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.

565

The Avengers of Cities

Book Club

Our Book Club returns with a new way to approach this year’s SF novel shortlist: we’re reading all the Hugo and Nebula novels in three batches. First up: “Black Sun,” “The City We Became,” and “Piranesi.” Plus: What are we reading?

Book Club Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Scott McNulty and Aleen Simms


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Previous Episodes

564

The Millennial Falcon

Don your winged jetpack and strap on your cybernetic arm, because it’s time to fight over a shield. Marvel’s second Disney+ series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” picks up the story of two of Captain America’s pals as they confront serious societal issues, the representation of America in the modern age, and a gaggle of super-powered foes. It’s a show that takes some big swings, even if it does get a bit muddled, and we discuss its ambitions, what it gets right, and where it misses the mark.

Dan Moren with Kelly Guimont, Lisa Schmeiser, James Thomson and Nathan Alderman


563

When Harry Met Sally (With Monsters)

Drop the camcorder and whatever you do, don’t run toward the bridge! 2008’s “Cloverfield” mixes giant monsters, post-9/11 reactions to urban destruction, rom-com tropes, “Jaws” style monster hiding, and found footage shaky-cam into an incredibly intense movie experience. Does it matter that the main characters are generic, or does it actually help? Is this a slasher film or more of a smasher film? Why did it kick off a nonsensical franchise of unrelated movies? And if it was made today, how would it be different? (Hint: Less shaky-cam!) Find a quiet place to hide somewhere and join us!

Jason Snell with Annette Wierstra, Moisés Chiullan, Jean MacDonald and James Thomson


562

The Gentleness Axis

We have reached the end (for now) of Miyazaki Club. So we gather back together to consider why we’re drawn to Hayao Miyazaki’s work, how we define the differences between films as different as “Ponyo” and “Spirited Away,” a list of the director’s favorite things, subs versus dubs, the music of Joe Hisaishi, and which of Miyazaki’s movies we all prefer.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Aleen Simms and Steve Lutz


561

Lackeys Don’t Wear Khakis

Rocket Surgery

After years of Monty telling us we should watch it, we’ve given in. It’s time to discuss 1981 South African karate movie “Kill and Kill Again,” a film featuring many middle-aged men kicking people, as well as a James Bond-style plot about a madman who wants to take over the world via an unusual application of potatoes. We cover strange ties to “CSI: Miami” and “The A-Team,” introduce you to the wonders of Hot Dog and his bag of tricks, weigh the movie’s knowing sexism against its unflinching racism, and contemplate Villanous Operations and how they are named. Also, Jason has a tight five about t-shirts.

Jason Snell with Monty Ashley, Steve Lutz, Annette Wierstra, Moisés Chiullan and Tony Sindelar


560

Gaseous Anomaly Platform

In space, all warriors are cold warriors! An ecological disaster leads to the breakup of an enemy empire, but in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” it’s the Klingon moon Praxis subbing in for the Soviet power station Chernobyl. Kirk and company struggle with their animosity toward the Klingons, but we are more concerned with what graduate school Gorkon’s daughter went to, the Klingon guard who carries a box, the one Klingon who laughed at McCoy’s joke, the importance of gaseous anomalies to Federation politics, and the lack of respect given to the Enterprise court reporter. Discussing this movie must’ve been our lifelong ambition.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, David J. Loehr, Dan Moren and John Moltz


559

Men vs. Selves

Old Movie Club

Six episodes ago, Jason made Phil mad by suggesting that “Chariots of Fire” and “Amadeus” might not be worthy of their Academy Awards for Best Picture. This episode is Phil’s revenge, as we watch two acclaimed early-80s films and see how well they hold up. They’re both period pieces, but one is set to the electronic sounds of Vangelis and the other to the classical masterpieces of Mozart. Running in slow motion has never looked better, and there’s never been more braying laughter in a film!

Jason Snell with Monty Ashley, Philip Michaels and David J. Loehr


558

A Product of Its Time

Shakespeare Club returns! “The Taming of the Shrew” is a Shakespeare play that’s crying out to be adapted for modern audiences, which is why it keeps being adapted—with varying degrees of success. We discuss the play, the unpleasant Franco Zeffirelli 1967 film starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, the film and TV versions of Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me, Kate,” the teen rom-com “10 Things I Hate About You,” and even the 1980s TV adaptation on “Moonlighting,” which might be the best of the bunch? What we’re saying, Shakespeare, is that we’ve got some notes.

Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Shelly Brisbin, Moisés Chiullan and David J. Loehr


557

You Like Witches? Name Three

It’s a classic sitcom! It’s a Marvel movie! It’s both! It’s the first Disney+ MCU show, “WandaVision.” And it managed to be a walk through television history while simultaneously being an exploration of the stages of grief. Plus, an android in a turtleneck! We break it all down, from where Wanda and Vision go from here to what Monica Rambeau, Darcy Lewis, and Jimmy Woo should be doing next. Tune in, won’t you?

Jason Snell with Kelly Guimont, Dan Moren, Chip Sudderth and Nathan Alderman


556

Pig’s Gotta Fly

Is this the end of Miyazaki Club? Probably not, but we’ve reached the end of our survey of all the feature films he’s directed with “Porco Rosso,” the story of a pig man, the airplane he loves, the woman he doesn’t feel worthy to love, and the seaplane pirates who terrorize the Adriatic after World War I. There are lots of clouds and planes and boats, as you might expect.

Jason Snell with Jean MacDonald, Moisés Chiullan, Steve Lutz and John Siracusa


555

Dawson’s Crypt

The sixth season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” features dark and unpleasant themes, a painful magic-as-heroin allegory, and creative decisions that manage to be cruel to both the show’s characters and its audience. But there’s also a musical!

Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Quinn Rose, Aleen Simms and Jean MacDonald


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