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All Quiet on the Western Front (4K Mediabook Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

Young Paul Bäumer and his classmates enlist in the Army during World War One believing the idealized propaganda about war pushed by the leaders only to quickly learn the realities and futility of it all in the brutal trench warfare battles on the front.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Edward Berger directs this multiple-BAFTA and Oscar-winning adaptation of German author Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front. It is the first German production of the novel, which has been adapted several times by Hollywood most famously in 1930 as directed by Lewis Milestone.

The story follows the character Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer), a young man who, along with his friends, enlists in the Army during World War One due to the romanticized notions of war the leaders have fed them. Upon arrival on the Western Front of the war against the French, Paul quickly learns the reality and horrors of the trench warfare, as he sees his friends die and the futility of their battles, which garner no gains.

Berger has taken a note from Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, which, at the time, was noted for being one of the most realistic depictions of warfare. This film does not hesitate to depict the brutality of war. We see hundreds if not thousands of young bodies strewn across battlefields, teams of seamstresses sewing back together their torn apart uniforms to dole out to the new batches of young soldiers ready for the proverbial meat grinder. Some of the most stunning scenes take place in the trenches where limbs are blown off and one particularly frightened soldier tries to flee from an underground bunker during a shelling and is exploded on the spot in front of his fellow soldiers.

Berger inserts into Remarque’s story a subplot of officials trying to negotiate a peace. While this is not in Remarque’s original novel, the results of what happens do emphasize even more the futility of war as the military leaders push for even more battles and military surges to squeeze in more pointless carnage before any peace accord can come into place.

One cannot help but think – as multiple wars rage around the world we live in today – that Remarque’s story and Berger’s film continue to resonate over a century after the novel was written. War is futile, yet there does not seem to be any peace to be had. With that pessimistic thought, enjoy the stunning aural and visual experience and powerful message that this film puts forth.

  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • Felix Kammerer in All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • Felix Kammerer in All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • Felix Kammerer, Edin Hasanovic, and Albrecht Schuch in All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front 4K Mediabook (MPI)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front 4K Mediabook (MPI)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front 4K Mediabook (MPI)

The Video

All Quiet on the Western Front was shot on various Arri, Red, and Sony cameras in 6.5K and 4.5K resolutions. It utilizes a 4K digital intermediate and is provided on 4K Ultra HD in a 2.39:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement.

It is immediately apparent that the transfer is a big step up over the Netflix 4K stream. This is pure reference, with perfect detail and depth of field. The visual effects are seamless in the overall production and the coding of the Dolby Vision provides beautiful hints of color in the mostly desaturated scenes of the battle and soldiers on the front, the warmer scenes of the negotiations amongst the politicians, and in things such as flames and lanterns, that look almost three-dimensional. The Blu-ray is just as good in the confines of the high definition format, with only slightly coarser artificial grain and less ‘pop’ and color in the highlights.

The Audio

As with the video, the audio mix for All Quiet on the Western Front on the 4K and Blu-ray is a step up over the lossy Netflix stream. The lossless German Dolby Atmos (an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 dub is also included) wastes little time throwing us into the fray of battle with bombastic explosions, sounds of pounding bombs overhead in the trenches mixed into the overhead channels, and the evocative score that spreads across the soundfield.

The Supplements

The on-disc featurettes are limited, but there is an informative and interesting audio commentary by the director, a brief but good making-of, and a few trailers. There is also a print interview with Berger included in the Mediabook.

  • Mediabook featuring original production stills and interview with director Edward Berger “Sharing the German Perspective”
  • Audio Commentary from Director Edward Berger
  • Making-Of (4K; DV; 00:18:27)
  • Original Trailer (4K; DV; 00:02:19)
  • US Trailer (4K; DV; 00:02:19)
  • International Trailer (4K; DV; 00:02:16)
  • Teaser (4K; DV; 0001:52)

The Final Assessment

MPI provide a magnificent upgrade on disc of this “Netflix Original” film that deals with the futility of war. The. Netflix stream is very good, but nothing beats disc, and this disc is reference all the way. Highly recommended for the film and audio/video quality.


All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) is out on 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray Mediabook March 28, 2023 from MPI Media Group


  • Rating Certificate: R (for strong bloody war violence and grisly images.)
  • Studios & Distributors: Amusement Park Films | Gunpowder Films | Sliding Down Rainbows Entertainment | Anima Pictures | Netflix | MPI Media Group
  • Director: Edward Berger
  • Written By: Edward Berger (screenplay by) | Lesley Paterson (screenplay by) | Ian Stokell (screenplay by)
  • Run Time: 148 Mins.
  • Street Date: 28 March 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • Primary Audio: German Dolby Atmos
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 | French DD 5.1 | Spanish (Castilian) DD 5.1 | Italian DD 5.1 | Czech DD 5.1 | Hungarian DD 5.1 | Polish DD 5.1 | Spanish (Latin American) DD 5.1 | Turkish DD 5.1 | German Descriptive Audio DD 20 | English Descriptive Audio DD 2.0 | French Descriptive Audio DD 2.0 | Spanish (Castilian) Descriptive Audio DD 2.0 | Italian Descriptive Audio DD 2.0 | Spanish (Latin American) Descriptive Audio DD 2.0
  • Subtitles: German SDH | English | English SDH | French | Spanish (Castilian) | Italian | Czech | Hungarian | Polish | Spanish (Latin American) | Spanish (Latin American) SDH | Turkish | Danish | Dutch | Norwegian | Portuguese | Finnish | Swedish
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Young Paul Bäumer and his classmates enlist in the Army during World War One believing the idealized propaganda about war pushed by the leaders only to quickly learn the realities and futility of it all in the brutal trench warfare battles on the front.All Quiet on the Western Front (4K Mediabook Review)