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.

335

Perfect Kid Logic

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.

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


Download (57 M) • Subscribe to Feed

Sponsors

  • Casper: A great mattress with a 100-day risk-free trial. Use code SNELL for $50 toward any mattress purchase. Terms and conditions apply.

  • Reese’s Pieces — Okay, not really.


Previous Episodes

334

Three Pillars of Batman

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.

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


333

That’s How It Works: 2016 Year in Review

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.

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


332

She’s the Han Solo

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.

Antony Johnston with Liz Myles, James Thomson and Dan Moren


331

I Refuse To Call It a Prequel

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.

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


330

Team Killer Robot

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.

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


329

He’s More Man than Puppet

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.

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


328

Panspermia, but for Clothes

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.

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


327

This Robot is Eisenhower

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.)

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


326

Likeable Jerkability

Old Movie Club

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!

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


325

The Monster Mash

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!

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


See more episodes...

The Incomparable