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The Barstool Chicago Film Festival Red Carpet + Film Review

I've been waiting anxiously all day for this to premiere, and boy did it not disappoint. As a film buff, drama lover and (slightly jealous) observer, it's been really cool watching this whole thing come together. Barstool Sports is a fun house full of freaks, and it's high time we started utilizing everyone's inherent acting skills. After all, we're acting every day! Maybe not all of us, but we certainly dial it up for the cameras, blog and beyond. Having a script, purpose and the opportunity to win a competition? 100s all around. Shoutout to Hank, PFT and Corey for putting in a ton of effort planning it all out for our enjoyment. Okay, enough glazing. Let's get down to serious business:

THE RED CARPET 

I'll be judging based entirely on effort here. If you put forth some effort into your look, or there's a story behind it (tying into the film, etc) you've got my attention. People will also get points for looking sharp, but I want PIZZAZ!

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Best Dressed 

Donnie Does/Mark Titus

Fun fact about me, you throw a little bit of leopard in the equation? I'm in. Totally sold. Donnie's understated leopard print blazer paired with tortoise toned sunglasses (matching perfectly) is both bold AND classy. Titus's tux is crisp, well fitted, and sharp all around. Maximum effort from this duo. 

Chef Donny

Now THIS is how you dress for a carpet. The light lenses with thick frames, monochrome suit and a crisp tee underneath - gentlemen, take notes! 

Megan Makin Money

Stunning in Abercrombie, Megan floats across the carpet like a goddess. Perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect fit. GORGEOUS

Kate Mannion

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ANOTHER LEOPARD MOMENT! Kate, can I borrow that dress (AND the fur coat) when you're done? 

Tom Leigh

Something about a Man in MOSCHINO! Expert execution when it comes to a bold print, and from a Director? Did this man get a stylist?? Bravo, Tom. 

Worst Dressed

Rudy

Oh my sweet Rudy. I hate to do this to you. Goodwill Versace shirt, and it certainly looks like it. Rudy is a notorious fashionista, many look to him for fashion advice and on any other day, I'd back up his style.  Unfortunately on this stage, with the loud top and the…dark salmon pants? It didn't hit. 

Jersey Jerry

Another Good Will fit and boy, can we tell. Saved by the Gucci shoes, but this is a red carpet. It's no place for this casual of a look. He could be walking into the office on any old day. I'm extra disappointed because I know Jersey Jerry is a fashion diva. How could he pass up an opportunity like this, for something so off the mark?

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Dante

I hate to do it Dante, but I can't stand a hoodie on a carpet. You were so close with the suit! I know you've got style….what happened here?

Boring, But Fine

Kirk/Dan 

Just because you're there on business, doesn't mean you can't jazz it up a bit. Lookin good, but not great. 

Spider

Handsome for sure, but come on Spider. Where's that personality everyone knows and loves??

Points For Taking A Risk

Jeff D Lowe 

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Something I love about JDL, is that he's always down to be daring when it comes to fashion. An argyle sweater vest, all in neutral/brown tones is certainly on trend, and he went for it. This kind of look can turn into "The KFC Radio studio" quickly, but I think Jeff squeaks by. 

Now, onto the movie magic.

THE FILMS

I love the idea of creating teams of people who may or may not normally work together. I also love the fact that topics/genres were assigned - it really gives everyone the opportunity to create something great, and potentially outside of their comfort zone.

G - starring/produced by Fasoli, Reid, Hank, Madeline, Nick Turani, Brandon Walker, Ben Mintz, Chief, Connor Griffin, Pat, Nicky Smokes, Big T and PMT Shane

Genre: Biopic

Personally my least favorite genre, but these reviews aren't all about my likes and dislikes. It's about the story, the effort, and the way they make you feel. That being said, I was captivated. In the year of Oppenheimer, "scientists doing research" is VERY hot right now. Shining above all, was an absolutely extraordinary performance by Brandon Walker. He made this entire film. His moments on screen made me, a woman, believe that "Finding the G spot" was something only a group of men could do. The dance number was electrifying. Despite all this, I was deeply disturbed by Ben Mintz's performance and wish to never see him in such a position again. 

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Miss Q - starring/produced by Joey Camasta, Caroline Baniewicz, Max Delonte, Owen, Harry, Zuppe, Liam Blutman, KB, White Sox Dave, Grier, Rudy Junda, PMT Memes and Ebo

Genre: Action

Right off the bat, we're stunned by Caroline's beauty and natural talent. THIS GIRL CAN WERK. Coupled with Out Of Order's darling, Michael Grier, they serve as the perfect opposites to Max Delonte's unbridled rage in the opening scene. Joey Camasta enters as the perfect chaotic friend, and we're off to the races. The story itself took a bit to get into, but the suspense starts to build as Caroline/Joey throw Rudy and KB out of their Mercedes and onto the ground. Caroline's constant hesitation, Max's presumed power and Joey's thirst for his own version of vengeance shows us all that money certainly does talk. The Topanga cameo at the end is the cherry on top of a great film. 

Last Gun In the Bullet - starring/produced by Mikey Pavs, Cheah, Lantz, Jake Marsh, Kody, Mook, Jake Malasek, White Boy Rick, Titus, Zah, Tommy Smokes, Donnie Does, Jersey Jerry and Chaps

Genre: Romance/Drama

The ominous opening with a hint of sex is almost immediately forgotten during Titus and Donnie's first scene together. WOW. Dave Portnoy better lock up a couple contracts because after this premiere? Hollywood WILL be calling. These two have an undeniable chemistry as a cop duo and for a moment I forgot I knew these people as my coworkers. Stephen Cheah also dazzles as a deadpan creep, sending shivers up my spine. Chaps, Jersey Jerry and Zah all provide important details for the plot, and we thank them for that. Tommy Smokes enters the scene, one of my favorite costars, seemingly playing a role outside of his comfort zone (not gay) in an effort to showcase his range - and he pulls it off. We totally believe he's straight….until he isn't. As far as the assigned genre of Romance/Drama, we're definitely a little light on the romance….but who cares. This movie rocked. I've had the pleasure of working with Pavs a handful of times and he's truly the greatest when it comes to filmmaking at the company. Guy just has IT. 

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Despite what the Judges' score may be, this might be my winner.

Charlie - starring/produced by Tom Leigh, Kolten, Ryan, Danny Conrad, Kate Mannion, Adam Ferrone, Frank the Tank, Tate Moore, Chef Donny, Spider, Megan Makin' Money, Mackenzie Lozano, Dante and Eddie

Genre: Horror

My personal favorite genre. Horror is guaranteed to get your blood pumping and that's the kind of vibe I'm ALWAYS looking for. Immediately, Megan fills the role of "nagging girlfriend" perfectly. The anger, the persistence - we feel both uncomfortable and, I'll say it, a little turned on? Chef Donny's frustration with both Megan and then, Frank, comes through clearly on his face and as he descends deeper and deeper into madness, I find myself with my hand over my mouth. Holy shit! DONNY CAN ACT TOO? Spider and Eddie give us some of the best death performances we've ever seen, as Frank's taunting actually starts to get under my skin as a viewer. I want Donny to kill this motherfucker. Hauntingly shot, extremely suspenseful with a story that's easy to understand and follow - all I can say is WOW. 

This film is a close, CLOSE second to "The Last Gun In The Bullet." I might even go as far as to say it ties for first - the props were fantastic and all the fake blood was used to perfection. Truly incredible. 

WHAT A NIGHT! You'll have to watch the whole thing for yourselves to see how the awards ended up, but overall I'm really proud of everyone who worked on this. It takes a lot of time and effort to make anything this huge, especially in such a short amount of time. Bravo, Bravo, Bravo.