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.

474

World Unity Day

We live in a world awash with superhero films today, but back at the beginning of this century it was a dark age. 2002’s “Spider-Man” finally brought one of the world’s most popular superheroes to the big screen, setting the stage for the genre’s elevation later in the decade. The Summer of Spider-Man is here, as we revisit Sam Raimi’s three Spidey films and judge how well they hold up to modern eyes. Up, up and away, web!

Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Jean MacDonald and Guy English


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473

Belarusian Chupacabra

Comrades, we come to discuss HBO’s excellent miniseries “Chernobyl.” It’s simultaneously a horror movie about radiation poisoning, a indictment of a system that suppressed the truth in order to avoid showing signs of weakness, a tragedy about a humanitarian disaster, and an exciting tale of scientists attempting to work the problem and avert a continent-wide catastrophe. The subject matter may be hard, but the result is some of the most compelling television we’ve seen in some time.

Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Kathy Campbell and Brian Hamilton


472

33 Percent Rule

Book Club

Our Book Club returns with reviews of the six finalists for the Hugo Award for best science fiction/fantasy novel of the year. You’ll be thrilled by our panelists attempting to remember what happened in books they read months ago! We liked five out of the six, which is a great batting average—but oh, that sixth book. Also, we read some novellas and short stories, too! And Erika’s up for another Hugo!

Jason Snell


471

High School Is a Strange Time

A long time ago we used to be friends, but I haven’t thought of you lately at all—until you got that new series at Hulu, anyway. We’re discussing the UPN/CW classic series “Veronica Mars”, featuring Kristen Bell as a teenage noir detective trying to solve her best friend’s murder with the reluctant help of her disgraced private-investigator dad. If you’ve never seen it, it’s worth a watch! We discuss season one of the show in detail (including revealing who the murderer is at the end), but don’t discuss much at all about the next two seasons and don’t touch at all on the contents of the fourth season that just premiered.

Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Quinn Rose and Nathan Alderman


470

Futterwacken Hats

Rocket Surgery

Our Rocket Surgery crew returns to the current decade to discuss Tim Burton’s billion-dollar 3-D smash hit, “Alice In Wonderland.” What if everything you remember fondly from Lewis Carroll was turned into a catchphrase? Why so much eye stabbing? Who is the Jabberwocky and what has it done with the Jabberwock? What does Johnny Depp bring to his role of a mild hat enthusiast? When did Monty give up and start reading IMDB trivia? Nobody mention how big the Red Queen’s head is!

Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley and Shannon Sudderth


469

Snap, Blip, Pop, Crackle

Fresh from the theater, we tackle “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” We consider the lighter side of the death and resurrection of billions of people, the unique position this Spider-Man has in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the value of various surrogate dads. We’re also surprised at how interesting Mysterio turned out to be despite the fact that he’s Mysterio.

Jason Snell with Cicero Holmes, Moisés Chiullan and Chip Sudderth


468

Did the Shark Order Takeout?

Old Movie Club

For 4th of July week we’re going to the beach — Amity Island, to be precise. Old Movie Club takes on the original summer blockbuster, 1975’s “Jaws”, directed by some kid named Steven Spielberg. Two of our panelists have never seen it! But we all learn some important lessons about how much blood the human body contains, the ins and outs of tourism marketing, and how the most important part of the journey is the sharks we met along the way.

Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Moisés Chiullan, Jean MacDonald, Dr. Drang, Don Melton and David J. Loehr


467

Lord of Board and Sword

Rocket Surgery

If we told you that there was a 1990s movie starring Martin Sheen’s brother featuring a post-apocalyptic world of skateboarding, sword-wielding Jedi dudes, would you believe us? Well, you shouldn’t, because we made it up on the spot. Concluding our trilogy of improvised “Rocket Surgery” episodes, this is “Last Dance of the Devil’s”, a film so bad that its title is mispunctuated.

Moisés Chiullan with Annette Wierstra, John McCoy and Cicero Holmes


466

Bane on a Plane

Our survey of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman films concludes with “The Dark Knight Rises.” It’s clear why fans of the gritty darkness of “The Dark Knight” might have been disappointed with this film, because it’s strange in many surprisingly comic-booky ways… and we kind of love it? We discuss the choice to have the film’s primary villain have his mouth covered and speak in surround sound, the competence of Selina Kyle, the steadfastness of Michael Caine’s Alfred, the heir apparent earnestness of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the proximity of certain middle-eastern rendition sites to Gotham. If you miss this episode, look for us in a café in Florence and give us a nod.

Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Christina Warren, Cicero Holmes, Moisés Chiullan and Brian Hamilton


465

Camus With a Smiley Face

Our cinematic survey of Batman rolls on with Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Nolan’s film was a huge hit and remains well loved, but how does it hold up on rewatching? Our panel found a film overflowing with ideas, sometimes to its credit and sometime to its detriment. Is this really two movies jammed together into one? Why was Rachel Dawes re-cast? Why does Batman hate dogs? Turn on your sonar vision and find out!

Dan Moren with Christina Warren, Tony Sindelar, Joe Rosensteel, Don Melton and Guy English


464

Tapestry of Cakes

If you’re not watching “The Magicians”, you’re missing out. This is a TV series that started off fine, but then became spectacularly good with its third and (just completed) fourth seasons. We take some time at the beginning of the episode to try to entice new viewers to watch, and then dive into the shocking events that occur in the most recent season. After all, sometimes you’ve got to be a fish.

Jason Snell with Annette Wierstra, Moisés Chiullan and Mikah Sargent


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