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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:52 pm 
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I'm surprised there have been no reviews of this set yet. It's out in 5 days. I'm interested to see if there are any improvements over the Wellspring releases.

EDIT: Oh, well here's a HTF review by someone who clearly resented being assigned to review the films, but no screen caps or comparison with the previous releases.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:53 pm 
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HTF Review

Albeit with no caps.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan
DVDTalk, with a few screencaps.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:20 pm 
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Has anyone had the chance to directly compare this with the Wellspring and/or Arrow editions?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
I have the Eclipse and the Arrow box 1 sets as well as some of the R1 Wellsprings. I've been making my way through the Eclipse set and then throwing on the Arrow afterward and watching a few scenes for a comparison. So far I've watched LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH and KATZELMACHER. I haven't compared bitrates or anything. I'm surprised DVDBeaver or some other site hasn't done a comparison yet, but here are my observations (watching on my Oppo BDP-93 through a 46" Toshiba LCD):

1. The Arrow transfers have sharper contrast and show more grain. The Arrows may have some contrast boosting?
2. The Eclipse image seems slightly softer.
3. The Arrow soundtrack is louder with a 2.0 stereo (dual mono), but the Eclipse 1.0 mono is strong. These films were recorded in mono, so the Criterion is probably more accurate.
4. The subtitle texts are very similar, though the Arrow sub font is a bit squished. Eclipse subs win, though you can adjust the Arrow subs through your player.
5. The Arrows offer trailers, several documentaries, interviews, and digital "notes on the films," but the Eclipse are bare bones.
6. The Arrows offer no essays and barely any descriptive text on the packaging, whereas the Eclipse offers an excellent short essay on each film, especially a longer one on LOVE, by Michael Koresky.
7. The Eclipse package is better, but the Arrow box is sturdier.
8. The Arrow has 9 films, but the Eclipse has only 5. The Arrow has NIKLASHAUSEN JOURNEY, RIO DAS MORTES, MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS, and BITTER TEARS.
9. The Arrow 1 set is $35 used on Amazon right now.

In short, the Arrow offers more films, better image, more video extras, and a better price if you can find it used.
The Eclipse offers better sound and a short essay on each film.

UPDATED 20140201

GODS OF THE PLAGUE
Some more info to report. There are definitely some major differences with GODS OF THE PLAGUE. I have the R1 Eclipse and Wellspring as well as the R2 Arrows and compared them back to back.

1. Video: The Eclipse has a higher average bitrate near 7, whereas the other two average around 5. The Wellspring image has a greenish tint to it. The Eclipse is probably the cleanest and brightest, and it shows grain, though the Arrows are a close second. However, I still suspect a little contrast boosting with the Arrows.
2. Audio: The Eclipse is mono while both the Wellspring and the Arrow appear to be dual mono (stereo).
3. Extras: The Arrow offers a trailer of the film, while the Wellspring offers a trailer of HOLY WHORE. Eclipse offers a short essay by Koresky.
4. Subs: Eclipse are still the best. The Arrows are white but squished, and the Wellspring subs are yellow. However, all have removable subs.

In a nutshell, for this film the Eclipse has the best image, sound, and subs as well as the highest bitrate, but the Arrows aren't far behind. The Arrows offer a trailer while the Eclipse offers an essay. The Wellspring is the loser, but it's still watchable with a sharp image that shows some grain despite a greenish tint to it. You won't notice this tint unless you compare it.


Last edited by ambrose1am on Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:41 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:25 am
Are you sure the Arrow 2.0 tracks are not just dual mono, which seems to be far more common on UK discs than in the US? I'm not sure I have any UK DVDs that are in 1.0 mono.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
EddieLarkin wrote:
Are you sure the Arrow 2.0 tracks are not just dual mono, which seems to be far more common on UK discs than in the US? I'm not sure I have any UK DVDs that are in 1.0 mono.


I'm not sure. The Arrows say "2.0 Stereo" on the packaging though. I'll check if they're dual mono if you'd like, but I'm not sure how to verify that.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:25 am
If you have a surround sound set up, simply engage Pro Logic. If the 2.0 is stereo, then all 5+ speakers will output sound. If the 2.0 is dual mono, only your centre channel will produce sound when Pro Logic is engaged.

If you don't have surround sound, the only way to tell is to listen closely and try to identify any directionality between your 2 speakers. Bit harder to do for some. If it's dual mono the 2 speakers will put out identical sound the entire time.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
EddieLarkin wrote:
If you have a surround sound set up, simply engage Pro Logic. If the 2.0 is stereo, then all 5+ speakers will output sound. If the 2.0 is dual mono, only your centre channel will produce sound when Pro Logic is engaged.

If you don't have surround sound, the only way to tell is to listen closely and try to identify any directionality between your 2 speakers. Bit harder to do for some. If it's dual mono the 2 speakers will put out identical sound the entire time.


Confirmed. With Pro Logic enabled, the player outputs the sound through the center channel. My Oppo reads Dolby Digital Mono for the Eclipse and Dolby Digital Stereo for the Arrow.

Thanks for asking. I think you're right. The Arrow is dual mono.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:07 pm 
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ambrose, thanks a lot for your detailed comparison of the two sets. It's about time someone did this!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:56 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
No problem. I'm amazed that no one has done a comparison of these anywhere.

I updated my original post.


Last edited by ambrose1am on Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:34 am 
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ambrose1am wrote:
Thanks for asking. I think you're right. The Arrow is dual mono.

Aye it must be. Mono tracks encoded as 2.0 is very common on UK discs for some reason. Pro Logic will always tell.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:36 am 
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EddieLarkin wrote:
ambrose1am wrote:
Thanks for asking. I think you're right. The Arrow is dual mono.

Aye it must be. Mono tracks encoded as 2.0 is very common on UK discs for some reason.


I think that's the UK industry standard, although Arrow's The Long Goodbye ended up as 1.0 after the master turned out to have an isolated music & effects track. It seemed the most obvious way of including it without affecting the bit budget of a pretty crammed disc - effectively, we just dropped one of the essentially redundant duplicate tracks, thus freeing up the space without requiring a re-encode of any of the video.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:02 am 
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It always seemed redundant to me since most receivers will output a 1.0 track to both left and right speakers by default anyway.

Criterion (and recently at least one MoC disc) encode all their LPCM mono as what I've always assumed is a fake 5.1, with all channels producing faint noise, apart from the centre, obviously. No idea why they do this, unless for some reason it's a requirement?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:26 pm 
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Just watched the Katzelmacher DVD from this set, and there's a handful of scenes with major ghosting issues, impossible to miss. I'm guessing these are NTSC conversions of PAL masters, correct?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am
Fassbinder has often been one of the big holes in my international cinema checklist. Years ago, I saw Beware a Holy Whore and The Marriage of Maria Braun, and liked the latter but never got around to seeking out any of his other films (though I've almost watched Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, nearly a dozen times I always would up going with something else, Ali is maybe the highest profile canonical film I've never seen excepting the several dozen seven-thousand-hour Bela Tarr films that have been canonized this last decade).

So my indifference to Fassbinder led me to leave this eclipse set on the shelf for the last few years, which I've now discovered was a mistake and I've been missing out. While none of these are films I would personally consider masterpieces, as with most great cinema I can see why others might so label them. And I must say, Criterion did the the right thing in including Katzelmacher and Beware of a Holy Whore in this set as they could have easily sold three times as many copies if they had simply packaged it as a three film eclipse set of "Fassbinder's Gangster Trilogy" but that would have been a mistake, as the oscillation to Katzelmacher and Beware a Holy Whore is essential, I think, in grappling with Fassbinder's growth as an artist.


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