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

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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

Gif credit: tumblr

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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Eklund Editorials: Gus – Stegman is Dead (2017)

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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Bizarre assassins come together to unravel a dead man’s blackmail secrets and why he’s already dead on the set of his own porn film.

The summary isn’t exactly correct. Michael Eklund’s character Gus isn’t an assassin, he’s an (ex) thief, with a wife and an adorable daughter. Stegman is Dead is a comedic crime thriller that has numerous faults and just as many funny, interesting moments. The plot isn’t linear, it travels around and up and over itself, sometimes revealing a little secret or re-examining a fact we already knew.

This low budget film was shot in Winnipeg during one of the many seasons in Canada known as winter. One interesting part to me is how the film dealt with the Canadian outdoor scenes while still maintaining the visual look of a crime thriller. You know how movies of this genre and genres of its ilk (action, thriller, spy, heist) have guys in suits swanning their way into buildings with fanfare and guns blazing? Usually they’re set in places like Vegas, Los Angeles etc., where coats are just an illusion. Well, Ekland’s Gus wears a heavy winter coat outside that he tucks into the trunk of his car before he goes in. He wears a suit underneath and BOOM! problem solved and we still get to see an Eklund in a suit.

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Gus in winter.

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Eklund Editorials: Bobby – The Divide (2011)

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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Survivors of a nuclear attack are grouped together for days in the basement of their apartment building, where fear and dwindling supplies wear away at their dynamic.

This movie is not for kids and not for a lot of adults. It’s dirty, disgusting in parts (there are moments of sexual assault) and will stick with you for days after you finish watching it. That said, I love apocalyptic movies and movies dealing with the idea of the effects of nuclear war. This one does a good job filling that genre. If you’ve seen the movie Threads this movie has some of those gut-wrenching moments that you reflect on some time after. (Threads trailer) The only difference is this movie doesn’t have the documentary feel that Threads does, replacing it with a slow-burn thriller beginning with the nuclear bomb detonating.

The movie centers around the slow deterioration of a group of nine people trying to survive inside a bomb shelter in the basement of their apartment building. Let me be clear though, this isn’t the Walking Dead, that show seems downright clean compared to this movie. The Walking Dead has hope, the Divide takes that away with the kidnapping of the only child in the group early on.

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Eklund Editorials: Johnny Moon – Mr. Right (2015)

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 girl falls for the “perfect” guy, who happens to have a very fatal flaw: he’s a hitman on the run from the crime cartels who employ him.

I dislike romantic comedies. The problem (or upside) to spreadsheets is the need for completion of that spreadsheet. I can’t avoid the few rom-coms that Michael Eklund has been in and this is one of them… kind of. Mr. Right is a hitman-goes-good rom com (HomRomCom, Hom for homicide I freaking love this term) and it is damn good stuff, Eklund only has a supporting role as a baddie named Johnny Moon and I’ll admit I wasn’t sad to see Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick gracing the screen instead. What can I say, they are both adorable and very talented.

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Eklund with Max Landis at TIFF Mr. Right premiere

The Screenplay for Mr. Right is written by Max Landis, that name of course is important because it’s Mr. Landis that was the force behind Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Max and Michael worked together on this film and then Max asked Michael back to play Martin in 2016.

In the film, Michael Eklund plays Johnny Moon, a “local thug” who is brought in by the younger mob family brother named Von to hire Francis (Sam Rockwell) to kill his older brother Richard. However, Francis has started killing the people who hire him instead of his marks, which means that Von and Johnny need to hire Francis on behalf of Richard so Francis will kill the man who hired him.

Clear as mud?

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Eklund Editorials: Ed Brewer – Supernatural

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

Season 4, episode 5: It’s Halloween time and the Winchesters face-off against a shapeshifter with a penchant for impersonating classic movie monsters like Dracula, the Wolfman, and the Mummy.

This one was a rewatch! I adore Supernatural, and this episode from season 4 with its classic monster movie storyline, shot entirely in black and white stands out in my mind. It’s pretty stereotypical Supernatural fare with Dean hitting on women, Sam complaining about it and a mistaken enemy. I remember liking Ed too, I just didn’t realize that Ed Brewer was Michael Eklund. This is an interesting episode since up until this point I’ve been reviewing shows where he plays strong characters, resolute in their goals, whether that’s getting the girl, achieving motion in pictures or taking control of the local drug game.

Ed Brewer is none of those things, hell he doesn’t even have a goatee! He’s nervous (and overcompensating because of it), twitchy, dorky sounding Ed who drinks huge steins of beer and plays a pipe organ in his underwear… well, it’s a Casio keyboard built into a pipe organ… he plays in his underwear.

He’s having none of that fake bravado nonsense when Sam tries to pull his ear off thinking he’s a shapeshifter and Michael does a great job acting terrified.

Thanks to his display at the Oktoberfest the Winchesters don’t even take him seriously at first because, let’s be honest, would you? Part of the character is the fact that he’s become the town joke and that Sheriff doesn’t take him serious when he says he saw a movie-style Bella Lugosi type Dracula kill a girl.

Sam: Can you describe her assailant?
Ed Brewer: Oh, he was a vampire.
Dean: Okay, right. And by that you mean…
Ed:
A vampire.
Dean: So…he looked like–
Ed: He looked like a vampire. You know with the fangs and the slicked back hair and the fancy cape and the little medallion thing on the ribbon.
Dean: You mean like a Dracula?

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Eklund Editorials: Eadweard (2015)

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

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A psychological drama centered around world-famous turn-of-the-century photographer, Eadweard Muybridge who photographed nude and deformed subjects, became the godfather of cinema, murdered his wife’s lover, and was the last American to receive the justifiable homicide verdict.

Do you know who Eadweard Muybridge is?

I didn’t. Turns out he’s the godfather of cinema, a world famous photographer and the last person to ever be told his murder was completely justified because of jealous rage by the courts. His invention the Zoopraxiscope and his encyclopedia of motion inspired Thomas Edison to create a device to allow the multiple camera setup Muybridge used to be performed by just one camera. He’s got a life made for film, yet I’ve never heard of this movie before. Maybe it’s because it’s Canadian or because it’s about a guy that I had never heard of and wasn’t marketed appropriately. Regardless of the reasons, if you haven’t seen this movie you need to.

Michael stars in the title role, and yes, he grew that epic beard his character is wearing and endured having it bleached out. Here in an interview in which Michael talks about the physical transformation:

The interviews are all like this, Michael loving on the movie and saying he couldn’t see anyone else in that role and that’s one reason he had to go after it. It’s also a helluva lot lighter than the Call which I reviewed previously and this is the first movie he did after the Call.

We go from serial killer Michael Foster to photographer Eadweard Muybridge, and he is a guy who loves his work, so much in fact that he ignores his wife entirely for it. She looks for love and comfort elsewhere (and potentially has a baby from that love and comfort.) It’s this affair that will drive him into jealous rage and lead to a acquittal for murder with justifiable cause. Even with all of this, putting motion into pictures and creating an encyclopedia of movement consumes his every waking moment.

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