Written by Dave Chappelle
Directed by Michel Gondry
Running Time: 1:42
Dave Chappelle's Block Party was just a fun movie, filled with a lot of laughs and some great music.
Dave Chappelle, for reasons they never explain, decides to throw a block party in Brooklyn. So, he rounds up a few bands/artists, heads to Dayton, OH to get some people, throws them on a bus and leads them to Brooklyn. Along the way we have some fun, listen to some music, and wonder how on Earth we never heard about a massive block party going on in Brooklyn.
The entire event took place on September 18, 2004, long before Chappelle's famous disappearing act following the signing of his massive $50M contract with Comedy Central. One wonders if the release of this movie was pushed back because of the hoopla surrounding Chappelle and he'll use the popularity of the movie to launch a comeback. The movie features performances from Kanye West, Mos Def, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and, in a goose bump moment, the return of The Fugees. You can't help but get excited when you head Lauren Hill start singing 'Killing Me Softly.' Chappelle uses the film to do some comedy, mostly ad-libbed based on where he was at the time. We also get to see some backstage action and you realize that even comedians need to practice their routines before going out on stage. There was opportunity to talk about serious subject, like when they visit to the childhood day care center where The Notorious B.I.G. used to go to, but while there was a smattering of seriousness, the movie keeps a lighter tone throughout.
The movie is shot documentary-style by Michael Gondry, who helmed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Gondry never gets involved in the film but simply lets Chappelle wander around and do his thing. If you're a fan of Chappelle's comedy, you'll enjoy the movie. And if you like the artists above, you'll like the movie. The movie bounces back and forth between the concert and Chappelle so it never feels stale. And it's kind of fun to see someone like John Legend, who is huge now but was an unknown quantity back in 2004, singing backup for Kanye West and never getting even a small mention in the film until the closing credits.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Overall, there isn't much to say about Dave Chappelle's Block Party. For the most part it's a concert film spliced in with Dave Chappelle's musings. Definitely a fun film.
Netflix lets you rent, watch and return DVDs from home – Now from only a month!