Spite is a beautiful thing. From the hilarious architecture of spite houses to Judd Apatow's entire career existing as a form of revenge against NBC for canceling his cult classic TV series, Freaks and Geeks, pettiness is an incredible motivator, responsible for some of our world's greatest inventions.
The latest addition to this ever-expanding list? A YouTuber compressed Christopher Nolan's Tenet onto a series of Game Boy Advance cartridges for no reason other than to piss off the revered director, famed for his almost extreme love of movie theaters and burning hatred of streaming releases, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I think of all the films that I’ve made, this is perhaps the one that is most designed for the audience experience, the big-screen experience" Nolan reportedly said of Tenet via video message to individuals participating in last June's online CineEurope conference, according to Deadline. "This is a film whose image and sound really needs to be enjoyed in your theaters on the big screen and we’re very very excited for you to see what it is we’ve done." Although originally set to be released on July 17, 2020, the film faced several coronavirus-related delays, hitting movie theaters in select U.S. cities on September 3, 2020 Indie Wire reported.
However, it seems Nolan's theatrical sentiments didn't sit well with YouTuber WULFF DEN a.k.a Bob Wulff, leading him to compress the cinematic masterpiece to absolute Hell to be watched on a Game Boy Advance "So I got this idea when the whole meme was going around about how much Christopher Nolan wanted you to go to the theaters to see this movie, you know, in the middle of a global pandemic," Wulff explained in his video, aptly entitled "I put Tenet on a GBA Video cartridge out of spite." "He said quote 'this is a film whose image and sound really need to be enjoyed in your theaters on the big screen,' so I immediately thought 'yes, exactly, we have to put this on a Game Boy immediately.'"
Spreading the two-hour and 30-minute film over the course of five cartridges (each can only hold a maximum of 30 mins of video that's still in "somewhat of a watchable state," according to Wulff), the YouTuber is well aware of the method's grainy, glacially-moving drawbacks, and frankly, doesn't seem to give a single care. "This is quite possibly the worst way to view Tenet, and still be able to like, kinda see what's going on" he said, panning over the set of cartridges, outfitted with very aughts-looking custom-made Tenet stickers labeling each unit. "But I'll show you how I did it so that you can too, if you really just have to experience this movie in the worst way possible."
The first step in bastardizing Nolan's cinematic masterpiece? Acquiring a "legally obtained" copy of the flick, a bunch of writeable cards, and a device that lets you burn the atrocity onto our proverbial blank canvases. Once you have the aforementioned items before you, you will then burn your very legal copy of Tenet and divide it into five 30-minute sections on media encoder, or, well, maybe a sixth if you're looking to watch the remainder of the end credits, which Wulff says he had to cut. Once you export your nearly-demolished video clips via "the right type" of AVI files using a shady-looking, but effective converter (Game Boy Advances are evidently very particular with which types of files work on their system), you'll then run them through a program called Meteo. First, you'll select the video's technical playback settings and then put the files through a Game Boy Advance specific application within Meteo before uploading the adulterated videos onto the cartridges.
"When it's all said and done, it works flawlessly," he said as the Warner Bros logo appeared on the tiny screen. "Aw, it looks so bad." Although he goes on to mention a handful of ways one can improve the video quality, at the end of the day, it's Tenet via Game Boy Advance. There's not a lot one can do.
"As far as the viewing experience, it is absolutely abysmal," Wulff said. "Honestly, I was actually pretty surprised that you could kind of make out what was happening most of the time." One factor that (somehow) further impedes the viewing experience? Nolan's, erm, signature audio mixing. "But it doesn't help that this movie's audio is mixed so bizarrely. Sometimes scenes are too quiet for this little tiny speaker to handle and the Game Boy SP doesn't have a headphone jack."
So remember, if you don't feel like compressing your copy of Tenet to laggy smithereens, venturing out into theaters to see Nolan's epic on the big screen, or shelling out $6 to view it on a streaming service, you can always watch our version of the iconic film that we remade for $20 on YouTube.