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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Brotherhood and Magitech: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Onward

Arley: If I were grading Onward, it would get “meets expectations.” Disney/Pixar has some outstanding movies, but for me, this one doesn’t stand as their absolute best. It wasn’t outstanding or incredible, but it was solid on every front, and had emotional impact, which is basically what I expect from them. Their baseline is better than a lot of other production houses. This wasn’t as powerful as Up, ...Read More

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Arley Sorg Reviews War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

War Girls, Tochi Onyebuchi (Razorbill 978-0-451-48167-2, $18.99, 464pp, hc) October 2019.

War Girls is a meditation on culture and conflict. It’s action-driven but complex, brutal but brilliant.

A strong opening in a stark, discomfiting setting introduces Onyii, a girl who has known war for most of her life. A handful of lines establish her dissonance with her own body, her social group, and her situation as a “war girl” ...Read More

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Sufficiently Advanced Tech Bros Are Indistinguishable from Dark Magicians: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Bloodshot

Based on the Valiant comic book series of the same name, Bloodshot is about a US Marine, Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel), who is brought back from the dead through the application of nanotechnology, which endows him with superhuman abilities.

The film initially follows all the standard sci-fi action fare as Garrison pieces together what has happened to him, and what he can do now, and it’s exactly as terrible as ...Read More

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Visible Only by Gaslight: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss The Invisible Man

Josh: This is “Gaslight: The Movie”.

Arley: The first thing he does when he’s invisible is turn up the gas on the stove. Metaphor?!

H.G. Wells’ 1897 novel, and the 1933 Universal movie based on it, get a modern treatment in the latest The Invisible Man, starring Oliver Jackson-Cohen as the abusive, controlling Adrian Griffin (the world’s leading expert in optics) and Elisabeth Moss as his girlfriend, Cecilia Kass ...Read More

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Homicide Squad: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Infamous DC Comics character Harley Quinn (née Harleen Frances Quinzel) changes out of her manic pixie dream girl role for Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. This latest film in the DC Universe begins immediately after the Joker dumps Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). The end of their relationship marks the end of her protected status in the criminal underworld. Her singular goal — to ...Read More

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“VIOLET, YOU’RE TURNING VIOLET, VIOLET!” Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Color Out of Space

This adaptation of the 1927 H.P. Lovecraft short story stars Nicolas Cage as Nathan Gardner, who lives in a secluded area of New England with his wife Theresa (Joely Richardson), daughter Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur), and sons Benny and Jack (Brendan Meyer and Julian Hilliard). All Gardner wants to do is raise alpacas and enjoy some fine bourbon, but when a meteorite crashes onto his land one night, his plans go ...Read More

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“There’s Always a Bigger Fish”: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Underwater

Arley: THEY KILLED THE BLACK GUY!

(We’ve put all the deep dark secrets below a spoiler line at the bottom of the review.)

In Underwater, six people at the bottom of the Mariana Trench—Norah (Kristen Stewart), Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie), Emily (Jessica Henwick), Paul (T.J. Miller), Smith (John Gallagher Jr.), and Captain Lucien (Vincent Cassel)—try to reach safety after something destroys their deep sea habitat.

Arley: Okay. Overall I thought ...Read More

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Robots and Nonsense: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Tim Pratt, via Twitter: Two things they got a lot of in Star Wars is droids and shit that don’t make no sense.

Josh: I liked it more than The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

Arley: Me too!

Josh: Good! I recognize that The Last Jedi was trying to do a lot more, storywise. But when I rewatched it I was bored by a lot of parts, like ...Read More

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Arley Sorg Reviews Best New Horror #29, Edited by Stephen Jones

Best New Horror #29, Stephen Jones, ed. (PS Pub­lishing/Drugstore Indian Press 978-178636-392-3, £14.99, 579pp, tp) February 2019. Cover by Howard Nostrand.

In 1990 Constable & Robinson published the first Best New Horror, edited by Stephen Jones & Ramsey Campbell, featuring horror short fiction from 1989. That volume won a British Fantasy Award, a World Fantasy Award, and began a legacy. Jones became sole editor with 1995’s The Best ...Read More

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Another Future Rolls off the Assembly Line: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Terminator: Dark Fate

This review doesn’t need to lead with much of a recap, because you’ve seen it all before: evil AI sends a killer robot back in time to assassinate the future savior of humankind. Plucky human resistance sends a protector back in time to stop the killer robot (from the future!). Carnage. Mayhem. Explosions.

The difference this time is that the evil AI is called “Legion” instead of “Skynet,” the target ...Read More

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Great Clown Pagliacci Is in Town Tonight: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Joker

Simply put, Joker is the story of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) and his transition from sadsack to supervillain.

Josh: Need we say more? Everyone already knows the gist of the Joker.

Arley: It’s important for people to know that this is not a Batman movie. You should not expect supervillain fights.

The film mostly delivers on what’s promised in the trailers: a one-man show about a violent clown. With striking ...Read More

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Look Out! Here Comes the Spider-Clown: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss It Chapter Two

Chapter two of Stephen King’s epic horror story opens 27 years after the members of the Losers Club — Bev (Jessica Chastain), Bill (James McAvoy), Richie (Bill Hader), Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), Ben (Jay Ryan), Eddie (James Ransone), and Stanley (Andy Bean) — defeated Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård) in 2017’s It. Now, evil has resurfaced in Derry ME, and the seven friends must return to their childhood town to… ...Read More

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Teenagers Scare the Living Hell Out of Me: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Review Brightburn

Although it’s easiest to describe Brightburn as “Superman, but evil,” it’s a mistake to think of it as a superhero movie. It is, rather, a pretty straightforward horror movie. It stars Elizabeth Banks and David Denman as the Kent-like parents of Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn), an alien child they find in a crashed spaceship. They adopt and raise Brandon until he turns 12 and starts exhibiting unnatural abilities.

Arley: ...Read More

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