Habitat & Going to Kansas City
I’m finding it hard to review Habitat because that requires me to think about the movie and I don’t really want to do that having seen it. It’s like they found a porn film’s script but took out the sex and replaced it with homage to Swamp Thing. But to give the movie some conflict, they added the story of the new boy in town falling in love with the one girl in town he shouldn’t and that girl’s father doing everything, up to and including attempted murder, to keep them apart.
The movie was sticky, gross, odd, entandre-full, and incomplete. They actually had a story but it was so muddled with the sex analogy and the lack of thinking through the environment the characters should exist in that I can’t recommend this movie even for kicks.
Although I didn’t like the movie at all, I will say that the actors involved certainly seemed to take their jobs seriously. And for those curious, all I will say about Kris Holden-Ried is that in this I think he was fearless. To save yourself the trouble of watching the movie, there is a YouTube video of all his scenes. But be warned, the movie’s badness permeates everything. As for the other actors, I never get the sense that anyone was walking through their part because they knew the movie was going to be bad. (I’m still looking at you, Sean Connery in Highlander II. You’re disdain for that movie was obvious as you slept walk through the ‘inspiring speech’ scene. Jesus. You couldn’t even try, could you?)
Ah… back to Habitat.
Usually I link to where you can purchase a movie, but I’m not going to here. Google is usually your friend. But in this case if you find the movie Google has betrayed you.
Without hesitation I will recommend anyone watch this. I want to describe it as sweet, but there are definitely many not sweet moments. A few times I became infuriated and rolled my eyes, but it lasted only seconds and those moments were necessary for the story. The folks of Kansas don’t come out looking so good at times. (But it’s not like mob mentality or fear of the outsider is unique to small towns in the mid-west.)
A foreign exchange student arrives in the US thinking he is going to stay with a host family in Kansas City, but upon his arrival he is greeted by a housewife and her twin daughters from a town about 120 miles away. His host family had a fire and last minute arrangements had to be made. So off our hero goes with the kind family to their farm far away from his preferred destination. The eldest son, Charlie, is played by Kris Holden-Ried with such natural charm, is very glad to have another guy in the house his age.
Like Habitat, this story is about the new boy in town falling in love with exactly the wrong girl. But unlike Habitat, even the most outlandish of characters behaves in believable ways. And this movie has the added benefit in the form of Michael Ironsides as the wary sheriff of the small town. There are a few people that guarantee something will be better than it reads on paper, and he’s one of them. Despite his over protective nature towards his daughter and his apparent obliviousness to what an asshat the boy he wishes she would date is, you still feel sympathy for him and by the end are rooting for him as the hero.
The new boy, Mikko, is played by Mikko Nousiainen. Whenever an actor and character have the same name and have another talent that is showcased in a movie, for instance a great singing voice and guitar playing, which he does in one scene at an out of town bar, I can’t help but think that the entire movie was written for the sole purpose of showcasing the other talent than it was to tell a story. In this case, I don’t much care. He’s charming as a slightly put upon kid from Finland making the best of an unexpected situation and believably smitten with the exact girl he shouldn’t be.
The DVD I bought is PAL, Region 2 but it played on my laptop without a problem. It’s in English but does have subtitles. And the back cover is in (I think) Finnish.