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My take: Solitary Man (2009)

HD Goofnut
11-17-2010, 03:46 PM
Title: Solitary Man (2009)
BD-25 Single-Layer Disc/Two Disc Set
Video: 1080p/VC-1
Audio: 5.1 Linear PCM
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Subtitles: English and Spanish
Run time: 90 minutes
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Rating: R
Region Coding: Region A Only
Equipment used for review: Sharp LC-46SB57UN 46" 120Hz 1080p LCD (24fps), Onkyo TX-SR606 7.1 Receiver, Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1, & LG BH200 Super Blu

Cast/Crew Info:
Michael Douglas as Ben Kalmen
Susan Sarandon as Nancy Kalmen
Danny DeVito as Jimmy Merino
Mary-Louise Parker as Jordan Karsch
Jenna Fischer as Susan Porter
Imogen Poots as Allyson Karsch
Jesse Eisenberg as Daniel Cheston
Richard Schiff as Steve Heller
Directed by Brian Koppelman & David Levien

My take: (the breakdown)

I have personally been a Michael Douglas fan since I saw some of his fantastic action/comedies that were made in the 80s when I was a child. His latest film, Solitary Man, is certainly not an action, but a well paced drama that shows what happens to a man after his miniature empire comes crashing down. Ben Kalmen is a 60 year old man who formally owned multiple car dealerships and managed several hundred people, but when he is nailed by the law over embezzlement he sees his career fall apart and his family and friends begin to alienate him. Ben has always been a man that enjoys the night life and is a lady's man. When Ben sleeps with the 18 year old daughter of the woman he is currently dating. The only people left in his life that will give him a chance are his daughter, grandson, and ex-wife of all people. Will he be able to get his life back on the right track or does he feel that it is too late to start over? Due to sexuality and some profanity this one is not for children of any age.

Released last year theatrically Solitary Man fails to compare with other new releases on Blu-ray. Colors are well saturated, but are muted throughout the film causing a rather grayish tone to be pronounced. Flesh tones seem to be accurate without any problems though. Grain is light in the daylight scenes, but becomes noticeably heavier and somewhat noisy in the darker sequences. There are several darker scenes that suffer from delineation problems as well as unresolved blacks. I honestly found it quite distracting as blacks ending up looking like dark gray. Fine detail is hit or miss, but most of the closeups give off great detail. However, much of the mid and wider shots look rather soft causing much of the background detail to be lost. This is not a poor transfer by any means, but it certainly misses the mark set by most new releases on Blu-ray

Please keep in mind that the screen captures below can look different when the film is in motion. You must click on the image in the link to view it in its original resolution. Also, to achieve the most accurate view of the screen captures be sure your monitor is set to a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
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As is common Starz / Anchor Bay we are supplied with a 5.1 Linear PCM track that gets the job done, but nothing more. Solitary Man is a drama in every sense of the word so dialogue is the main feature here. Thankfully, dialogue is never a problem as it always well prioritized in the center channel. The downside to this mix is that the surrounds are hardly used at all except for some various musical cues. There are many opportunities where the surrounds should be tapped with clamoring, vehicles, or outdoor sounds, but they just never come alive. This is a 3.0 mix to be honest since there is literally hardly any material for the LFE in the first place. Since this film is strictly a dramatic piece it's certainly understandable that the mix is the way it is.

There's not much here for the Blu-ray of Solitary Man, but what is available is of high quality. First up is a worthwhile audio commentary with the directors and several cast members. Next up is a 11 minute making-of feature that centers on chats with Douglas. Lastly, is the film's theatrical trailer. Both of the above features are presented in 1080p.

Movie: 7/10
VQ: 7/10
AQ: 8/10
Supplements: 4/10
Final Word: A Purchase For Fans

As always thanks for reading folks.

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