Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dave Chappelle's Block Party|
Actors: Dave Chappelle, Mos Def, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Isaac ben Ayala
Director: Michel Gondry
A mix of Dave Chapelle's sketch comedy and musical interludes as he takes on an unforgettable journey to throw the decades most outrageous party.
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Step up to the "Block"
Clare Quilty | a little pad in hawaii | 03/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For all its benefits, one of the things that modern technology has really put the kibosh on, unfortunately, is the concert movie.
These days, fans can see their favorite musicians on so many small screens -- on cable TV, the Internet, even their cellphones -- that there really isn't much of a demand for old-school, 1970s and '80s-era big-screen music experiences in the style of "Woodstock," "The Last Waltz," Led Zeppelin's "The Song Remains the Same" or the Talking Heads' excellent "Stop Making Sense."
Leave it to comedian Dave Chappelle, then, to bankroll something as unexpected as "Block Party," a film that fits right into that "back-in-the-day" cinematic category.
In September 2004, (before his famous flight to Africa) Chappelle set up a stage in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood and filmed a concert that featured hip-hop and R&B acts including Kanye West, the Roots, Erykah Badu and a reunion of the Fugees.
Like the 1973 documentary "Wattstax" (to which "Block Party" pays unabashed homage), the film focuses as much on the audience and the show's locale as it does the musicians onstage, and Chappelle wanders through it all, riffing in his edgy drawl that's part hip alley cat, part lunatic. His comic bit about James Brown's routine of commanding "hornshouts" from his band, those little blasts of instrumental punctuation, is one of the funniest scenes in any comedy in a long while.
Director Michel Gondry, who animated the White Stripes with Lego blocks and made "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," filmed the concert and peppers the movie with great little random, textural bits: Chappelle reflecting on jazz great Thelonious Monk or talking to the woman who supervised the day care center attended by the late Biggie Smalls; Wyclef Jean firing up a group of kids; a blissfully happy young couple on their way to the show.
There's a lot of music in the movie, too, and while "Block Party" isn't as much of a roof-raiser as one might expect (the heaviest it gets is West performing "Jesus Walks" with the Central State University marching band), the vibe is mostly funk and jazzy riffs, surprisingly mellow and accessible.
If the film has a drawback it's that, as in "Wattstax," the performance footage is constantly intercut with interviews. It's great to see the Fugees together again, but odd when Gondry cuts into their number to show ... musicians commenting on how great it is to see the Fugees together again.
But that's a minor quibble. For the most part, "Block Party" is an exuberant, inspiring surprise and a welcome wintertime blast of music and comedy. And it's especially cool that Chappelle has brought the concert movie back to American multiplexes.
A beautiful thing to behold
Andrew Cox | Atlanta, GA | 07/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even as a fan of Dave Chapelle and all the artists featured in his block party, I was a bit apprehensive about this movie/documentary due to all the negative reviews it got. But within the first five minutes of the film, I knew that it was going to be something great. People expecting Dave Chapelle the comedian or one of his characters will be disappointed because what you get instead is Dave Chapelle the person. He's out interacting with real people and offering them the chance to be a part of something that he believes in. He's just out to have a good time and he wants to share that with as many people as possible, from Ohio probation officers and townspeople to the actual residents of the community where many of the artists featured in his block party were brought up. This is Dave doing something that he wants to do out of love for the music and its power to bring people together. The joy and energy of the people and artists featured is contagious, as is Dave's benevolence. It truly was a beautiful thing to behold!"
It's called Dave Chappelle's BLOCK PARTY, not Dave's block c
Joshua Adair | Fort Walton beach, FL | 08/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions first and foremost. I can understand why a lot of people are bashing this flick when it's obvious they failed to piece together that this movie is a documentary about a.... (are you ready?) BLOCK PARTY! Seems to me all the people who are giving this movie a 1 star review were expecting to see a live version of his show or maybe some stand-up. C'mon people the title says everything. It's a show Dave and many of his close jazzy underground hip-hop friends put on in BK to show love to the people. How can you bash that? When was the last time you seen an entertainer on the top of his game put on a free show with as many well known acts as he did just to show his fans that they're appreciated? I give this album a 4 star review for the simple fact that I don't think it's a perfect film. The acts were all on point in my humble opinion. If you like socially conscious hip hop then I think you'd enjoy this movie. Peace and Love."
J. Brooks | Texas | 10/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My title says it all. If you're looking to see a great concert, you should get this movie. Most people are disappointed because they are expecting this entire movie to be able Dave's antics. He is hilarious in this movie, but the main purpose seems to be "Concert." Keep this in mind when purchasing this item!