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Here's Volume 6 Of RA's Quarantine Mailbag

Yo, I need some fresh questions. Ask about anything. Fire away to:

Hey RA,

My question for you is about the Paul Newman/Robert Redford tandem. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a classic, but The Sting is pretty damn good in its own right. Are you a fan of these movies? if you had to pick one, which is the better of the two?

Thanks RA, stay healthy and keep writing, I’m enjoying all of the blogs.

(Writer has the same name as one of our bloggers and it's 100% believable that said blogger would seriously submit a question via email. In fact, I'm not convinced it's not him.)

Thanks for the words, you stay healthy, too. The Newman/Redford combo was a veritable walking tsunami in the early '70s given the amount of flooding it caused. 

Exhibit A, your honor.

To have that much hotness on one screen was one thing. But then you add in their acting prowess and a great script. It's manna from Hollywood. That's what we got in both BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID and THE STING, both of which were huge hits with critics, audiences, and the Academy. BUTCH went 4-for-7 at the 1970 Oscars (MIDNIGHT COWBOY won Best Pic). and THE STING went an incredible 7-for-10 four years later, including statues for Best Pic and Director (the great George Roy Hill who also directed this quirky hockey movie a few years later).

I'm a huge fan of both but if I had to pick one, I'm going with THE STING. It could be because I'm a guy who likes a game of chance on occasion. It could also be the brilliant script from David Ward. Or the outstanding work from Robert Shaw as the menacing gangster Doyle Lonnegan (he did so much more than Quint in JAWS). Maybe it's the tunes...

But THE STING's old-time story of grifters, gamblers, and gangsters has a twisty, clever plot that holds and requires your attention throughout because you're not sure what everybody's endgame is or might be. The movie feels like it's winking at you. The easy chemistry between the two leads we saw in BUTCH was present here as well. THE STING remains one of the most popular and enduring movies of the 1970s.

What's up RA, me and my buddies would always do "mount rushmore-esque" bar games when we were allowed to be in public, one of my favorites is always what are the 4 movies you would want your 18 year old son to have at least seen once. Love the pod and everything you guys do for the sport we love. 


- Justin

Thanks, Justin. Can't wait to get back to talking about pucks. Thank the maker I don't have any offspring to bleed me dry for 18 then mooch for another 10. But for my fictional 18-year-old, we're going to assume I didn't already show him these starting when he was four like I probably would have done in real life. 

I'm not gonna do the lazy thing and name four classic comedies about getting laid. That'd be weird. I'd want my kid to have some variety at 18. So we'll rep four film types: gangster, action, comedy, and wild card.

THE GODFATHER PART II. This means he saw THE GODFATHER. And also that he's capable of following a story that isn't dumbed-down and requires paying attention to it. (Still love you, GOODFELLAS.)

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Quite simply, it's the best action/adventure movie ever made. It's still a blast nearly 40 years after its debut. Within four years, Harrison Ford brought to life two of the most iconic characters ever put to celluloid. I'd like to think he was as entertained by the opening few minutes as I was.

The tractor beam that ANIMAL HOUSE has on me couldn't be shut down by 100 Jedi so I'm going with the 1978 college classic that kicked off a comedy revolution in American cinema. I have no idea whether kids still watch this or it still sets college expectations like it did for a very young RA. John Belushi's film debut was a Tasmanian Devil of a performance that seared itself into movie history and launched countless priceless scenes. "I'm a zit. Get it?". "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!?". Post-guitar smashing "Sorry". His silent face during the 0.0 scene. Arguably the greatest comedic performance ever despite the lack of dialogue. Belushi was basically a human GIF decades before it was a thing. I'd want my kid to have seen and appreciate it. Also, I'd want him to see and appreciate natural titties, they way they're meant to be.

For the wild card slot, PULP FICTION is the rare movie I saw thrice at the theater. The first viewing blew my mind and I also missed a few lines because of the crowd laughing so hard that I needed to see it again just to catch all of the dialogue. PF's unique combo of actors, laughs, violence, non-linear storytelling, and killer soundtrack was unlike anything audiences had seen before. Maybe this would be the movie that would show fake 18-year-old son what was possible in writing movies and inspire him in some way. 


Diving into the world of cinema here: is there a particular movie, or if not, perhaps an age or time in your life when you knew you loved movies? For me, it was summer going into 8th grade and I watched all AFI Best Picture winners.

Hope you and yours are hanging in,


Kevin, thanks, hope you and yours are well. That's quite an accomplishment over a summer, banging out 100 movies. Nice work. There's a podcast with Paul Scheer and Amy Nicholson that breaks down each movie on that list as well and worth checking out.

I can't ever remember not loving movies/going to the movies. I don't remember exactly what the first movie I saw was; I have a weird jumble of JAWS, GREASE, and classic Disney animation in my head from the theater on Broadway in Everett, MA in the '70s. But the first time I definitely remember actually being in the theater was KING KONG in 1976. Kong making me figuratively shit myself at four-years-old opened a door to a whole new world for me. 

But the main reason I became a bigger and bigger movie fan is my old man. If there was a silver lining to my parents' divorce, it was going to the movies with my pops and my brother when Dad had us for his one night a week ('70s divorce rules were much different than today). We didn't go every single week but it sure felt that way for about a 20 year span because so many movies of my youth I trace back to seeing with him. The movie trips pretty much ground to a halt when I left for college. But the last one we saw together was a doozy: THE FUGITIVE.

Rear Ad,
Since the podcast has grown, have you been able to tweet anything without receiving a like/response/favorite? On the flip side if that's a no, when is the last time you can recall that happening?
Thanks, Greg

Hey Greg, thanks for listening. I can't remember the last time I got three goose eggs for a Tweet (no likes, no RTs, no replies). There have surely been plenty of low-impact tweets from @RearAdBsBlog over the years. We're not always gonna get on base. But one thing I try to always remember but definitely forget time to time: it's just Twitter, it doesn't matter in real life. If you close your laptop or delete the app, that world ceases to exist. Just like to somebody who doesn't have Twitter. Twitter clout = no cash value.

(I know everybody rightfully bashes Twitter because the cesspool part can overshadow the good that can come from it. But even saying that, Twitter has sucked even more than ever lately. Not even talking politics. Just loads more shitheads. Thank Christ for 'Mute This Conversation'.)

Again, get 'em in to:     

Get weird with it.