The Snowman Movie Review

As Anna from ‘Frozen’ might say – “Do you want to build ‘The Snowman’?”… Well not exactly this ‘Snowman’. He is a mysterious serial killer from the novel by Jo Nesbø. In his novel there is a literary detective named Harry Hole, who is not a run-of-the-mill gumshoe on the Oslo, Norway police department. He is a force to be reckoned with, and when Norway’s first serial killer pops up and taunts Harry, he faces great odds to catch the perp. The popular character from a series of books now comes to the screen.


Oslo Detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) is a brilliant police officer, whose grueling work is studied at the Police Academy. Yet his troubled life and relationships feed his aloofness and alcoholism. He has broken up with a long-term girlfriend named Rakel Fauske (Charlotte Gainsbourg). She and her young son Oleg (Michael Yates) and her new lover, a doctor named Mathias (Jonas Karlsson), still let Harry hang around now and then. Harry is close to being a father to Oleg, but they are not related. But now Harry’s got a new problem regarding missing people.


Several women have gone missing, and there is some speculation about a return of a serial killer from about nine years ago. Back then, a detective in Bergen, Norway named Gert Rafto (Val Kilmer) had found some dead women after they had gone missing. They had the same profile as the ones that Harry is researching. Rafto believed that he had found the killer, but soon after he told his partner Svenson (Toby Jones), Rafto was found dead. His death was ruled a shotgun suicide, but there were many things unanswered. Such as – who was Rafto’s suspect for the killings?

 

Harry Hole is partnered up with a new officer named Katrine Bratt (Rebecca Ferguson), fresh from the Academy. She is very interested in the missing women. She also has an unusual interest in local business tycoon Arve Støp (JK Simmons). Støp is leading the campaign to get the Winter Games set in Oslo Norway. He also has a keen eye for ladies of a particular age and look. He is assisted in his ‘lady search’ by Dr. Vetlesen (David Dencik), who runs a local clinic for women’s health. But soon, there is a discovery of bodies, or at least body parts. The serial killer has returned, and he is taunting Harry.

The missing women turn up dead, and they are found in pieces. There are letters being sent to Harry, with menacing notes that come from ‘The Snowman’. Whoever is killing the women is also stalking Harry. He and Katrine are finding no luck in locating the killer. But Katrine has a more personal reason to find him. It becomes clear later on that she has ulterior motives to study this murderer and she has personal reasons to do so. But there could be many suspects, like Støp, or Vetlesen. Until the good doctor is found dead of a ‘shotgun suicide’, similar to Gert Rafto. Very suspect, indeed…

Harry Hole is a flawed hero, with many character flaws and addictions. But will he continue to be mocked and taunted by ‘The Snowman’? Will he resolve the attraction he feels for his new partner Katrine, or find a way back to his past love Rakel? Can he find closure for the kidnappings and murders of the young women in Oslo, and find the truth behind the death of Rafto? Can the audience find a reason to stay involved with this overwhelming mess of a plot?


Jo Nesbø has a reputation for writing popular books about flawed people finding refuge in work. However, his novel has undergone a massive change, and it is not for the better. In this adaptation, almost all of the structure is gone; replaced by a hodge-podge of police procedures and unconnected sequences. Many characters are introduced, but with little context as how they relate to the entire story. There are numerous red herrings raised that make you think it might have some significance. But they fly away like the sea gulls that gather around a dead body up in the snow-covered hills.

 

Michael Fassbender does a heroic job attempting to portray the anti-hero character Harry Hole. Rebecca Ferguson and Charlotte Gainsbourg play Katrine and Rakel with a real purpose, and do fine work. The rest of the actors are also OK in their roles, but none of them stand out totally. The entire cast is set back on their heels because of the messy plot. The story must have gone through various rewrites and reshoots. However, One person does stand out. Val Kilmer makes a short appearance, and not in a good way. He no longer looks like ‘Iceman’ from “Top Gun”. The movie has many beautiful shots of snowy landscapes and falling snow.

 

Unfortunately, the story is about as chopped up as one of ‘The Snowman’ victims. The result makes it tough for all the actors, even one as talented as Michael Fassbender. The original story in the novel might have been much better defined, because this story melts quickly away, like the falling snow…

Good Time Movie Review

An independently produced film can be very uneven, compared to a major studio release. But if the small film has a lot of heart and some great acting, then it could be ready for success. Ben & Josh Safdie are brothers who have come up with a movie equivalent of “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” with one called ‘Good Time’. It takes a main character who has a dubious moral code and follows his as he embarks on a crosstown adventure in New York City. With a minor budget, they have made a major effort to produce a fine movie.


Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) is a smooth-talking con-man loner. His mentally-challenged brother Nick Nikas (Ben Safdie) depends on Connie to protect him. He has a girlfriend Corey (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who sponges off her grandmother. Low on cash, Connie schemes to hold up a bank with Nick. But all hell breaks loose and Nick is arrested. Connie swears that he will get his brother out tonight, because his brother will not be able to survive. He gets the cash from the robbery, still stained with the explosive ink dye, and takes it to Bail Bond place. Connie is still short on the bail amount for Nick.


However, Nick is not going for a bail hearing tonight. He has been injured in a fight and is at the hospital. Connie goes to where they have taken Nick. A police guard is at the door, but Connie sneaks past and gets the guy handcuffed to the hospital bed. He somehow gets away with the injured man he puts in the wheelchair. Connie sweet-talks an older lady to let him and the injured guy a place to stay. He meets the older lady’s grand-daughter named Crystal (Taliah Webster). The injured sleeping guy wakes up and Connie finds out it not who he thought it was.

Instead, it is Ray (Buddy Duress) who is an ex-con who just got out of jail the day before. He has a wild story to tell about how he got into the hospital. Ray tells a fantastic tale of his first day of freedom, and how he got mixed up with drinking and drugs. He remembers that a load of money and lot of drugs got stashed at a local amusement park. Connie takes a car and goes with Ray and Crystal. Connie is always talking up a great story with elaborate lies. He and Ray go to search the empty amusement park while Crystal stays in the car and waits. Connie and Ray search for the money and drugs, but a security guard named Dash (Barkhad Abdi) finds them. They overpower Dash and Connie dresses up as the guard. Crystal gets caught by the police and they also take Dash, who is now unable to prove who he is.


Connie and Ray leave and go to Dash’s nice apartment. They still have no money, but they found the drugs – so Connie plans of selling them to get the money for Nick’s bail. Ray has a friend who can help with that, but they get suspicious of Connie. But has there been enough laws broken and innocent people hurt for one night? Or does Connie think that his web of deception is strong enough to get his brother back and make with square with his girl? Connie is such a sociopath that he thinks whatever he does will work.  So far this single evening, he has not been proven wrong….

Robert Pattinson does an incredible job with this role, his commitment to the role is outstanding. He lives the part playing Connie, with all of his flaws and unrealistic dreams. Connie has a deep emotional bond with his brother Nick, and he will stop at nothing to try and make their lives better. He tells people want they want to hear, with no intention of following through. He even dyes his hair after the robbery when he sees his photo on the evening news. He is dangerous and vicious and he creates a wave of destruction in his path.


The other actors are quite good, even with limited experience. Ben Safdie plays Nick, but he is also the co-director. Buddy Duress plays Ray, and he plays a convincing down-on-his-luck man with a face full of (make-up) injuries. Taliah Webster plays Crystal, and she holds her own against some more seasoned actors. Jennifer Jason Leigh has a little more than a cameo role, as does Barkhad Abdi (he is remembered from the movie ‘Captain Phillips’).


The low-budget does not stop the Safdie bothers from telling an engaging, yet meandering, story. With the pulsating background music that sounds like an all-night rave, this movie has a very wild and almost out-of-control feeling. The craziness of Robert Pattinson in this role gets a person thinking – whatever will come next? You are always kept guessing and wondering, what is the next bad choice will Connie make? And what type of major lie will he tell to get it to happen? What results will occur that could harm even more people?

 

“Good Time” is a very unusual film, but you can see that there was a lot of thought put into it. The way that it starts like a spinning top, spinning fast in a tight little circle. And then slowly going to wobble just a bit, and then a little bit more… Soon the whole thing could just topple over, but it is fascinating to see what happens next…

 

Wind River Advance Movie Screening

Movie Screening Summary:WIND RIVER is a chilling thriller that follows a rookie FBI agent (Olsen) who teams up with a local game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past (Renner) to investigate the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American Reservation in the hopes of solving the her mysterious death. Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, WIND RIVER also stars Gil Birmingham, Jon Bernthal, Julia Jones, Kelsey Asbille, and James Jordan.

See more advance movie screenings from tmc

Advance Movie Screening For WIND RIVER


Find your chance to receive special advance movie screening passes below.

 

Phoenix, Arizona

Advance Movie Screening Details

Movie Screening Date: Monday, August 7
Location: Harkins Shea
Movie Screening Time: 7:00pm
[button link=”http://www.gofobo.com/tMCWind” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] Get Passes[/button]

Advance Movie Screening Information

To redeem a pass, simply click the Get Passes button. You will taken to our movie screening partner site (where you can sign up for a free account). Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to print out your pass and bring it with you to your screening or event.

Admittance into a screening or event is not guaranteed with your pass. Events and advance screenings are filled on a ” first come, first served ” basis. To ensure that you stand a good chance of being admitted, we recommend that you show up 30 minutes to one hour early.

The number of admissions that are permissible for each pass are printed clearly on the ticket that you print out. You are allowed to bring as many guests as is indicated on your pass. For example, if your pass is for ” Admit Two, ” you can bring yourself and one guest. If you have an ” Admit One ” pass, you can bring only yourself.

If you have any other questions or comments, please contact us.

bad-santa-2-feature

Bad Santa 2

“Bad Santa”, back in 2003, unleashed quite a few “Bad” types of movies (“Bad Teacher”, “Bad Moms”, etc.) It brought a very hard edge to idea of a ‘Christmas movie’. Well, 13 years later, the raunchy comeback kid returns with “Bad Santa 2”. This is the movie that will put the “X” in X-Mas.

Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) is living in Phoenix, still as bad-tempered and mean-spirited as ever. He drinks all day holding crummy jobs until he again meets up with Marcus (Tony Cox). Marcus is his diminutive friend in the thievery business who tried to kill Willie during the last heist. Marcus is out of jail and knows about a big score they can pull off up in Chicago.

 

Willie is a small-time safe-cracker, but the drinking and hard living has made problems for him. One of his problems is Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) who got to know ‘Santa’ in the first movie. Willie cannot get rid of the lovable little cherub with the angelic face. Marcus is a creepy little dwarf, but he promises a big money payoff in Chicago.

Once there, Willie and Marcus get hooked into a large charity organization that raises lots of dollars. There will be many Santas collecting the loot, and if they get into the company safe, the cash will be theirs. But then Willie meets the person who organized this heist, Sunny Soke (Kathy Bates) his long estranged mother.

Sparks fly and insults hurl and put-downs become the order of the day. Thurman follows Willie to Chicago to be with him. The charity owner’s wife Diane (Christina Hendricks) finds a new ‘friend’ in Willie, because her husband in cheating on her and stealing from the charity.

The final day of the robbery is planned out, and the three main participants are planning to double-triple-cross each other. The safe is full of cash and the characters are all ready to get rich. Or perhaps dead…

 

The movie producers waited for this many years to make a sequel, and this sort of takes a lot of wind out the sails. The whole thing is a retread of the original, and they think that it will be ‘better’ with many of the same actors and with many more curse words and insults. Well, most of the lines are maxed out on the crudeness credit card, and there are a few that are pretty funny.

But mostly it is a failed trip down the memory chute of better forgotten characters and dialog. Billy Bob Thornton can slum down his acting ability, and Kathy Bates also leaves the award-winning ways in the dirt. The addition of Tony Cox and Brett Kelly make it resemble the original, but without the same motivations as the first one.

This is another entry in the curmudgeon Christmas movie, a small group of movies that take the light, peacefulness, and hope out of the holiday. When the title even reminds you that it is ‘Bad’, there is not that much to expect. If you are looking for disgusting behavior, crudity and vulgarity, all wrapped up in a dull brown paper, then this is the one for you.

Merry Eff’n Christmas, as Willie would say…