Category Archives: Informational

Midweek Break: Other Cool Stuff

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This may or may not become a (semi-) regular feature, depending on whether enough things pop up to warrant my interest. I’ll try to share  some cool movie-related items from the internet (and beyond!) that I think others might have fun with, as well as maybe a new trailer or opening I’m particularly excited about. Let’s do it!

I have long been a fan of Tom & Lorenzo, a couple who write primarily about celebrity fashion. They delve a bit into movie/television reviews as well, and are perhaps best-known for writing a series of posts analyzing the costumes on Mad Men. Today, however, I really want to plug an incredible series of posts they did recently called “Redefining the Hero,” about the costuming decisions for some of the big blockbusters of the past couple of years: Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Force Awakens/The Last Jedi, and Black Panther. See anything in common there? Yeah. You want to check these posts out. They’re amazing.

Do you like podcasts? I am not the biggest fan out there, but I have one podcast that I follow religiously. It’s called You Must Remember This, and the tagline is ” The podcast about the secret and/or forgotten history of Hollywood’s first century.” The host, Karina Longworth, is a Hollywood historian who uses recent scholarship and technology to delve into stories (sometimes salacious, sometimes not) of Hollywood and Hollywood-related people. It’s a really fascinating look at the industry and the people; Longworth does a good job of keeping things academic as opposed to merely gossip-y, and has a tendancy to look at things through a feminist lens that I personally appreciate. The current season (there are three, I think?) is called “Fake News: Fact-Checking Hollywood Babylon” and it promises to be just as engaging as past seasons.

I suppose I should mention the trailer for Life Itselfan ensemble cast drama from Dan Fogelberg (This is Us). It doesn’t really look like my kind of thing, but the cast is worthy of attention: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening and Mandy Patinkin star. Opens September 21.

The Spy Who Dumped Me opens on August 3, and I’m thinking (pending reviews) about making it my next “Female-Driven Ladies’ Movie Night” outing. Co-written and directed by Susanna Fogel and starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. Looks like it could be fun!

I’d love to hear what you think of these suggestions or if you have any of your own!

Is This Thing On?

After a mini-rant about Justice League (they just don’t love their characters enough) this afternoon, a friend looked at me and said “You should’ve been a film critic,” and I said “Well…” and started thinking about my old friend, this blog. I still love the movie business and talk about it all the time, and while I don’t watch as many movies as I once did, I’d like to get back into a more regular habit of it. Thus, we’re back? Maybe? No promises.

My last post here was in 2013. It seems like an awful lot has happened in the world of movies since then, for sure. That ought to mean that I could find plenty to chat about, if I put my mind to it. The Marvel Cinematic Universe! New Star Wars movies! Strides in film representation! The #MeToo era, additions and subtractions to favorites lists, new things to love and complain about. I even try to watch a little television these days (I will talk to you about Legion all. day. long.)

So like I said, no promises. I’m planning to catch Ocean’s 8 this weekend so maybe we’ll start there. Or, if there’s something in particular you actually want my two cents’ worth on, give me a shout! My Top Five list needs updating, so stay tuned and we’ll see what transpires.

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Look at all these fabulous women. Can’t wait!

Banana Oil is on Facebook!

I’ve been on Facebook for a while, actually, but I realized that I had not publicized that here at any point. So hey! Follow me on Facebook!

And in case you missed it, I’m also on Twitter. Click on those links to keep up with my sporadic posting. And as always, thanks for reading!

Update

Hi guys. I know I’ve been awfully silent lately … life has been busy w/work and a new kid and all … and frankly, I haven’t seen any movie news to excite me in a while. However, I did manage to watch a couple of movies (one in the theater, even!!) over our vacation, and I promise I’ll be back in action soon. If you’re still reading, stay tuned!

Monday morning rallying cry


Apparently, there’s a Twitter campaign afoot to ask 20th Century Fox for a Master & Commander sequel. I am for it. I will direct your attention over to Cinemablend for the story, and ask that if you have Twitter, you a. Follow me, and b. Join the campaign!

Obviously, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you should get on that, too. 😉 I’ve been thinking lately about how Paul Bettany needs to get back to doing better roles, and a well-made sequel to M&C would be just the thing, both for him and for Mr. Crowe, who’s sadly on a bit of a downturn at the moment.

…I look at the picture Cinemablend has posted, and I swoon a bit. Think I might know what I’ll be doing today …

Pros and cons

So, I love Shakespeare. However, The Tempest is a disappointing play. Miranda is such a poor excuse for a Shakespearean heroine! But, I love Helen Mirren. However, I am always really disappointed when people feel the need to change various characters into female ones, just because they can. It never fails to be weird and inaccurate, and just silly, because as I have argued for various other reasons, it’s not like you can’t throw a stick and hit an awesome British actor of any age bracket, really. However, supposedly Julie Taymor does a mean Shakespeare. I haven’t even watched Titus yet, despite it actually being one of my favorite plays. Perhaps I should get on that. Anyway.

The point of all this is to say that the Miramax/Taymor adaptation of The Tempest, starring Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Alan Cumming, Djimon Hounsou, and David Straithairn (among others, and yes, I am ignoring the involvement of Russell Brand), which had been, at one point, indefinitely shelved, now has a release date. And that is December 10. Which means I probably won’t get to see it until much later, as I have a life-altering event planned for December 5th. Sigh.

NYT 1,000 Best Movies

I just found this list, of the New York Times’ “1,000 Best Movies Ever Made”, and I thought it was pretty interesting, so you should check it out! By my count, I’ve seen 143, with a whole slew of others in the old Netflix queue, so maybe I’ll have to revisit in another couple of years or something. Perhaps a new movie-viewing project? We shall see…

(I also feel the need to point out that there are two Russell Crowe movies on that list, although probably not the two you might think. Hee!)

How do you match up?

Changes…

Fiddling with themes a little. I kind of like this one. Any thoughts on the matter?

Beginnings…

Just what the world needs, right? Another person on the Internet who thinks they can write, thinks they can speak authoritatively about a given subject, thinks their opinion might be something other people will want to read. Well, since I’ll be claiming “no nonsense,” I guess I have to say that those assumptions are fairly correct. This blog will be all of those things. But maybe, just maybe, it’ll also be fun.

For my grand opening act, what I’m going to try to do here is give you a broad outline of why I’ve started this blog and what I’ll likely be discussing. Ready? Here we go.

First things first … the title. While I have just learned that there is, in fact, a substance called banana oil, my reference is a term, apparently coined by Milt Gross, a comic book artist, designed to “deflate pomposity and posing”. It is used, more in the sense of “Nonsense!” in two of my very most favorite movies (more on these later), and so I thought of it as a title for this blog. Add to the fact that I hope to write about movies and related subjects with little “pomposity and posing,” (read: nonsense) and it seems appropriate. You could also apply a deeper meaning, employing sarcasm, and see it as a comment that really, movies (and talking about them) are all just so much nonsense. Hopefully, this blog will not take itself, or its subject matter, seriously. Moving on…

Why this blog? I’ve come to the realization that I love movies. I watch a lot of them, I engage in movie-viewing projects, I read books about movies, I talk about movies, I read other movie blogs, I read critiques of movies … get the point? Additionally, I have long been a citizen of the interwebs, and I’ve never managed to come up with something to truly blog “about”. And finally, I am sort of hoping to hone my writing skills and find my “voice,” and hopefully writing here will facilitate that.

So … what will I be writing about? Well, besides movies? I shall attempt to elaborate.

  • Movie-viewing projects: I have a few of these. They range from ambitious to just silly. I’ll tell you about them!
  • My favorite actors/actresses/movies/etc.: Here’s a list. You can expect more on the following: Old-style musicals, rom-com, sci-fi/fantasy (including some comic-book movies), literary adaptations (sometimes), Gene Kelly, Julie Andrews, Russell Crowe, Robert Downey, Jr., and many more.
  • Books about movies: I’ve read a few in the past couple of years, and I plan on reading more. Biographies of movie stars, books about the social impact of certain types of films, and so on.
  • Reviews: Wouldn’t be a movie blog without them, would it? Reviewing movies is going to be a writing exercise for me.
  • Movie news: I try to keep up, and I almost always have an opinion, so this might be a place to rant or celebrate from time to time.
  • Lists: Sometimes I’m good at lists, sometimes I’m not. This’ll be an exercise in getting better, perhaps. Favorite movies, whatever! I’m open to suggestions.

I hope I will come up with more general categories of things to post about in the future … you’ll just have to stay tuned to see what happens!

And finally…what I won’t be writing about. I am reasonably picky about my movie viewing. I do often go out of my comfort zone, but I also know what I like and don’t like, and just because I’m starting a blog does not mean that I am going to go out there and watch things/people I don’t enjoy. So, a short list. You will probably not read about Will Ferrell, what I call the “new brand” of comedy a la Apatow, et al., anything having to do with Quentin Tarantino, overly serious/dramatic films (again, I watch these sometimes, but they’re not the norm), or horror flicks. I just don’t enjoy them, so I don’t watch them. But trust me – there are still plenty of things I do watch and enjoy, in whatever degree, and you shall hear about them if you are so inclined.

So that’s it! This is my movie blog. I’m hoping for one solid post a week, plus any sort of news or random thoughts that pop up from time to time. I hope you’ll read, and comment, and enjoy!

**Cosmetic changes will be taking priority over posting, for the time being, but I hope you’ll stay tuned anyway.

Stay tuned…

For movie nonsense!