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Video Rewind: Going Green

Updated on November 7, 2014
This batch of crackers is going to be enhanced, thanks to Charlton Heston in Soylent Green
This batch of crackers is going to be enhanced, thanks to Charlton Heston in Soylent Green

With everyone/thing going green I started thinking that I too should go "green." Well, when it comes to movies.

The year is 2022 and you shouldn't mess with the Hes(ton) if you're planning on getting your next supply of Soylent Green a nutritional meal for the next decade.

Charlton Heston stars as Detective Richard Thorn, a tough New York cop who discovers what Soylent Green is (with the help of longtime friend Sol Roth- Edward G. Robinson) and what the government wants you to know about this nutritious dietary supplement.

In 2022, the world is over populated and unemployment is higher than ever. People are living in abandoned cars and on staircases just to have shelter, but it's the murder of William R. Simonson (Joseph Cotten) which puts Thorn on the path of Soylent Green.

Simonson is one of the lucky few- he's wealthy and can afford anything and his apartment comes complete with "furniture" (namely a high priced call girl played by Leigh Taylor-Young) who stays until the next tenant moves in.

While at the food locker (where a stick of celery and a couple of tomatoes cost $215) Shirl is accompanied with Simonson's body guard Tab Fielding (Chuck Connors) providing an alibi for the two of them while a street thug (Stephen Young) slips into the apartment complex to kill Simonson.

With Simonson dead it's a free for all for Thorn who's been sent to investigate the murder. As he's questioning Shirl and Fielding, he helps himself to some fine booze, food and a few luxury items such as paper and pencils. He takes these items back to his apartment where he shares them with Sol.

One night Thorn goes back to Simonson's apartment where Shirl and some of her friends are having a party and he takes Shirl into the bedroom where he has his way with her while gathering information. Shirl's afraid the new tenant won't want her and she wants to make plans with Thorn wanting to go with him.

Meanwhile, Sol is tired with life and goes to the "home center" where suicide is now legal. In his last moments he's shown images of what life was like when he was younger and on his deathbed he gives Thorn the information he needs about Soylent Green.

Even though this movie was made in 1973 it gives a chilling look into the future which is right around the corner. It's kind of strange to hear about global warming and although we're not told what time of the year this is taking place, Thorn often talks about the heat wave plaguing New York City.

If you're not of the sci-fi genre then you might want to check out the romantic comedy Green Card starring Andie MacDowell and Gerard Depardieu is about strangers who meet and enter into a marriage of convenience.

Depardieu is a Frenchman illegally living in New York City and in order to get his green card marries Bronte (MacDowell) so she can get the apartment of her dreams.

After the wedding they each go their separate ways until immigration shows up unexpectedly at the apartment.

Over the course of a weekend the two have to get to know one another and after Georges moves into the apartment Bronte becomes more tight assed than she already is. She doesn't like the fact he's there and really doesn't want to get to know him but when she realizes the consequences she starts to open up a little.

To make matters worse no one knows of the marriage and she has a hard time covering it up. It seems whenever things seem to settle down a little the two are caught and she has to come up with yet another story to hide the truth.

This is kind of a love or hate it kind of movie. You don't know whether you like it and there are many times you really hate it since Bronte's tone is always so negative compared to Georges upbeat personality (plus there are times when it's hard to understand Depardieu due to his thick accent).

Then there's Fried Green Tomatoes which I was expecting to be much better based on all of the hype surrounding it.

I'm not really sure where the story is here: is it between the friendship between Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy or is it the friendship between Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker?

The movie is told in flashback which makes it confusing since it keeps changing from the past to the present. I think it would have better to just focus on the friendship between Masterson and Parker since they are the real stars of the movie.

As Idgie (Masterson) and Ruth (Parker), the two share a special bond of friendship and become owners of the Whistle Stop Cafe in the '30's. Their bond begins early in the flashback when Idgie's brother Buddy (Chris O'Donnell) is hit by an oncoming train after he chases after Ruth's hat.

When Idgie can't accept his death she "runs away" from life and becomes a rebellious young lady (smoking, gambling, drinking- you know the type) and Ruth comes to spend the summer with the Threadgoode family in an attempt to help Idgie.

Idgie is crushed when Ruth gets married to Frank Bennett (Nick Searcy) and one day when she goes to Ruth's house she discovers Ruth with a black eye. A few months later she goes with a couple of guys and helps Ruth move out of the house and the abusive relationship she's in.

She threatens Frank and one night a couple of years later she's accused of his murder along with Big George (Stan Shaw). The case is dismissed and everything goes back to normal in their small town.

In between the flashbacks we see the friendship blossoming between Bates and Tandy. Bates' marriage is on the rocks and she can't wait to visit Tandy at the nursing home to hear more of the story about Idgie and Ruth and what happens.

Through the story Evelyn (Bates) becomes a stronger woman and everything starts to fall into place in her life.

Now that I've gone "green" maybe you might too if you check out these movies

Mocking marriage for their own needs are Andie MacDowell and Gerard Depardieu in Green Card
Mocking marriage for their own needs are Andie MacDowell and Gerard Depardieu in Green Card


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    • Eric Tuchelske 1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Tuchelske 

      4 years ago from Detroit

      I usually take my own when I can afford to go grocery shopping!

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 

      4 years ago from Cape Cod

      Nice job Eric. I do like the plastic bags, but prefer paper at the super market checkout.


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