Movie Review: Infini (2015)

INFINImovieTitle: Infini – infinimovie.com
Director: Shane Abbess
Cast: Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Dwaine Stevenson, Kevin Copeland, Harry Pavlidis, Louisa Mignone, Tess Haubrich, Bren Foster and Luke Ford.
Release date:  May 8th 2015
Review: Kate @ All That Geek

Paying homage to the 70s/80s sci-fi genre, Infini is a thrilling Aussie movie that proves that our filmmakers are capable of producing quality entertainment to compete with the rest of the world.

Set in the 23rd century, we meet Whit Carmichael (Daniel MacPherson) on his first day at work ‘slipstreaming’ – a controversial but highly lucrative way to teleport between planets for mining purposes. A team returns to HQ infected with a biological disease that turns them murderously insane. Whit’s only way to escape certain death is to slipstream to the desolate off-world mining station ‘Infini’ where the outbreak started.

infini_movie1A search and rescue team is soon dispatched to retrieve Whit and stop the mined substance being sent from the station to earth by a deranged defector.

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Review: Lady Mechanika #0 (The Demon of Satan’s Alley) by Joe Benitez

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Publisher: Benitez Productions
Written by: Joe Benitez
Pencils by: Joe Benitez
Colours by: Peter Steigerwald
Review: Kate @ All That Geek.

The mysteries surrounding private investigator Lady Mechanika and her origin begin to unfold as she heads to a rundown city known as Satan’s Alley. Located on the lower eastside, it is an area of town under siege by the presence of a murderous creature of unknown origin. While a weapons manufacturer has issued a reward for the unknown slayer, drawing a crowd of bounty hunters looking to cash in, Lady Mechanika’s purpose is far more personal – information that could lead to the truth about her creation.

Steampunk has facinated me for a while, but I was unsure where to start with something that was easy to get into. By chance I came across this primer issue of Lady Mechanika and its everything I could have hoped for to ease me into the genre.

Issue #0 sets the scene for the series. We meet Lady Mechanika, famed private investigator in the 1800s. A young woman who is not only human, but also part machine. She has no memory of how she came to be this way but it determined to discover her origins. In this issue, we see her tracking a so-called monster that has been reportedly terrorising the east end of town. This creature has also gained interest from a weapons company and are tracking it for the same reason as Lady Mechanika – a report that the creature is part machine.

The story – though short – is interesting and flows nicely. It immediately immerses you in the world without a lot of unnesecary pre-able. The illustrations are amazing and the colour tones really set the mood of the comic.

Though perhaps drawn with rather generous endowments, the character of Lady Mechanika is well written and intriguing. She is ruthless but with a softer, compassionate side. She is kick-ass in combat and looks amazing while doing so. A much needed female hero when TV/Comics/Movies are so awash with males.

Its a must read for those who like badass females and looking to get into the Steampunk genre.

You can read Lady Mechanika #0 The Demon of Satan’s Alley free on Comixology. Then keep reading with issues #1-5 (reviews to follow).

Connect with Lady Mechanika & Joe Benitez:

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Review: Doctor Who 9th Doctor #1 (Titan Comics)

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Publisher: Titan Comics
Writen by: Cavan Scott
Artwork by: Blair Shedd
Release Date: April 1, 2015
Review: Kate @ All That Geek

The Ninth Doctor is back with a brand-new miniseries: Weapons of Past Destruction!

Leaving World War II behind, The Ninth Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack discover that Time Lord technology, lost in the wake of the Time War, is being sold on the intergalactic black market!

Now the threat of a new temporal war brews on the horizon. Can the Doctor stop history repeating itself?

When Titan announced their new Doctor Who comics, I was hopeful for a 9th Doctor series. After all, he’s the one who got me into the series this time around and he is my favourite of the ‘new’ Doctors. I couldn’t have been more excited when it was announced we were getting a five part mini series, not only with the Doctor and Rose, but Captain Jack rounding off Team TARDIS. The comic fits in nicely with the series as its clear when Mickey meets up with the trio in Cardiff that they’ve had many adventures together. The possibilities are endless. Perhaps the most interesting thing for me, is that this comic series sees The Doctor traveling with a very human, very mortal, pre-Torchwood Captain Jack. Its something we have rarely seen outside of the 9th Doctor series and something I want to see more of.

Issue one of this five part series plays out like the opening of an episode. Well paced action and exchanges between the characters as you would have seen on the TV show. Writer Cavan Scott has captured the voices excellently.

The Doctor is taking Jack and Rose to the planet Excroth, only when the TARDIS lands, he discovers the world is nothing more than rubble. While the Doctor is trying to figure out what happened to the planet, the TARDIS gets pulled aboard a ship that appears in space. There they discover to warring factions which they try to escape from with potentially devastating consequences. My only complaint is lumping Rose in the ‘damsel in distress’ role, its not all a female companion is there for. That being said, its a minor thing, something has to move the story along, right?

The artwork by Blair Shedd is absolutely fantastic, the likeness of our three heroes is spot on, easily the best I’ve seen in all of Titan’s Doctor Who comics so far. The attention to detail in each panel is phenomenal, with wonderful colouring to set the tone.

If you’re a fan of the 9th Doctor, you wont be disappointed by this first installment. Check out Titan Comics for more information.

Review: Doctor Who 10th Doctor #6 (Titan Comics)

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Publisher: Titan Comics
Written by: Robbie Morrison
Artwork by: Daniel Indro
Release Date: January 14th 2015
Review: Kate @ All That Geek.

 

STONE HANDS STALK THROUGH THE CRATERS OF THE SOMME…

When Gabby and the Doctor arrive by accident in No Man’s Land in July, 1916, they’re met by Corporal Jamie Colqhoun – a soldier who knows from bitter experience that there are worse things than the Jerries out in the rat-strewn trenches.

Things that drift through the smoke of a thousand cannon shells, and move only when you look away. Shadows that flit over artillery-blasted field hospitals and throw their terrifying wings over the living. Statues that steal your life in an instant.

The Weeping Angels.

But in a conflict where the life of young men is cheap, and thousands die every day – are the Angels actually offering salvation?

Trapped in the midst of a flock of starving Angels, the Doctor faces his most challenging and terrifying moral dilemma yet!

 

A new team comes on board for a lacklustre issue #6 of Titan’s 10th Doctor Comic series.

Perhaps I already had subconscously built a bias against a weeping angel storyline, as I find them one of the most uninspiring monsters of the Who franchise and ‘Blink’ is my least favourite episode of the 10th Doctor series.

However, I did put those notions aside and approached the comic with an open mind. I hoped that with the unlimited creative opportunities a comic provides, there could be something interesting written for these tedious monsters. Sadly, Robbie Morrison’s WWI setting failed to maintain my interest and he didn’t capture the 10th Doctor’s voice quite the same way previous writer Nick Abadzis did.

There is a lot of focus on the soldiers in the story and very little time on the Doctor which aided my disinterest for this issue.

While the artwork by Daniel Indro is wonderful, detailed, and the Doctor easily identifiable, perhaps there is such a thing as too much detail. The harsh lines on the Doctor’s face give him an angry expression in most of the panels and he appears to have much better muscle tone than David Tennant could ever hope for.

I’ll go into issue #7 again with an open mind in the hopes the storyline becomes more interesting, but at this stage, I don’t feel too hopeful.

I was unable to obtain a physical copy of this issue through any comic store as it was apparently placed on back order before it even came out, as much as I want to collect all in the series, I cant say I’m all that disappointed. Its a definite buy if you’d like to collect all the issues, but I don’t recommend you start your 10th Doctor comic journey here.

Check out the previews after the cut and then purchase your copy of the comic.

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Musical Review: Simon Burke & Todd McKenney shine in La Cage Aux Folles

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The Production Company presents: La Cage Aux Folles
Starring: Todd McKenney, Simon Burke, Rhonda Burchmore, Gary Sweet, Marg Downey.
Director: Dean Bryant
Choreographer: Andrew Hallsworth
Music & Lyrics by: Jerry Herman
Review: Kate @ All That Geek

The anticipation of seeing La Cage Aux Folles had been six months in the making for me. From booking my ticket in May to finally making the trip from Sydney down to Melbourne in November. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the show, I knew a little about the story but I was excited anyway. I knew that one of my favourite performers John Barrowman had been in the 2009 London production with Simon Burke and that he (Burke) was reprising his role of Georges.

It turned out La Cage Aux Folles was everything I could have hoped for and more. It was funny, silly, heart-warming and moving. With themes about family, individuality and acceptance that are just as relevant now as they were when the show debuted on Broadway in 1983.

Simon Burke stars as Georges, the charismatic St. Tropez nightclub owner and long time partner of Albin, played wonderfully by Todd McKenney. Albin is also the clubs headline act, the renowned drag lacage1queen Zaza. The story centres on Georges and Albin’s colourful world as it becomes unravelled when Georges’ son, Jean-Michael, announces he’s marrying the daughter of a right-wing politician and he’s bringing his future in-laws to meet the family.

This was my first introduction to Simon Burke as a singer; I’m ashamed to admit my knowledge of his career was limited to a handful of TV roles and growing up watching him on Playschool. It was a delight to discover his amazing, and vastly underrated vocal talent as Georges sang his way through the romantic Song On The Sand and the poignant Look Over There. Burke shines as the charming Georges, a man torn between keeping both his son and husband happy.

lacage2Todd McKenney is easily my favourite Australian performer and I was sure he would do something amazing with Albin/Zaza. He effortlessly brings comedy and heart to the role – Albin is dramatic and sensitive where Zaza is sassy and sexy.  There is no doubt that one of the highlights of the show is watching McKenney powering around on stage in platinum wigs, sparkly dresses, and heels singing the title song or interacting with the crowd.

Act I closes with Zaza singing an empowering rendition of I Am What I Am while Georges stands sadly off to the side. It’s the most famous song from the show and has become a gay anthem over the years. For me, it was great to finally see the song in the context of the show – when Albin discovers he’s being excluded from meeting his son’s future in-laws.

There is no doubt that the musical numbers drive the show, but its Georges and Albin’s relationship which is the heart of the musical. From the reprise of Song On The Sand to With You On My Arm, the love between the two characters is real and the affection is deep. Their relationship is layered with nostalgia and bickering like any old married couple. Burke and McKenney have easy on-stage chemistry which only aids in the realism of the partnership. I’m not sure I could imagine any other performers in the roles.

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Masculinity is another number which was a highlight for me. Georges devises a plan to present Albin as Jean-Michael’s ‘Uncle Al’ and tries to teach him to be more butch. The comedy and improvised banter between Burke and McKenney is a credit to their talents. And I must add that I will never look at a croissant quite the same way again.

The supporting acts are also fabulous, with Les Cagelles, the chorus of gorgeous, glamorous drag queens commanding attention from the audience with their skimpy outfits and thought provoking musical numbers. Rhonda Burchmore plays restaurant owner Jacqueline who we simply don’t see enough of and Aljin Abella gives a stand-out performance as Jacob, Albin and Georges’ maid/butler who steals every scene he’s in. Gary Sweet plays the homophobic politician with Marg Downey as his wife. While both are favourites of mine and are great in their dual roles (also playing the cafe owners) I would have to say they are the weakest additions to the cast.

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La Cage Aux Folles is a touching story with wonderful performances and fabulous cast. It’s on stage until December 7th at The Playhouse at Melbourne’s Art Centre and is not to be missed.

Book your tickets online through The Arts Centre Melbourne but hurry, they’re selling fast!

On a more personal note, after the show I hung around the stage door in the hopes of catching the stars. I was lucky enough to see Todd McKenney who is always a pleasure to chat to and every time I’ve met him happily takes the time to talk and sign programs. So thank you Todd!

Music Review: Matthew Garwood – The Tattooed Tenor

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Artist: Matthew Garwood
Album: The Tattooed Tenor
Record label: Decca Records
Review: Kate @ All That Geek

So often do we see talented performers appear on reality singing contests who wow us with their amazing voices and then disappear into obscurity. I am thankful this has not happened to Matthew Garwood. His is a voice that needs to be heard.

With a background that started in school choirs and heavy metal bands, Matthew Garwood has also been classically trained and is no stranger to musical theatre. He has had notable roles in such shows as Phantom of the Opera and Legally Blonde.

His debut album is a collection of classic ballads such as Hallelujah and Smile to more modern hits like All By Myself and I Will Always Love You. There are also musical theatre favourites such as Stars and the song that he performed to earn a place on Ricky Martins ‘The Voice’ team; All I ask Of You from Phantom of the Opera, sung with New Zealand soprano Toni Gibson.

Putting his own style and amazing voice to songs we’re familar with, there were some great surprises for me on the album.

Perhaps one of the most covered songs by ‘Easy Listening’ artists is You Raise Me Up, but for me, Garwood’s is the best version I’ve heard since the song was popularised by Josh Groban.

Another stand out is This Is The Moment from the musical Jekyll & Hyde. Its a song I loathe to hear artists interpret because none of them have been able to replicate the vocal acting of Anthony Warlow from the concept cast recording. However, now I have a new favourite version. Garwood’s powerful voice really captures the emotions of the song where other artists have fallen flat.

Hallelujah and Amazing Grace are two songs that have always had little appeal to me, but perhaps the biggest compliment I can give is that I haven’t skipped listening to either of them after my first run through of the album (and I’ve had it on repeat since I purchased it yesterday).

The albums rounds off with two ‘bonus’ Christmas tracks which makes it a perfect gift for music lovers this Christmas.

Inside the case, the CD itself features the elaborate and colourful tattoos that cover Garwood’s chest and arm. Its unique and fits his motto of dont judge a book by its cover.

Where ever Matthew Garwoods career is headed, I’m sure this is not the only CD release we’ll see from this fantastic artist. With a beautiful voice that’s clearly made for musical theatre, I also hope there will be more leading-man roles will be in his future.

The CD is a must have for anyone’s collection.

Like: Matthew Garwood Official
Follow: @GarwoodMatthew
Website: MatthewGarwood.com.au
Buy: iTunes or GetMusic

Review: Doctor Who Tenth Doctor #4 (Titan Comics)

The Tenth Doctor #4 Cover A (Verity Glass)

Publisher: Titan Comics
Written by: Nick Abadzis
Artwork by: Elana Casagrande
Review: Kate @ All That Geek.

In exchange for the invaluable assistance she offered defending New York – and to say sorry for dropping into her life like a tornado! – the Doctor has promised Gabby one trip – just one trip! – in the TARDIS.

With the whole universe laid before her, all of time and space, where will Gabriella Gonzalez choose to go? What will they find when they get there… and can one trip in the TARDIS ever be enough?

More importantly, the Tenth Doctor has been hurt by the fate of his companions before – and recently! With Donna still fresh in his mind, can Gabby convince him that he shouldn’t travel alone, for just a little while longer?

 

Nick Abadzis embarks on a different kind of storytelling for issue #4 of Titans new adventures with the Tenth Doctor. Much of the issue is told through a letter from Gabby to her friend. The normal comic panels are integrated with wonderful sketches (from her sketchbook) and Gabby’s thoughts along side them. Its a fun, creative way to tell the story and I really loved the style.

The story itself is very entertaining and I would go as far as saying I enjoyed it more than the previous arc. The Doctor takes Gabby to an alien art gallery, with some amazing pieces to see. Of course, being a Doctor Who adventure, its not without its mystery and monsters. The story moves along at a good pace and is quite interesting.

I didn’t expect I would like a comic companion as much as the TV counterparts, but Gabby is wonderful. Abadzis has written her with the same bravery and humanity as any of the on-screen favourites. He also continues to capture the 10th Doctor’s voice perfectly.

The artwork continues to be fantastic, with special mention to the wonderful drawings from Gabby’s sketch book. I hope the style of art and storytelling continues throughout the arc otherwise it may feel a little strange going back to a ‘regular’ comic on the next issue.

Be sure to check out the preview below, including the wonderful cover variations and then purchase The Tenth Doctor #4 From Titan Comics or at your local comic book store.

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