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media diary - march 2024

[29/02/2024] PERFECT DAYS

so right after writing my previous month's post on february 29th, the liminal inbetween day we only get during leap years, my dorm neighbor and good pal came over to make pasta and watch PERFECT DAYS with me -- this movie by WIM WENDERS from last year i hadn't heard of at all that i ended up really loving. wim wenders is a unique enough name i've certainly heard before, but this is the only one of their movies i've seen!?

it's an adorable, slow-paced hangout movie, like it's so cozy and you really grow to adore the main character as you literally watch him work his day job. after making the SLICE OF LIFE video this is the shit i've grown to admire and it's just insanely sweet. also has a fantastic soundtrack!


this is where i feel like march was an insanely long month for me, this feels like it was so long ago!!! i watched the bulk of it in february, but plowed through maybe ten entire episodes at the beginning of the month -- i was Addicted and it all came to a close in such a magnificent way.

i'm not sure if i even wanna say what happens here, since it's very much worth checking out yourself, but i'll tell you the way it drastically shifts in tone from the original series was very interesting to see. i started this a couple weeks after finishing season two, so i experienced a time gap but the real-world 25 year time gap impacts this final season in so many ways. it doesn't try to recreate aspects of the original show, and presents a modern drama with much higher production value, more extreme stakes and some of the most jaw-dropping visuals i've ever seen in any piece of media ever.

despite all the differences made, the same emotional core is present, and the characters, old or new, are just as silly as always. again i won't go into specifics but the las vegas stuff in particular was especially comical and felt like a huge shitpost amidst all the surrounding plot developments. priorities aren't lost, and everything feels tightly calculated to genuinely be the most engaging TV experience i've ever had. it tops anything else in terms of how glued to the screen my eyes were, and it's going straight up in the Riley Smudgebap Hall of Fameā„¢.

the most important aspect of this series is the way it got me to realise some mysteries are best left unsolved, and many aspects of art don't need to have a grander meaning attached. the series made me feel things no other media has accomplished to, and it affected my KINGDOM HEARTS II video project significantly. the people who like twin peaks are party people.

[05/03/2024] MAMMA MIA!

you've got no idea how obsessed my flatmates are with this movie.

these guys have watched MAMMA MIA like five, maybe six, times in the past month. they're all nuts for ABBA, and worship meryl streep like it's their religion, and honestly i can't blame them. believe it or not, this marked the first time i'd ever seen this movie, and it's a little shocking -- this movie is seemingly a pillar of, uh, white middle class british people culture, so considering my upbringing it's certainly weird it took sixteen full years since its release for me to ever see it.

it's a lot of fun! it's DISGUSTINGLY fun!! it hooks you in and doesn't let go til it's over, and it's just stunning. whoever's idea this was, they came up with one of the best concepts of all time, it feels meticulously crafted to be as sickeningly good of a time as possible. and yet i'm also DEFINITELY not the target audience -- MAMMA MIA is a wine mum movie, it appeals especially to the middle-aged mother crowd, the folks who all wanna be like meryl streep (i mean. who doesn't wanna be like her actually) and just get drunk and have a good time singing along to an outrageously catchy soundtrack.

at least, i Think that's what it is. i can't really be sure but this movie definitely has a stink of privelege to it. like oh these guys just own a private greek island, but somehow meryl streep's character is also poor so she sings "MONEY MONEY MONEY" despite obviously having a luxurious lifestyle. it's weird to see in the world we currently live in, and it's especially weird that my broke student flatmates are so into it. i guess they love the fantasy of it, cuz i certainly do. you'd be nuts to see this gorgeous rustic holiday hotel greek island thing and NOT wanna live there.

i don't wanna sound sour though. it's a great movie. my flatmates replayed it so much that i still have streep's version of "the winner takes it all" in my head, which, obviously, fucking rules. she killed it!


so you might know i made an enormous two-hour video on KINGDOM HEARTS II and published it this month. making that thing wasn't easy! i started the editing process in january but really went ham this month and got, like, fifty minutes done in about a week. that final stretch involved taking time to check out some of the disney movies featured in the game, so i'd know which scenes to prioritize as clips and whatnot, and that included a couple i've not really seen before!

i watched HERCULES with a massive store-brand lasagna that had way too much cream to fill up its massive tray. that lasagna was mediocre, but the movie was a great time with a lot of fun broadway-type shenanigans which really got me to realize how a large part of the DISNEY RENAISSANCE is its broadway musical-ism. it really feels like a performance despite being animated, and while plenty of other disney movies from different eras are musicals, this one just struck me as especially symbolic of that broadway energy. i dunno!

i went into MULAN expecting to not exactly relate to it since it's about a lady trying to pass as a guy for the army -- i'm all on board for the trans allegory interpretation but i didn't think i'd particularly resonate with it here. however it really subverted that expectation since it still highlights how men are just gross goofballs obsessed with looking cool. it digs at how masculinity sorta sucks, so even though i'm transfem i could still relate to this movie's interpretation of gender dynamics. neat!

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN is one i'm shocked i never saw growing up, it's got adventurous spirit all over the place and it's a seriously fun time with a lot of shockingly convincing CGI for its time. it's refreshing, after the evident fatigue of disney's current CGI-filled output with often flat writing and uninteresting storylines, to see something they made that Doesn't stink hot butt. i'm sure anyone could tell you that though.

speaking of CGI, i also watched TRON for the first time, at least in full after checking it out briefly a couple years ago. this one similarly has a lot of weird spirit and funky stuff goin on, and kinda just unabashedly shows you things for the sake of how impressive those computer graphics are. it's got a lot of early 80s gobbledygoop nonsense speak that sounds cool because it's computers and computers is cool, and i love it for that! it's a cute weird adventure that had me feeling the same way as some surreal 90s CD ROM games also do. weird archaic CGI has a certain stink to it that i love.

in the five days after seeing TRON i managed to finish editing the video and put it out on the 17th. as of writing it was only a couple weeks ago, but it already feels like ages. putting that out really ended a whole arc in my life, and now i've entered a new personal era, so to think i was still working on it in the past month is weird. i think you should play kingdom hearts II though. i like that game!

[20/03/2024] THE PEANUTS MOVIE

with the KH2 video out, i gave myself a little break this week and felt a little strange. not strictly a feeling of triumph that i got it done, or a feeling of mourning that i was no longer working on it, but both and neither at the same time. releasing new videos is always scary, and this one was ESPECIALLY scary because it did stupidly well numbers-wise. one night that week i just indulged to ignore this unusual feeling, made myself mac & cheese, and watched peanuts.

i knew going in that this movie is revered and incredibly high-quality, pushing 3D animation by using it for a particularly two-dimensional visual style and pulling it off flawlessly, so it was a good pick to make myself feel better. i hadn't seen anything from this series since the start of the year with A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN, so it was like returning back to where i was before going into maximum overdrive on video work. and i think this is why i started welling up and feeling strongly for the movie's characteristic homeliness. it's the same way i felt when rewatching THE MUPPET MOVIE about a year ago, where the movie begins and i just immediately feel immense, bursting emotion.

it's a beautiful film, with the same humbleness peanuts is known for, but i couldn't help being distracted by how this very much was released by a major corporation in 2015. blue sky were evidently granted a shocking amount of creative liberty all things considered, though the sense of it being a newer mass-market production still kinda seeped through in its lengthy red baron action scenes and awkward inclusion of contemporary pop. there's nothing necessarily wrong with these aspects but they distracted from the otherwise consistent tone i think.

because of those distracting inclusions i'd still say A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN is the better movie, though this is still obviously an excellent movie of prestigious standards. it's one of animation's greatest tragedies that blue sky were shut down after disney's acquisition of fox. fuck bob iger, truly.


after watching a fuckton of lynch last month, something like MANOS really stuck out to me. this movie predates all of lynch's filmography but still features the same kind of stilted awkwardness, except it's cranked up to the max with far lower production budget.

i watched this through pretty unconventional means -- it was featured in jerma's public domain horror movie stream from a couple years back, a stream i somehow didn't catch, but i finally watched the VOD and did so with my university's JERMA SOCIETY (yes it's real. it's actually registered and everything. i'm friends with the president). so i watched MANOS with jerma's commentary, his face in the corner and everything, and i had a phenomenal time.

watching on my own, i might've found this movie boring, but in a room with a bunch of jerma fans along with jerma's reaction i was able to really appreciate MANOS for what it is -- it's a god damn masterpiece. it's incredible. it scratches so many itches and manages to be hilarious along the way. i mean, maybe that's being too nice, but everyone at the jerma club was saying it's one of the worst movies ever made and "was so bad that MST3K had to cut it short and apologize for it". i haven't seen MST3K but they must've done that for comedic effect, right? it gets me to wonder what people consider to be a "bad" movie anyway. if a movie gets you to laugh as hard as we did, is it really bad???


i found out this month that the PSVITA -- everyone's favorite handheld -- has the built-in ability to just output video capture if you install custom firmware and hook it up to a PC and jiggle around with some files. it's flawless except for the audio, which i had to use a jack-to-jack headphone wire for and so it picks up the electromagnetic buzzing from the USB cable, but with some noise suppression filtering it's Almost ideal!

because this is obviously pretty useful for what i do video-wise, i decided to take some time to check out TOUCH MY KATAMARI on stream (after KATAMARI FOREVER on ps3 didn't work) and to revisit TEARAWAY, arguably the best vita game for how it makes use of the system's features.

my revisiting of tearaway came about as i was also revisiting the littlebigplanet series (for the millionth time) to gather video footage. what i'm doing with this footage, i'm not really sure yet, but in just a week or so i was able to reconsider and recontextualise what these games mean to me. i was raised on them, so while they're fun to revisit and wholly appeal to me, they also bring a lot of less-than-ideal feelings.

being trans and all i'm not exactly the most fond of my own childhood, and these games were a significant part of my upbringing, so it's difficult not to feel a certain way when revisiting some parts of them. i've replayed the LBP games a ton, so those at least have some recency to me, but TEARAWAY is a game i legitimately haven't played since it first released in 2013. i loved the novelty of being able to analyse it with a closer, keener eye for how game design works, i loved seeing all its cute little features over again, but it made me feel a little icky in a way i can't exactly articulate. the final message of the game kinda hit harder due to this too.

regardless of how i personally felt, it's still one of the greatest games i've ever played, and if you own a vita it's absolutely essential to check it out. it's only about five hours in length, and it's unlike anything else out there. tearaway is criminally underrated, it's overshadowed by media molecule's other work, and the PS4 remake is fundamentally a different game. you NEED to play it as originally designed on its doomed home platform. i'll probably talk about it in a video someday!

april >>