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Mar 152013

Highly skilled warriors have always been both inspirational and interesting heroes in pop culture. From martial artists to “chosen ones” with special powers, these ladies really make an impression with their amazing skills. Here are some of my favorites, who I find fascinating.

#10) Red Sonja (Brigitte Nielsen) from Red Sonja: This warrior is not only highly skilled with a sword, but also has an amazing jumping ability. I like to think of Sonja as a pre-Xena kind of warrior woman, even though she is difficult, especially when it comes to winning her heart by defeating her in a fair fight.

#9) Yim Wing Chun (Michelle Yeoh) from Wing Chun: Now here’s a martial artist like no other. She not only has fast reflexes, some of which are highly exaggerated, but also has a comedic wit. Wing Chun makes all of her fight moves look so smooth and easy that not even the toughest bandits can touch her. Her only limit is that she never kills. She only toys with her foes. It’s all part of what makes Wing Chun a big favorite of mine.

#8) Alice (Milla Jovovich) from Resident Evil films: Amazing combat skills and smooth moves are what make her the hottest heroine in the franchise. Whenever faced with ravenous zombies, mutant canines, or other dangerous beasts, Alice will fight it. Alice’s abilities are so extraordinary that Umbrella Corp decided to make many clones of her, which keep getting killed in their deadly obstacle course. It just seems so wasteful.

#7) Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: She was once a high school cheerleader, only to receive the strength and skill of a type of warrior called the slayer. Now Buffy spends much of her spare time battling evil supernatural beings from vampires to demons and sometimes the rebellious slayer Faith with her martial arts and comedic wit. Luckily, Buffy never has to fight alone.

#6) Helen (Gina Torres) from Cleopatra 2525: She leads the trio of freedom fighters and is the only one who can communicate with the anonymous Voice because of the receptor inside her ear. Helen is a courageous fighter, but has a personal grudge against Creegan for murdering her father. Whenever Helen faces Creegan she struggles to stay focused on the task at hand. Luckily, her teammates Sarge and Cleo are always there to watch her back.

#5) Princess Amelia (Amber Benson) from Attack of the Gryphon: She is the princess of Lockland and a noble leader. Whatever the adversary, man or beast, Amelia shows no fear, especially when there’s a task. I admire her devotion, but she hardly ever loosens up. I wonder what Amelia does on her leisure time when she’s not fighting battles, or going on quests to save her kingdom.

#4) Beatrix Kiddo a.k.a. the Bride (Uma Thurman) from Kill Bill: She was a trained assassin specialized with any kind of weapon. When Beatrix decides to give up that lifestyle, she gets hunted down and nearly killed by Bill, her lover and sensei. Although Beatrix’s main focus is revenge, I sure admire her will power. Even against overwhelming odds, she never lets up.

#3) Chun-Li from Street Fighter franchise: Ever since her first appearance on the Street Fighter 2 Super NES video game, Chun-Li has always been a huge favorite in the franchise with her jumping skill, powerful kicking moves, and sex appeal. There have been at least several versions of Chun-Li over the years, but her story is always the same. She didn’t become a street fighter for personal glory. Chun-Li merely wants revenge on Bison for her father’s murder. Here are a few of my favorite movie versions.

Street Fighter: Ming Na plays the role as a reporter covering the war in Shadowloo, but also goes undercover in an attempt to take her revenge.

Street Fighter 2 the Animated Movie: In this Anime film, Chun-Li is an Interpol agent. She has the same grudge against Bison, but always keeps a clear head because she knows that duty comes before personal feelings.

Street Fighter the Legend of Chun-Li: The most recent version played by Kristin Kreuk features more of Chun-Li’s background, including how she learns to use the Hado fireball from later Street Fighter video games.

#2) Xena (Lucy Lawless) from Xena Warrior Princess: She was once a dangerous warlord, but thanks to Hercules she now uses the many skills she developed over the years to become a heroic warrior. Like Hercules, Xena travels around helping others in need while making up for a lifetime of evil. Some of her fighting moves are highly exaggerated, but I admire her strength because even while Xena is vulnerable, she can still kick butt easily.

#1) Charmed Ones from Charmed: If there’s one team of women that deserve to be on top, it’s the Halliwell sisters.

Prue (Shannen Doherty) is the courageous leader. Combined with her telekinetic powers, I definitely see Prue worthy of the title Noble Warrior.

Piper (Holly Marie Combs) has the power to freeze anything in its place. Her powers eventually expand with the ability to blow up enemies. Of course it’s really Piper’s comedic persona, which usually comes from being irritated, that makes her a big favorite.

Phoebe’s (Alyssa Milano) power is only limited to premonitions, but don’t underestimate her. Phoebe’s martial art skills always pack quite a punch in battle.

Then there’s Paige (Rose McGowan), who is half witch and half white lighter. Her telekinetic power is different from Prue’s, but still just as useful in battle. It’s also neat that Paige can orb anywhere at anytime, which gives the Charmed ones more of an edge.

Feb 032010

Mortal Kombat is a martial arts tournement of mystical adventure. I can remember when the first video game version came out. Mortal Kombat was constantly competing with Street Fighter 2. I’ve seen it in “Gamepro” magazine all the time. Almost to the annoying point, like seeing Hannah Montana ads everywhere you go… almost. The main difference was that the gore level on Mortal Kombat was higher. And for that, I much preferred Street Fighter 2.

After seeing Mortal Kombat, I’ve grown to like the franchise more. All of the characters from the original video game are in it, including Liu Kang (Robin Shou), Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), Kano (Trevor Goddard), Sonja Blade (Bridgette Wilson), and Princess Kitana (Talisa Soto). She’s 10,000 years old? Kitana must know Joan Rivers’s secret. Heck, Goro is only 2000 years old and he doesn’t look a day over 500.

Bridgette Wilson plays Sonja Blade. I mostly remember her as Miss Vaughn, the third grade teacher from Billy Madison. As tough as Sonja is, I’m a little surprised that she didn’t attack anyone’s ears, like Miss Vaughn would. Then again, that move was not in the video game. But can you image if it was?

The tournament has a great setup. The challenges can happen anywhere on the island. The only downside is that each match is a fight to the death, courtesy of Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). “Fatality.” This film is as humorous as it is action packed. Although Liu Kang participates in most of the match ups, Shang Tsung enjoyed watching Sonja kick Kano’s butt. And of course, there’s Johnny Cage. He is hilarious. Who’d have thought that Scorpion (Chris Casamassa) was his greatest fan.

Goro is a tough advisory. He easily defeats a whole bunch of great fighters like, “Next. Next. Next…” I think I counted 20 before seeing a real match up. It isn’t fair that Goro has four arms with ninja turtle hands and feet. That’s probably why he wins all the time. The tournament becomes more intense after that. New surprises await the heroes. Including a nice dress.

The musical score that plays during the matches makes them more enjoyable. Although the soundtrack isn’t accurate, it’s still good. Come to think of it. There were several Mortal Kombat soundtracks, which doesn’t include the one for the sequel. I’ll tell ya. They’re all good.

I can also remember that back when I was in high school, my best friend and I used to watch this movie all the time. I still find Mortal Kombat a definate classic. I think fighting games with colorful characters make good films. Kind of makes you wonder what Killer Instinct would’ve been like as a movie.

Mortal Kombat - The Journey Begins [VHS]

There was also a Mortal Kombat animated feature that went straight to video called Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins that helped explain the story line more. Not to mention, one on one battles with computer animation. I enjoyed that also.