Review: ‘3RD STREET BLACKOUT’ shines through the dark.

Paladin

presents

3rd street blackout poster

3RD STREET BLACKOUT

Opening TODAY April 29th

Co-created by and co-starring
Negin Farsad 
(“The Muslims Are Coming!,” “Nerdcore Rising,” TED Fellow)
and
Jeremy Redleaf
(Streamy Award Winner “Odd Jobs,” “Sesame Street”)

Also starring
Ed Weeks (“The Mindy Project”),
Phyllis Somerville (“Little Children”),
Janeane Garofalo (“Wet Hot American Summer”)
John Hodgman (“Pitch Perfect 2,” “The Daily Show”)
Jordan Carlos (“The Nightly Show”)
Sasheer Zamata (“Saturday Night Live”)

If you’re in your thirties, you can easily remember a time in your youth when IMing was mind-blowing, chat rooms were presented as a thing of fun and danger, and MySpace was the coolest new awesomeness to ever exist. Nowadays, we live and breathe by texting, messaging, tweeting, instagramming, you name it, but most of it is online and very little exists as person to person interaction. The convenience and commonality of our technological advances has, in a lot of cases, destroyed the way we communicate as human beings. Swiping right (or perhaps left? I’m not sure, I’m married) is the new way to “date”. Now don’t get me wrong, I have four very close friends who are now married because of Match.com, but have we become too reliant on technology to really connect anymore? 3RD STREET BLACKOUT tackles that very question in the funniest way possible.
3rd street still negin farsad and jeremy redleaf
Mina, a neuroscientist and TED-talker, and Rudy, an app developer, live life like any typical NYC couple today.  Texting, skyping, Netflixing and chillling their way through a seemingly healthy relationship. What happens when Hurricane Sandy rolls in and knocks out all of the power and signal, forces Mina and Rudy to confront a new conflict in old fashioned ways. Emoticons are no longer an option. Rudy escapes to Brooklyn to cool off while Mina flails in her own Manhattan environment. The two are lost without  the other and it’s not  until they break “social norms” and actually talk to one another does the problem get attention.
3rd street janeane garofalo and negin
The script is ultra intelligent and incredibly timely. I was genuinely laughing out loud the entire 87 minute run. It felt more like a sit down with my closest friends, drinking and thinking, and less like a formulaic Hollywood rom-com. The dialogue is a super natural and sailor-mouthed delight. The cast is outstanding. Co-writers/Directors/Stars, Negin Farsad and Jeremy Redleaf are fanatstic. With and “every-man” (and woman)  feel in their presence and NY attitude, I was with them from go. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the comedy stylings of Katie Hartman. Hartman plays one of Rudy’s app developer cohorts and could not be funnier. I would watch an entire film about her character, any day. Overall, I was impressed by this charming indie, chock filled with great performances from hilarious cast. I look forward to seeing more from Farsad and Redleaf in the near future.

3RD STREET BLACKOUT opens today in  NYC!
About Negin Farsad
Though this is her first collaboration with Redleaf, Farsad previously produced, directed, and starred in the documentary hit, “The Muslims Are Coming!,”  which also featured Jon Stewart, Lewis Black, Janeane Garofalo and David Cross.  She also recently completed the feature, “Nerdcore Rising” starring “Weird” Al Yankovic and MC Frontalot.   In addition to being selected as a TED Fellow, she was named one of the “50 Funniest Women” by the Huffington Post, and her first book, a memoir/manifesto entitled “How to Make White People Laugh,” will be published this May, as 3RD STREET BLACKOUT expands nationally, by Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette. She has also written for and appeared on various shows on Comedy Central, BBC & IFC among others.
About Jeremy Redleaf
Redleaf is an Emmy Award winning actor/writer/director/producer who has created award-winning digital, transmedia, and experiential productions through his Brackets Creative shingle, including “Odd Jobs,” winner of “Best New Web Series” at the Streamy Awards, and “Best Writing” at the International Television Festival.  As a performer, he plays Gonnigan on “Sesame Street,” narrates numerous shows for MTV, and has appeared across television, films, and commercials.

Review: ‘REVERSION’ will not soon be forgotten.

Reversion posterThere are often times when someone asks the question: “If you could go back in time and relive any moment, what would it be?” I don’t think there is a single one of us that can truthfully say, “I wouldn’t. Everything is perfect.” Would it be a good memory? Would be it something tragic or regrettable? And even if you could, what would you do with that moment? In Jose Nestor Marquez’s new film, such questions come to the forefront.
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REVERSION centers on Sophie Clé (Aja Naomi King), a delighted user of the Oubli, a wisp of high-tech jewelry that wraps behind the ear and uses neuroscience to help its users experience their most joyful memories as if they were happening for the first time.  In addition to being the head of marketing for the company that makes this revolutionary memory-enhancing wearable device, she is also the daughter of its inventor, Jack Clé (Colm Feore).
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Sophie’s most joyful memory is the last day she saw her mother alive, fifteen years earlier. But on the eve of the Oubli’s worldwide launch, a stranger named Isa (Jeanette Samano) kidnaps Sophie, setting off a chain of events that remind us all, you can’t escape what you can’t forget.
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Sophie’s life is really a well oiled facade. She utilizes the Oubli as a drug. Once Isa exposes the cracks in her carefully crafted present, Sophie begins to realize that manipulation, lies, and secrets have taken over this once spectacular idea of bringing peace and happiness to the general populace.
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Aja Naomi King has a great energy on screen and easily commands the lead. From her work on How To Get Away With Murder, I have already been impressed with her abilities and this is no exception. Colm Feore is always phenomenal with what seems like effortless ease. Gary Dourdan plays Ayden, Sophie’s driver, security, and closest ally. His strong, quiet presence is a perfect backup to Sophie manic potential. Isa is played flawlessly by Jeanette Samano. Simply based upon this role, I want to see her in everything. Someone is missing out by not casting her. Along with strong performances from Amanda Plummer and Lela Rochon, REVERSION has one outrageously talented cast.
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The look of the film is sleek and has some suggestive early Minority Report-esque allusions with technology intertwining with emotions and memories. The music is a wonderful bonus being both ethereal and haunting in all the right places. The plot gets more complicated as the film rolls along with twists you may not ever see coming. This film is much deserving of an audience and if you’re a sci-fi thriller fan, REVERSION is one to watch.
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Opening theatrically on October 9th, 2015 in New York (Empire 25), Los Angeles (Universal Citywalk) with a wider national release to follow.