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11 April 2006

Supernatural ninjas

I'm not sure when I became a fan of martial arts movies, but I remember the actor and the movie: Jean-Claude Van Damme, "Cyborg". My sister told me about that movie and thought I would like it. She was right. Despite the fact that he's become a joke now (alongside Steven Seagal) and only makes straight-to-video movies (just like, well, Steven Seagal), I was hooked. I got my love of action movies--and some sci fi--from my Dad. Not sure where the martial arts came in.

By the time I'd met Steven (my fiancee, not Seagal), my fav martial arts actors at the time were Jean-Claude and Seagal. I was also becoming a fan of Bruce Lee's son, Brandon, and was looking forward to more of his movies when he suddenly died (one of my favorite movies is the The Crow and the character in my upcoming series was named after his character in this movie). I've pretty much become a connoisseur of martial arts movies and tend to like the ones with a lot of wire work--like this flick-- and actors with exceptional fighting skills--like this guy and this guy (BTW, if you haven't seen the original version--not Quentin Tarantino's version--of Hero with Jet Li, you. are. seriously. missing. out. The vivid color and the fighting are freakin' AWESOME) . Then Buffy and Sydney came on the scene and I was like "Oh, it's on now. I'm really feelin' this kick butt stuff."

It also helped that Steven was pretty much immersed in the culture himself. He had been taking classes on a regular basis--until the teacher moved and never came back--and he'd trained at the Shaolin Temple in China for a week. When he gets sick, he consults his Chinese Herbal books (and believe me, the concoction you create to get rid of your cold really works). He doesn't have a black belt in anything nor is he a quad-level master. But he can protect himself, and me for that matter, if he really had to. He would love to get back into it--he keeps himself in shape by practicing on his own--but he's been to THE Shaolin Temple, people. In China. That's like the best of the best right there, ya feel me? When you come back to America, it's like getting a watered down soda. Since being with him, though, I've come to learn that the martial arts movies we see here really is watered down soda compared to the original, uncut versions made in China. They're really serious about breakin' bones over there. The more violent, the better, apparently.

You're probably wondering where I'm going with all this, so I'll tell you. Recently, Steven went buck wild after he found this website called NicheFlix. It works exactly like Net Flix, but they have a great selection of Asian cinema. Hence, the buck wilded-ness. Lately, our house has been filled with the sound of the many laborious battles of the gang from DragonBall Z. I swear to God, if I hear Goku or Gohan screech "KA-ME-KA-ME-HA!!!" one more time, I'm gonna toss the DVD player out the window and break the DVD's over Steven's head.

Last night though, he redeemed himself and put on something cool: Shinobi, Blade Under Heart. Think Asian version of Romeo and Juliet, but the warring families are ninjas living in hidden villages who practice the "mysterious art" of shinobi. Did you get that? Yeah, I know. I'll make it brief. "Juliet" (Orobo) and "Romeo" (Gennosuke) are leading 4 of their best fighters to Sumpu Castle to find out why the Lord of Lords (evil dictator?) wants the families to do battle. Needless to say, during their trek to the castle, the only two left standing are J and R. But here's the thing...they had some really cool abilities. I don't remember what R's was called, but I think it had something to do with slow motion. He was attacked by a group of--we'll call them Foot Soldiers--his eyes flashed, everything slowed down and the next thing you know he was a blur (literally) of motion, slicing and dicing these guys. After all was said and done, he was surrounded by body parts. One of R's other fighters was a woman whom I dubbed Poison Ivy. She was just like the song, too, except, well, it was literal. She was bred to fight. She had been fed poison all her life as another form of weapon. Crude, but effective.

But my girl, J, on the other hand...whew. She had this ability called Eyes of Destruction. She would close her eyes for a second, like she was summoning her power, and when she looked at you, every single bone in your body would break. Every. Single. One. Can you imagine having a special power like that? It gives new meaning to the word, "evil eye."

Which begs the question: if you had a special ability, what would it be?
posted by GeminiWisdom @ 2:28 PM |


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