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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:38 am 
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EL-CID-1983 wrote:
I heard this recently got a Blu-Ray release. Entertainment Weekly referred to it as having "some of Heston's zestiest over acting." I was like 'Damn, is it really that essential to make fun of him?' :evil:

Tell me about it. Reviewers seem to enjoy making fun of him every chance they get, it's so transparent why they do it and it's equally pathetic.

I think Soylent Green has some of the best acting from Chuck, the scene where Sol is "going home" is one example of terrific acting on his part.

As for the Blu-ray, I hear there is no new special features on it, unfortunately.

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:23 pm 
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Prince Judah
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Detective Thorn wrote:
EL-CID-1983 wrote:
I heard this recently got a Blu-Ray release. Entertainment Weekly referred to it as having "some of Heston's zestiest over acting." I was like 'Damn, is it really that essential to make fun of him?' :evil:

Tell me about it. Reviewers seem to enjoy making fun of him every chance they get, it's so transparent why they do it and it's equally pathetic.


I actually still have a subscription to EW magazine, but they've got some writers on there who are biased, in my opinion, and sometimes this ends up with inaccurate statements. In that example, someone thought the phrase "zestiest over acting" was clever but it doesn't even make sense. How is any of Heston's acting in Soylent Green zesty? It's a stupid remark.

Then, people read crap like this and misinformation spreads. Soon, many people are commenting about how Soylent Green has some zesty over acting even though they haven't seen the film.

As mentioned in another forum here, on the thread for looking back on Heston's life 3 years after his passing, EW showed its bias when it short-changed Chuck with it's brief write-up upon his death. I even wrote (e-mailed) a letter of complaint to them about that 3 years ago because this really annoyed me back then - I listed many of his films in the letter; EW only listed 5 of his films, I think, as his best ones (I'm sure my complaint was ignored). Maybe we ought to start a letter campaign to EW over this latest zesty fiasco... :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:01 am 
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Detective Thorn wrote:
EL-CID-1983 wrote:
I heard this recently got a Blu-Ray release. Entertainment Weekly referred to it as having "some of Heston's zestiest over acting." I was like 'Damn, is it really that essential to make fun of him?' :evil:

Tell me about it. Reviewers seem to enjoy making fun of him every chance they get, it's so transparent why they do it and it's equally pathetic.

I think Soylent Green has some of the best acting from Chuck, the scene where Sol is "going home" is one example of terrific acting on his part.

As for the Blu-ray, I hear there is no new special features on it, unfortunately.

They hate him because later in life he was a Republican (yeah, like nobody before him had ever gone from being a Democrat to being a Republican) and because he was president of the NRA. It's really not even about his film work, it's because of his NRA Presidency and Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine". A whole generation, and possibly future generations, hate the man based solely on that one aspect of his later life with no regards for his life before that. A respected Hollywood actor for over what, 40-50 years, never got in trouble by dabbling in the kind of nonsense of modern stars (and some of his contemporaries) get into, married to only one woman, stable family life, former Civil Rights supporter, president of various Hollywood outlets, among them President of the Screen Actors Guild, and all anyone cares about is "You'll get my rifle when you pry it from my cold dead hands!" It's like his whole life & legacy is defined by that one single activity. The way some people spew hatred at him you'd think he was a Nazi war criminal or something. :banghead:


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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:38 am 
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You're preaching to the choir. I give those kind of speeches when someone comments on my Heston fandom. Of course, it turns out they have no clue about his career in films and all the other things he did in his life prior to his NRA presidency. They've all gotten their opinions from Bowling for Columbine and all the lies told in that interview.

Oh well, we're going a bit too off topic now.

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:08 pm 
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Attention: Heston's fans in UK (or visiting UK):
A screening of Soylent Green in The First UK Green Film Festival



http://www.suite101.com/content/first-uk-green-film-festival-takes-place-may-20-22-2011-weekend-a371680
First UK Green Film Festival Takes Place May 20-22, 2011 Weekend
By Marc Latham
Published May 18, 2011
Quote:
.....
Leeds Films in Hyde Park Picture House
....
On Saturday at 3.15pm there is The Garden, which is about a South Central Los Angeles community’s battle to save an inner city garden they had initiated from being destroyed in the name of development.
....
The day closes with the old classic, Soylent Green, at 11pm. The fictional film has Charlton Heston investigating a murder at the manufacturer produces the synthetic food everybody relies on in an over-populated future.


:cheers:


Last edited by CHfan2010 on Thu May 19, 2011 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:52 am 
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Now more than ever am I sad that I don't live in the UK :( I wish the festival could have been in July instead, because I'm going to England on the 8th for a couple of days.

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Thread revival sort of -- I've been thinking about this film a lot the past day for some reason and especially thinking back to the time of its release in the theaters. I wanted to go see it but was so young at the time that I still needed a parent to take me; as it happened, I only started to go to theaters on my own about a year later so Soylent Green was just a little too early for me. Needless to say, it didn't work out for me - my parents were too busy or just didn't feel it to be appropriate; I finally did watch it on TV - probably a couple of years later.

But, I would venture that this was one of those films that really benefitted from a big screen. What caught my attention back then, in the TV previews, were the scenes of those big scoops lifting crowds of people and dumping them in the backs of trucks. What I knew of garbage trucks was that they scooped up... garbage in that way; to see it being done to live people was a preposterous and fascinating visual for me at that young age - here was sci-fi at its most wild and at its best, even if I hadn't seen the whole film yet at that point.

I don't think this film was appreciated very much back in the seventies; most people regarded it as just another of the seventies sci-fi stuff on film, one among many. By now, however, this is one of the films which is proving to be fairly accurate and prescient. There are no flying cars or other gadgets which many other sf films thought we would have by now or in a few years - and which make those other films look a bit silly. New York City may not have 40 million people a decade from now, but it's getting up there... and the economic woes which seem to be getting worse with each passing year point to the scenario of this film more and more... :soylent:


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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:07 am 
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Well, here we go... a month after I made the above post, I see this article on the net, earlier today:

Forests across the world dying off as climate warms

Scientists say the future habitability of the Earth may be at stake

By JUSTIN GILLIS - updated 10/1/2011 8:45:03 AM ET

WISE RIVER, Mont. — The trees spanning many of the mountainsides of western Montana glow an earthy red, like a broadleaf forest at the beginning of autumn.

But these trees are not supposed to turn red. They are evergreens, falling victim to beetles that used to be controlled in part by bitterly cold winters. As the climate warms, scientists say, that control is no longer happening.

Across millions of acres, the pines of the northern and central Rockies are dying, just one among many types of forests that are showing signs of distress these days... (read the rest here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44740060/ns ... ork_times/)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you read the entire article, it reveals that the situation may not be so dire, but that headline is virtually a copy of Heston/Thorn's dialog towards the end of the film -- "Oceans are dying, plankton is dying.." (paraphrasing). This film really is seeming to be some kind of prophecy... :scared: :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:07 pm 
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It's a scary world we're living in, that much can be said. Hopefully I'll be able to live a full life of never having eaten humans... :soylent:

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:32 pm 
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This is a good review by Scott Ashlin that I have found in the net. I would add my own feelings about the movie in the next post.


Together with 'Silent Running', 'Soylent Green' would make an excellent introduction to early-1970’s polemical sci-fi. Like that earlier film, it is loaded with interesting ideas that manage to be simultaneously incompletely formed and wildly overwrought, all of them delivered with a desperate earnestness that is ultimately self-defeating. Again and again, it threatens to become almost brilliant but then spirals frantically out of control, often leaving its audience more amused than moved. But beyond all the similarities of tone and perspective, Soylent Green reminds me of Silent Running in that it begins by facing up to an issue that the latter movie skirted to its great detriment: in a future characterized by worldwide ecological collapse, what on Earth are we going to eat?

In the year 2022, human overpopulation has reached such desperate proportions that New York City struggles to accommodate a population of 40,000,000 people, nearly half of them effectively homeless and/or out of work. The rampant inflation of the 70’s has apparently continued unchecked, atmospheric pollution has radically altered the planet’s climate, and infrastructure decay has reached such a pace that virtually nothing in any of the major cities can be kept in proper working order. But perhaps even worse than any of these scourges is their cumulative effect upon American society. Overpopulation has created an environment in which the life of the average person is all but worthless. There is no such thing as job security anymore, class stratification has intensified to positively medieval levels, and the constant struggle for bare survival on the part of hundreds of millions of economically superfluous people has undermined whatever traditional notions of morality were left standing after the great social transformations of the 60’s and 70’s. A tiny minority of the super-rich live like omnipotent hereditary nobility, wantonly consuming hundreds of times their fare share of the planet’s dwindling resources, maintaining their mid-20th-century standards of living while the great bulk of their fellow men and women lack running water, reliable electricity, or sufficient dwelling space to live like human beings. And naturally, only the rich are able to afford what we think of today as food. With strawberries going for $150 a jar and meat a rare luxury even for the upper crust, the basic nutritional needs of most Americans are met by the products of the Soylent Corporation. Soylent Yellow, the oldest of the company’s three flagship foodstuffs, is an unpalatable paste made from soybean concentrate; it’s high in protein and a diet based on it will keep you alive and more or less healthy, but it isn’t something you’d eat if you had much choice in the matter. Soylent Red is rather less nasty. Another soy product, it is versatile enough that it can be made into passable approximations of most grain-based foods, and unlike Soylent Yellow, it can be described with a straight face as having a flavor. But the masses’ current favorite is the new Soylent Green. With Green, the Soylent Corporation has branched out a bit, turning, according to its advertising literature, to the vastness of the oceans for its raw materials— whereas Soylents Yellow and Red are soybean derivatives, Soylent Green is made from oceanic plankton, the closest thing to an infinite nutritional resource that the hard-pressed Earth still has to offer. Unfortunately, the very newness of Soylent Green means that it is in chronically short supply, despite the nearly limitless quantities in which it should theoretically be available; Soylent’s factories simply aren’t yet able to match the supply of Soylent Green to the public’s insatiable demand.

This is the world in which police detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston, from The Naked Jungle and The Omega Man) lives. Thorn is part of what remains of America’s working class, and as such he lives in a tiny, dingy apartment with his partner, Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson). Roth is, in the parlance of 2022, Thorn’s “book.” Global deforestation has rendered trees too scarce to be used for such frivolities as printing paper, and thus very few real books are published anymore. Most people are understandably just barely literate these days, and to compensate, the New York Police Department teams its detectives in the field with highly educated men of phenomenal memory capacity to handle the documentary investigation and research that most of the front-line cops are now incapable of doing for themselves. When we meet the two men, they are grappling with a slate of confusing cases, on which their lack of tangible progress has put both their jobs on the line. They’re about to get handed an even tougher one.

At the other end of the social ladder stands William R. Simonson (Joseph Cotten, from Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte and Baron Blood), an executive of the Soylent Corporation. One night, a young man enters Simonson’s hyper-luxury apartment in Century Towers while his bodyguard, Tab Fielding (Chuck Connors, of Tourist Trap and “Werewolf”), and his “furniture,” Shirl (Looker’s Leigh Taylor-Young), are out. (An aside: The notion of “furniture” is probably my favorite aspect of Soylent Green’s vision of the future. In an especially stark illustration of the devaluation of human life, wealthy men like Simonson often rent their dwellings “furnished” with attractive young women who serve as both domestic help and *** objects. The economy is apparently so wretched that a woman with the allure to succeed as furniture counts herself among the privileged few.) The prowler catches Simonson in his living room, and after a brief talk (over the course of which it becomes clear both that Simonson knows the other man has been sent to kill him, and that the doomed exec agrees that his death is necessary morally as well as pragmatically) staves Simonson’s head in with a crowbar. Thorn ends up assigned by his superior, Lieutenant Hatcher (Brock Peters, from Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off and Alligator II: The Mutation), to investigate the slaying, sending him off on a path that will eventually lead him to discover that the world is an even worse place than it looks on the surface.

Thorn almost immediately realizes that Simonson was assassinated, rather than killed during a routine burglary attempt, as the circumstantial evidence would initially seem to suggest. The deeper he digs, the more it looks like Simonson was eliminated on the orders of his superiors within the Soylent Corporation, the leadership of which seems to be conspiring with the government to conceal some sort of terrible secret. While Thorn is out following up such leads as he can find with a truly stunning lack of success (mostly he just beats up Tab Fielding and spends a whole lot of time in bed with Shirl), it is Roth who uncovers the truth. Some company reports found in Simonson’s apartment, combined with other documents in the possession of the Supreme Exchange (a sort of central library for use by Roth and his fellow books), point almost irrefutably to the conclusion that the Soylent Corporation has secretly undertaken to solve America’s food problems in the most ruthlessly practical way imaginable. The primary ingredient of Soylent Green, as pretty much everybody who knows anyone who watches “Saturday Night Live” is aware by now, is not oceanic plankton but human flesh. The knowledge of this ultimate betrayal of the 20th-century morals the aged Sol still holds dear is enough to drive the old man to kill himself in one of the city’s suicide parlors, but he passes on what he has learned to Thorn before he goes, and the younger cop sees the ugly truth for himself when he surreptitiously follows the progress of his partner’s body through the innards of the waste processing center to which the death shop sends its satisfied customers. The movie ends with Thorn telling his story to a highly skeptical Lieutenant Hatcher after a closely contested shootout with the waste plant’s guards.

Silent Running isn’t the only piece of polemical fiction that Soylent Green reminds me of. It also had me thinking of a novel called What Is to Be Done?, by the early Russian communist author Nikolai Chernyshevsky. Both works are nominal detective stories whose creators cared not one whit about the puzzles their characters were trying to solve, concentrating instead upon depicting the awfulness of the world in which those characters were forced to live. The object, of course, was to issue a rallying cry for the destruction of that world (What Is to Be Done?) or for changes in the way real people live that would prevent such a world from ever coming into existence (Soylent Green). In both cases, the central aim is hampered because this just isn’t a terribly effective way of making a point. Chernyshevsky had a good excuse for sneaking his politics in through the back door, in that he wrote What Is to Be Done? while he was already in prison for making inflammatory statements against the czar and his regime. But the makers of Soylent Green had no such hurdle to overcome, and would have done far better to follow the lead of Upton Sinclair or George Orwell by using the central narrative itself to score most of their rhetorical points. As it is, director Richard Fleischer and screenwriter Stanley R. Greenberg allow their lack of interest in the main plot to infect the audience as well. It’s awfully hard to care much about a detective story in which the main detective just kind of wanders around ineffectually for an hour and a half before being handed the answer by his partner, who had it handed to him in turn by a bunch of characters we’ve never even seen before and won’t be seeing again. The details we pick up along the way about life in New York in 2022 are often impressively insightful, reflecting far more than the usual degree of effort invested in making a dystopian world believable, but even here the filmmakers do themselves a disservice by setting the story near enough to what was then the present day that it becomes hard to swallow both the sheer magnitude of the breakdown and the quiescent acceptance of the way things are on the part of everybody but Sol Roth— surely Sol isn’t the only person Thorn or Hatcher or Shirl has met who remembers how the world used to be?! Then of course there’s the simple fact that the world’s economy and ecology have proven to be far more complicated than anyone seemed to realize in the early 1970’s. For example, who would have imagined, in the days when 'The Population Bomb' was on the bestseller list, that much of the developed world would be threatened by population implosion only 25 years later, even as Africa and mainland Asia continue to produce more people than they can realistically support? The confounding complexity and flexibility that the world has exhibited since those seemingly apocalyptic years between the Summer of Love and the end of the Cold War would tend to make Soylent Green look hysterically shrill in its outlook even if it had been as coherent as it should have.

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