Universal has done an absolutely brilliant job restoring this film. Yes, there are bits of dirt and some scratches here and there, but they are minimal. The amount of detail and the clarity of the picture is truly outstanding. The film retains its grain, has great black levels, and looks nowhere near its age in this new release. The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track has a noticeable, low, hiss throughout, but it really is quite minimal in comparison to the way most films this old sound. All the dialogue is clear, all the sound effects are clear, and the music comes through cleanly as well. It may sound somewhat tinny, but that's a factor of how the sound was recorded, not how the film has been restored. The presentation truly is a triumph.
What is weird about this release are the extra features or lack thereof. The Blu-ray comes with a DVD, booklet, and a digital copy, all of which indicates a certain amount of effort and care (as does the film's restoration); however, Universal has opted to not give the film a menu, which undercuts that entirely. They have again included here their piece on restoring old movies (which was also on To Kill a Mockingbird, and one imagines will be a staple of this 100 year anniversary set of releases). There is also a trailer, a purely promotional piece on Universal's Academy Award winners, an introduction by Robert Osborne, and the silent film version of the movie. These last two are by far the most interesting, and one certainly wishes that Osborne was given an extended piece here to discuss the movie rather than just a brief glossing over of the film and Lew Ayres.
All Quiet on the Western Front may not feature any whiz-bang special effects nor spurts of blood, but it still manages to be gripping and dramatic in it presentation of the horrors of war. The new release may have some odd quirks to it, but it is a movie that is well worth seeing.