Saturday, September 22, 2012

You're so Money, baby

I have two little rules of doing business on The Audient, and I adhere to them even if I'm the only one who cares about them.

1) I never use the same poster art to top a post more than once. If I'm going to write a second or third post about a particular movie, I'll find a different poster (or sometimes a still) from that movie as my artwork. I may reuse a poster at some point in the future, but it can only appear once on the top of the post. It can appear again somewhere in the body of the post, but not at the top. (The logic has something to do with being able to distinguish one post from another at a glance, but beyond that it's basically irrational.)

2) I never use the same title for a post twice.

I'm breaking rule #2 today -- sort of. You see, it was almost exactly a year ago that I used the title "You're so money, baby" for a post, and in fact, I'm only comfortable repeating the title this time because of the capitalization and italicization of the word "money," which technically makes it a different title. (Or so I'm telling myself.)

There are two reasons I'm willing to (sort of) break this rule:

1) Swingers quotes never go out of style.

2) I'm intentionally drawing a comparison to the post from a year ago -- triggering a sense of deja vu, if you will. That's because I'm getting a sense of deja vu from Trouble With the Curve.

The "You're so money, baby" post from September 23, 2011 was to herald the arrival of Bennett Miller's Moneyball, which went on to become a critical favorite, a (modest) hit with audiences and a best picture nominee. The producers of Trouble With the Curve would simply love it if those three outcomes followed from the arrival of their film.

The movies have more than a release date in the September 20s in common. On the most obvious level, they're both about baseball. More specifically, they're both about the side of baseball we don't see on the field. Even more specifically, they deal with scouting. In fact, you could say that Clint Eastwood's character in this film might have walked out of an Oakland A's scouting meeting after bristling at some idea espoused by that young whippernsapper Billy Beane.

Even more specifically than all that, the posters for both movies feature a talent evaluator whose body is pictured leaning forward at about the same angle. Consider Brad Pitt's posture in this Moneyball poster:

Must really chap Eastwood's ass to be forced by the marketing department to so closely imitate an unwashed hippie like Brad Pitt.

(If you're looking for more comparisons, one of the central focuses of both films is the lead character's relationship with his daughter.)

Outside of direct imitation, though, what we're seeing here is the notion that late September is the perfect time, psychologically, for a viewer to consume a contemplative meditation on baseball. Late in the baseball season is the new season for prestige baseball movies, and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw another one hit theaters on September 20th of 2013.

And if the marketers have done their jobs right, this movie will catch audiences in the moment of their greatest readiness for Trouble With the Curve, meaning at least one of those three desired outcomes -- the modest hit with the audience part -- will come true.

If they've done their jobs right, Clint Eastwood won't have to spend this weekend talking to a bunch of empty chairs.


Vancetastic said...

"You're so Moneyball, baby."

Darn it.

Travis McClain said...

I still haven't seen (or finished reading) Moneyball. I started reading the book a couple years ago but then began having such concentration problems that reading books became difficult and then I gave up on it entirely when a friend asked to borrow it. The movie came out right as my depression got completely out of hand and had largely run its course by the time I was up to going out enough that I could have seen it during its theatrical run. I just keep forgetting to check it out on Blu-ray.

So you broke your rules. That's okay. I still haven't told my folks I didn't get Deep Space Nine.