Eklund Editorials: Rhys – The Other Side of Being

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.

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EKLUND’S FIRST IMDB CREDIT!

A pre-film-school feature film, made in 2000. The Other Side of Being focuses on a woman’s confused journey after the death of her father. Where is she and who are the people suddenly interested in her. Are they telling the truth?

As stated above this is a pre-film school feature film. I’m not saying it’s bad or poorly made in any way, it’s actually a bit of a lucky find and the behind the scenes are hilarious. It does suffer from a few confusing parts about the plot, maybe it was a bit too big for the director and budget, but the whole thing is very watchable.

logo-earpchirp-3xWhat also makes this film special is I also got to watch it with my friend Annette (from the Earp Chirp podcast, go listen to it) who is also a Michael Eklund fan. This is a film best watched with friends so you can all be confused together. It’s also fun to trade theories on what the HECK is going on. Then when they finally reveal it and you have even MORE questions, you have someone to be confused with.

It’s available online for free in its entirety, (and the behind the scenes) and I encourage you to watch it before reading on. There are only so many spoilers I can avoid when the movie is a giant plot twist.

The very brief summary is: Tragedy befalls Angela’s family and she leaves her home upset/depressed. Angela finds herself on the beach surrounded by cigarettes, a teddy bear and an empty liquor bottle. Sheye, played by Adrian Glynn McMorran, you may recognize him (19 years later) from A LOT OF THINGS like Supernatural, Smallville etc. finds her and says he can help her, it’ll just require her following him through the forest to meet a guy named Julian. It’s all very vague.

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Michael plays Rhys. Rhys may be Sheye’s friend, but he’s out for himself. He’s loyal to Julian, acting as a sort of guide bringing people to him and offers the status quo side of the conversation. He doesn’t understand why Sheye would turn against Julian for a woman. Especially one he just met.

The film is anchored by this question of where are they? We’re given clues throughout that something isn’t right, such as the time of day not matching the snippets we see from Angela’s family trying to find her. Are Sheye, Rhys, and Angela dead? Is this limbo? Who is Julian, is he some type of being that sends people to heaven/hell?

Sheye quickly shows his true colours. He wants to help Angela and seems to be suspicious of Julian’s true motives after all this time. Rhys stays true throughout the film though, and while I’d love to see him suddenly redeem himself near the end … nope.

Knowing this is Eklund’s first IMDB credit, it’s fun to see the beginning and point out all the little things he started doing then and still does now. While #BabyEklund (aww!), he’s got the acting chops already starting to show. That glare (the picture above-left is taken from the behind the scenes) definitely aged well. We’re also treated to little acting ticks that show up in Bobo and Martin when he’s interacting with people while still being aloof and slightly menacing. This film also shows off his ability to just show up in the woods suddenly. One minute no Rhys, next minute there he is in his suede? corduroy? jacket. Give it seventeen years and he can trade it in for a fur coat.

If you’re a Michael Eklund fan, I encourage you to see this movie. It’s free, legally and easily accessible and you can see the beginning of his career. Let me know what you think of the storyline, too.

 

 

 

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The Bobo Gifs Post

I realized I need to keep tabs on all the Bobo gifs (from Wynonna Earp) I’ve been throwing around on twitter, so here it is. Keep an eye on this post if you prefer your fur coating wearing revenants in short, animated bursts.

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Feel free to use, please credit/link back

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Eklund Editorials: Rene Desjardins – Intelligence

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.

Organized crime and the Organized Crime Unit (OCU) work together to achieve the opposing goals of each respective world. 19 episodes

I watched both seasons of this show not just Eklund’s episodes, it’s a very compelling drama that was cancelled too soon, but I still had to look up the description for his character on the wiki. Rene Desjardins appears throughout the show often in short little appearances of a couple minutes to give information to Jim Reardon (the “bad” guy) or one of his associates. In the pilot we hear that Rene and Reardon have had a relationship going for a while with Reardon keeping Rene from getting fired and in exchange Rene has been doing them favours such as running plates. Rene turns on a dime when Jim Reardon brings this up.

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He acts like more of a plot device/plot explanation than an actual living, breathing character. If you’re asking yourself “how will either side know this obscure, but entirely necessary fact?” It’s either Rene has told them or is about to tell them. It’s not until the last episode of season 1 that we even see where he lives! (There was a brief time I thought he just lived out of his car). We also learn he has a cat, (aww!) that we never see or hear about again.

So who is Rene Desjardins? From the Intelligence wiki:

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Reasons to Be a Frank Turner Fan

Because the only thing
That punk-rock should never really mean
Is not sitting round
And waiting for the lights to turn green
And not thinking that you’re better
’cause you’re stood up on a stage
If you’re oh, so fucking different
Then who cares what you have to say?

—– Frank Turner – Try This At Home

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I’ve just been to my sixth Frank Turner show. To some people I’m sure that seems like a lot and to others it’s a drop in the bucket when you consider that Frank has played 2331 shows as of his Edmonton show. (He keeps count) Sometimes I stop to wonder how I went from my friend Mick suggesting I might like Frank’s stuff (since I like punk and folk) to knowing all his songs and attending every show I could, but I’ve not come to one definitive answer. What is it about his music and the performances that has me going back time after time? Is it entirely the music? My first solo show was a Frank show, my first show in Vancouver and Calgary were Frank Turner shows. This show was another first, as I sat at a table interacting with strangers rather than awkwardly by myself.

I manned a table for Mable Syndrome giving out buttons & stickers and explaining what Mable Syndrome was from doors until the start of Frank’s set at just after 9 pm. At one point I was talking to two men who had stopped to ask what my table was all about. One of the men said he was a huge fan and the other said he had never even heard Frank Turner before; that he had been dragged to the show by his friend. He joked that old or new songs it would all be new for him. Talk turned from Mable Syndrome to the upcoming set.

“Are you a big fan? Haha, you probably are if you’re here! Tape Deck Heart is the best, it’s a perfect album, right? He probably won’t play it though, he’ll play all the new stuff.” The first man said in a hurried blur of words and I nodded. I said that I was a big fan, that I didn’t think he’d play JUST the new album and that while Tape Deck Heart was brilliant, I was rather partial to another album. I showed him the tattoo on my arm featuring the artwork for FT’s album Poetry of the Deed. The other man, the newcomer to the music seemed slightly shocked I had a tattoo. This was just a band, right? Hell, this was just a SINGER with a band. I was rather surprised but for a different reason, he was wearing a three piece suit to a show… Yet the fan and I shared a second of “of course she has a tattoo! Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls are amazing!”

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The Swag Table

It would be easy to judge this enthusiastic fast talking fanboy based on the way he looked and spoke. Thankfully music can bridge the gaps of perception in society. Yes, it was possible to have a great conversation even if the guy had a rather dude bro fashion sense and struggled with talking AT people instead of talking to them. He was really nice though and took Mable Syndrome business cards for his girlfriend and himself. There was a brief connection there that was memorable enough that I remembered it and I’m writing about it now.

It was nice to see the other people at the show from a distance rather than from within the crowd. Smiles were exchanged between people passing each other. Nods between strangers who unbeknownst to either of them share a favourite song. When the set started there were little looks of knowing and the excitement that it’s starting right now and oh my gods he hasn’t played this song live in forever (or ever). That realization that you’re about to hear a song live for the first time is a wonderful, beautiful thing.

So, that’s one reason I keep going back to Frank’s shows. The music, performance and entertainment value are important, but they take a backseat to the connection you feel. The energy that thrums through the crowd as they sing along with someone who is on stage, but doesn’t appear to be BETTER than anyone else. He creates and knows the words, sure and he leads the singing, but you get the impression that if he just stopped singing the crowd would continue without him. The words mean something to each person there.

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Because there’s no such thing as rock stars,
There’s just people who play music,
And some of them are just like us,
And some of them are dicks.

I know I’ve quoted the song Try This At Home (which is quoted throughout this) before, but that’s because it encompasses what I think being punk is all about in a few lines. I know for the brief time that I’m at the show, surrounded by complete strangers that I can be myself.

For me these gigs are one of the few times that my anxiety melts away. The nervous energy that I usually have to channel into podcasting or writing gets exorcised by the music. I leave a show tired, sweaty and full of life. It brings out the best in people. Afterward the gig compliments seem to run like electricity through the merch line about both of the show and the people around them. “Oh wow, I love your hat/bag/hair/skirt!” “Wasn’t that show great?” “Did you see when Frank/Nigel/Tarrant/Ben/Matt did that thing that everyone laughed/loved?” Often it’s between people who seemed to have just met, or in a seated venue like the Winspear someone who you spent that time standing/sitting next to.

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Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls at the Winspear Centre on September 11, 2018. ©Eric Kozakiewicz Photography / Vue Weekly

It’s not like other shows. I can hear you rolling your eyes, but it’s true! At other punk shows I struggle with feeling that I’m not cool enough. I worry that I’m not tough enough, and that I don’t rebel enough. Here I feel punk enough, I feel like I deserve to be there. I feel included. I hear my favourite musician talking about how important it is to include others and to treat each other kindly and more importantly to keep doing it after the show ends. He encourages groups like Safe Gigs for Women, Ally Coalition and Mable Syndrome to have tables at his shows because their message is important.

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#bemorekind #frankturner

A post shared by Kat (@xanister) on

Listen, I know bad things still happen, I’m not that naive. However, it’s still important to me and nice to hear that someone on a stage that people look up to, is saying important things about acceptance and kindness. The inclusion didn’t just stop at talk. There were people of all genders there with mohawks, pin & patch covered vests, high heels, club wear, and children wearing bunny onesies with Frank Turner hoodies overtop. The kids held the hands of parents with Frank Turner shirts that are older than the child. Yes there are still problems, but there is EFFORT to make that environment welcoming.

As an example, one of his songs had a lyric change from woman to person and that still boggles my mind. It made me so happy to hear it. I even mentioned it on Verity! which is a Doctor Who podcast, not my music podcast.

Because I’ve said I love you so many times that the words kinda die in my mouth.
And I meant it each time with each beautiful woman person but somehow it never works out.
You stood apart in my calloused heart, and you taught me & here’s what I learned:
That love is about the changes you make and not just three small words.
—– Frank Turner – The Way I Tend to Be

Who am I kidding? I knew this would devolve into a love letter for the music and the community Frank Turner has inspired and also for the Be More Kind message that his latest album is spreading. Maybe that’s the reason I’ll be there buying tickets every time he comes to town (or close by town), or maybe there are just too many reasons to count. I’m okay with that.

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So, quick turn off your stereo
Pick up that pen and paper
Yeah, you can do much better
Than some skinny half-arsed English country singer

‘Cause we write love songs in C and we do politics in G
We sing songs about our friends in E minor
So tear down the stars now and take up your guitars
And come on folks and try this at home.

Edmonton Setlist 

For more excellent pictures from the Edmonton 2018 show: Vue Weekly Live

Eklund Editorials: Roland – West of Hell (2018)

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.

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A gunslinger, a vengeful ex-slave, and a runaway discover their train is haunted by a sinister force.

When a movie is classified as a “supernatural horror western hybrid” it gets my attention. I like all those things! I also adore movies that take horror and wrap it up in another genre, taking the tropes from both and intertwining them. If this film wasn’t already on my list thanks to the spreadsheet I think I would watch it just for the genre.

WEST OF HELL is set in Georgia, 1872 on a train bound for Atlanta (or so we’re led to believe) with a small cast of cliche characters. The players read like a silly joke: A priest, a gunslinger, a runaway and an ex-slave seeking revenge walk onto a train… It would be less grievous if the characters had a broader background or even darker personalities, but it’s variations on a theme. Clue has more interesting characters. All of the characters have sins and a dark past which they’re running from, with the exception of Jericho (Lance Henriksen) an ex-slave who is seeking revenge for his daughter who was scalped by his former master. The man who scalped his daughter happens to have his own daughter on the train and Jericho has his eye on exacting revenge eye for an eye style by scalping her. Roland (Michael Eklund) is being paid $500 to protect her and deliver her safely to Atlanta.

Image from: http://www.clingerdigital.com

Roland and the woman he’s supposed to protect Annie Hargraves

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Eklund Editorials: Martin – Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

This is a GIF heavy post and may take a bit of time to load. If GIFs bug you, you may want to skip or ask the author to provide a text version of the post. As always if you see your GIF and want it removed. Let me know.

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.

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Holistic detective Dirk Gently investigates cases involving the supernatural. Martin is a member of the Rowdy 3 and a psychic vampire. 14 episodes

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I was trying to find a way to do this entire review in gifs, (Martin is a character that is better seen than read), but I think some words are necessary. Michael Eklund is in 14/18 episodes of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency as Martin, often for just a few minutes with the other members of the Rowdy 3. Don’t mistake screen time for impact though, he’s a very important character and that guy knows impact…

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Rowdy 3 – Anomalous entities (psychic vampires) vs cultist

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With his baseball bat in season 1 and wooden club in season 2, surprisingly this Rowdy 3 leader offers some of the more subdued performances when it comes to the crazy antics of the Blackwing project known as Project Incubus. He can be loud and showy, but otherwise he’s usually toned down. He saves his words when they important, often the most sensible voice amongst the group he runs with. As the defacto leader (until Amanda shows up and they start to take on almost co-parenting type of hierarchy) the other members of Project Incubus look to him for how they should act and what they should do. Even after Amanda joins the Rowdy 3, Martin is seen to be the most in control with Amanda looking to him even while the rest of the group calls her “Boss”. Part of the fun with the Rowdy 3 is their interactions on screen often in the background. While other Projects we see consist of one member, Project Incubus consists of Vogel, Gripps, Cross, and Martin, then later Amanda and the Rainbow Beast.

This is the first Michael Eklund performance I saw and damn, I started with a good one. Martin is a well-written if underused character. Like Mark Sheppard’s Crowley in Supernatural, Eklund’s performance here made me want to watch everything he had done and rewatch all of his time on screen over and over again. This character is the reason I’m on this crazy journey to watch all the things and blog all the things. He’s a kickass, punk, psychic vampire with a close bond to the other Rowdies and a love (romantic or otherwise) for drummer girl Amanda. His animal qualities are captivating and after I started watching other Eklund projects I saw the repeating theme of the wolf. With Martin he’s seen howling like a wolf before a hunt, but at times I think he’s better described as a cat. Look at that affection.

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Fun fact: the ship name for Martin/Amanda is DrummerWolf.

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The glasses Martin wears, which unlike his actor Martin needs, but doesn’t have in season 2. Took me a little bit to figure out that he didn’t have them because they take them at Blackwing and when Amanda rescues them they don’t come with him. This is a character that Eklund looks like he really vanishes into even if Dimi 2 in Altered Carbon has a very similar aesthetic. Part of that, to be fair, is the close production between Dirk Gently and Altered Carbon.

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gif credit: tumblr

Speaking of aesthetic! I swear this isn’t going to become a thing it’s probably going to become a thing the bracelets I mentioned in the Chokeslam review are back. I want to say I heard/read somewhere that those are just Michael’s personal jewelry and he wears them to fill out a character sometimes. A nice fill is also those little squiggles that look almost like the symbols that correspond with the Blackwing projects.

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T: @dirkgentlytxt

Martin is a supporting character and unfortunately the Rowdy 3 don’t get their own episode to flesh out their relationship with their world and each other. With the show cancelled and no season three we can only imagine what could have been in store for the group. This is exactly the time when fanfiction writers should take up their keyboards. Without the promise of more TV show, fans have stepped up and done a great job fleshing the characters out and picking apart the small amounts of time Martin’s on screen. If you’re interested, check out the “DGHDA Martin” tag on tumblr or the “Rowdy 3” tag on AO3.

We see him in season 1, falling for Amanda, “Drummer” or “Drummergirl” he calls her, going so far as to take her framed picture from Todd’s apartment. It’s unclear whether he takes the picture because of Amanda being in it or just takes it just because he can as a last screw you after trashing the place. Regardless, after he takes that picture they begin showing up in Amanda’s life more and more. Martin especially seems to take it upon himself to make sure Amanda doesn’t just stand on the sidelines. This does trigger an attack and they’re able to feed off her energy, but I don’t think it was on purpose.

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In season 2 we have Martin and the Rowdies rescued by Amanda from their captivity in Blackwing and a very affectionate and happy Martin reunited with Amanda who is alive and well. dirk-rowdy-3-martin

 

 

Unhappy Martin imprisoned at Blackwing.

As I mentioned above, fansdo  the dynamics of Martin and his Rowdies justice. I’ve watched the music video below set to a combination of the Rowdy 3 theme song and Childish Gambino’s song: IV. Sweatpants, so many times I’ve had to download it and put it on my phone so I can watch it offline. It fills a wonderful space in my life of both hype up song and relaxation song. Check it out and if you haven’t already seen Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and have Netflix, last I checked both seasons were on there.

A last Drummerwolf image just to further shove that image into your brains. (Romantic or platonic love, your choice.)

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Eklund Editorials: Luke Petrie – Chokeslam (2016)

I have a spreadsheet that contains everything Michael Eklund has acted in and my goal is to watch all of it and blog about it along the way. There will be spoilers.

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Ten years since High School graduation, deli clerk (Chris Marquette) still lives in the shadow of the humiliating public rejection of his marriage proposal to High School sweetheart Sheena DeWilde (Amanda Crew). Sheena is now a successful, if troubled, Pro-Wrestler, and is returning to town for their High School reunion and announce her retirement. Corey struggles both to make the event a success for Sheena, and to remind her of what they once had.

Chokeslam is another rom-com.

Is this going to be a thing? How many rom-coms am I going to watch for this project and dangit, how many am I going to enjoy?

I really thought going into this movie that I wouldn’t like it. I should know by now to ignore ratings especially with Canadian media because I’ve found lower budget Canadian films and TV shows aren’t judged to the same level as other projects. I read a few reviews that automatically took away stars, points, whatever their unit of measurement was because Chokeslam had a lower budget. Shouldn’t we be looking at all lower budget films on the same level?

With that in mind Chokeslam makes the most of its funding, filmed in small town Lumsden and larger city Regina, Saskatchewan it takes the traditional romantic comedy framework and twists it by adding wrestling and a rather complex female role with issues and troubles that make her multi-layered and interesting. Sheena (Crew) is the wrestler coming back to the small town she grew up in and that’s known only for her (there are big billboards with her picture and stage name on them coming into town). Amanda Crew does an outstanding job. Leading man Chris Marquette playing Corey Swanson has just as many layers, shaped by first a failed marriage proposal to Sheena and then a misunderstanding that landed him in hospital. His life is as simple as wanting to own the deli he works in.

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Michael Eklund as Luke Petrie

But what about Michael Eklund? In this movie he plays Luke Petrie, the quintessential “popular guy in high school who has amounted to nothing in life.”

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