It is 2023 and the theatrical window is dangerously small now. Things that aren’t being made on $100 million budgets are barely seeing the theatrical window to begin with, and then a physical release is even less likely, and if it does exist, it may just be as a DVD. The point that is being made here is that streaming services are taking over the way people consume media and film and the fact that Netflix has, rightfully, put out the four-time Oscar winner on a physical copy and in 4K nonetheless means that no matter what you think of the movie, love it or hate it, you should get a physical copy to show the streamers that physical is alive and well and that the masses still want something tangible in their hands, even if it can be watched on their phones.
This review is going into heavy detail on the physical release of the Best International Picture 2023 Oscar winner All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues), but I will share some quick thoughts on the film itself. The home release was my first time watch for this film, and after all the acclaim and raves I had heard about it, to say my expectations were not high is an unfair statement. This could be why I ended up not entirely caring for the final product, or maybe it’s because it honestly doesn’t live up to the hype and accolades it has received. I will argue that the cinematography is absolutely outstanding and hands-down deserves the Oscar in that regard. The issue for the movie is, there is no rooting for any of the characters, and because it is hard to feel for the characters, their outcomes, regardless of what it may be, leaves us so indifferent. However, the performance by Felix Kammerer (Dürer) is truly fantastic.
All Quiet on the Western Front is housed in an absolute stunning media book that puts the 4K disk in the front, then all the extra goodies, and the booklet itself at the end has the Blu-ray disk. For a movie that was made and distributed by a streaming division and wasn’t licensed out to Criterion to create a beautifully stunning limited edition media book like this only further shows that someone knows the hunger for physical media is real and they wanted to ensure they gave the collectors something they truly could sink their teeth into.
Moreover, if you’ve seen All Quiet on the Western Front on Netflix, you haven’t seen the movie. If you saw it theatrically, depending on the projection at the theatre, you haven’t seen All Quiet on the Western Front. This is a reference quality disk, this 4K release is breathtaking. It is simply remarkable. I do not remember the last time a disk looked this pristine and this clean and didn’t get lost in HDR and looked smoothed over. Watching this disk is the equivalent at starring at The Mona Lisa, Starry Night, The Scream, and so forth; it is a piece of art. Every single frame is beautiful and will make you weep in its sheer beauty. It truly is a disk unlike anything else that has been released thus far this year. If that doesn’t sell one on purchasing the disk however, there are a few special features that may convince you it is worth the price tag (there are rumours that there is a standard amray case without a Blu-ray floating around in certain retailers, but there is no concrete proof of that so, as of this writing, the only physical release is the limited-edition media book). There is a full-length audio commentary from director Edward Berger (All My Loving) on the 4K, as well as an extensive “Making of” featurette that is truly insightful and brings forth a lot of behind the scenes information.
As previously stated before, if you are one who consumes physical media on the semi regular, and wants to be able to continue, this disk should be purchased to prove that not everyone just wants a stream. However, the gorgeous quality of the disk, the added beautifulness of the mediabook, and the reference quality disk should be more than enough to convince anyone whose sitting in the trenches deciding if they should put out the money for this edition, an easy question to answer.
All Quiet on the Western Front Special Features:
- Audio Commentary from director Edward Berger
- Making-Of (18:27)
- Original Trailer (2:19)
- Us Trailer (2:19)
- International Trailer (2:16)
- Teaser (1:52)
Available for streaming on Netflix October 14th, 2022.
Available on 4K and Blu-Ray March 28th, 2023.
Categories: Films To Watch, Home Release, Home Video, Recommendation, Reviews, streaming
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