Jump to content
JulyDiaz

Episode 209 - The Snowman: LIVE! (w/ Erin Gibson, Bryan Safi)

Recommended Posts

I know that he was portrayed as a villain and an extremely unsympathetic character but I think there is one thing we all have to admit; Uncle Jonas' teaching methods work.  Mathias seemed nearly omniscient compared to the cops chasing him AND he was a successful doctor to boot.  Education starts at home......with coffee beans.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, TomPretty said:

What exactly was the purpose of the whole Jk Simmons thing in relation to the Snowman???

Red herring, plain and simple. In the book I know that Rebeca Ferguson's character is also seen as a suspect at one point because of how shifty she's acting with her then-unknown vendetta against Simmons' character, to the point where she's arrested and put in a psychiatric observation to see if she is a psychopath.

10 hours ago, JimKata said:

Dwayne Johnson is franchise Viagra. Michael Fassbender is franchise saltpeter.

To be fair, I think Fassbender is on a similar trajectory as Gerard Butler in that he chooses movies he think will be a big boom to his career but falter, only in Fassbender's case they shit the bed. I mean would anyone here turn down the chance to play one of the main antagonists in an Alien prequel directed by Ridley Scott Or a crime drama directed by Scott and written by Cormac McCarthy that also starred Bradd Pitt, Javier Bardem, and Penelope Cruz? Hell even Assassin's Creed was a decent choice before it was made as the series is still very well regarded and if done well would have led to a bigger franchise.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 3/15/2019 at 2:51 PM, Elektra Boogaloo said:

Oh I thought it was only lesbians whose voices people hated. Way to branch out.

So I did not watch this movie. I did not understand much of the podcast, but it sounds like I wouldn't understand it even if I saw it. I read a couple of true crime books lately,  and I'm really kind of sick of how media makes serial killers seem cool (no snowman pun intended) and smart. Or the whole Ted Bundy was hot thing on Twitter. I can't.

But anyway, I don't know anything about Norway but I was listening to this thinking "are there really that many serial killers running around Norway?" I thought it was a safe place to live. So I found some Norway crime statistics and it says 24 people were murdered in Norway in 2015 (the most recent available data). By comparison, the FBI reports the United States had 15,696 murders that year. I think Jo Nesbo has murdered more fictional people than have actually been murdered in Norway.

I don't know where I'm going with this, but I think it's weird that we WANT violence where there isn't violence because it's "interesting"?

I also didn't see the movie but that's because I'm trying not support media with  abusers in it. And Michael Fassbender has a history of domestic abuse. It makes me so uncomfortable .

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I misheard and thought they said this was based on a book by E Nesbit the influential children's author from the 1900's. I was VERY confused.

Share this post


Link to post

That awkward moment when Connie Britton came up... Jason if you need a hug I'm here

Share this post


Link to post

So I came across this video interview that Jo Nesbo did before the movie came out and there are some stunning things said in it...

First, Nesbo calls him Harry Hole, not Holy or any sort of accented version of the word.

He said he was 'relieved' that Fassbender was cast as Harry, but other than Shame it doesn't really sounds like he has seen anything else he has done.

He says he's a "bit worried it [the film franchise] might take over my universe" - I don't think he has anything to worry about there.

He is in the movie (or at least he filmed a scene for the movie) where he is holding a 'dangerous' and 'forbidden' dog from Slovakia.  WHAT?!?

Aside from filming that scene he seemingly had no input on the film's production.

Nesbo says it was important for the director to shoot the film in Norway, but Nesbo says they could have shot it anywhere because the character is more important than the place.

He was really looking forward to the scenes shot in Bergen.  - I'm guessing he ended up being massively disappointed.

The video also shows a picture of the book cover which has a tagline that says "Beware the falling snow" which would have been a much better tagline for the film than any of the convoluted ones that Paul mentioned in the show.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I have a question about the number of balls in a snowman. So as the majority of us are from North America and if we were asked to draw a snowman we'd draw a three balled snowman. Head, body, and legs. However, as I soon discovered after moving to Japan, not every country does this. In fact Japan and Korea both do two ball snowmen, head and body. Throughout the film we see nothing but two ball snowmen. The killer even uses a two ball snowman as his calling card. Yet, if you look at the original Norwegian book cover and movie poster they use a three ball snowman. From what I gather Norway is a three ball snowman country. However, the director of the film and a lot of people involved in it are British and England is a two ball snowman country. Were they unaware of this fact? Did they see the original stuff and just ignore it? Or does Norway go both ways when it comes to snowman balls?

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe they go into these details later in the episode, I had to take a break because they were trashing Harry Hole's abilities too much. Harry Hole or Hoola, (as he is called by different official audiobook readers) is the greatest detective in all of Norway. Paul, these are great books well worth reading. He isn't Sherlock Holmes. Harry Hole's detective philosophy is that you should essentially brainstorm. You do a lot of guesswork and free association and this gives you leads. In the book, he follows those leads down doggedly, while succumbing to his alcoholism and being deeply flawed. In this movie, he is useless. While the purpose of the Black Mold guy is not clear in the movie. In the book, an offhand remark he makes about his outfit leads Harry to understand that Matthias is the killer. 

Harry dated Rakel for several books. He is NOT Oleg's father (though the movie is not as clear on this). Oleg's father is supposed to be a Russian diplomat Rakel met when she was working for Norway's version of the state department, and in book four or five, he sues for custody. She is a state department official and lawyer. In the movie, she is a gallery owner, a job few outside of New York or Santa Fe are involved in. Anyway, while she is working for Norway's diplomatic service, she is banging two dudes. One is a Norwegian state official. The other is Russian. The Norwegian guy is married already or not interested in getting married, and so she tells the Russian he is the father, even though he isn't. This is revealed in response to an article saying that some ridiculously high percentage of Norwegian children are not actually being raised by the men who sired them. 

Matthias, the Snowman, is one of these children being raised by a father who is not actually his father. He starts killing women who have essentially tricked these men into raising kids that are not theirs (Including in the book, his own mother. It has been a while since I read the book, but I believe he murdered her; he didn't just watch her die. (Please correct me if I'm remembering that wrong fellow Nesbo heads. BTW, the audiobook readers always say it as Nesba. But if he did watch her die; he's happy about it, so he would be smiling not she). Also, Harry does not kill him at the end of the book. Matthias starts plotting this scenario where Harry will accidentally kill Rakel (who is cheating with Harry during this case) to punish him. He doesn't fall for it, and as in the movie, saves her at the expense of a finger or two. Matthias is dying of a rare disease which disfigures you (melts you like a snowman) and is very painful. He hopes to die but Harry keeps him alive to deliberately punish him. In the next novel, Harry is helped by a now disfigured Matthias and slips him drugs to OD on, because he hopes to die. 

I should add that Erin's instinct that this movie and these novels are misogynistic is on point (see the above info about all Norwegian women tricking men into raising their babies), as is her idea that Harry is an alcoholic for something beyond just the disease (though that is the main reason; one day at a time...) Women are constantly, needlessly in danger or brutally murdered. To the Alcoholism, Harry has seen his Mother die of cancer (and maybe helped her die?), first real girlfriend commit suicide, another one be killed, killed another police officer in a drunk driving accident, accidentally shot an American secret service agent who wasn't doing his job, lost a female partner to a corrupt cop's pro-gun and white nationalist organization, and been told he could no longer investigate his sister's rape. His sister, by the way, has, and I quote here, "a touch of down syndrome." Not to mention, another male cop he mentors is killed leaving a female friend of his left pregnant and alone, and then eventually also killed, and a whole lot of other fucked up shit. Possibly the most infuriating part of The Snowman is the end where he says, "I'll take the case." In the book, Rakel and Oleg leave Norway for the Netherlands to get away from the horror they experienced. Harry, horrified by all he has seen dealing with Norway's first serial killing, moves to Hong Kong and becomes an opium addict. He eventually pulls it together and comes back a different hot female detective flies out to tell him his dad is dying and another serial killer is baffling Norwegian Police (the one alluded to in the details of the file, the Leopard). 

The movie made no sense unless you read the book. It was as if everyone seeing the movie would go, "Oh of course! Oleg. Harry's essential stepson!" Oh, one detail of the novel I remember is that they go to a heavy metal concert, not the weird concert in the film. I want to say it was Slipknot, but I'm not positive. The creepy looking doctor character (Toby Jones?) worked with Matthias and went to the same school at the same time, so Matthias deliberately frames him as the Snowman (and Harry buys it because Matthias seems super boring and the other guy has piles of evidence that he is guilty). Katrine's dad (Val Kilmer) figures it out 9 years earlier but is killed by Matthias. The Creepy doctor guy is friends with JK Simmons as well. I can't remember what he does for him to get invited to the cool parties in society. The doctor is alleged to have been involved in a sex ring/pedophilia, but it turns out he was just treating Norwegian prostitutes for diseases and I think getting off on it because he's a creep. Maybe JK Simmons is running this. Definitely, the movie does not make this clear. 

Katrine Bratt (AKA Rebecca Fergusson) is the female detective. As Paul noted, she does not die. She is alive as of the most recent novel. One thing to note about her is I felt she was played as a mousey, insecure detective. In the novels, she is a confident sex kitten who garners Harry's respect almost immediately (and to be clear, Rebecca Ferguson is a gorgeous woman, but she played this role way different from the way Bratt is in the novels). She makes a few attempts to seduce Harry Hole, all of which he resists because of his on the spectrum personality and his love for Rakel. At the end, because she dresses as a dominatrix and tries to torment the JK Simmons character into confessing the Snowman crimes he did not commit she is placed in a mental institution. She helps Harry out on his next case using her hacking ability, and eventually, makes it out to help him more directly on cases.  

The little girl in the donkey mask does not exist and Harry hates small children. He has nothing but contempt for the male child whose mom is killed. He does not make a special connection with him by re-enacting Pinnochio. That kid sucks the whole way through. That's all I can remember right now. Interestingly, while the Snowman is the most popular of the Novels (certainly makes sense for why Scorcese wanted to make a movie) it was my second least favorite (after Cockroaches). I would recommend starting with The Bat. Not the best novel, but a great introduction to a dark character. Then skipping to Redbreast (book 3 after Cockroaches aka 2) and reading the rest. Harry is a compelling and entertaining character. 

I might remember more, but I hope this puts me in the running to win absolutely nothing. 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

My read on this film was super misogynistic. It basically seemed to me like some Men's Right's Activist, anti-choice, trying to be pro-dad BS. You all have already addressed the whole Oleg situation, and the rampant distrust of women who are all promiscuous and lying to the men about who are the fathers of their kids. But there was some real anti-choice messages (and I feel like the director was kind of muddled in whether he was pro-choice). For example, we know that Chloe Sevigny had an abortion just before she died, and when she's on the phone with the Snowman, she says something about, "it wasn't your child, it was mine" and her "twin" made some comment about "she got rid of the baby." Also, so I understand (could be wrong?) the Snowman was actually the "pregnancy doctor" which I took to mean "abortion doctor." I attributed the awkward phrasing to the English translation? And wasn't JK Simmons giving money to the fertility clinic that was performing the abortions? The whole thing felt like a mess of men being pissed about not having reproductive control over women's bodies. When that control is lost, and when women prove themselves slutty liars, they're knocked off. Here comes hero Michael Fassbender who steps up into a father's roll KNOWING he's not Oleg's biological dad, and they really drive that point home. The main message of Snowman seems to be: Fathers = AWESOME; Women = lying sluts who deserve to die. Except Charlotte Gainsbourg (?)

I have feelings about The Snowman, and none of them good. Glad I didn't pay to watch it. I didn't know about Fassbender's history with women, or I'd probably have skipped this all together. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

This episode was just them yelling the whole time  ..they didn't even get into the plot. I prefer when they at least go through the beats of movie. Instead this was just Jason Bryan and Erin screaming for 2 hours. Disappointing.

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, DrGuts1003 said:

So I came across this video interview that Jo Nesbo did before the movie came out and there are some stunning things said in it...

First, Nesbo calls him Harry Hole, not Holy or any sort of accented version of the word.

He said he was 'relieved' that Fassbender was cast as Harry, but other than Shame it doesn't really sounds like he has seen anything else he has done.

He says he's a "bit worried it [the film franchise] might take over my universe" - I don't think he has anything to worry about there.

He is in the movie (or at least he filmed a scene for the movie) where he is holding a 'dangerous' and 'forbidden' dog from Slovakia.  WHAT?!?

Aside from filming that scene he seemingly had no input on the film's production.

Nesbo says it was important for the director to shoot the film in Norway, but Nesbo says they could have shot it anywhere because the character is more important than the place.

He was really looking forward to the scenes shot in Bergen.  - I'm guessing he ended up being massively disappointed.

The video also shows a picture of the book cover which has a tagline that says "Beware the falling snow" which would have been a much better tagline for the film than any of the convoluted ones that Paul mentioned in the show.

I'm stunned that hole is Nesbo's choice for the pronunciation for the name, which just means he's fucking with everyone who reads the books. As for him being cut from the movie and not having much control, that's not surprising as it's about 50/50 if the author cameo stays in , unless they are a known author, even Greg Sestero was cut out of The Disaster Artist. As for creative control, that's more based on the negotiating power the author has or asserts, the film based on the book Thousand Pieces of Gold was an utter mess as the author Ruthanne McCunn basically sold it quick to get the film made, this then was used as an example of what not to do by Amy Tan who fought for being able to write the script with creative control for the film of The Joy Luck Club. Lastly, the director was dead set on Norway simply because the studio was pushing it for the tax incentives.

8 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

I have a question about the number of balls in a snowman. So as the majority of us are from North America and if we were asked to draw a snowman we'd draw a three balled snowman. Head, body, and legs. However, as I soon discovered after moving to Japan, not every country does this. In fact Japan and Korea both do two ball snowmen, head and body. Throughout the film we see nothing but two ball snowmen. The killer even uses a two ball snowman as his calling card. Yet, if you look at the original Norwegian book cover and movie poster they use a three ball snowman. From what I gather Norway is a three ball snowman country. However, the director of the film and a lot of people involved in it are British and England is a two ball snowman country. Were they unaware of this fact? Did they see the original stuff and just ignore it? Or does Norway go both ways when it comes to snowman balls?

I wonder if since it was an American release they changed the cover to feature a three part snowman while other countries the cover was two. Reading this though made me wonder about a recent, famous snowman, Olaf from Frozen and how he was portrayed outside of America. So when I just typed in "Olaf Japan" in the old Googles I first came up with stories about the voice actor for the Japanese release of Kingdom Hearts 3 being arrested on drug charges, but then this was shown as a Japanese import on Amazon.41p3YwpbGSL.jpg.e36ca21acbda12984ec1b2c5dcad9a7f.jpg

So the body is now basically one piece whereas the versions of the dolls in America are a more pronounce three piece body.

Share this post


Link to post
On 3/15/2019 at 6:25 PM, Elektra Boogaloo said:

I am aware of the genre. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is kind of part of that, though he was Swedish, I think. But that was another series I couldn't handle. Maybe I just hate crime fiction. I mean, at least Norway people don't actually go out and commit murder, apparently. So they are winning there.

My favourite detective series (both books and TV) is Inspector Morse, which takes place in the murder capital of the UK, Oxford. 😂

I do have a theory about why these series do so well - apart for the general appetite in the world for a certain model of murder mystery - I think it is a culture processing trauma from the Second World War, and as others have pointed out, I think there is definitely a certain amount of authors trying to explain how unremarkable white men take their anger out on women (usually. Sometimes it is more about economic class. But usually sexism too.) So sometimes they become a kind of literary bellwether for a cultural shift. I read the first Wallander novel recently - it is from the early 90s, I think - and its subplot about Nordic suspicion of immigrants was all too relatable still.

I didn't watch this movie either, I'm sure I will eventually. It sounds awful. Maybe I'll watch Insomnia again (the original one). Or John Sayles' Limbo.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I didn't see anyone answer this, my apologies if I missed it. To answer Paul's question, diazepam is a sedative used to steady the nerves and counteract adrenaline. As anyone who has played Metal Gear Solid knows, it is essential for snipers.

Share this post


Link to post

SO many things in this movie did not have a payback it goes beyond red-herring to just plain incompetent screenwriting and/or making.

To name just a few: The cigarettes left next to multiple crime-scenes; The medicine given by Mathias to HH; The pictures HH took of his (future) victims; HH meeting Mathias on the train (PS. That train takes about 8 hours to arrive from Oslo to Bergen and there's a flight that takes one hour...); Val Kilmer's whole sub-plot (including why he was killed); JK Simmons' whole sub-plot; The creepy "pregnancy doctor" and his relation to JK Simmons; Why Mathias targeted the people he did, and how his work as a physician was related to it; etc. etc.

This movie has more (poorly constructed) misdirects than plot, it seems. Beautiful photography, though, especially in the beginning and during the train ride.

Share this post


Link to post

Okay, I listened to the rest of the episode and have a few more corrections, omissions or additions.

There is little Norwegian Nationalism/pride in the Harry Hole Books. In fact, Nesbo goes out of his way to dispel the idea that all Norwegians resisted the Nazis. One of his pet projects seems to be referencing Norwegians who collaborated during the War.

The American Character telling them about technology is likely a reference to Harry going to study serial killers at Quantico with the FBI. The Snowman is Norway’s first serial killer, and Harry is the only detective in Norway with serial murder experience (See the novel The Bat).

Obviously, the woman who worked on the film was one of the best parts of the podcast, but she clearly had read the script, not the books. Harry does not kill a kid at any point. He has lots of guilt for death’s that took place, but he is directly responsible for a few of them. It does explain why he was so eager to connect with donkey face girl though.

Also, if it wasn’t clear, Val Kilmer is someone who solves the mystery 9 years earlier, but when he confronted Matthias, he is killed. Because he is not found until 9 years later, he is assumed to have murdered the women that winter. This is part of Katrine’s motivation to find the real killer.

I’ll also reiterate, even if he is supposed to be in the movie, Harry is NOT Oleg’s father. Harry meets Rakel when Oleg is like 10. They bond over their mutual interest in heavy metal and Tetris.

Finally, a correction for Brian. The Christian reviewer is not alluding to Passover. They were alluding to King Herod’s “massacre of the innocents.” This is the incident described in the Gospel of Matthew. When Herod hears that the Messiah has been born, he kills all the children in Jerusalem between 0 and 2. God warns Joseph (Jesus’s Harry Hole) in a dream and Jesus is saved. In Brian’s defense, the massacre of the innocents is probably not historical fact and is meant to parallel the story of Passover.   

image.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

1. Was anyone else confused early on when someone said "JK Rowling"?  I thought I had missed something.  That would've made for an entirely different film.

2. Jason made the episode for me when he mentioned "Sigur Ros playing in the background".

Share this post


Link to post

One thing that didn't get brought up and I hoped would was that weird scene where Rebecca Ferguson meets up with Harry Hole at that restaurant, which even though it is closed (as some guy yells to her when she comes in the open door of the closed restaurants), Harry Hole is eating a meal there. Harry Hole asks her if she's hungry and she says she is and he pushes his plate towards her and his sausage is cut up into small pieces. She just looks at it and the camera pans in on the meat and the scene ends. What the hell?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, IRONicmerMAN said:

1. Was anyone else confused early on when someone said "JK Rowling"?  I thought I had missed something.  That would've made for an entirely different film.

2. Jason made the episode for me when he mentioned "Sigur Ros playing in the background".

Yeah I kept confusing every time JK was said for Rowling.

Share this post


Link to post
14 minutes ago, RyanSz said:

Yeah I kept confusing every time JK was said for Rowling.

IIRC, they only said "Rowling" once, but I was thrown off the rest of the time.  I was really surprised that Jason didn't chime in with some Harry Potter quip.

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, hotironskillet said:

One thing that didn't get brought up and I hoped would was that weird scene where Rebecca Ferguson meets up with Harry Hole at that restathurant, which even though it is closed (as some guy yells to her when she comes in the open door of the closed restaurants), Harry Hole is eating a meal there. Harry Hole asks her if she's hungry and she says she is and he pushes his plate towards her and his sausage is cut up into small pieces. She just looks at it and the camera pans in on the meat and the scene ends. What the hell?

That may have been a reference to the cutup dead body from years ago.... ?

Also, I read some criticism of this live broadcast, but I found no more shouting than most of the live HDTGM pocasts.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 3/17/2019 at 2:30 AM, Cam Bert said:

I have a question about the number of balls in a snowman. So as the majority of us are from North America and if we were asked to draw a snowman we'd draw a three balled snowman. Head, body, and legs. However, as I soon discovered after moving to Japan, not every country does this. In fact Japan and Korea both do two ball snowmen, head and body. Throughout the film we see nothing but two ball snowmen. The killer even uses a two ball snowman as his calling card. Yet, if you look at the original Norwegian book cover and movie poster they use a three ball snowman. From what I gather Norway is a three ball snowman country. However, the director of the film and a lot of people involved in it are British and England is a two ball snowman country. Were they unaware of this fact? Did they see the original stuff and just ignore it? Or does Norway go both ways when it comes to snowman balls?

We need someone from Norway to answer this important question. 

Also, did anyone else ever watch that internet video from like a decade ago that goes, Norway! More like Snore-way. I kept thinking about that and now I have the dumb song going through my head.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎3‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 11:25 AM, LTL said:

This episode was just them yelling the whole time  ..they didn't even get into the plot. I prefer when they at least go through the beats of movie. Instead this was just Jason Bryan and Erin screaming for 2 hours. Disappointing.

Yeah. I'm saying this in the spirit of constructive criticism, but I much prefer it when they at least try to go through the beats of the plot. 15+ minute yelling tangents about alternate dimensions or Mario Lopez chest hair theories, not so much.

I was listening to a couple older episodes and the difference was startling. They used to focus on the actual movie and the plot a lot more.

Maybe have Paul write up a quick plot outline before every episode, and guide the discussion to go down the beats.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I think we can give the crew a break here. Just because Paul didn't launch into an attempt to make sense of a senseless plot doesn't mean they are all of a sudden throwing out any interest in the form of the discussion. I didn't find their raised voices to be anything other than excitement and befuddlement with the movie, and really not that far outside the norm of live shows. Speaking of-  they also have an audience in front of them, and as a person who's only listening, I''ll give them the benefit of the doubt of reading the room. I agree with Taylorann, that usually this amount of vitriol is reserved for lesbian guests. Maybe the criticism is becoming more egalitarian? 

These folks are funny, and produce an amazing show. Oh, and it's free. Once in a while the discussions get completely off track (mannequin genitals, anyone?). Such is the nature of comedy and banter. That's why I love them. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

I think the biggest mystery for me is which one of you nerds championed so hard for confectioners on the pod survey that Paul now has to shill for Twix.

(Loving the episode, btw. Black mold as a character flaw had me rolling.)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

I agree with Taylorann, that usually this amount of vitriol is reserved for lesbian guests. Maybe the criticism is becoming more egalitarian?

In all fairness Elektra was the one that mentioned noticing the sexuality of all those getting so much hate. I noticed it always ends up being the women, because I can recall even with straight (or straight presenting) female guests get told by new forum users that they suck and shouldn't be invited back (Anna Faris, Natasha Leggero, Karen Kilgarrif, Tawney Newsome), but Elektra is right the truly vile things said were directed towards both Cameron Esposito and Tig Notaro and it's very interesting what those two women have in common.

It's really just boring. And people can cover it up with saying other people involved were annoying or yelling too, but they always ALWAYS mention the woman first and then act like they're okay because then they mention the gay man or Jason as well. It's BORING feedback that you should all know Paul doesn't give a shit about to begin with.

h2A8E8F69

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×