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Events happen in real-time.





That my friend is the sound of inevitability. For eight seasons we heard the reassuring movement of time despite the best attempt of foreign terrorists, domestic terrorists, madmen with nukes, foreign plots, bioweapons, and moles to bring down the U.S. of A. No matter what happened between hour One and hour Twenty-four you knew that Jack Bauer was going to burn it out of hiding, grab it by the throat, and crush its larynx. My wife watched the first two seasons and then just rolled her eyes whenever she’d catch me watching the continued adventures of Mr. Bauer and the CTU (which is also the name of my new Synthpop band). Yes, Jack is indestructible. Yes, there is always a mole in CTU. Yes, someone from Division wants a report. Yes, they just hacked a kernel.






Like death, taxes, and Chief O’Brien having to suffer at least once a season on DS9, Jack is something that is always true… an absolute in a world without absolutes. 24: Live Another Day lives up to the grand tradition, embraces it, and delivers exactly what those of us who have watched Jack Bauer and a revolving door of field agents do day after horrible day – to paraphrase Patton, “Make the other son-of-a-b&%#^ die for his country.” I think Patton and Jack would have gotten along quite well.

There’s no reason to go into what happened in this 12 episode season which took place in London, England. You’ve either already watched it because you are a fan, dismissed it because you are not a fan, or are a communist pig. 24 brings out absolutes like that.

What I can tell you is it was 24 and almost an improvement because they didn’t have 24 hours to pad with silly plotlines. Oh, there are silly plot lines for sure, they are just easier to ignore. It also brought closure to a lot of plot lines seeded throughout the whole series.





Inevitable. They will make another 24. And I know I will be watching it because like sands through an hour-glass so are the days of Jack Bauer’s life.



Idris Elba.

American audiences have been introduced to him only recently in Prometheus, the two Thor movies, and of course Pacific Rim in which he cancels the apocalypse. He also plays a very bad man in HBO’s #1 Ladies Detective Agency. However, over across the pond Mr. Elba is known for his role as DCI John Luther. Besides a few outliers like Batman and Columbo, England has created the vast majority of detectives you’ve ever seen or read. From the Great Detective, Sherlock, to the little old lady, Ms. Marple, English writers love to kill people and then solve the mystery.

The team behind Luther follow in this grand British tradition; killing and solving with the best of them in three series or as we say across the pond, seasons. I recently finished the four episodes of Series 3, so is it a show you need to see?

Yes, but start with Series 1 and 2 since each builds on the last and feed a lot of what’s going on in Series 3. There are essentially five stories going on: three mysteries, a love story, and Luther having to deal with his past. I didn’t care as much for the mysteries this go around, although the second one is a nice reflection of Luther. Series 1 and 2 had better ones, especially the finale of series 2. However, it’s not about the mysteries as much as it’s about Idris Elba acting the crap out of Luther.

Luther is powerful, incredibly brilliant, but the poor guy never seems to get a break and Elba, like a master craftsman, shows the emotions that are just bursting at the seams and often comes out in dramatic effect. I highly suggest Luther, it’s on Netflix and each Series is only a few episodes so you can watch it all in short order. And if you a more concrete reason…

Idris Elba.

ThePaladin gets Guacamelee all over his Xbox


Thanks to my Xbox Live Gold Membership I am able to download free games for my Xbox 360 and Xbox One each month. Last month was the start of games for Microsoft’s next-gen console, giving me Halo: Spartan Assault and Max: Curse of Brotherhood. This month, eschewing games with colons in their title, Microsoft has given unto us the super fantistico game – Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition. The title right there tells you the tone of the game.

Guacamelee is a Metroid-style side-scrolling platformer, which in layman’s speech means you travel across the screen fighting bad guys, jumping from platform to platform, and gaining new skills that you can go back to earlier in the game to use and reach previously locked areas. Guacamelee is about a young man who gains a mythical Luchador mask to aid him in his quest to rescue El Presidente’s Daughter. Throughout the game you learn powerful moves, like the Goat Jump, which aid you on your quest and allow you to reach more places in the world.

Platformers are not my favorite genre, so I was reluctant to give this game a try, but it was free so I though why not. Thus far the game has been a lot of fun and not as unforgiving as I remember Metroid on the old Nintendo being. What really makes the game is the humor. It is full of geek and video game references and just plain silliness.

I haven’t gotten far in the game and I’d love to try Co-Op, but I would recommend the game on the game’s humor and writing alone. Its fun to giggle as you play and figuring out how to pass an obstacle is not so frustrating that I want to quit in a rage. I give Guacamelee – Five out of Five Chickens!


ThePaladin is BATTLEBORN


Gearbox Software is the maker of the wildly successful Borderlands series and they’ve just announced their newest game – BATTLEBORN!

You can watch the trailer for yourself. I personally am excited to play as a dapper robot with a gun cane. Details are sparse at the moment, although BATTLEBORN has been described as a Shooter/MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena; think League of Legends); which is a strange mix. However, Gearbox successfully combined RPG elements from Diablo with a shooter to give us Borderlands, so I’m willing to give them the chance to wow me. My one critique is that besides the Dapper Robot(TM) none of the other character models look that good, the elf ranger is especially unattractive. They have over a year to fine tune and maybe pull a Borderlands and completely change the style, so I’m not too worried.

Regardless, BATTLEBORN will be one more reason to checkout the Gearbox panel at PAX this year… besides the free stuff and Randy Pitchford giggling like a little kid while giving away secrets… and I guess Mikey.

The Paladin goes to the Edge of Tomorrow


…and I live to tell about it.

Based of the manga “All You Need is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka this Tom Cruise vehicle is an interesting mash of Groundhogs Day and Saving Private Ryan. Now we’ve had this conversation before, so I know exactly what you need to hear to go see this movie; which you should by the way.

First is the wonderful reincarnation of General George Patton by Bill “Game Over Man!” Paxton. Paxton is at once charming and insane as he delivers lines like, “Its alright to be scared. Remember, there is no courage without fear.” Inspiring.

The next person of note is Emily Blunt as Rita. Blunt plays the role with gusto, diving into the world and helping the audience along. What I love most about her character is that she is a soldier who is driven and fierce; she is no fainting damsel waiting for Tom Cruise’s character to come fetch her, she’s actually a more formidable warrior than our film’s hero. Blunt is perfect in this role, she is beautiful but cold and if there was anyone I’d want to kill me over and over again, it’d be her.

Now for the elephant in the room – Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise dies well. In fact its a lot of fun to see he die in this movie. Mr. Cruise actually brings a lot to the film beyond just his name for the top billing. My friend summed it up nicely when he said as we were walking out of the theater, “Its like he remembered how to act.” It seems recently either Tom’s been on cruise control or jumping on couches over the top. In this film he starts off as a slimy PR guy and ends as a hero – and you believe the whole journey. As the deaths pile up and victory seems impossible we see the weight of it in Tom’s perfect green eyes and in his bearing. What I also love is that when you see him look at or interact with Emily Blunt’s character there’s a look of care and friendship and not lust. He likes her, sure, but he’s gotten to know her and come to respect her. I guess I’m old fashioned like that.

The film feels fairly intimate since you spend the majority of the time with Cruise and Blunt and the pair make it worth your time. The premise is fun and interesting, in a mixture that is just right without bogging the film down or giving the characters too much power so there is still tension. For CG monsters I actually liked the Mimics and I’m a guy who gets CGI fatigue pretty quickly. They did a good job giving them weight so they don’t pull me out of the film.

The one criticism I would have is the ending. It sort of breaks the rules of the story world to give us a happy ending. I’m all for happy endings, but I felt like this film was leading to the first ending before the big reveal where our heroes died like heroes and that’s good enough.

Still you should see this movies because it is the kind of science fiction that actually engages your whole brain. You’ll engaged with the characters, you’ll have actual plot points to keep track off, you’ll laugh, you’ll jump, and you’ll leave satisfied. The alternative is Transformers 4 from which you’ll no doubt leave the theater like some sort of jonesing drug addict, avoiding eye contact and drooling slightly from the mouth.

Convince you to see Edge of Tomorrow? Hmm… I’ll have to try again. Was it the perfect green eyes bit? It felt a little forced. I’ll do better next time.