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  • All My Friends - Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman

    All My Friends - Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman

    ★★★

    Starts out strong with his peers like Warren Haynes and Widespread Panic giving his Allman Brothers Band songs their all. Blues and soul vocalists like Taj Mahal, Sam Moore and Dr. John bring equal, if not greater depth to their contributions. Gets a bit too country for my tastes later on, but some of those performances (particularly by Eric Church, who's enthusiastic stage presence I can't help but like) are solely lifted by the material. It's mostly brought together by…

  • Margin Call

    Margin Call

    ★★★★★

    Most debut features, even from great directors, have little flaws and blemishes that prevent it from being as immediately re-watchable as this is. J.C. Chandor pulls this off like he's been doing this his whole life, and yet it was his first.

    This has grown exponentially in esteem for me since first seeing it. The writing, performances and pace always suck me in. It's timely subject matter resonates, maybe especially so now, but it doesn't date at all. The struggles and morality presented are as old as time itself.

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  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★★★

    One element I haven't seen much in the praise of this film is actually how funny it is. There is a subtle but direct layer of levity, which is mostly used to ease the very palpable tension. I saw it twice in theaters and both times one particular line got a hearty response from the audience. Nearly all of it surrounds the chemistry of it's two leads, and the individual choices they made regarding their characters.

    Tom Cruise (in arguably…

  • Thief

    Thief

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    There's a ruthlessness to James Caan's performance as Frank that cuts through like one of his tools of the safe-cracking trade. It's 100% pure alpha-male bravado, that can be quickly brought down to earth. Whether it's by his best friend or his wife, there is as equally no fear to the emotion he brings. That's one thing (of many) about Michael Mann's work that is so engaging, is how he shows his protagonists (as well as his antagonists, too) balancing…