- Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: June 29, 2010
- List Price: $29.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Playwright Conor McPherson’s jump to the big screen with The Eclipse is at first a gripping emotional drama starring the always riveting to watch Ciarán Hinds as a widower struggling with grief, but not too long into this moody character drama one realizes that there’s much ado about nothing.
McPherson could have left well enough alone, and kept the core story of The Eclipse intact, a quiet emotional drama of a man (Hinds) dealing with his past as he finds life in a new romance with an intriguing writer (Iben Hjejle) and the confrontations with her drunken lover (Aidan Quinn). But McPherson doesn’t leave it off there; instead he goes one step further and makes The Eclipse not figuratively, but literally about a struggle with ghosts.
He rather convolutedly weaves into the story a supernatural tale of the grieving man being haunted by ghosts of past and present. The story, however, is so slowly paced and unevenly distributed between reality — the setting of a literary convention and a new romance — and the supernatural — things that go bump, like suddenly appearing corpses and inexplicable scars — that The Eclipse becomes a bit of a meandering exercise.
Not that it is all dull and bad. Absolutely not, The Eclipse still manages to win over watchers with its intense emotional pull, moody cinematography, and general contemplative sincerity, but it would have worked so much better if it dropped the supernatural angle for something more down to earth.
The cinematography in The Eclipse is moody and gloomy with a suppressed color palette. It effectively showcases the drab Irish landscape, but it hardly leaps from your HD screen. Nevertheless, the 2.00:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encoding from Magnolia is a strong one. It looks sufficiently film-like with a thin and stable level of grain. Shadow detail extension is strong, but black levels are not very inky. Flesh tones look natural and there are no compression artifacts of note.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is about as dull as a doornail. There are some exceptions here and there, but mostly it is quiet with extremely low levels of ambience in the surround channels. Something more atmospheric would have suited a film such as this, but alas, we get a front-heavy, dry, dialogue-driven soundtrack that is adequate, but hardly exciting.
“Thin” is the only way to describe the supplements on The Eclipse. Outside of the obligatory making of featurette and HDNet’s brief promo spot, there’s nothing here to see. Not even the BD-Live link was active at the time of this review.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- The Making of The Eclipse (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:27.32)
- HDNet: A Look at The Eclipse (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 0:04.38)
- Also From Magnolia Home Entertainment Blu-ray (HD)
The Definitive Word
This flawed but watchable supernatural thriller arrives in a barebones release from Magnolia that is passable, but is mostly rental material despite strong performances all around.
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