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Block Party (2005) July 18, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Comedy, Documentary, Movies, Musical.
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Dave Chappelle's Block PartyDir. Michel Gondry

Starring Dave Chappelle, The Roots, The Fugees, Erykah Badu etc

Fresh from watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind we took on a totally different Gondry experience. Block Party is part road movie, part improv comedy, but most of all a concert movie.

Some of the negative bits: I had heard it was a feel-good experience, even for people who didn’t listen to / like hip-hop music, but I found it fairly uneven. I’ve listened to quite a bit of hip-hop, both more and less underground than the featured acts, and I found the mix a bit one-sided – mostly very established artists. It would have been fun to see more up-and-coming talent getting to spread some love. In the beginning of the movie Dave Chappelle invites a bunch of people from around where he lives in Ohio, in the way of ‘golden tickets’ that give the recipients a free ride and lodging in NY. While it may have been a cool premise, it didn’t really do much for the movie. Either there were just no interesting takers, or they didn’t have place for it in the theatrical edit. There’s a bit of goofing off with old folks, but it could have been a lot funnier. I suppose they’re just way too regular and loveable in Ohio.

On to the good notes: Chappelle is just a cool guy, and proved to be an excellent host. He makes for a good vibe throughout the movie, never letting it get boring, and plays well with others. The practice jam sessions with the house band and guests are very funny. And then there’s of course some laid-back and enjoyable music performances, Jill Scott is diverse and excellent for example.

Keywords: Concert, Brooklyn

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