Thu, May 28, 2015

: The Machine

I wanted to like this, as I’m a big fan of artificial intelligence movies, but this one didn’t work for me. Either I didn’t understand it too well or it didn’t make sense. It’s about a lab trying to produce AI robots for use in war, but when a genuinely self-conscious machine is created, the authorities want to destroy her because she’s too dangerous. Ultimately it devolves into a sort of action film, but it’s not very good at that, either. Mildly interesting, but don’t expect much.

Topic: [/movie]

Link

: Killing Floor

Author: Lee Child

This is the first Jack Reacher book and it’s excellent. The actual mystery isn’t that mysterious (the big reveal at the end I predicted the moment I read that the conspiracy was about counterfeiting), but the way it’s presented is so good that doesn’t really matter.

The basic story is that Reacher’s a loner, out of the army after decades of service and growing up an army brat. He doesn’t have a job or a place to live, but just wanders. Thus he’s an easy suspect for a murder when he happens to pass through a tiny Georgia town and ends up stumbling into a massive conspiracy. It really sets up the one-guy-agains-the-world scenario, but Reacher’s such an awesome fighter (he was in the Military Police, so the bad guys he hunted there were trained killers, meaning he had to be even better trained) he just ruthlessly gets by anyone who stands in his way.

One aspect of that I liked is that the author doesn’t try and cripple Reacher in any way. A lot of authors are afraid of making their hero too heroic and therefore unrealistic, so they limit the guy. Reacher’s just deadly and there is no apology or limitation. It isn’t always easy for him — he’s not superhuman — but at least he’s not artificially limited.

The book’s excellently written, where we really get into the mind of the main character and understand how he does what he does, and the story’s interesting. I’ll definitely be reading more in this series!

Topic: [/book]

Link