BOP Answers Its Mail
By Calvin Trager
April 7, 2005
There's a saying, "Beware of those who ask for feedback". It means people usually only want to hear the good things. Most people want to play it safe, keep doing the things they already know how to do. Reinforcement is a critical element to taking the easy way out; tolerance of mediocrity begets mediocrity. The problem with that little scenario is, where's the growth? Where's the satisfaction that comes with improvement, achievement?
Well, we at BOP love all the feedback, good and bad. We're all about continuous improvement, knamean? And there's no doubt that sometimes we are going to follow our own muse, even in the face of negative feedback. But having said that, we're also not afraid to embrace good suggestions, as we've shown throughout our tenure here. For that we say thanks. Thanks for helping make BOP the kind of place we can be proud of, and the kind of place you can be proud of, too.
Here then is some selected feedback and response from January 26 - March 24, 2005:
Josh wonders if all BOP staffers think alike:
John Seal majorly dissed the ending of The Shawshank Redemption in a TivoPlex column, and maybe I'm just a naive sap, but I was shocked. Does the rest of the BOP staff share his opinion?
We haven't done a formal poll, but I imagine you'd find about 26 different opinions. That the ending is right out of the book earns it a lot of points from those that appreciate that sort of thing. Turning up the schmaltz factor probably takes some points away in the minds of those that dislike Hollywood-style conventions. Thanks for the feedback.
Megan may want to consider doing that extra credit assignment after all:
Hi, My name is Megan and i am currently studing A-level media studies. For my coursework i have to write on a media subject of my choice. My hypothosis is; Without non-diegetic sound, the trilogy 'The Lord of the Rings,'would not have been hailed such a critical success. With reference to the 'LOTRs' and another epic film. I was wondering if it was possible for you to send me the statistics from all of the three films, enabling me to compare and contrast them, and also if you have any ideas for another major film/ triloy that i could compare 'LOTRs' to. Any ideas or information would be greatly recieved, yours sincerely, Megan.
While I imagine you would, without too much difficulty, be able to construct an argument supporting your hypothesis, so what? Non-diegetic sound (i.e. sound effects, narration, music, anything that comes from "outside the story") is a basic movie-making tool. Your thesis is akin to one positing that LOTR would have been less successful if Peter Jackson hadn't used cameras. Finding a control group for your paper, a modern day epic that doesn't use non-diegetic sound, would prove to be an impossible task. Thanks for the feedback.
Yan was disappointed in Mann:
I'd like to add one suggestion to your Oscar snubs column: Collateral for Cinematography. I was sure it would be nominated, as it had some of the most amazing cinematography I've seen in any movie in recent years. (And that was about the only thing I liked about Mann's disappointing film, too.) My guess is that it's a result of some snobish attitude among people in the industry who still think that film is inherently better than digital? It's the only explanation I can come up with.
Interesting theory Yan, and you're right - no digitally shot film has received a cinematography nomination. But, have you considered that Collateral may have been passed over due to its lack of non-diegetic sound? Seriously, I don't know if the Academy harbors an anti-digital bias or not. Considering that this year's cinematography winner, The Aviator, was put through a digital color treatment, and that parts of Collateral were shot on film, it would seem the simpler answer is that the Academy preferred the five nominees in the category over Collateral. Thanks for the feedback.
r wants to play a game:
Stick to reporting the box-office and keep your film reviews to yourself. I happen to enjoy HIDE AND SEEK.
Fair enough, r. How about if you go hide and we'll try and find you.
Sarah-Jane does her part for the souls in purgatory:
I'm trying to find a site that displays what various movies (past and present) took money wise at the box office. Can you help me or know of any site that can? Much appreciated.
Everytime a reader asks where to find the BOP Database, an angel gets its wings!
Celyn heard that hard work pays off, but getting stuff for free on the internet is way easier:
hi my name is celyn im doing coursework for my media a level and was wondering if you could help? im looking at why hollywood remake films are they as popular im looking at psycho texas chainsaw massacure and the ring can you help me ? any fact figures reviews box office (past and present)info would help me loads thanks for your time celyn
Do you by any chance know Megan? We totally helped her get an A+, but you are on your own. Thanks for the feedback.
Erik suspects fraud, deceit, and/or manipulation:
Hi, I'm an avid reader of BOP and was happy to see an interactive voting system. However, while Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was a very good movie, I find it very strange that that movie won by a 70 percent margin. You guys much have a very niche audience on your hands. And as good as Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett were, compared to some of the other big players of the year, they just weren't the best. Still, the readers spoke and I value their opinion, but I find it highly odd that so many voted in favor of that movie.
I think there are two main factors at work here, Erik. First, Eternal Sunshine was by far the quirkiest, most clever, cerebral offering of all the high profile movies of 2004. I don't know that BOP has a niche audience, but I believe a film like that caters to the tastes and intelligence of BOP's readership. The other fact to consider here is that Eternal Sunshine was probably the most seen of all the high-profile movies of 2004, considering that it was already out on DVD while most of the other contenders were still in theaters. The more people that have seen it, the more ballots it's going to find its way onto, whether in first or fifth or tenth position, and the points add up. Thanks for the feedback.
Ilene's best friends are Shaq, Mickey Mouse, and Elian Gonzalez:
Hi warmest greetings from Florida. Love your blogs. At your early opportunity, could you please direct me to finding out why Catherine Zeta-Jones did not appear @ the Academy Awards as a presenter? Thank you so much. Best continual successes. And as we say in Florida, "Have a Disney Day" Most cordialy.
I'm fairly certain that was just part of the bit so Adam Sandler and Chris Rock could then engage in some faux-inadvertent homoerotic banter for the faux-amusement of all watching the show. Catherine Zeta-Jones was not in fact supposed to present at all, but rather, her purported no-show merely provided the premise for the hilarity that ensued. Hope that helps. And as we say here in the Feedback column, thanks for the feedback.
Nesreen has been hitting the bottle again:
i thing and i whant to say to vin diesel you are the best keep up the good work me & the kids love you so so much i wold like to say one wish is to see you not just on tv if we can 4 reall that well be ameazingf we love you good luck with every thing bye bye
This reminds me of that time they found Homer's one and only love letter to Marge, scrawled on a Duff Brewery postcard while taking a beer tour: "Maybe it's the beer talking, Marge, but you got a butt that won't quit. they got those big chewy pretzels here merJanthfgrr five dollars??!!!? get outta here". Ah, romance. Thanks for the feedback.
Mandal incriminates himself:
So is this whole feedback thing a joke? You don't seem to answer people's questions and, if you do, you can't seem to do it without making fun of them. Of course, one would ask, why am I incriminating myself by asking you this if it is indeed true? Simple. Answer my question without sarcasm or cheap jokes and prove me wrong. (by the way, it's not that I don't find the feedback amusing, it's just that I don't think it's much incentive for anyone else to write to you. but maybe that's the point: you don't want anybody to write to you so the ones who do write are mocked. Very clever. Nice angle)
Of all the things I love about this feedback, I think I love that "simple" thrown in there in the middle of a stream of complete nonsense the best. Simple? Oh, okay. Thanks for dumbing it down for me. Because I was having a little trouble following your Escheresque logic. I hope that wasn't sarcastic, because I so want to prove you wrong. It's all I can do to prevent myself from rising to your challenge. What crime did you commit, anyway? Thanks for the feedback.
James defines irony:
how do i get on the amazing race?
How do you get on The Amazing Race? Simple. Step 1: Write to a Web site doing recaps of The Amazing Race and ask them. Step 2: Sit back and count your million dollars. Honestly, if this is the level of clue-dogging the show can expect from you, James, I'm not sure you should bother applying. You realize a good portion of the show involves the contestants figuring stuff out for themselves, don't you? If somehow you do get Jerry Bruckheimer's attention and get on the show, though, what should we do? Do you want us to sit by the feedback inbox in case you get in a jam? "Dear BOP: How do I get to Bolivia? Signed, James". Thanks for the feedback.
Robert isn't just a member of the Romber Fan Club, he's the president:
Dear Reagen Sulewski - I have been a fan of the Survivor re-caps and now I am blessed that you are doing the same scathingly accurate analysis for our racing duos! First, I agree that this is turning out to be the best season and I wholeheartedly feel that it is due to Rob & Amber. I sincerely hope they win, because I believe Bruckheimer genetically created them specifically for this show. Never before has their been a pair that have "gotten" the game so well. Where Rob's machinations were exposed on Survivor because all they do is sit around and ponder the angles on that show - on this one, he is too quick-witted for them and they have no time to recover due to the pressure to keep moving forward. My wife and I looooove it. [part about offshore gambling site spoiling the winner edited]. Keep up the good work and here's hoping for as good a time with Race 8 (with teams of 4??). Sincerely, Robert
That's nice of you to say, Robert, but don't you think it's odd that a movie Web site would write about television? No? Good, you can stay. One of the things I like about Rob and Amber is that they genuinely seem to enjoy the competition. Whereas several of the other teams clearly enjoy being on TV more, that part of the experience is old hat for them, and it shows. As to whether or not they can go the distance, who knows. The Amazing Race is about the journey, not the destination. Thanks for the feedback.