DVD Dave Chappelle's Block Party [Unrated; Full Frame] (DVD 14627),
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Dave Chappelle's Block Party [Unrated; Full Frame]
Region 1 USA/CA (
Between the sharp comedic mind of David Chappelle and the quirky brilliance of French director Michel Gondry (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), there's not a single bad moment to be found in this captivating concert documentary chronicling a massive block party that Chappelle threw in 2004 down in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. With acts like the Roots, Kanye West, Jill Scott, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, and a reunion of the Fugees, this will be an automatic favorite for the hip-hop/neo-soul crowd. In its perceptive, celebratory way, the film opens the VIP gates on hip-hop culture and invites everyone in for a funky good time. Gondry's fly-on-the wall camera approach recalls D.A. Pennebaker docs like DON'T LOOK BACK (1967) but the attitude is more laid back and genial; the stars, the band, the locals, the marching band Chappelle buses in from his Ohio hometown, all come together with a rare sense of charmed spontaneity--watching it becomes akin to participation. Chappelle is hilarious, whether handing out golden tickets to old ladies or reciting improv poetry to a bongo beat, and the music is just as good, with highlights being Lauryn Hill's heartbreaking "Killing Me Softly," and Kayne Wests's galvanizing "Jesus Walks." This BLOCK PARTY re-writes a host of rules about what a concert film can be, and it does it with enough love to spill out of the theater and into the neighborhood.
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 30314
"[A] tantalizing sketch-portrait of the artist amid an outpouring of hard beats and soul."
New York Times
"Besides being filled with Chappelle's hilarious sense of humor, the movie features life-affirming messages and great music by serious rap artists with political, socio-cultural and spiritual themes."
"A joyous, inclusive spirit defines director Michel Gondry and Dave Chappelle's road-trip/concert film..."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The greatest American hip-hop has to offer convene to produce something monumentally joyful and entertaining and relatively egoless."
4 stars out of 5 -- "Chappelle is the perfect host, effortlessly improvising before and between acts....You won't just wish you'd been there -- you'll feel like you really were."
"[I]t is something of a love letter to all things hip hop and New York....[T]he sheer enthusiasm of the musicians, often collaborating with each other spontaneously, lends the film a winning nostalgia..."
Sight and Sound
Included in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 10 Films Of The Year" -- "BLOCK PARTY weaves music, comedy, stars and audience members into a funky and delirious vaudeville."
"[A]miable, electrifying....[The film] showcases the brightest lights of the hip hop and neo soul scenes..."
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