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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.

Aug 202012

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li is the latest Street Fighter movie to date, which stars Kristin Kreuk as the popular kung fu fighter Chun-Li.

When Chun-Li was a child, Shadowloo boss M. Bison (Neal McDonough) along with his right hand man Balrog (Michael Clarke Duncan) abducts her father Xiang (Edmund Chen). Chun-Li sees it all happen, but could do nothing.

Years pass and Chun-Li grows up to be a concert pianist. She soon receives a scroll written in ancient Chinese, so she seeks out an expert to translate it. As it turns out, Chun-Li must travel to Bangkok to seek out a man named Gen (Robin Shou, who I remember best as Liu Kang from the two Mortal Kombat movies). Unfortunately, it meant having to leave her old life behind and live as a drifter, which is a constant struggle.

One night, Chun-Li fights a group of thugs in an alley. At last we finally get to see her kick butt with smooth moves. It leaves her exhausted and that’s when Gen finally lets himself be found and helps prepare her for what’s ahead. The biggest thing he focuses on is helping Chun-Li control her anger, especially after finding out that her father is still alive.

In the later Street Fighter video games, Chun-Li uses hado fireballs. They’re not exactly like what Ryu and Ken use, but they’re just as effective. In this film, it’s revealed that it was Gen who taught it to her. How nifty. Too bad Ryu and Ken weren’t there to see that.

Bison’s back-story is also revealed in this movie, which does help explain why he’s always so bent on world domination. The only big difference is that he doesn’t wear his signature outfit. It’s hard to say why that is.

One of my favorite fight scenes was when Chun-Li confronts Bison’s secretary Cantana (Josie Ho) in the ladies room at a nightclub. Oh, yeah. Nothing like a sexy cat fight to make things more interesting.

Another one of Chun-Li’s skills is that that she can leap from the rooftops. Unfortunately, Vega (Taboo) can do the same. No wonder Chun-Li is usually the best fighter against him in the video game.

Now this version of Vega is much different than I would have imagined him to be. Sure he’s always been psychotic, but this Vega is more vicious than a vain showoff.

This was a good movie based on Chun-Li’s back-story, but only a few characters from the Street Fighter video games were in this one. I found that a little disappointing.