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Patlabor 1: The Movie [Import]

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 64.42
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Product Details

  • Actors: Toshio Furukawa, David Jarvis, Doug Erholtz, Mîna Tominaga, Briony Glassco
  • Directors: Mamoru Oshii
  • Writers: Kazunori Itô, Masami Yûki
  • Producers: Makoto Kubo, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, Shin Unozawa, Taro Maki
  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Manga Video
  • Release Date: July 25 2000
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6305951640
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Product Description


This stylish science fiction detective story bears the stamp of director Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell). "Labors" are gigantic robots used for everything from construction work to law enforcement, but a massive land reclamation project in Tokyo Bay is threatened by robots going on unexplained rampages.

Patlabor cops Noah Izumi and Azuma Shinohara are called in to investigate, and soon find themselves trying to decipher the apocalyptic visions of E. Hoba, who wrote the operating system for the Labor robots and then committed suicide. Hoba introduced a virus into the software that could affect robots all over world and cause unparalleled destruction. In abandoned slum apartments and high-tech construction sites, he left clues about what he was doing--and why. But are Noah, Azuma, and their friends clever enough to second-guess a genius? And will their superior officers accept their conclusions?

The first Patlabor feature has a darker tone and look than the previous OVA series. Oshii assumes the viewer already knows the characters, and doesn't bother introducing them. But this powerful tale of the dangers of over-reliance on technology is far superior to ordinary mecha features. The recent attacks of powerful computer viruses give the story an added relevance.

Unrated; suitable for ages 10 and older: occasional profanity and robot vs. robot violence. --Charles Solomon

From the Back Cover

The year is 1999 and Tokyo's Mobile Police have a new weapon in the war on crime--advanced robots called Labors are used to combat the criminals who would use the new technology for illegal means. The suicide of a mysterious man on the massive Babylon Project construction site sets off a cascade of events that may signal the destruction of Tokyo. What is the connection between the suicide, the new mobile Police AV-XO Zero Labor, and a berserk prototype tank?

When Patlabor cops Noah Izumi and Azuma Shinohara investigate an unexplained wave of rogue Labors rampaging across the city, they uncover a sinister revenge plot to infect Tokyo's population of 8,000 Labors with the deadly BABEL virus. With the future of the city hanging in the balance and a typhoon poised to trigger the devastation, Noah, Azuma, and their teammates must destroy the source of the virus--the giant Babylon Project tower in Tokyo Bay--in a battle to the finish.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
* Fans of the PATLABOR anime series know the basic scenario:
in the near future, big robotic machines known as "Labors"
are common in industrial and military roles, and to combat
crimes performed by Labors a police "Patrol Labor" group is
set up. The heroes of the series are the personnel of
"Patlabor Division 2", a self-described "gang of losers" that
manage to get things done in spite of a maverick reputation.
The PATLABOR 1 movie involves Division 2 dealing with a rash
of Labors running amok, with suspicion falling on the operating
system for the Labors. Suspiciously, the chief designer of the
OS, an E. Hoba, committed suicide under bizarre circumstances.
The devious Captain Goto of Division 2 enlists (using a
little trickery) officer Asuma Shinohara to get to the bottom
of things, and soon a frightening plot emerges ...
The PATLABOR 1 movie is a reasonably well put together piece
of work, with good (if not extraordinary) production values,
and an intelligent (if not extraordinary) script. It is certainly
better than much of the indifferent anime that gets churned
out on a regular basis by Japan's animation studios.
However, PATLABOR 1 is basically just a scaled-up PATLABOR
TV episode, and the only thing it really brings to the party
is better production values over the TV show.
If you like the PATLABOR TV series, you'll probably like this
movie. If you were lukewarm on the TV series, you might not
find the movie very stimulating. In comparison to the
follow-on and outstanding PATLABOR 2 movie, it looks more like
a creditable practice exercise for producer Mamoru Oshii,
preparing him for better work to come.
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Format: DVD
Anyone who likes anime owes it to themselves to see the Patlabor movies. The series itself is a lot of fun with it's quirky characters and off-beat approach to police drama, but the movies take this formula to a new level of poeticism. Oshii polishes his style, later institutionalized by Ghost in the Shell, with these two films. This first film concerns a new operating system for "Labor" robots that seems to have a few, less-than-accidental bugs. It is up to Division 2 to figure out what is going on before it is too late. Anyone not willing to pay attention to subtle dialog may get bored with this movie but everyone else will revel in it's beautifully presented, vaguely political drama. The disk is supposedly "digitally remastered". Maybe it is just me, but the picture seems grainy at times and even appears to harbor some color bleed and shadowing. It's a little disappointing for an otherwise visually stunning film. At least it is letterbox. The audio is Dolby 5.1 in English, stereo for the Japanese. This kind of dub is the reason fans beg for subtitles. The translation is ok, but obscures more often than it clarifies. The real trouble is the acting which just doesn't seem convincing for the characters. The best performance was probably Noa, the lead female character. At any rate, watch it subtitled for best results. Patlabor 1 the Movie deserves a disk that is as polished as the story and didn't quite get it. I give it 4 stars for the strength of the content, not package.
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Format: DVD
Let me start by saying that the movie itself rates a 5-star. I'm giving this 4 stars only because I am fairly annoyed at the English dubbing because it is obiously aimed more at children. This is NOT a movie which should be treated this way. If you're not fluent in Japanese (I only know barely enough Japanese to tell if a translation is WAY off), watch this one with the literal English subtitles. OK, a passing knowlege of post-WWII Japan helps a lot too, but that's true of any of the great Japanese Animes (Akira, Ghost in the Shell, etc). OK, to be fair, it's probably to keep a more PG rating since this Anime doesn't feature gratuitous sex, outfits as not-there as Jennifer Lopez's Acadamy Awards gown, or naked, bathing females with large bouncy...ehm...you get the idea.
While not quite as "deep" as Ghost in the Shell, it is still definately more of a thinking person's Anime than an animated Action/Adventure flick. As with other Anime directed by Oshii Mamoru, defitately worth buying, if only to save money on the rental fees, because this is one to watch multiple times to catch the dramatic layers you'll miss the first couple times.
If you enjoy Drama and Anime, this is a great one to get. If you are looking more for giant robots destroying each other then there a wealth of other amime with less drama and more action to suit your taste.
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Format: DVD
You know, in the days of fast cars, fast music(and fast lifespans for music), fast women, fast food, and any thing else that can be concidered fast(let me know if there is anything I have left out), sometimes, you need to slow down a bit. Starting with Shenmue, I came to the conclusion that not every thing has to be fast paced to be enjoyable. As far as movies go, Patlabor fits that bill quite nicely.
More of a crime drama/exploration film, I think the first thing that jumped out at me is the direction. Mamoru Oshii did an excellent job with not only the cinamatagraphy, but the setups as well. Needless to say, nothing felt jarring at all in the movie. Another thing that helped the tone of the movie was the soundtrack. The soundtrack was very well composed(not something I normally say about anime soundtracks. Especially with j-pop openings).
To me, the movie is kinda of an exploration of man and his machines. Man creates machine. Man becomes dependent on machine. Man, therefore becomes machine. It seems as though the antgonist in this movie saw this horrible revolation and commits suicide. Not before sending Tokyo to impending doom with his plan(not gonna share details. I have told enough).
I think one thing that would have made this movie better was if I had saw the original TV series(which I hear is pretty good). But alas, no DVD means no purchase as I am now on strict DVD only diet. But even so, the characters were, if not a little under developed, still deffentatly enjoyable. I just wish they had shared a little more background info. Oh well.
Another thing that I thought worked to its advantage, was the lack of gratuitous mech action. I myself am not big mecha fan. But when the scenes that had the mechs in them were, from my standpoint, more emphasised, made it better.
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