Eventually, Ben’s behavior leads him to seek out the simple life of longtime friend Jimmy Merino (Danny DeVito) and the friendship of a timid undergrad (Jesse Eisenberg), but he can be just as much of a dick even when he’s trying to cultivate new friendships. This is a character who's not going to turn the corner.
Solitary Man has a number of scenes that subtly resonate, and even though the film aims for comedy occasionally, it’s got a dark and tragic core that contrasts strongly with Ben’s happy-go-lucky personality that’s almost completely in denial of reality.
The Blu-ray Disc
Solitary Man is presented in 1080p high definition with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Don’t prepare to be blown away by the image, which is certainly clean with decent definition, but is hardly the picture of HD greatness. Likely this has more to do with the film, which occasionally struggles with a bland visual palette, than it does with the transfer. In its favor, the presentation is consistent, but it’s not revelatory.
Similarly, the audio, which is presented in a lossless PCM 5.1 track and a Dolby 5.1 option, has little to showcase in this completely dialogue-driven film. Ambient sound is at a minimum, but both tracks present a clean and clear option.
A lone featurette has interviews with most of the principal cast members, and it’s a genial enough experience. Koppelman and Levien are featured on a commentary track with actor Douglas McGrath, who is included despite his very small role in the film. The theatrical trailer also makes an appearance.
The Bottom Line
Solitary Man isn’t the kind of film that gets announced with lots of fanfare, but it’s an unexpectedly well-crafted piece of work.