Witchcraft & Wizardry: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

It’s the third major movie this year premised on a fundamental misinterpretation* of quantum theory! (We also reviewed this one and this one, and there’s at least one more scheduled for later in 2022.) It’s also the third comic book/superhero movie we’ve reviewed this year (with many more on the way), and a sequel to a pretty average film in its own right. So, does Doctor Strange in the Multiverse ...Read More

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What If…? Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Everything Everywhere All at Once

When a rupture threatens the multiverse, ordinary mother and laundromat owner Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) is recruited by a shadowy organization. They tell her that only she can save the multiverse… but can they be trusted, is any of this real, and besides all of this, can she really help? Evelyn has to figure it out fast – and sort out her taxes at the same time, or the IRS ...Read More

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American Gothic: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss The Batman

Batman was first introduced in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, and this year’s The Batman tries to bring him back to that super-sleuth tradition: showing up at crime scenes, looking for clues, outwitting criminals and police alike. There’s nothing fantastical, futuristic, or even particularly outlandish about this story — without the Batman name on it, it could be any other crime story. There are explicit Chinatown influences in the length ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Arley Sorg

“As rough as the year has been for the country, it’s been a great time for reading.” As I write this, a New Year is around the corner, bringing with it the hope of better times. And yet, this opening line from last year’s “Year In Review” piece still holds true: it’s been another rough year, but the reading has been awesome!

My 2021 reading choices were anthology-heavy, mostly because ...Read More

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Into the Metaverse: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Spider-Man: No Way Home

There are always a number of film reviewers who plaster their reviews with quotable hyperbole, regardless of the quality of the film itself. Perhaps because they want to keep getting free movie tickets. Or perhaps because they hope to see their quote floating over an action snippet in a TV commercial.

In the case of Spider-Man: No Way Home, you can believe the hype.

Peter Parker’s secret identity as ...Read More

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All We Ever Were, Just Zeroes and Ones: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss The Matrix Resurrections

And… we’re back! Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) are still stuck in the Matrix. Versions of Morpheus and Agent Smith return, played by new actors (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jonathan Groff, respectively). There are new characters, such as Bugs (Jessica Henwick) and the Analyst (Neil Patrick Harris). Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) and the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) reappear, though their characters are essentially unrecognizable.

That’s about it. It’s The ...Read More

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Do I Make You Horny, Baby? Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Antlers

Josh: Here’s one that I think deserves a little more attention than it got. It got delayed a couple of times, was in and out of theaters really quick, and didn’t make a lot of money.

Arley: I’d been waiting a while to see this one! I’m a horror fan, and this was a solid horror movie.

Josh: Definitely a horror movie, but it ended up being more sad than ...Read More

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Bad Robots: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Eternals

Thousands of years ago, the godlike Celestial Arishem (voiced by David Kaye) sent a squad of immortal, humanoid Eternals to Earth to hunt down alien monsters called Deviants, and to provide humanity with guidance and assistance in developing civilization, from Babylon all the way through to the modern world.

In the present day, believing that the Deviants were eliminated 500 years earlier, the Eternals mostly settle into human-seeming lives, getting ...Read More

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My Tapeworm Tells Me What to Do: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is washed up. Worse, he and his alien symbiote, Venom (also Tom Hardy), aren’t getting along too well. In classic serial killer movie fashion, incarcerated murderer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) declares that he’s willing to reveal where the bodies are buried but will only talk to Brock, who seizes the opportunity to try to get his career back on track. During one of their visits, ...Read More

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Star-crossed Heroes: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss The Suicide Squad

A motley crew of costumed characters with highly questionable morals is compelled – upon pain of death – to undertake a covert military mission in the “island nation of Corto Maltese.” What they uncover is much larger than any of them expected….

The Suicide Squad is exactly the over-the-top bloody, just-ridiculous-enough not-a-superhero movie you need. It’s pretty rare for sequels* to be better films than the originals, but James Gunn’s ...Read More

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“And My Axe!”: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss The Green Knight

It’s not often one sees the theatrical release of a 700-year-old poem, and just as rarely is there a modern adaptation of an Arthurian myth that does not involve either the Sword in the Stone or the Holy Grail. The Green Knight (or, as it calls itself onscreen, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous) is about Arthur’s (Sean Harris) nephew Gawain (Dev Patel), who embarks on a ...Read More

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Nothing Is Stronger Than Family: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Black Widow and The Tomorrow War

Two blockbuster-scope films dropped within a week of each other, with similar budgets and big-name casts. They could have been the summer’s perfect popcorn movies, yet were overall disappointments — so we’ll just do brief discussions of both in one review.

Josh: All right. So, what are we going to talk about first? Let’s do Black Widow first, because you hated it so much.

Arley: Yeah, I mean, I think ...Read More

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The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Arley: I don’t know if it was a callback, or if it’s just one of those images that’s becoming a copy-paste in these kinds of movies, but there was a shot that was right out of The Exorcist.

Josh: That was a direct reference, for sure. The clothes, the streetlamp, the dramatic pause. The filmmakers are trying really hard to tie the Conjuring series to that lineage. The fonts,

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How to Train Your Tuk Tuk: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Raya and the Last Dragon

Five hundred years before the start of Raya and the Last Dragon, the vibrant land of Kumandra is attacked by the Druun, monsters that turn their victims into stone. Kumandra’s guardian dragons band together to defeat the Druun, but in doing so are petrified, leaving behind only a magic gem infused with their power.

In the struggle for control of the dragons’ power, Kumandra splits into five tribes — ...Read More

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Clash of the Titans: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Godzilla vs. Kong

In our review of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, we said, “The weakness of this movie was the humans and the strengths were the monsters, and there were not enough monster moments.” Well. The movie studios listened. Godzilla vs. Kong centers the monsters more than ever, not only offering several fight scenes of decent length and in varying locales, but even developing a story arc for Kong: this monster ...Read More

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Whatcha Gonna Do With All That Junk? Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Space Sweepers

Down on their luck and drowning in debt, the crew of the spaceship Victory — Captain Jang (Kim Tae-ri), Tae-ho (Song Joong-Ki), Tiger Park (Jin Seon-kyu), and a robot, Bubs (Yoo Hae-Jin / Kim Hyang-gi) — work as “space sweepers,” salvaging broken satellites and other orbital garbage. Society has stratified so much that the poor live on a near-uninhabitable Earth while the rich live in luxurious orbital habitats. The richest ...Read More

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Tumultuous Pleasure: 2020 in Review by Arley Sorg

As rough as the year has been for the country, it’s been a great time for reading. As if in response to the year itself, a slew of powerful books came out, expanding the scope of genre and engaging in conversations long overdue.

Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot Baby kicked things off in January, on the heels of his excellent late-2019 release War Girls. The story follows Ella as her powers ...Read More

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My Whole Existence Is Flawed, You Get Me Closer to God: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Soul

Disney/Pixar returns to the afterlife in Soul, the story of middle school teacher and jazz musician Joe Gardner (voiced by Jaime Foxx) who winds up in a coma after his body and spirit are separated in an accident. While trying to avoid going into the Great Beyond, Spirit-Joe escapes into the Great Before, where newly created souls are prepared for corporeal existence.

There he teams up with 22 (Tina ...Read More

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Arley Sorg Reviews The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: Vol­ume One, Edited by Paula Guran

The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: Vol­ume One, Paula Guran, ed. (Pyr 978-1645060253, $19.95, 440pp, tp) October 2020.

Paula Guran started her The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror series in 2010 with Prime Books. After working as a senior editor for Prime for seven years, Guran parted ways with the company and published the final installment in that series in 2019. Guran returns in 2020 with no ...Read More

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Ghostride the Whip: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Wonder Woman 1984

Some 70 years or so after the events of Wonder Woman, 1984 finds the titular hero (Gal Gadot) whiling away her time curating artifacts and impressing mortals with her beauty and charm. She seems to be keeping a low profile, at least until struggling entrepreneur Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) acquires an ancient magical device and threatens to destroy the world in his quest for ultimate power. Wonder Woman must ...Read More

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Through a Mirror, Darkly: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Parallel

Four friends living together and working to develop an app discover a hidden room in their house and, in it, a magic mirror that can portal them to different, but nearly indistinguishable, parallel universes. Eager to capitalize on the nearly unlimited resources of the multiverse, Leena (Georgia King), Noel (Martin Wallström), Devin (Aml Ameen), and Josh (Mark O’Brien) soon devise a number of get-rich-quick schemes, mostly at the expense of ...Read More

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The Name’s Protagonist… Anonymous Protagonist: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Tenet

After a high-stakes operation at an opera house in Ukraine, a CIA agent (John David Washington) is recruited into a mysterious organization, given the codeword “Tenet” as a key to establishing contact with other members. Their objective is to stop an international criminal named Sator (Kenneth Branagh) who uses “time inversion”: a technology which reverses the effects of entropy and essentially causes objects to move backwards in time. The organization ...Read More

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You Gotta Kill the Person You Were Born to Be: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss LX 2048 with Bonus Film The Speed of Time

In this installment, Locus will be taking a look at two indie films that found their way into our inbox: full-length LX 2048 and short film The Speed of Time, both available on streaming services, and both offering up a slightly different selection than what we’re used to seeing in theatrical releases.

Josh: Let’s cover LX 2048 first. I think when I initially emailed you about it, I said ...Read More

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Sometimes You Get the Bear: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss The New Mutants

A fresh batch of young mutants has arrived, but don’t call them X-Men just yet, and don’t call them superheroes, either. After surviving a freak storm that kills every person on her reservation, including both of her parents, Danielle Moonstar (Blu Hunt) finds herself in a nearly abandoned hospital occupied by four other teenagers — Rahne (Maisie Williams), Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy), Roberto (Henry Zaga), and Sam (Charlie Heaton) — and ...Read More

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Traveling Companion through Monster Country: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Sputnik

Originally pitched as “a Russian Alien,” this low-budget SF horror film opens on a promising scene: it’s 1983, and two cosmonauts orbit the Earth in a Soyuz capsule. Their spacesuits are exactingly replicated from the real deal, and the Soyuz interior is also Cold War authentic, down to the fonts on the control panel. A wooden doll floats gently around the two men, serving as a zero gravity indicator. ...Read More

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Konami Vice: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Project Power

In the tradition of classics Dirty Harry and Death Wish, Jaime Foxx is Art, an ex-soldier tracking down the people who kidnapped his daughter, using extreme force along the way. The kidnappers are also pushing a drug that grants superhero-like powers for five minutes, and things get complicated when Art runs into Robin (Dominique Fishback), a charismatic but shy teen with big dreams who sells the drug just to ...Read More

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Grand Wizardry: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Lovecraft Country Episodes 1 & 2

Avid science fiction reader and down-low nerd Atticus Freeman AKA “Tic” (Jonathan Majors) returns to Chicago from the Korean War and a stint in Florida to find that his father has gone missing. The only clue left behind is a strange letter talking about a secret legacy, enticing Tic to journey to Ardham MA, deep within the borders of Lovecraft Country. Courtney B. Vance plays Uncle George Freeman, author and ...Read More

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Die, Repeat, Live: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Palm Springs

What’s this? Locus reviews a rom-com? Well, how does an infinite time loop and random dinosaurs grab you?

One November day in Palm Springs, wedding guest Nyles (Andy Samberg) falls through a mysterious portal in a cave and then, Groundhog Day-style, finds himself repeating the entire wedding day all over again. He’s trapped in a time loop that resets whenever he goes through the portal, falls asleep, or dies. ...Read More

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Live, Die, Repeat: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss The Old Guard

Charlize Theron, as Andy, anchors a squad of immortal mercenaries in The Old Guard, a movie based on Greg Rucka’s graphic novels of the same name. Joining her are Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), Joe (Marwan Kenzari), and Nicky (Luca Marinelli) as fellow immortals who have fought by Andy’s side for hundreds of years. Also sharing these powers are Nile Freeman (KiKi Layne) — a Marine who is quite surprised to ...Read More

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Arley Sorg Reviews Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland

Deathless Divide, Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray 978-0-06-257063-5, $18.99, 560pp, hc) February 2020.

The sequel to 2018’s Dread Nation, Justina Ireland’s Deathless Divide begins with clever, quick recaps, and is lined throughout with enough unobtrusive explanation that one could easily read it as a standalone. That said, the first book is excellent and shouldn’t be passed up. Anyone who plans to read the first book should not ...Read More

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Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Review The Dead Lands and Tales from the Loop

Theaters remain closed. A few movies have been released on streaming services, but many have been scheduled for later release dates in anticipation of the reopening of theaters on a national level. So film reviewers Josh Pearce & Arley Sorg continue their coverage of select science fiction and fantasy series available on streaming services.

Several shows have put out new seasons, such as 12 Monkeys on Hulu and Kingdom on ...Read More

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Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Review Upload and Motherland: Fort Salem

Josh: Well, theaters are still closed, and most of the movies we were scheduled to review have been pushed back to the end of the year or 2021. So instead we’ll talk about the many science fiction and fantasy shows available on streaming services!

Arley: Some shows I’ve been watching, and enjoying, are The Expanse, Westworld, and Watchmen.

Josh: Nice. I like The Boys, Tales from ...Read More

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