The Netflix Files: Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?

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I’ll admit this up front: if your main goal in watching Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? (2013) is to arrive at an answer to the titular question, you’ll be disappointed. Almost none of the film’s meandering 88 minutes, if any at all, are devoted to meditations on correlative assessments of height and happiness.

It is hard, in fact, to say what the 88 minutes are devoted to–the movie covers so much ground while moving so slowly that it’s hard to understand, when it ends, how it’s been less than six hours, much less an hour and a half. Some of this impression may come from the altered mental state in which I watched Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?, but that caveat is not at all beside the point, since I can give the film my wholehearted recommendation only to those planning on ingesting herbal enhancements before viewing. Luckily, its availability on Netflix instant play ensures this is a feasible pre-watching activity.

Indeed, Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? is, while perhaps far from stereotypical stoner cinema, an essential entry into the genre. What it is–and I apologize for taking so long to get to the point–is a 90-minute conversation between the linguist Noam Chomsky (calling him a linguist is like calling Da Vinci a painter) and French filmmaker Michel Gondry (whose filmography includes, among others, cult classic Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay).

The genesis of the film, Gondry explains at the outset, came from his interest in Chomsky’s ideas dating back to his appearance on “some DVDs [Gondry] picked up at the video store a few years ago.” What DVDs those are, or why any profit-maximizing video store would stock them, is another point entirely, but Gondry quickly goes on to describe Chomsky as “the most important thinker alive,” presented as a quote from no one in particular.

He set out to interview Chomsky–twice, it turns out–and supplement the audio of the interviews with animation because “animation is clearly the interpretation of the author… it’s up to [the audience] to decide if they’re convinced or not.”

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In case you haven’t realized, Arrested Development comes back on Commencement

As pretty much anyone who knows me can testify, I’m a crazy-huge Arrested Development fan. So when I heard that a fourth season was actually, finally happening, I reacted something like this:

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I immediately started to plan what I’d do when the episodes were released all at once. I saw myself curled up on the couch for seven hours straight with nothing but my suitemate’s Netflix account and a giant thing of candy beans. And then Netflix announced the release date: May 26th, otherwise known as the same day that I’ll be walking through the Van Wickle Gates and graduating from Brown. And it felt a lot like this:

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In these days, spoilers are everywhere the second new episodes go up (see Thrones, Game of), which makes it a lot harder to accept that I won’t be able to watch them right away (#firstworldproblems). Of course, there’s always the option of pulling an all-nighter to watch them before Commencement – since they’ll be up on Netflix promptly at 12:00 a.m. – but I’m pretty sure that would leave me walking through the gates feeling like this.

As the class of 2013 moves on to become activists, actors, and analrapists, at least we can watch Arrested Development post-ceremony and after our awkward family dinners to feel better about the fact that college is over. After all, happy tastes kinda like sad.

Images via, via


Netflix to part with Viacom, 90s kids shudder

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Netflix, a platform with which we are intimately acquainted, has a way of messing with the hearts and minds of its customers. Qwikster was a debacle and the recent Cartoon Network additions are a win, but a couple days ago the streaming giant slipped a veritable atom bomb into a letter to its investors. No, they didn’t decide to push Arrested‘s release date (or the streets might be running Netflix red with cancelled subscriptions). Instead, the ‘Flix opted to break hearts by not renewing its contract with media giant Viacom’s television networks, which is set to expire next month. This means goodbye to countless shows from MTV, Comedy Central and…gasp…Nickelodeon. BlogDailyHerald loves Nicktoons and it is almost unfathomable that we won’t be able to watch boatloads of Spongebob, Ren & Stimpy and Hey Arnold! as we procrastinate studying for exams. Guess we’re gonna have to settle for Jake the Dog and Finn the Human…not that there’s anything wrong with that.


Touchdown for Netflix!

The Netflix Files dissects the Air Bud Legacy

Good news. This week, Disney struck an exclusive deal with Netflix to stream its catalog via Watch Instantly.

Touchdown for Netflix!

While theatrical releases won’t start cropping up on Netflix till around 2016 (!), yesterday Disney decided to make available some scraps of kiddie nostalgia just in time for finals period. Netflix is now officially the proud streamer of Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, The Aristocats, The Fox and the Hound, The Great Mouse Detective and Pocahontas. Exponentially more enticing, the deal also includes rights to marginal Disney entities like The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and The Muppet Movie.

The most important revelation of all: some of the direct-to-DVD Air Bud movies are now on Watch Instantly. And because BlogDailyHerald truly doesn’t give a fuck, here’s exactly what you need to know about your favorite athletic Golden Retriever Buddy (and his miraculous English-speaking progeny!), FILM-BY-FILM. Continue Reading


The Netflix Files: April 20, 2012

The Netflix Files works to find the hidden gems of Netflix’s Watch Instantly feature, the films and TV shows that have gone largely unnoticed by the streaming community. This ever-popular column has been on indefinite hiatus all semester due to other commitments.

You don't want no part of this shit.

While you decide how you want to spend this glorious Friday of Spring Weekend, April 20th of the last year before the earth implodes, be sure to stay cognizant of the dangers of Marihuana addiction, as highlighted by the 1936 classic Reefer Madness.

That’s right, the “new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly increasing numbers” might even find its way onto our beloved campus. Think of how much less fun the What Cheer? Brigade would be if you spent the whole concert wanting to rape, murder, run over pedestrians with your new T-Bird and/or leap out a third-story window just because you think you can fly. Because that’s what you’re looking at with Public Enemy Number One — La Marihuana. Continue Reading


Watch as many movies as possible on Netflix today!

Tragédie! Netflix’s subscription with Starz runs out tomorrow, FEBRUARY 29, a.k.a. Leap Day. Which means many of the decent movies available to Watch Instantly will soon be gone.

So, hurry! Log onto your ex-boyfriend’s Netflix account and start watching Toy Story 3 before it’s too late to experience what is most certainly the greatest deus ex machina of all time.