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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.

Nov 112009
 

Welcome back. After the third season of Charmed, Shannen Doherty left the series to host the reality show Scare Tactics. What an interesting transition. She went from fighting scary demons to pulling scary pranks on people.

For season four of Charmed, through the end of the series, Rose McGowan joined the cast as half sister, Paige. She was great, but I still liked Prue. She was a dedicated leader, like what Leonardo is to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She knew how to fight like a warrior with her telekinesis. Demons beware.

I met Shannen Doherty at Spooky Empire 2009. Yes, I was well aware of her bad girl reputation, but I’m not one to prejudge. When I went to get her autograph, she was so sweet. Surprisingly, she had the shortest line.

Shannon Doherty

Later, I went to get my photo with Shannen. She remembered me by name, which was a first for me. She was also making sure that I was having a good time at the convention, which I was.

Shannon Doherty and me

Then came the Q&A panel with Shannen Doherty. Although Shannen has left her bad girl reputation behind her, she still feels awkward when fans ask her if she really is a bitch. I don’t blame her for feeling that way. Personally, I don’t think she’s a bitch at all, especially after meeting her in person. As far as I could tell, it’s mostly just bad press.

In fact, this gets me thinking back to when Shannen Doherty was on Saturday Night Live back in 1993. This wasn’t mentioned at the Q&A panel, but I remember that there were a couple of sketches that poked fun at her for being a bad girl. At the opening monologue, Shannen showed footage from her wedding and she had a very short temper with everyone, including the cameraman. That was a real bridezilla right there.

Then there was a sketch that took place during the Salem witch trials, where Shannen played Abigail Walcott, who was on trial for bitchcraft. It was funny, but I’m surprised that she was actually willing to go through with something like that.

Later on, Brian Krause joined in the Q&A panel to talk about Charmed.  His favorite “Leo” moment on the series was when Leo was dead and gets brought back to life.

Shannen Doherty

As for Shannen Doherty, she mentioned that playing Prue was a delight. She liked that Prue embraced her powers and was like Neo from The Matrix. She did all of her own stunts. It may have been grueling, taxing, and hard on her body, but she found it very rewarding and loved the experience. Shannen’s most favorite episode was her last episode, “All Hell Breaks Loose”, which she also directed. Not because it was her last episode, she thought it was cool directing her own death scene. Her least favorite episode was, “She’s a Man, Baby, a Man”, when Prue gets turned into a man. Shannen felt awkward about wearing facial hair and a prosthetic “you know what”.

As for why Shannen Doherty left Charmed when she did. Well, she just came to a crossroads and decided not to continue with the role. Looking back now, she has no regrets. Shannen was happy with the choice she made. The same goes for all of the other movies and TV shows that she has been in. Shannen sees each project as a new learning experience. One things for sure, Shannon is an actress first. So there’s not much of a chance that she’ll ever do another reality show, not even Dancing with the Stars. Then again, reality TV shows like America’s Next Top Model and Hell’s Kitchen are some of her guilty pleasures.

Nov 092009
 

Charmed: The Complete Series (1998-2006) was definitely a favorite. Three sisters, Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs), and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) are a team of witches who fight evil beings like warlocks, demons, and other evil spirits to protect the innocents of San Francisco. They’re known as the Charmed Ones.

This show is along the lines of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When the Charmed Ones vanquish an enemy, they burst into flames with neat effects and echoed screams. Most of the witches, warlocks, and demons don’t really have a particular look. In fact, they look no different than ordinary citizens, which makes it easier to blend in as long as nobody uses their powers in public.

One of the toughest issues was that the Charmed Ones always have to keep their identities a secret. Since the crimes the demons commit involve police business, it’s only fair that a police officer knew about them also. It starts with Prue’s boyfriend Andy (T.W. King), but he gets killed off too soon. So the secret was passed on to his partner Darryl Morris (Dorian Gregory).

Later on, a white lighter named Leo (Brian Krause) joins the team. Not only is he good to have around the house as a handyman and as Piper’s love interest, but his healing powers and teleportation are very helpful in battle.

Charmed also has its share of humor, especially from Piper. She’s so funny when she’s irritated, and a lot of strange things keep happening to Phoebe. One of my favorites was when her grandmother’s wedding ring turns her into a happy housewife from a 50s sitcom, who only cares about cooking and cleaning. Some of my favorite episodes are the ones based on old myths and legends. It has a creative take on fairytales and creatures of folklore.

I met several Charmed stars at several different conventions. The first was Jennifer Rhodes, who played Grams, at MegaCon 2008. She was nice and asked me how long I’ve been a fan of Charmed. I told her that I have been for a long time and that I have the whole series on DVD. She also told me that this was one of her favorite photos.

Jennifer Rhodes

Then I met Dorian Gregory at Mini MegaCon 2009 and Brian Krause at Spooky Empire 2009. Both were really nice guys and were thrilled that I was a big Charmed fan. And I told them that these autographed photos were going on my wall, which is filled with Charmed pictures.

Brian Krause and me

 

Charmed is still a cult classic and will be for years to come, just like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Keep in touch and check my blog for Charmed part 2, when I’ll be talking about meeting the lovely Charmed star Shannen Doherty.