get the special ink that changes colour is when stuff starts to go south with a big action scene of holding up the armoured truck carrying the drums of ink and several casualties resulting. Lee Man is shocked that the Painter is so violent and refuses to pull the trigger.

Lee Man threatens to quit, but the Painter will not let him so Lee Man says he will come up with a way to get the ink without having to steal it.

There are quite a few scenes of them exchanging the fake currency for real money all over the world. In the mean-time an investigation has been launched in Canada after the armoured car raid and it ends up moving to Hong Kong.

A deal in the Golden Triangle goes bad, leading to a massacre and the whole group going underground. Loyalties are tested and Lee Man still wants no part in killing. When the group eventually ends up returning to Hong Kong things go bad again and this time the police get involved.

This a great crime story with a lot going on and a plot that reminds me of a certain film from the 90s with a large cast and unexpected turns.

It is great to see Chow Yun-Fat in a Hong Kong movie again even though he is not really the main character in the film. The shot of him lighting a cigar off a burning $100 note is not in the film so I guess Hong Kong movies play the same tricks as Hollywood ones.

I did enjoy the action scenes of the armoured truck heist and the raid on the village. We do get to see Chow Yun Fat with twin machine guns in the latter and having Lee Man refuse to shoot in most of the scenes was different.

The scenes of the interrogation were also good and I enjoyed the performance of the female police officer as she took no bullshit from anybody.

I had been looking forward to this movie for a while and it did not disappoint. While it would be good to see on the big screen, I am sure it will be streaming or on DVD/Bluray soon enough.

Melbourne Fringe 2018: Bella Green is Charging for it

Courthouse Hotel, Tuesday 25th September 2018

Opening night show – SOLD OUT

I had seen this show advertised on Twitter and listened to Josh Earl’s “Don’t You Know Who I Am?” podcast that Bella was a guest on and wanted to go see this show even though I was not going to much else at the Fringe festival due to not working.

Meshel Laurie did a couple of shows based around her experiences working as a receptionist at a brothel back in the early 2000’s but there hasn’t really been anything since then and nothing by a sex worker.

The show follows Bella’s life from when she was growing up to her first job in the industry in a peep show, what happened when she was working there that she ended up in a strip club and other normal jobs she had.

After having trouble holding down a ‘normal’ job, she decides to go work at a brothel and we meet the fairy godmother who guides her through the things she should know.

There are some skits based on working in the brothel, but I will let you see those for yourself. During the costume changes Bella asks the audience to hold her work phone and some funny text messages she has received are displayed on screen.

Bella also worked as a mistress in a sex dungeon for a time and the story she tells about that experience is quite something.

There was a line about people reviewing sex workers online and the fake website rootreviews.com (no doubt someone will register that) and also a mention of sex workers twitter accounts.

It was a good show with plenty of funny bits and hopefully it does well in the festival and goes on to feature at the comedy festival and other festivals also.

There were two other people in the show who played various roles but I do not know who they are as yet.

I had not heard of Bella Green before this show, but hopefully she goes on to do more shows and has heaps more shows.

Melbourne Fringe 2018: After Hours Cabaret Club

Lithuanian Club, Saturday, 22 September 2018

Featuring MC Tash York, Bettie Bombshell, Samora Squid, Memphis Mae, Raven Dark Prince Of Burlesque, Luke Hubbard 

I had originally heard about this show from following performers on social who were in it at Edinburgh Fringe and was hoping to see them as part of the show in Melbourne. It was not to be as one of them is still on holidays and the other could not make it this time.

It had been quite a few years since I had gone to see any burlesque apart from Dr Sketchys and I wasn’t taking photos this time I just wanted to enjoy the show.

There was a live band doing the backing music for most of the routines except for two performers who had their own music. It added more energy to the show and was good for the audience to have something to listen to on the way in and exiting the venue.

Tash York was a great MC and got to sing a couple of times. There was even an improvised number based on suggestions from the audience.

Bettie Bombshell did a couple of routines and was well received. Her bra ended up in my lap.

Samora Squid from Penguin Tasmania did some neat tricks with his body including dislocation and making his arms go floppy. He ended up playing the mandolin in an interesting position.

Memphis Mae did an ode to McDonalds burlesque routine and rubbed foodstuffs on her. At one point she threw chicken nuggets into the audience and had some back and forth with one audience member who she wouldn’t give the nugget to. At the end there was a give-away with two lucky audience members getting to tear off a Monopoly ticket from her McDonalds merkin.

I had heard a lot about Raven but had never gotten to see her perform. His routine was unique in that he was already stripped and spent most of it behind the fringe of a giant hat with red tassels hanging down framing his body. It was a great routine and I am sure I will see him again.

Luke Hubbard is a circus performer who has performed with BRIEFS and many other shows. He did some spectacular tumbles and balancing in his act and has performed in very small spaces in the past. A fine act to finish the show with.

It was a great show and well worth seeing if it comes to somewhere near you.

Big Brother (2018)

Director: Ka-Wai Kam

Starring: Donnie Yen, Joe Chen, Kang Yu, Brahim Achabbakhe, Wai-Ho Auyeung, Tom Caserto, Alfred Cheung, Jai Day, Ye Fan, Semiquaver Iafeta, Tin-Lung Koo

Donnie Yen stars as Henry Chen, a mysterious teacher who turns up to a run-down school and is assigned the worst class. The students ignore him at first, but through his persistence he gradually gets through to them.

When five of his students are expelled for fighting in a restaurant he goes out his way to help them, but one of them does not want to be helped.

The school is also in jeopardy as it is threatened with being closed by the school board due to the poor performance of its students and low enrolments.

After helping the other students, Henry goes to the one who did not come back to school and through a series of events ends up fighting a UFC champion and his crew in the locker room of a stadium. He ends up famous and his students think he is cool.

Everyone is getting ready for the DSE exam and even the former wayward students are studying hard. One student is not going very well and his actions lead to some dire consequences. The big boss of a triad gang also has his eyes on the school for a property development deal and sends over his heavies. Who will win out?

This was a good movie even though the trailer makes it look like there is more action than is actually in the movie. Donnie was great as the lead and the kids stood their ground and each of the main characters had their own story.

I was worried when I saw Wong Jing’s name in the credits at the start of the movie, but he was only one of the producers and none of his usual shenanigans seem to have ended up in the film.

It did remind me of other movies with inspirational teachers but with some different things like the teacher being able to fight the bad guys.

I enjoyed the scene with the go karts where the girl and her father decide to race through the streets to prove a point. Donnie ends up chasing them in a go kart himself. Surely they would not have been allowed to leave the circuit?

There is a sort of bad guy in the movie but his story is explained and he does get a resolution at the end of the story.

An interesting movie if you like stories about inspiring figures and school life.