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Oct 222014


I figured there would be another sequel to this franchise, and here it is Resident Evil: Retribution. Taking place where the last movie left off, Alice (Milla Jovovich) continues her battle against the Umbrella Corporation and zombie outbreak. However, it starts out confusing.

First it shows a major battle in reverse. Then after Alice brings us all up to date throughout the first four films, the same battle is shown, as it should be. That would’ve worked better to not show the reverse version at all.

Then the story suddenly switches completely. Alice is a suburban housewife and has a deaf daughter named Becky (Aryana Engineer). It just a typical day, until the zombies start attacking from everywhere. Alice manages to get Becky to safety, but she doesn’t use any of her skills as though she had none.

The story jumps yet again. This time Alice wakes up in an Umbrella base. She is held captive with no idea on what became of her surviving allies. By this point, I begin to wonder where this movie is going due to the lack of consistency.

Things become clearer when Alice escapes the cell and fights approaching zombies with her awesome kick butt moves. Now that’s the Resident Evil franchise I remember.

Alice’s only ally at this point is Ada Wong (Li Bingbing), a former Umbrella operative. She helps Alice get through the facility in order to escape, but it won’t be easy. The base is huge with large simulations of Tokyo, New York, Moscow, and Suburbia, populated by clones and zombies.

The most recognizable clones were the ones of Rain (Michelle Rodriguez). It’s nice to know that she returns after the first movie.

Luckily, there’s a strike team outside the base, led by Luther West (Boris Kodjoe). Remember him from the last movie? They have set a bomb to blow up the whole place in two hours, so they’re on the clock to look for Alice and Ada and get out.

Among the monsters Alice and Ada encounter is the axeman with the homemade axe/sledgehammer. The only difference now is that there are two of them. The battle was intense, but Alice and Ada survive. You’d think that Alice would come up with something wittier to say than, “Hey, boys. Bad idea.”

Of course that’s nothing compared to the new giant monster called the Uber Licker. Now that is one freaky grotesque creature. There’s no mention of how it was created. I can only imagine.

This was an exciting sequel with a great amount of zombie killing action. It seems that Umbrella is never going to give up on going after Alice, no matter how many times she defeats them. I wonder what’s next in store for her.

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.

Apr 182012

Milla Jovovich is back again as Alice in the fourth installment, Resident Evil: Afterlife. This time the zombies are still a threat and those scientists who used to experiment on Alice have taken refuge underground in a high-tech fortress. That all changes when Alice breaks in with her smooth fighting skills. She also has that telekinetic force field power down to an art now.

During the battle, it’s also revealed that Alice isn’t alone. She has clones helping her out. Unfortunately, the Alices all get killed after succeeding in blowing up the fortress. All except the real one, who ends up losing her powers completely.

Later, Alice flies a biplane to Alaska to look for the surviving members of the convoy from Resident Evil: Extinction in the town of Arcadia. There were transmissions coming from there saying that it had a refuge away from the zombies. When Alice arrives, she only finds Claire (Ali Larter) with a mind controlling spider robot, which also causes memory loss.

Once Claire comes to her senses, she and Alice fly to a security prison in Los Angeles, which is strong enough to keep the zombies out. After landing, Alice and Claire find some survivors and learn that Arcadia is not a town. It’s a ship that’s not far from the prison. How could they have known that?

The plan now is to figure out how to get everyone to the ship past all of those zombies. Chris (Wentworth Miller), a prisoner who is revealed to be Claire’s brother, has a plan, but no one else trusts him. That soon changes once the zombies find a way to sneak in underground to the showers. You’d think they would’ve waited until after Alice started showering before breaking in.

These zombies have a new feature also. Their mouths open like Venus flytraps with snakelike fangs. Luckily, Alice has a trick up her sleeve. She uses quarters for ammo. I never realized they could be that lethal. On the other hand, there’s no casino for her to use them.

Soon the prison gates fail because a new masked monster called and axeman arrives with a giant homemade axe/sledgehammer. There’s no explanation about what he is, or where he came from. Only that he’s tough and not even bullets to the head can stop it.

Back in the showers, both Alice and Claire fight the masked monster in an exciting boss battle. It takes a lot to beat this guy and I also wonder if he really made that weapon all by himself.

Only a few survivors manage to escape with Alice to Arcadia, but it’s not over yet. New surprises await them on the ship, which include the return of the mutant zombie dogs. What’s a Resident Evil movie without them?

I liked this exciting sequel. Alice has done well without her powers, but will she need them again?

Apr 082011

The subject of aliens from outer space usually raises the question, “Is there intelligent life on other planets?” In reality that’s still unknown, but when it comes to the sci-fi genre, there are many types of alien species and planets outside the solar system. Basically, they are just like anyone else. Some are good and some aren’t. Here are a few examples of cosplay alien characters from MegaCon 2011. They include Jedi knights from Star Wars, a killer martian from Mars Attacks, and Supergirl.

That’s just the beginning. These are my top ten favorite aliens in pop culture.

#10) Alf from Alf: His real name is Gordon Shumway from the planet Melmac. After Melmac exploded, lone survivor Gordon goes to Earth and was adopted by the Tanner family. There he was renamed Alf, which stands for “Alien Life Form”. His presence is kept a secret from most people, but Alf’s comedic antics always get him into trouble. Just make sure he doesn’t eat the cat.

#9) Frank the pug from Men in Black 2: He’s a talking dog, who is actually an alien in disguise. Frank is knowledgeable and witty, but annoying toward Agent Jay. Isn’t he just cute in that suit, especially when he wears sunglasses?

#8) Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama: This lobsterman is part of the Planet Express crew as a doctor, but isn’t very bright. Zoidberg is comedic and will eat anything no matter how disgusting it is.

#7) Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons: These brother/sister aliens are space travelers, who visit Earth on every Tree House of Horror episode. Whether it’s for a cameo or as part of one of the three tales, these two comedic creatures always look for a way to conquer the Earth. They like to laugh, but do they have to constantly drool? It’s disgusting.

#6) Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (80s version): He’s the top warlord of Dimension X, but was zapped from his body when he was given the boot. Now Krang is an alien brain with an android body. He’s also a brilliant mad scientist, who works with the Shredder to try and conquer Earth and get revenge on the turtles. Krang hardly leaves the technodrome, but he’s a much tougher opponent than he appears to be.

#5) Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) from The Fifth Element: She’s a modelesque alien, who struggles to adjust with the customs and language of Earthlings. However, Leeloo is intelligent and strong, which is important for she is the Supreme Being.

#4) Sil (Natasha Henstridge) from Species: Earth scientists engineered this modelesque alien with DNA from another planet. Sil is intelligent and strong, but also a predator who only wants to procreate. As a human she may be beautiful, but as an alien she’s as creepy as she is dangerous.

#3) Shep Ramsey (Hulk Hogan) from Suburban Commando: He’s an intergalactic warrior, who ends up stranded on Earth. As much as he hates Earthlings, Shep tries to adjust. When faced with a problem, how he solves it always ends up with hilarious results, even when he does something heroic.

#2) Goldar from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Now here’s an evil alien, who is hard to beat, but exciting in battle. Goldar is the strongest warrior to serve Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. He’s fierce with a sword and likes to talk, but once Goldar feels that he’s losing the fight, big or small, he always retreats before the rangers get the chance to finish him off.

#1) Gonzo from The Muppet Show: For years he was only labeled as a “Whatever” or a “Weirdo”. Then in Muppets from Space, Gonzo was finally revealed as an alien. That might explain his unusual tolerance for pain and strange taste in women, but there’s more to Gonzo than what species he is. Gonzo is also a daredevil artist. As creative as his acts are, most of them backfire. However, it doesn’t stop him from coming up with something dangerously new.

Feb 112011

Meet Ultraviolet (Unrated, Extended Cut) (Milla Jovovich), a diseased woman who was experimented on by the government and became superhuman with smooth fighting skills. Unfortunately she needs constant transfusions to stay alive, even more than Blade needs his serum.

This movie takes place in the future, where a virus plagues the world and turns most of the population into hemophages. That means humans having vampire-like qualities. Humans are at war with them and Violet is caught in the thick of it.

The humans are paranoid when it comes to being exposed to hemophages. When Violet goes into a military medical building to pick up a case with a special weapon in it, security takes no chances. It starts with a DNA check at the front door. Then she sits in a chair strapped down by her thumbs and needles all poking into her eyes, mouth and wrists. Now that’s just crazy, but it’s not over yet.

The next test has Violet go through an X-ray scan corridor… naked. I wonder if that was just an excuse to get a good look at her. Then again, it’s very dark in X-ray scan, so not much can be seen. Once Violet finally gets to the case, she has to enter even more DNA to confirm the receipt. Good grief! How much more proof do these people need?

Violet’s amazing skills also include walking on walls and ceilings, whether it’s by foot or while driving her motorcycle. I don’t see Violet as a wacky wall walker, since she prefers back flips. Violet also has a sharp perception. When she became surrounded by a group of armed men, she dodges all of the bullets and they end up shooting each other. So technically Violet didn’t kill any of them, but she sure was graceful.

While in the elevator on her way to see her hemophage boss Nerva (Sebastien Andrieu), Violet opens the case, even though she was told not to open it. Inside was no weapon. It’s a young boy named Six (Cameron Bright), who might have a cure for the plague within him. Nerva doesn’t believe her and tries to kill Six. Violet escapes with him, but now they’re on the run from both sides.

At first Violet only sees Six as a possible cure, but soon grows closer to him and discovers that there’s something more about Six than she realizes. What an emotionally exhausting day this ends up being for her.

This was a good film filled with kick butt action. The special effects are amazing with how Violet’s weapons materialize in her hands when she needs them. If only Violet didn’t have this dying problem, then she would really be in business.