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Jun 252013

Martial arts superstar Michelle Yeoh, who is best known for starring in roles like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha, gets into the role of superhero as Silver Hawk. Lulu Wong (Michelle Yeoh) is a millionaire, who leads a double life as a masked vigilante that fights crime. It sounds like Batman with a woman’s touch. No, I’m not referring to Batgirl.

Silver Hawk’s fighting skill is amazing. She’s so intimidating that the bad guys want to tie themselves up after the battle. Yet Silver Hawk doesn’t act with anger, she’s full of smiles. You see, Silver Hawk likes to toy with her enemies while she fights. I wouldn’t say that she likes to show off, just that she’s a sneaky comedic warrior. It’s much like Michelle Yeoh’s role in Wing Chun, which is one of my favorite martial arts movies.

Lulu soon meets up with her childhood friend Rich Man (Richie Ren), who is now a superintendent for the police department. He intends to capture Silver Hawk, but soon learns that she’s not so easy to catch. Like I said, she’s very sneaky.

Things really start to heat up as Lulu’s cousin Tina (Misato Tachibana) gets kidnapped by Alexander Wolf (Luke Goss), a greedy entrepreneur intent on enslaving the world with a highly advanced A.I. microchip. While attempting to rescue Tina, Silver Hawk goes up against some tougher opponents on bungees. She manages to smoothly defeat them, but finds that Wolf is even tougher still with those metal arms of his. It appears unlikely for the main villain to join in the battle immediately after the henchmen are down. Doesn’t the hero usually have to go to him in the heart of his hideout first?

I really enjoyed this film. Smooth action and humor make a great combination for a superhero movie. Do you think Silver Hawk will get a sidekick in the future?

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.

Jul 272012

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is the most recent Mummy film to date, which takes place 13 years after the defeat of the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns. Alex (Luke Ford) is all grown up as he joins Rick (Brendan Fraser), Eve (Maria Bello), and Jonathon (John Hannah) on their newest adventure.

Neither Immhotep nor the Scorpion King returns in this one. This new mummy is a ruthless Chinese Emperor (Jet Li) with the power to control all of the elements. The Mummy Emperor can breathe fire and easily reassemble his stone figure. Immhotep would be so jealous of that.

Since the Emperor is more difficult to fight, Rick and the others will need some help to stop him. Alex’s new friend and love interest Lin (Isabella Leong) leads them to the Himalayas to find her mother Zi Yuan (Michelle Yeoh) in Shangri-La who can help kill the Emperor.

Image result for the mummy tomb of the dragon emperor yeti

Here’s a new twist. Along the way, they all find yetis up in the mountains. At least they’re good yetis.

The battle goes smoothly as the Emperor’s undead soldiers easily break into pieces with only single blows. Although the Emperor is tougher than either Immhotep or the Scorpion King, the battle doesn’t appear to be any bigger this time.

I must admit that this sequel was different, but still enjoyable. Eve has really grown as a character since The Mummy. Though it was surprising that Rachael Weisz didn’t reprise the role this time around.