Solitary Man [Blu-Ray] Brian Koppelman & David Levien

Solitary Man [Blu-Ray] Brian Koppelman & David Levien
Michael Douglas has spent most of his acting career playing smug CEOs, lawyers and successful businessmen that cheat on their wives, exploit people for money and have an overall patronizing air of entitlement. Perhaps it's his white-collar good looks without muscle tone, presentation or his natural affinity for insincere smiling and frustratingly charming arrogance, but these roles suit him well. He just looks like a man that would enjoy putting on a suit, slicking back his hair and walking out into the world looking only for what it can do for him. It's this image and defining character archetype that make his career-topping performance in Solitary Man that much more substantial, seeing that this is a film about a successful man fallen by ways of taking the very risks that brought fiscal reward in his youth. Moreover, this is a story about mortal anxieties and worldly priorities, opening with Ben Kalman (Douglas) learning of a heart problem sure to end his carefree lifestyle. Jumping ahead six years, Ben is a shell of his former self, having been charged with fraud for fudging numbers on the books of his car dealership empire. He routinely sleeps with any younger woman that will say yes, including the daughter of his girlfriend, Jordan (Mary-Louise Parker), while escorting her to a college interview, when not manipulating his way back into a position of moderate influence, occasionally borrowing money from daughter Susan (Jenna Fischer) to pay the rent on his crappy apartment. Routine speeches about risk making a man of greatness ring hollow and depressing in the face of mortality, as constant philandering and financial greed have left Ben completely alone at a time in his life when he needs companionship most. The style of Solitary Man is much like Wonder Boys, featuring clever dialogue and quirky secondary characters that generate some comedy from basic annihilation anxieties and observations about aging. It's not as good a movie, often feeling the need to spell out the obvious and featuring clumsy cinematography that occasionally has to readjust mid-scene to get an actor's head into frame, but it is comparable. Unfortunately, no supplements are included with the Blu-Ray. Not even a trailer. (VVS)