The Incomparable

The Incomparable

Canada

The Incomparable is a weekly dive into geeky media we love, including movies, books, TV, comics, and more, featuring a rotating panel of guests and hosted by Jason Snell.

Episodes

340: Give the Robots Some Time  
"Laputa - Castle in the Sky" - Our walk through the films of animation master Hayao Miyazaki continues with 1986’s “Castle in the Sky.” From floating princesses to angry pink pirates to exciting train chases, this film—set in a sort of steampunk Wales—has it all. Oh, and did we mention the airships? It wouldn’t be a Miyazaki movie without flying things and lots of clouds.

Host Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Erika Ensign, John Siracusa, Aleen Simms and Merlin Mann.

339: Burned Like Books  
"Fahrenheit 451" and "Nineteen Eighty-Four" - The Incomparable’s Book Club reconvenes to discuss two books from the past about future dystopias: Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” Is Bradbury just angry about reality TV? Does Orwell just want you to read his essay about language? Can we read these famous books without bringing along our preconceived notions of what they’re supposed to mean? At what temperature do Kindles burn? Don’t worry—in the end this entire episode is going down the Memory Hole.

Host Jason Snell with John McCoy, Scott McNulty, Erika Ensign and David J. Loehr.

338: All About Evey  
"V for Vendetta" - Remember, remember, the fifth of November… We discuss the 2005 film “V for Vendetta” and the Alan Moore and David Lloyd comic series that inspired it. Who, if anyone, is the hero of the film? How did the Wachowskis adapt the 1980s comic’s sensibilities to the 2000s? What’s with the film’s strange structure and surreal visual choices? And, most importantly, is V a man, an idea, or both?

Host Jason Snell with Brianna Wu, Guy English, Brian Hamilton, Philip Mozolak and Chip Sudderth.

337b: ...But Too Much  
The rest of "Black Mirror" - You’ve heard us talk about the best of “Black Mirror”, now hear us talk about… the rest of “Black Mirror.” Cut from the main episode for time, here’s our (unedited) discussion of “Fifteen Million Merits”, “The Entire History of You”, “The Waldo Moment”, “Playtest”, “Men Against Fire”, “The National Anthem”, “White Bear”, and “Shut Up and Dance.”

Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, David J. Loehr and Brian Hamilton.

337: 20 Minutes Into the Future  
"Black Mirror" - Charlie Brooker’s anthology TV series “Black Mirror” has been compared to “The Twilight Zone”, with its dark, twist-laden tales about the advance of technology and how it affects society. Does it live up to the hype? Our panel watched all 13 episodes—all currently available on Netflix—and is here to report back on the strengths and weaknesses of the series. We also discuss our five favorite episodes in detail, so you can skip to the highlights if you don’t want to utterly darken your soul.

Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Brian Hamilton and David J. Loehr.

336: You Had Me at 'Splorch'  
Comic book movie pitches - Comic book movies got you down? Too much of the same old thing? This episode has the cure for what ails you, as we pitch a bunch of great comics that we’d like to see get the big-screen treatment that would be guaranteed to enliven the genre. And maybe along the way, we’ll add to your comics reading list, too.

Host Jason Snell with John McCoy, David J. Loehr, Monty Ashley, Moisés Chiullan and Lisa Schmeiser.

335: Perfect Kid Logic  
"E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" - Grab your flowerpot and engage the rainbow drive! It’s time to discuss Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” the film that eclipsed “Star Wars” as the biggest grossing film of all time. What makes the film a perfect time capsule of being a kid in 1982? Does it hold up to modern eyes? Is it science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, or something else? Where did all those frogs come from? Hey, he’s an alien, we don’t know what he’s capable of.

Host Jason Snell with David Sparks, Erika Ensign, David J. Loehr and Chip Sudderth.

334: Three Pillars of Batman  
Tim Burton Batman movies - We begin an ongoing series of looks at the Batman film series with the first two modern entrants, Tim Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns.” Tony educates us on the most important traits of Batman. We recall the marketing campaign that put the bat logo on everything. We spend a lot of time breaking down the first film, and…. yeah… “Batman Returns” is also a movie that exists.

Host Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Shannon Sudderth, Chip Sudderth, Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr.

333: That's How It Works  
Best of 2016 - It’s time to send 2016 into oblivion! Our four most commonly-heard panelists join Jason for a look back at our favorite media stuff of last year. Then we recall some of the best episodes and moments from The Incomparable in 2016.

Host Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Erika Ensign, Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr.

332: She's the Han Solo  
"Rogue One" rebel podcaster opinions - Striking from a hidden base, our rebellious European podcasters have once again taken over the Incomparable Death Star—er, Zeppelin—to provide their own unique opinions on “Rogue One,” the latest Star Wars film.

Host Antony Johnston with Liz Myles, James Thomson and Dan Moren.

331: I Refuse To Call It a Prequel  
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" - Put on your Kyber crystal necklace, don a stylish white cape, and keep the Force with you! It’s time to break down “Rogue One,” the first big-budget live-action non-saga “Star Wars” film. We discuss how the film juggles its many characters and settings, the issues with reviving past film elements through CGI, the splendor of Darth Vader’s bachelor pad (and the weirdness of his bathroom), the unexpectedly spectacular space battle, the vacation plans of the Empire’s records division, the film’s strange disconnection with its teaser trailer, and a whole lot more.

Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Serenity Caldwell, Monty Ashley and Tony Sindelar.

330: Team Killer Robot  
"Westworld" Season 1 - Get your cowboy hat and your favorite Radiohead playlist, because it’s time to venture into the park for our first-season review of HBO’s “Westworld.” Is Anthony Hopkins running Westworld the park or “Westworld” the show we’re watching? Why can’t the Man in Black take a hint? Who is good and who is evil? Are the hosts sympathetic characters or empty, scripted shells? (And can’t you ask that question that about any fictional character?) We provide some quick analysis and also ponder where the show might take us in season two.

Host Jason Snell with Kelly Guimont, Don Melton, John Siracusa, Nathan Alderman, Glenn Fleishman and Tony Sindelar.

329: He's More Man than Puppet  
"Star Wars" travesty draft - As a new “Star Wars” movie nears its release, we turn our attention to some of our least favorite features of this franchise we love. Our panelists draft our least favorite Special Edition changes, retcons, Original Trilogy and “Force Awakens” elements, and more. Plus we each pitch a new “Star Wars” movie that can right a wrong in the existing canon.

Host Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Joe Rosensteel, Monty Ashley, John Siracusa, David J. Loehr and David Sparks.

328: Panspermia, but for Clothes  
"Arrival" - We deconstruct and reconstruct the recent release “Arrival,” staring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker, and based on a story by Ted Chiang that we discussed nearly 300 episodes ago. There’s praise for the story’s restraint, quiet tone, beautiful scenes of solitary obelisks in remote cow pastures, and realistic portrayal of its main characters. We also enter a spirited debate about the film’s sci-fi plot mechanism, the way its aliens (and alien language) are portrayed, and the morality of a choice that one character may—or may not—have made.

Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Glenn Fleishman, Aleen Simms and Joe Rosensteel.

327: This Robot is Eisenhower  
"The Twilight Zone" - Submitted for your approval: A discussion of one of the finest and most influential television series of all time, “The Twilight Zone.” We dive into a few handpicked episodes and try to explain the reason why the show still resonates more than 50 years later. Is Anthony really just a misunderstood kid? Why do we hope that the Air Force re-uses its flying saucers? How much Shatnering is too much? And how many years should you let cherry brandy age? You’ll be shocked by the twist at the end of the story. (It turns out we were the monsters all along.)

Host Jason Snell with David J. Loehr, Steve Lutz, Frank Wu and Dan Wearsch.

326: Likeable Jerkability  
"The Right Stuff." - The epic film about the early days of the space race, 1983’s “The Right Stuff,” is on the launch pad this week. What does the film say about modern mythmaking? Can you have too much Chuck Yeager? Is this peak Dennis Quaid? Why do astronauts have to be test pilots instead of demolition-derby drivers? We’ll figure it out. Let’s light this candle!

Host Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Andy Ihnatko, Dr. Drang, Stephen Hackett and Dan Moren.

325: The Monster Mash  
Monster/Supervillain Draft - Live from the Now Hear This podcast festival in Anaheim, it’s our supervillain/monster draft. What makes a villain super? When is hating a monster actually just a misguided case of space racism? Who—other than Lex Friedman—is the greatest monster of all? It might be you! Listen to find out!

Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, David J. Loehr, Steven Schapansky, Aleen Simms, Dan Moren, Brian Hamilton, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley and Joe Rosensteel.

324: Pants-Wearing Dragons  
Marvel Unlimited Draft - We’ve spoken many times about the great deal the Marvel Unlimited all-you-can-read comic subscription service can be… but if you’ve got tens of thousands of comics available to you, where do you start? We convened our Comic Book Club to come up with 20 suggestions—ranging from single issues to long runs and major events—that will help you make the most of a month or a year of Marvel Comics.

Host Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Lisa Schmeiser, Chip Sudderth and Monty Ashley.

323: Abe Vigoda Knows All the Toilets  
"The Godfather" - Leave the gun and take the cannoli—it’s time for us to discuss 1972’s “The Godfather,” truly one of the most lauded films of all time. We discuss why Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone is truly the main character, ponder how that horse head really got in that bed, marvel at how long it takes for news of assassination attempts to reach family members, explain the Vito Corleone retirement plan… and then drop our hands to our side and let the podcast slide naturally out of our hands.

Host Jason Snell with John Gruber, John Siracusa, Joe Rosensteel and David J. Loehr.

322: Tastes Like College  
The beer episode. - We’ve done episodes where we’ve sat around and drunk beer before, but we always had the thin veneer of some other topic to guide us. This time, however, the topic of the episode is beer, and we’ve conscripted listener (and Almanac Beer co-founder) Jesse Friedman to select five different beers for us to imbibe and discuss. Is Jason a monster for liking dark beer? What will our panel think of the sour and bitter choices? What’s the difference between a lager and an ale? What makes dark beer dark? Jesse has the knowledge, and we let him share it while we drink the beer he bought us.

Host Jason Snell with Jesse Friedman, Marco Arment, David J. Loehr, Lauren Snell, Dan Moren, Philip Mozolak, Brian Hamilton and Steve Lutz.

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