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.

240

Pooping Alien

Rocket Surgery

Our Rocket Surgery visit to bad sci-fi movies returns with a look at 1984’s “The Ice Pirates.” Foam robots! Swords and lasers! A mysterious water world! A strange balance of racism and social commentary! Bad effects! Baby animals! Robert Urich! A space herpe! Questional castration methods! Poop jokes! Oakland Raiders! John Carradine! Please, someone make it stop.

Rocket Surgery Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Andy Ihnatko, David J. Loehr, John Siracusa, Joe Rosensteel and Monty Ashley

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Previous Episodes

239

The Colour Blue

Book Club

In honor of Sir Terry Pratchett, who died a week ago, four voracious Pratchett readers discuss what made Pratchett great, their favorite Pratchett works, and recommend places for newcomers to Terry Pratchett to get started.

Jason Snell with Monty Ashley, Lisa Schmeiser, Steve Lutz and Dan Moren


238

Caucus with the Dark Side

Finished, this podcast torture is. We conclude our conversation about “Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” taking you all the way through the dissatisfying ending. As a bonus, we try to rank the prequels, and discover a surprising winner. (part 2 of 2)

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Serenity Caldwell, Steve Lutz, Dan Moren and Andy Ihnatko


237

Force Denier

War! We begin our final battle with the “Star Wars” prequels with our take on “Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” After a long string of opening statements, we take on the crawl and the first few scenes of the film. Why does a droid wheeze? Why are villains introduced off screen? Why is Christopher Lee wasted? What’s the deal with all the elevators? Why is Darth Vader a chump? Why is there even more boring political science? What happened to Natalie Portman, and why is she wearing beaded bedclothes while standing on balconies? (part 1 of 2)

Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Serenity Caldwell and Andy Ihnatko


236

Lived Long and Prospered

We celebrate Leonard Nimoy, pondering what made us love Mr. Spock, discussing some of Spock’s finest moments, and even bringing up some lesser known corners of the Nimoy canon.

Jason Snell with Scott McNulty, Andy Ihnatko and David J. Loehr


235

Plot Advancement Tribune

Old Movie Club

Our Old Movie Club, featuring classic films many of us haven’t seen selected just for us by Philip Michaels, is back!

In this edition, we look at two underappreciated films of Alfred Hitchcock: 1943’s “Shadow of a Doubt” and 1948’s “Rope.” The former features Joseph Cotten shooting up through the ceiling of creepy, a battle of telepathy versus telegraphy, the special bond of people named Charlie, murder by soda, and an appearance by the Exposition Radio Network. The latter offers long unbroken scenes, drunk Farley Granger, a perfect murder perpetrated by Batman villains, and Jimmy Stewart as Columbo. Both films have Hitchcock in common, as well as Hume Cronyn… and murder!

Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley, Dan Moren, David J. Loehr and Andy Ihnatko


234

The Only Way Out Is In

Rocket Surgery

Introducing a new recurring segment on The Incomparable that we call Rocket Surgery, in which we watch an unappreciated science fiction movie from the past and then talk about it.

For our first installment, we watched the 2003 film “The Core,” starring Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, Stanley Tucci, Delroy Lindo, and Bruce Greenwood. Yes, this is a movie about people riding a spaceship (of a sort) down into the core of the Earth in order to blow it up with nuclear bombs because reasons.

Our discussion topics include the science of birds, peaches as metaphors for the Earth, friendly whales, the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the powers of computer hackers.

Jason Snell with Dan Moren, John Siracusa and Tony Sindelar


233

Selective Amnesia

Comic Book Club

We convene our Comic Book Club not to talk about a specific comic, but more generally the plight of the comic-book reader when it comes to events and continuity. Marvel and DC are both in the process of revisiting and changing their continuity via dramatic in-universe events. Is continuity worth the trouble? Are events fun, or soul-crushing? How do we feel about the old and new Marvel Secret Wars? Does the new all-woman Avengers team fill us with excitement or trepidation or both? And stick around after the show as we discuss Superman’s new power, the appeal of Harley Quinn, and even more comic nerdery!

Jason Snell with Monty Ashley, Lisa Schmeiser and Andy Ihnatko


232

Learning to Love Heidi II

Okay campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties because it’s coooold out there! We partake in our midwinter ritual of watching “Groundhog Day” over and over again, not because we have to, but because we want to. How does something that seems so generic on its surface unfold into one of the deepest and (dare we say it) most beloved films of all time? Plus, we cope with the Andie MacDowell problem, theorize about everything Phil did in Punxsutawney that the movie didn’t show us, and liken the entire thing to a video-game speed run. Let’s live here!

Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Erika Ensign, Monty Ashley, Dan Frakes and Chip Sudderth


231

Eat Pray Love Die Survive

Book Club

The end of the world is here, or in the near future, or in the far future, or maybe all three? Our Book Club reconvenes to talk about three somewhat apocalyptic novels: “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel, “The Peripheral” by William Gibson, and “Slow Apocalypse” by John Varley.

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, David J. Loehr, Monty Ashley and Scott McNulty


230

World-Class Weirdo

Comic Book Club

Comic Book Club returns, with a look at a work by legendary writer Alan Moore. This one’s “Promethea” (1999-2005), a strange mixture of Wonder Woman and mysticism and tarot cards and… well, there’s a lot. We discuss the amazing visuals, coloring, and lettering, and ponder the difference between appreciating a work of art and being entertained.

(Ideally you’d read Promethea Book 1 and Promethea Book 2 before listening, but the choice is yours.)

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Monty Ashley, Chip Sudderth, Erika Ensign and Tony Sindelar


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