PictureThe Lonely Guy has a surprisingly good picture considering that it is a lesser comedy from the early eighties. Despite the grain - which, by the way, is nowhere near as bad as may have been expected - and some slight print damage of the fleck and speckle variety, this is an extremely vibrant image that certainly showcases the film at the best it's probably ever looked.
The colour reproduction establishes a wide and solid palette - the bustling streets of New York are always awash with bright variety, as is the masquerade aboard the cruise ship. There is no hint of smearing or over-saturation with the whole film very pleasing on the eye, throughout. Interiors make good use of the nice, robust black level with a realistic sense of depth achieved, and exteriors are always crisp and clear. Even the foggy suicide-bridge never loses definition, with a reliable sense of distance and atmosphere. The disc offers a good degree of contrast, too - from the darkened, neon-lit streets and bars to the sunny vistas afforded the park and the lush green grass around the lonely guy bench. The flame of a burning bill is nice against the subdued background of a romantic restaurant, too. A good sign is the ability of a disc to reproduce convincing reflections, and The Lonely Guy certainly delivers these with crisp and un-obscured scenes of bright sunlight bouncing off cars and store windows, that do not glare or haze in the slightest.
All in all, this disc offers a well balanced image that is colourful, clear and bright.
SoundSadly, there is not much to say about the Dolby Digital 2.0 mix, other than that you can hear it. Offering nothing at all in the way of separation, the soundtrack is all frontal, without benefit of any widening, or use of directional sound. Admittedly, the film is quite obviously dialogue-driven and, as such, the witty banter comes across quite clearly and is certainly never muffled by any whiz-bang or intricate sound design. However, I did discern a little element of dislocation -meaning that you sometimes feel that there is a slight lip-synch problem. This may only be as little as a millisecond of disembodied voice, but on occasions, you do notice it - particularly in scenes between Martin and Charles Grodin. It's certainly not enough to put a potential fan off purchasing the disc, though.
The score by a slumming Jerry Goldsmith (it's from his mid-eighties period of synth-experimentation) is whimsical and quite horrible - and, unfortunately comes across all-too briskly. For once, I wouldn't have minded the score being a little bit more submerged - and I'm a huge fan of Goldsmith!
ExtrasThe Lonely Guy DVD is assured of complete loneliness with a total and utter absence of any bonus features to accompany it onto the shelves.
VerdictOne for Steve Martin fans only. I enjoyed it, but then I am a Steve Martin fan. It's light, silly and totally unpretentious. Far from classic comedy but still offers some good sight gags, an often witty screenplay and the reliable goof-ball talents of Martin.
The disc has a tremendous picture and adequate sound, but there is nothing else on board to tempt the indecisive. It does have a relatively painless price tag, however. But, as the title suggests, it may just be one for the lonely guys out there.
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