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Dave Chappelle's Block Party (R)

Release Date: March 3rd, 2006 by Focus Features.
Directed by Michel Gondry.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about a concert held by comedian Dave Chappelle in Brooklyn back in September 2004.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Dave Chappelle’s Block Party has moments of offbeat hilarity and lots of energy thanks to Dave Chappelle himself. At first, he seems a bit irritating and obnoxious, although not as much as Tom Green. The first part of the film includes the days leading up to the concert in Brooklyn.. In a somewhat comical, self-referential scene, he admits that the budget is too low for limousines and others luxuries. It’s also funny to watch him approach the townspeople of Dayton, Ohio beyond the intended demographics of the concert. One older lady claims that she must buy a thong before she can attend it. Chappelle hands out free tickets to some local townspeople of Dayton, Ohio and invites a school band to perform—he even provides them with buses, but no refreshments. The film follows the band goes on its way to Brooklyn, although without much detail. Unfortunately, you have to wait a while for the concert footage, but once it comes, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party becomes purely entertaining. By introducing the music artists without captions, director Michel Gondry makes you feel as though you’re a member of the audience at the concert. The stylish camera-work keeps up with the rhythm of the exciting music. Highlights include Erykah Badu, Kanye West, Mos Def, and a surprise performance by The Fugees. Watching Lauryn Hill of The Fugees backstage is mildly interesting, although you only get a brief glimpse of what she’s really like. By the end of Dave Chappelle’s Block Party , you don’t get to know what the real Dave Chappelle is like when he’s not trying hard to be funny. At least the music keeps you entertained.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Not enough concert footage.


IN A NUTSHELL: A lively, entertaining documentary with occasionally hilarious scenes, but the music ultimately stands out the most.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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