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Dave Chappelle's Block Party Reviews

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Aaron N

Super Reviewer

May 30, 2006
Dave Chappelle: This is the concert I always wanted to see!

Before the creative differences Dave Chapelle had concerning the future of his show, he decided to fund a large block party in New York, inviting many music artists that he is friends with as well as many people from his home town in Ohio, as well as a number of people from the area that could get hold of a ticket. What occurred was a large gathering of people, documented by director Michel Gondry.

Not just about Chappelle's comedy. Not just about the concert music. Mainly about a lot of people getting together and having a good time together and it shows.

Towards the end Chappelle says that this was the best day of his career, and you can see that he's sincere. It is such a good movie in terms of having a group of people coming together and performing as friends as well as seeing an audience all standing together, in the rain no less, and having a great time, no fights or problems, just a fun concert with Dave Chappelle as the MC.

There are some very funny parts in between the acts involving little things Chapelle does to get the audience going. There are very good musical performances from the alternative hip-hop crowds that aren't the terrible pop-rap that is heard at all the parties, instead it's more meaningful and more quality beats.

The lineup is awesome for the right crowd: The Roots, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Erykah Badu, The Fugees, Jill Scott, Dead Prez and Kanye West. The idea is to have everyone enjoy it regardless of if hip-hop is there preference or not.

I also can't stress how nice it is just to see Chapelle interacting with various people. He's not turned on, he just acts like a regular guy who is just generally funny. Scenes cut in throughout, showing Dave practice in a studio with the backup band, making them laugh is just as much fun as the rest of the movie.

Quality film, one of my favorites from 2006.

Dave Chappelle: Bringing me to my next point, Comedians and Musicians are very much connected. Comedians think that they can sing, while musicians think they're funny. For example, Mos Def - funny guy, Jamie Foxx - talented piano player and singer. I'm mediocre at both and yet have managed to talk my way into a fortune.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

October 6, 2006
If you're watching it for Chappelle, don't bother. If you're watching it for some great hip hop, proceed.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

May 11, 2007
[font=Century Gothic]"Dave Chappelle's Block Party" is an entertaining concert film directed by Michel Gondry about comedian Dave Chappelle throwing a free block party and concert in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on September 18, 2004, and inviting old friends and a college marching band from his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Performers include Erykah Badu, Kanye West and the Fugees. Chappelle's intention is to give something back to the community while also bringing rap music to a broader audience.(It worked at least for this reviewer, who was also curious about Mos Def's rapping after seeing him act in a few movies. Look at it this way - I was planning on referencing Fleetwood Mac when discussing the marching band.) Throughout, Chappelle's engaging presence keeps things moving but the editing interrupts the flow often with too much time given to preparation and background. And the eccentric couple living in the abandoned building are interesting but not worth spending a great deal of time on and probably not representative of the neighborhood, anyway.[/font]
John B

Super Reviewer

February 2, 2008
The guy in the video store warned me..don't rent the Block Party! It isn't a Chappelle comedy show. Well I knew that but I was still disappointed. Chappelle attempts to bring all the influences in his life to one big block party and descended into a cheaply filmed concert film.
Jon O

Super Reviewer

June 18, 2007
A nice documentary for hip-hop fans. I, unforuntely, am not one.
Dracula787
Dracula787

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2008
In an act of selfless goodness, Dave Chappelle used some of his Comedy Central paycheck to throw this block party, a concert featuring some of the biggest names in progressive hip-hop. In order to document the event he hired Michel Gondry to film his party. Choosing Michel Gondry to make this was an absolutely inspired idea, his playful direction exactly matches Dave Chappelle?s personality on display here. The event was a great thing for everyone involved, the community was given a fun free event, the musicians were given well deserved attention, and Dave Chappelle was given a chance to show the world just how nice and likable he is. Gondry is filming a concert film, but there?s more going on than music here, he and Chappelle are emerged in the community at large. Here Chappelle seems like an amazingly pleasant person, he?s like a Willy Wonka (which is subtly referenced early on) giving people a fun experience and being a fun person at the same time. Those looking for wall to wall laughs from Chappelle will probably be disappointed but what is here is something just as special.
Nate H

Super Reviewer

June 5, 2006
Couldn't decide if it was a documentary on Dave or a concert film - should've been one of each.
Wu C

Super Reviewer

July 19, 2006
If you like live rap concerts. House of angels was cool though.
January 27, 2009
Film about a real and Crazy ad hoc "Block Party" in Brooklyn. But this one has some real headliners, The Fuggees, Mos Def and Kanye West. Some rough but catchy tunes to boot, unusual to say the least.
July 20, 2010
Liking the music in this movie will definitely upgrade your experience. Otherwise, the fleeting scenes of Dave Chappelle being his hilarious self inbetween the performances are captivating but few.
August 16, 2007
This flick really holds up well on the re-watch, I'm rather happy to own it for just such a purpose.

This was a lot of fun, great music and Chappelle doing what he does best, entertaining a crowd.

The Brooklyn neighborhood that hosted the show was rather trippy, and the behind the scenes segments of how the show comes together were fun.
tnugz2k2
January 26, 2010
A pretty entertaining concert film though being a huge hip hop fan, I am a little bias. I was surprised how instead of mainly focusing on Chappelle and the musicians, Michel Gondry also lets us meet the lucky few who are invited by Chappelle to attend the concert in Brooklyn, NY. You could film a whole documentary about the couple who live in the "Broken Angel" house. The performances are on point. Having seen The Roots live, I must say them and of course The Fugees reunion are the highlight of the film as well as an energy filled Dead Prez performance. Chappelle fills in the gaps with his hilarious antics and any fan of his would enjoy the movie simply because of his presents. Though no 'The Last Waltz' by any means, this is definitely the best hip hop concert film I've had the chance to see.
moviezgirl
June 18, 2008
I'm not a big Chappelle fan, but I liked this film/documentary. Overall, the performances were very good; but I will readily admit that I enjoyed it mostly because Mos Def was in it (and was wonderful).
nativesunljt
June 1, 2007
Good concert film and documentary. Nothing at all what I expected when I rented this film. I liked it more than I thought I would and it did have a number of special moments that makes this film very special.
February 5, 2008
God, I am never going to finish this list.

Some of the best films in the history of cinema are really well done concert films. I put Gimme Shelter and Monterey Pop in this list of great films. I would also put Dave Chappelle's Block Party on this list. This movie oozes with heart and honesty. That's what I really look for in a movie. I'm not sure who to thank about doing that. Michel Gondry (Flixster...Michael Gondry? Really?) has constantly impressed me and I am always happy to see his work. But I did really like to see the more honest side of Dave Chappelle. Yes, I've seen all of Chappelle's Show, but I wasn't on the hardcore obsession bus like most of American college kids were. You read all the articles of Chappelle having his breakdown. I can imagine that this was one of his happiest moments. Yes, he's the same Dave that we've seen on the show, but there is something really excitable and energetic about this Dave. He is doing something good and he knows it.

Also, this is one hell of a compilation of performers. I can't say I'm the biggest Hip Hop fan. Hell, I can't even say I listened to Hip Hop at all. I'm a little alternative rock nerd. (If there is such a thing. Don't get me started. I'll sound like everyone else who is pretentious out there.) But gosh darn it if I didn't buy the album right after the movie came out. This is some powerful music. Hell, I'm now going to be one of the thousands of white guys singing along to Dead Prez.

What's really great about this movie is the journey. Yes, it's a concert film. But like Gimme Shelter, it isn't necessarily all about the concert so much as it is about how the people got there. Admittedly, Gimme Shelter is much more of a downer, tragic film. Block Party has Dave meet some *ahem* ecclectic people and just has him hang out with them. Yes, he teases, but you get the vibe that he doesn't judge as long as they are honest people. Sure, he does some of his bits. He references "Black Bush" and does his "celebration" line before delivering a spin on Li'l Jon. But that's his stuff. He's allowed to do it all day. It's not like he's an early Bart Simpson telling us not to have a cow.

This is a movie made by friends and that's a great thing to see. If these people weren't friends before, they are now and I appreciate this film. It put a big smile on my face.
January 20, 2008
this isn't a movie about dave chappelle creating catch phrases or dave chappelle getting high. this is a flick about dave chappelle being dave chappelle and about throwing a kickass block party in brooklyn with a great hip-hop concert. and what a show it is! kanye, mos def, the roots are all great, but dave got the fugees to reunite for this and the whole thing is exciting to watch. the first of two michel gondry films on my list. this one is documentary style and he does a wonderful job capturing the events that unfold.
December 9, 2007
Not as funny as I thought it was going to be, but still a pretty good movie. The best parts were the musical acts. I just wish they showed more Kanye!
dresserlook
April 16, 2007
A very cool idea that comes across great on film! Dave is hilarious. And it was nice to see The Fugees back together.
August 6, 2007
This was pretty entertaining. It's not your typical Chappelle's show. It's really sincere and what he does for the neighborhood is pretty cool.
June 9, 2007
This is about the closest we will ever get to Chappelle chanelling Oprah with his own unapologetically hip-hop induced soulful rendition of his own Legends Ball. The vibe, energy, collaboration, sense of pride and purpose were undeniable --- with comedic and musical genius on one accord celebrating our unique culture, voice and flavor. Nicely done, Dave!!!!! This is a classic.
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