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

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.

321: Purgatoy Box  

"Toy Story 3." - Our review of Pixar movies reaches 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, the first film in more than a decade for a bunch of classic characters. Are the toys traveling from purgatory to hell to heaven, Divine Comedy-style? Who’s working on that garbage truck? Does the climactic slide to death go too far? And yes, our panel of parents gets a bit weeps as Andy prepares to go off to college.

Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Tiffany Arment, Merlin Mann, David J. Loehr and Steve Lutz.

320: The Power! The Power! The Power!  
Rocket Surgery: "Frankenstein Island" - Our rocket surgeons take on 1981’s “Frankenstein Island,” Jason’s go-to bad movie from his high school days. What do balloons have to do with Frankenstein? What’s that brain doing in that tupperware container? Why are there zombies dressed like longshoremen? What is John Carradine doing? How did Jocko lose the eye? There are so many questions, but so few answers.

Host Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley, Brian Hamilton, Glenn Fleishman and David J. Loehr.

319: Squirting Milky Fluid  
"Alien" - Get out your space pen and take the cat out of its hibernation chamber, because it’s time to take on the 1979 classic “Alien.” We discuss how the film cleverly layers sci-fi and horror movie conventions, discuss its initially slow pace, and speculate about the crew’s taste in underpants and footwear. Corporate android betrayals! Questionable parenting! Phallic concept art! Chest bursting! We break it all down.

Host Jason Snell with Antony Johnston, Liz Myles, Erika Ensign, Monty Ashley and Steve Lutz.

318: Creepy Hug  

"Inside" - We discuss Playdead’s video game “Inside”, a compelling and meticulously realized side-scrolling puzzle game with some amazing surprises along the way.

Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Tiffany Arment, James Thomson and Dan Moren.

317: You Broke Your Little Ships  
"Star Trek: First Contact" - On the occasion of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, we’re talking about one of our very favorite Star Trek movies: 1996’s “Star Trek: First Contact.” (What? We already did a two-parter about TOS!) Featuring zombie-like Borg, a time travel plot, and some great guest stars, it’s the definitive Next Generation movie.

Host Jason Snell with Brianna Wu, Jamelle Bouie, Joe Rosensteel, Scott McNulty, Dan Moren and David J. Loehr.

316: Just Add Jesuits!  
"The Sparrow" - After 20 years, we revisit Mary Doria Russell’s first-contact classic “The Sparrow.” It’s a story about aliens, spirituality, and why God allows terrible things to happen to good people. And boy, do terrible things happen to people in this book. (Content advisory: One of those things is sexual assault of humans by aliens.)

Host Jason Snell with Scott McNulty, Shannon Sudderth and Erika Ensign.

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