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The Eclipse [Blu-ray]
(Conor McPherson, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Irish Film Board
Video: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Region: A (B + C untested)
Disc Size: 17,525,596,675 bytes
Feature Size: 13,887,789,120 bytes
Video Bitrate: 17.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 29th, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1881 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1881 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
English (SDH), Spanish, none
• The Making of the Eclipse (27:32)
•HDNet Looks at the Eclipse (4:39)
• Magnolia Trailers
Description: Michael Farr (Ciarán Hinds), a teacher raising his two kids alone since his wife died two years earlier, has been seeing and hearing strange things late at night. He isn't sure if he is having nightmares, or if he's experiencing a haunting. Working as a volunteer for an international literary festival, he is assigned to Lena Morelle (Iben Hjejle), an author of books about ghosts and the supernatural. Establishing a rapport with one another, Michael opens up and shares his terrifying experiences with her. However, Lena's attention is distracted by another novelist, Nicholas Holden (Aidan Quinn), with whom she had a brief affair. The trajectories of these three people lead them into a life-altering collision where the challenges of love, fear of the unknown, and release from the burden of grief are explored.
Conor McPherson’s “The Eclipse” is a gem: a smart, deliberately paced
tale of mourning and renewal, a ghost story with a few moments of terror
and well-observed emotional truths.
The Eclipse was given a limited transfer on Blu-ray from Magnolia. Statistically, it may only be a smaller-than-usual step above SD-DVD but I thought the 1080P rendering supported the film in fine fashion. This is only single-layered and there is some noise but detail has a few strong moments and the contrast does a solid job of creating atmosphere with shadows and light. Colors seem tighter and truer than SD could relate, but heavy on the blue-greens, and nothing ever looks overly blocky - in fact the presentation is quite smooth. The Blu-ray has some areas that it could improve but they are not in abundance. In short, I thought it looked okay - but no one would be using this to demo the quality of their system.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
It's a modest lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1881 kbps. The track is fairly passive but can jump alive in the 'shock' sequences. The penetrating and punching bass can jump you out of your seat but it's not quite at the level of some larger film budget sound transfers. What I really enjoyed was the music - a lot of haunting solo piano and the like. It really established some scenes very well. There are optional subtitles.
Not much in the way supplements with a decent Making of for under a 1/2 hour with some soundbytes from the principles and the better-than-usual HDNet pice for five minutes with Ciarán Hinds giving input plus Magnolia Trailers. I think the film deserved more - but what can we do?
June 23rd, 2010
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze