It’s always exciting to find out that one of your friends from back in the day is doing big things. My former college classmate, director Benny Boom, has brought music to life with romantically creative videos for Keyshia Cole’s “Love” and Robin Thicke’s “Lost Withuot You”, as well as bringing the flash, bling, and hauteness to some of the proverbial ‘club bangers’ such as Busta Rhymes’ Touch it (1 & 2) and Ciara’s “1, 2 Step” featuring Missy Elliot. From P. Diddy to the Pussycat dolls, Benny Boom has worked with many heavy hitters in the urban music scene.
(Me and Benny – Photo by Jonene Taddei)
I was thrilled when I received my invite to the NYC premiere for Next Day Air, Benny’s first feature film starring Donald Faison (Scrubs, Clueless), Mike Epps (Something New, The Honeymooners), Wood Harris (Remember the Titans, The Wire), the sexy Omari Hardwick (Miracle at St. Anna and Gridiron Gang), and Mos Def (Brown Sugar, Italian Job, 16 Blocks). The movie poster you may have seen in ads has Mos Def on the front holding the box. I will go out on a limb and “assume” this was the film company’s marketing department’s bright idea to get more folks to the theaters. My opinion, totally unnecessary. If you see the film, you’ll see that the original movie poster is a more accurate depiction of the characters roles.
(The original movie poster)
A comedic mix of “Friday” meets Quentin Tarantino, Next Day Air makes for a great “grown folks” night out at the movies if you’re into dark comedy (it’s rated R 😉 ). The movie also stars two new, up and coming actors, Cisco Reyes and Yasmin Deliz, who add some hysterical moments as “Jesus” and “Chita”, a crazy couple in a predicament way over their heads. (I will fully admit, I may be a bit biased not just because Benny Boom is an old friend but more so as a former film major with several years of production under my belt, I know what it’s like to have 22 hr. shoot days, watching dailies at 1 a.m., and just wanting to see all your hard work come to life on the screen.)
The Scoop: Another one of my Temple U. friends, Gerald Rawles (Benny Boom’s fraternity brother and right hand man) was a co-producer, they shot this film in ONLY 20 days (whoa!), and the movie was originally slated to go straight to DVD as the entertainment company did not budget for theater distribution. Benny and crew hustled on their own and secured distribution, which is a major accomplishment in the film biz – kudos and snaps for my peeps!
The best part: It was like a Temple U. reunion! I saw soooooooo many peeps I hadn’t seen in years! After the screening, we all headed over to the uber chic Hotel Rivington’s Thor Lounge for the after party. The security staff there had to be the nicest and most accommodating folks I’ve met in a long time (weird for NYC I know) and the music was classic hip-hop tracks for the 30’s the new 20’s crowd which made for a fantabulous partay!
(Stylemoms: Flipmode’s Rah Digga, Karen S. Founder of Colour U Cosmetics, & Nichelle Pace – moi 😉 Photo by Jonene Taddei)
Stylemom moment of the night, was with one of my favorite femmecees, Rah Digga. And she is no stranger to fashion and beauty, as she’s had many looks from hip-hop rockstar to glam chic and is a spokesperson for Colour U cosmetics.
Native Tongue member, D-R-E-S from Black Sheep was also in the place to be!
I was so excited that my wonderful designer friend Tamara Pogosian put me in one of her fantabulous dresses for the event. All night, my friends had “Greek goddess” jokes – which is our Temple U clique’s way of saying glad to see you, you look nice 😉
(Stylemom in Tamara Pogosian dress and Marc Fisher boots)
Check out all the rest of the fun & festivities and don’t forget to check out Next Day Air in theaters May 8th! (Photos by Jonene Taddei)