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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.

Mar 162012
 

Like many of the superheroes of DC Comics, I first heard about the Green Lantern as one of the Super Friends. The actual story of this superhero becomes clearer on Green Lantern (2011). For starters, his identity is Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) a wreckless and irresponsible test pilot.

One day, Hal goes on an exciting test flight with his love interest Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) as his wingman, against a couple of fighter planes with artificial-intelligence in air combat. Hal wins with a reckless tactic, which nearly cost him his life. However, Hal’s real downfall was when he froze up after remembering how his father Martin Jordan (Jon Tenney) suddenly got killed in his plane when it exploded years ago.

Meanwhile, Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) a Green Lantern from another planet, crash-lands on Earth. He is severely wounded, so he uses his ring to choose a worthy replacement. It chooses Hal and Abin Sur uses his last ounce of strength to tell him that he must put the ring in the lantern, which is in the spaceship, and speak the oath.

Later, Hal takes the lantern home, but has no idea how to work it or even what the oath is because Abin Sur didn’t explain the procedure. Luckily, Hal happens to stumble into the lantern, which powers up the ring, and he automatically recites the oath. Now Hal is officially a Green Lantern.

Hal has yet to understand how to work these powers though. Suddenly, the ring whisks him off to the planet of Oa, the home base of all the Green Lanterns throughout the galaxy. There, Hal meets Tomar-Re (voice of Geoffrey Rush), who shows him around the wondrous planet. Hal shows some amazing moves once he learns how to fly.

Soon, the Green Lanterns all gather before their leader Sinestro (Mark Strong). He informs everyone about an incoming threat from Parallax (voice of Clancy Brown) an evil entity that can destroy worlds. I must admit that Parallax is one scary being.

Afterwards, Hal goes into basic training. First Tomar-Re shows him how to use his will to work the ring’s power, which Hal masters easily. Then things get tougher when Drill Sargent Kilowog (voice of Michael Clarke Duncan) trains Hal in combat. The real problem occurs when Sinestro takes over for Kilowog.

The ring is powered by will power, which is green, and its biggest enemy is fear, which is yellow and what Parallax feeds on to grow stronger. Hal shows courage while training with Sinestro, but it’s not enough because Hal still has fear within himself. According to Sinestro, Green Lanterns must be completely fearless as if fear should not exist. Sinestro even sees Hal as a disgrace because of it. That was enough to convince Hal that the ring made a mistake when it chose him and decides to quit.

That soon changes when a part of Parallax infects Dr. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) and changes him. It happened while he was examining Abin Sur’s body in a secret base. Now Hammond has a larger brain and can read minds.

Hal shows his superpowers in order to save people from impending danger. Although Hal eventually believes in himself again, will it be enough? Parallax has killed plenty of other Green Lanterns and is headed for Earth. It’s all up to Hal to save the day now.

This was an exciting film about the classic superhero. It provides a perfect example of how will power can fight fear, but it never comes easy.

May 032010
 

                

Hey, everyone. I just recently came back from Tampa, where I attended the first Star Trek convention I’ve ever gone to. It was called Vulcan Events. Each of the celebrity guests who were there were cast members from the Star Trek franchise. The biggest star who was there was Christopher Lloyd, who is also best known as Doc Brown from the Back to the Future trilogy. In dedication to that, there was a replica of the delorean as well as a money jar where you can donate for the Michael J. Fox Parkinson disease fund. It’s a really nice cause.               

Coincidentally, there was another delorean in the parking lot. What are the odds?

Among the stars I’ve met was Sally Kellerman, who was very nice. She has been in a few sci-fi shows like the original Star Trek and The Outer Limits. Believe it or not, she was also the voice of Miss Finch from the Sesame Street’s Follow That Bird. While getting her autograph, I told her that I remembered that role from years ago. Then she told me that it was the only voice over she had ever done and that it was a good movie. 

                

I also found a couple of cool Cosplay characters. At first I thought that the blue one was that blue girl from Farscape, but she was actually an andorian from Star Trek. I know that they are different characters, but they sure look similar to me. 

       

The vendors had Star Trek memorabilia by the ton. I’ve never seen so much of it in one place before. They even had old issues of TV Guide, which had Star Trek characters on the covers. 

             

I remember the Klingons having those weirdly shaped foreheads, which I thought were pretty cool. Take Lieutenant Worf for example. His forehead was amazing. It looked like a Mohawk. 

The other stars I’ve gotten to meet were Christopher Lloyd and Tony Todd who each had a Q&A. Here are some of the highlights I liked best. 

Tony Todd had a good time on Xena: Warrior Princess playing Cecrops. In fact, there was a possibility of a spin-off for that character. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out because he was busy with another movie at the time. A similar thing happened when he was considered for Michael Clarke Duncan’s role on The Green Mile

        

Christopher Lloyd mentioned that some of his favorite scenes from the Back to the Future trilogy were the train scenes from Back to the Future Part 3. Also he really enjoyed playing the role of Judge Doom on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but out of all of his characters, the role he would love to recreate the most is Uncle Fester. Before getting the role in The Addams Family movie, Christopher Lloyd used to be fasinated by The Addams Family cartoons that used to be in the New Yorker magazine and Uncle Fester was his favorite character. When he got the part, he was puzzled because he wasn’t the body type. Eventually after working with all kinds of makeup, it worked out very well. 

I’ll have more about Tony Todd and Christopher Lloyd on later posts real soon.