Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Having been rather occupied with work and studies as of late, Grace and I capitalized on having classes canceled and used the unexpected respite to spend time with one another. We met up in Robinson's Galleria a bit after my boardwork, and had dinner in Wham before we went off to watch National Treasure. And we also ran into Emily Fenix at “A Store With No Name” while we were window shopping, all the same...

She's been practically the only consolation I had for this week... I still haven't found my digital camera, nor have I managed to work out certain long-standing issues I have to work out with someone...

Nonetheless, we still went out the next day and went on a marketing research spree again. Looks like progress has been made at this point. Hopefully, we can see what happens afterwards...

.:The Storm:.

I am very thankful that the storm was not quite as strong as it was expected to be. I suppose a lot of lives were spared because of this fact, and because people didn't take any chances and canceled classes for today. It's cause for gratitude, to say the least.


I guess pouring my heart out to people I care about really just doesn't work any longer. Sad as the case really happens to be, I realize now that some people just really don't care about how I feel, and are more concerned about what I can do for them. If my usefulness to them is in question, they simply find it highly convenient to go and just forget about me.

Can't say I blame them. This is not to say that I don't get hurt, though. I most certainly do.

.:Film Review: National Treasure:.

You know the drill, of course... and it's been a while since I really did film reviews, which explains the lack of a picture on top of the Incredibles review...


National Treasure
Any relation to Bill?

Nicholas Cage makes a killing in his comeback movie of sorts as Benjamin Gates in “National Treasure”, which most people feel to be very similar in feel to Dan Brown's book “The Da Vinci Code”. This film, having been atop the box office in America for two straight weeks, overcoming the onrush of Colin Farrel's “Alexander”, is a testament to Jerry Bruckheimer's brilliant track record of producing really great films.

National Treasure chronicles the quest of Benjamin Gates, a treasure-hunter who followed the path of his family line in search of the “treasure of treasures”, which he believes to have found their way into the United States at one point. Aided by a few other treasure-hunters, he has a falling out with his partner, Ian, upon discovering the need to acquire the Declaration of Independence. Whilst Ben wants to find the treasure out of principle, Ian is mainly out for the money, and this difference in priorities separate their paths.

Afterwards, Gates and his sole partner at this point go and attempt to warn everyone they can about the possibility that the Declaration of Independence might actually be stolen, which clearly, nobody believed. This is where Ben crosses paths with Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger), who likewise doesn't buy the story. In an act of desperation, Gates then hatches a plan to steal the Declaration of Independence and keep Ian from getting it.

What follows is then a chase across the country for even more clues until they get to the end of the road and discover the treasure of treasures.

If I could make one simple comment about this whole film, National Treasure thrived on providing an adrenaline rush for the viewer. Few films I know of can masterfully excite the audience about what's happening onscreen the way this film has. You'd be practically on the edge of your seats every single time Cage was trying to figure out a clue whilst Ian was closing in on his trail. The sheer brilliance of tying in fiction and reality was almost at Dan Brown proportions, although some diehard fans of the DVC are going to scoff at the interpretation of the all-seeing eye symbol in the $1 bill.

I greatly enjoyed how well they weaved the story together, from Ben's dogged persistence, to his father's jaded skepticism about the existence of the treasure, to Abigail's horror over having the Declaration stolen slowly morphing into curiosity about the treasure, to Ian's half-willingness to cooperate with Ben in order to get the treasure. Everything about the story had a way of making complete sense throughout the whole of it. Simply put, it was an amazingly ingenious piece of storytelling. One would enjoy the film so much that he'd almost overlook simple technical gaps in the story, such as the lack of fuel for the torches being extensively used in the last tunnel...

The way the last few scenes played out was excellent, though. Ben's father bluffed incredibly well and misled Ian to leaving them in the tunnel underneath Parkington Avenue's tomb. This then led them to finding the real treasure room, while Ian went on a wild goose chase to Boston. Sheer genius.

If you're out for some excitement in a film, this is your best bet. Inasmuch as Alexander is more historical than this film happens to be, most people's aversion to manly love will ensure Alexander won't quite be the hit that National Treasure already is...

Marcelle's “Fun” Evaluation: A+
Marcelle's “Critical” Evaluation: A-

.:Vindication, Part VI (The Conclusion!):.

This is the final match on Smackdown for the vacant WWE Championship. Having survived various opponents over the past month, Chris Benoit and John Cena will be squaring off tonight on Smackdown's main event for the vacant title. It's bound to be a PPV-quality match tonight from the two...

Michael Cole: Tazz, this is it! No more time for talking, no more time for rapping in Cena's case. The match is on, and after being coerced by the chairman Vince McMahon, Chris Benoit is definitely going to take part in this match, and possibly be the first Undisputed Champion since Brock Lesnar.

Tazz: That's right, Cole! Benoit was reluctant to get into this match, but there's no turning back now. Speaking of Benoit, here comes his opponent, John Cena!

Michael Cole: John Cena is making his way into the ring, and he looks really confident. What are his chances tonight in your opinion? He's not exactly wrestling his favorite kind of match, you know.

Tazz: Cole, The Doctor of Thuganomics looks raring to go, although I have yet to see how good he can be in a “First To Tap Out Match”.

Michael Cole: Chris Benoit's music is playing now, and he's making his way to the ring. Boy, he looks intense!

Tazz: “Benoit” and “intense” are practically synonyms, Cole!

Chris Benoit walks towards the ring with the crowd wildly cheering on both men. As he makes his way, John Cena eyes him intently, and likewise looks at the World Heavyweight Championship across his shoulder.

Tazz: The Crippler and John Cena are standing toe to toe in the ring, and they look like they're ready to go!

Michael Cole: The bell is rung! They start things off with a test of strength, and Benoit gets the upper hand by turning it into a crucifix rollup!

Tazz: That's not going to work. This is a tap-out only match, according to Mr. McMahon!

Michael Cole: You're right, Tazz. I think Benoit just realized that, and now, he aims a knee to John Cena's gut and whips him to the ropes! Nice shoulder block there!

Tazz: This is a big night for both of these men, Cole! Neither man has ever been the Smackdown champ!

Michael Cole: Benoit whips Cena into the turnbuckle and launches a wicked chop at him!

Tazz: You can hear this hot crowd go “whoooooo” on that one!

Michael Cole: Another chop, but Cena reverses it and backs Benoit into the corner! Cena's unloading some rights on Benoit, and rams him with an elbow to the side of the head!

Tazz: This looks less like a submission match and more like a plain slugfest to me right now.

Michael Cole: John Cena grabs Benoit and hits a vertical suplex! He runs to the ropes, and hits a five-knuckle shuffle!

Tazz: Cena doesn't seem to be preparing for any submissions, is he?

Michael Cole: You spoke too soon, Tazz. He's got leg scissors across Benoit's neck right now, and Benoit's trying to create some space for him to breathe...

Tazz: I don't think that's the smartest submission to lock onto Benoit right now, Cole. Look! Benoit reverses it by flipping across and turns it into an Indian Deathlock!

Michael Cole: How the heck did he do that?

Tazz: Why don't we look at the replay while Cena struggles to get to the ropes? Benoit has to release the hold now.

Michael Cole: Sheer technical excellence there.

Tazz: I think it's too early to get any submissions at this point. Both men have to work on their opponent methodically and pick apart a body part or two to gain the submission victory.

Michael Cole: Benoit's up now and kicks Cena in the midsection! DDT, but Cena resists and turns it into a double leg takedown! Slinghot right into the turnbuckle! Benoit's dazed!

Tazz: Cena capitalizes now, and hits a backdrop! Cena goes for the armbar! The Rabid Wolverine is in a tap-out predicament!

Michael Cole: Benoit's not tapping, and he's trying to get up to reduce John Cena's leverage. Cena breaks the hold before he can get reversed and hits a clothesline on Benoit.

Tazz: This match is picking up already, Cole! Cena tries a suplex again on Benoit, and hits it! Cena locks on a crossface on Benoit! Imagine seeing Chris tap out to his own move!

Michael Cole: That won't happen though, as Benoit gets to the ropes quickly enough. Cena is still in control of this matchup, though. He's going to the top rope for some high risk maneuver! Elbow drop misses! Benoit rolls out of the way!

Tazz: Both men are down! Can Benoit capitalize on this? He's struggling to get up and attempts a Sharpshooter! Cena instinctively kicks him away, and Benoit's caught between the ropes! Cena drives a knee to wedge him into the ropes!

Michael Cole: Cena has the upper hand here. He locks onto Benoit, who reverses into a crossface! Crossface! Cena's not tapping! He's trying to get to the ropes!

Tazz: Cena manages to get to the ropes, and Benoit releases the hold. Benoit picks Cena up and whips him into the ropes, Cena reverses, and he hits one heck of a clothesline!.

Michael Cole: Both men are beginning to feel the ravages of this match, Tazz. Cena's catching his breath now while Benoit is down on the canvas. Cena picks Benoit up, and attempts another clothesline, but Benoit ducks!

Tazz: Oh, man! It's a German suplex! And another! Looks like Benoit's going for a hat trick, and he hits it! Cena looks out of it!

Michael Cole: Benoit can go for the win now! Wait! He's going to try for a diving headbutt! This is a submission match! He won't win that way!

Tazz: Benoit's taking too much time! Cena's getting a chance to recover while he climbs the top rope!

Michael Cole: Too late! John Cena gets to Benoit and... FU! FU from the top rope! That could be the match right there if only Cena locks on a submission!

Tazz: Instinct kicks in for Cena! He's going for the cover! The ref is reminding him that it's a submission match!

Michael Cole: Cena gets frustrated and decks the referee! The ref is down! Oh, man! This is getting way too personal now!

Tazz: Did you see that punch, Cole? Looks like Charles Robinson won't be up for quite a while now!

Michael Cole: Cena smells blood now. That FU could very well spell the end for Benoit! Cena picks up Benoit, kicks him in the midsection, and sets him up for another monstrous FU! Wait! Benoit's squirming from it, and he gets the crippler crossface on! It's locked on! It's locked on in the middle of the ring, and Cena is in no man's land!

Tazz: Cena's as far away from the ropes as he can be now! He's not going anywhere!

Michael Cole: Tazz, Benoit has Cena in a bad way here! I don't think Cena can hold on much longer!

Tazz: Cena's tapping! Cena's tapping!

Michael Cole: But the ref is out! Benoit should've won this match already!

Tazz: What a bad break for Benoit! But he's still not letting go of the submission!

Michael Cole: Wait a minute! What is Booker T doing here?

Tazz: Booker's going into the ring armed with a steel chair! Ow! Right on Benoit's back! Benoit didn't see it coming!

Michael Cole: Benoit's hurt now. That was a solid steel chair shot to the back. Booker's not done yet, though. He's setting Benoit up for a scissors kick with the steel chair under him! Bam! Benoit is down again, and I think he's busted open with that scissors kick!

Tazz: Cena's not the least bit aware of what just happened. He was writhing in pain!

Michael Cole: The ref is coming to already. Talk about perfect timing.

Tazz: I can taste the sarcasm, Cole. Booker T is already out of the ring and headed out of the arena. The steel chair is gone. It's like he never even showed up now!

Michael Cole: Cena is struggling to get up. He's really hurt, but he sees Benoit sprawled on the floor. He's going for a Boston Crab now! They're in the center of the ring again! Can Benoit make it?

Tazz: Benoit's inching his way to the ropes! He's almost there! No! Cena drags him away! They're locked in the center, and Cena applies more pressure!

Michael Cole: The ref is looking at Benoit! He's asking if he will tap! Benoit is refusing, but you can see how hurt he is! He's bleeding from a cut near his right eye!

Tazz: What does it take to make Chris Benoit give up, Cole? I thought he didn't want this belt? He's not tapping!

Michael Cole: Never underestimate the heart of the Rabid Wolverine, Tazz! Cena is getting frustrated now, but refuses to release the hold! Benoit is still not tapping!

Tazz: Benoit took an FU from the top rope, and a steel chair shot to the back. For him to still refuse to tap out is nothing short of phenomenal, Cole!

Michael Cole: Hold on, Tazz. Benoit has stopped shaking his head to the pain, but he's still not tapping out.

Tazz: I don't think he even has any energy left to tap out! I think he's out cold!

Michael Cole: The ref is counting! He raises the arm! One! Two!

Tazz: Wait... didn't Vince emphasize that it has to be a tap-out for anyone to win this match? If Benoit is knocked out, does Cena really win the title?

Michael Cole: I don't know! That's three already! Benoit is knocked out, and the bell is rung! The ref isn't sure how to rule this, though. Mr. McMahon did mention tapping out and didn't say it was just a “submission match”.

Tazz: This is a controversial finish, but Cena technically won this match.

Michael Cole: Are you kidding? Benoit never gave up! He didn't tap! Cena did!

Tazz: The ref didn't see that.

Michael Cole: Damn that Booker T! He completely ruined the whole match, and now, we have no idea how to resolve this unless the chairman comes along to make things official!

The End?

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