"If (fun on the set) meant anything, then Cannonball Run would be a great movie, because I'm sure it was fun to make." – Steven Soderbergh, Indiewire
Dave Chappelle's Block Partyshould be a nightmare – a self-indulgent vanity project without real rhyme or reason, a concert film with no organizing principle behind it other than that might be fun. ... But Dave Chappelle's Block Partyis a lot of fun, and it never feels like you're peeking through the keyhole of a locked door at all the excitment the cool kids are having without you. What's even better is the fact that Chappelle's event and the subsequent film don't just offer the sights and sounds of a multi-millionaire comedian and his musician pals relaxing and having a good time; there's some serious stuff going on in this film behind the backbeats and smiles.
But there are backbeats and smiles, and plenty of them. Dave Chappelle organized a free concert for September 18th, 2004, to be held in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. Not only were the bands performing kept secret, so was the actual location of the event; New Yorkers were invited, and at the same time the film opens with Chappelle roving the small town in Ohio nearest to where he makes his home and dispensing 'Golden Tickets" – good for a ride on a chartered bus, a hotel room and admission to the show – to the people in his community.
And Chappelle – mocking, mischievous and sharply aware of everything he's getting away with – is having a blast.