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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the first film alone
Before he directed the seminal Ghost in the Shell, Mamoru Oshii had directed the first two Patlabor movies.
The title refers to the Patrol Labors used by the Tokyo police force in both movies.
Originally released in 1990 and 1993 respectively, theses films followed on from Oshii's original 7 part Patlabor OVA released in 1988.
This pack includes two...
Published on 18 Feb 2005 by I. Harper

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Great movies mirred by extremely poor quality DVD's.
I would avoid these DVD's like the plague if you want to be able to enjoy these great movies without offending your eyes. Truly I have not seen a worse DVD in terms of image quality; its probably just barely 360p. Almost worse is the aspect ratio, 4:3, which completely undersells the cinematic scope of these films - it should be 16:9 or nothing. I didn't even attempt to...
Published 1 month ago by Mr J.W.A.Walmsley


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the first film alone, 18 Feb 2005
By 
I. Harper (Bedford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
Before he directed the seminal Ghost in the Shell, Mamoru Oshii had directed the first two Patlabor movies.
The title refers to the Patrol Labors used by the Tokyo police force in both movies.
Originally released in 1990 and 1993 respectively, theses films followed on from Oshii's original 7 part Patlabor OVA released in 1988.
This pack includes two individual DVD cases, one for each movie, housed in a slipcase.
The original movie is a true masterpiece. Based in the year 1999 the rapid rising of the sea level has prompted Japan to build a dam complex to prevent the coastal city of Tokyo from disappearing under the sea. To aid the construction of the project Labors, mechanical exoskeletons, are created to increase productivity. But recently Labor has increased dramatically and the Patrol Labor division and the police must find out what or who are behind it.
It has the deep, philosophical narrative that we have come to expect from Oshii, but it is beautifully balanced with excellent action scenes and superb plot development. Throughout the film, as the police piece together what is happening, it has that fantastic chilling atmosphere that good thriller type anime has.
The animation is awesome, it was a big budget affair, and doesn't look remotely dated even today. The Labors are pretty original too as far as mecha designs go and the backdrops and scenery are incredibly convincing.
.
It really is a great film and deserves 6 stars really, and even non-anime film fans would appreciate this as a truly remarkable piece of film-making.
The second follows on from the first and is set in 2002. The destruction of a UN Labor team in South East Asia begins the build-up to a deadly terrorist plan that threatens overthrow both Japan's Military and Government and destabilise it's world position. With evidence of an impending military takeover, the scattered members of the original Patlabor team must disobey orders and regroup to defend the city from the terrorists.
Coming off the back of the original film you will have high hopes for this sequel. But I feel that you, like me, will be sadly disappointed. Whereas the first film was the perfect balance of narrative and action, the balance here is far more heavily weighted towards the narrative. The film has a very political bias and a different feel to the Patlabor division, which is good as it means that this film has it's own identity, but the dialogue is very long, deep and ponderous and generally slows the film down to much. The philosophical rambling, while generally quite interesting, just goes on and on to expense of some action or other plot device to move the film along.
The box claims that the soundtrack has been remixed in Dolby 5.1, but it hasn't, it only has a Dolby 2.1 (Front L & R and mono surround) soundtrack.
While I didn't find it boring, I certainly didn't enjoy it as much as the first. The animation is even better, the level of detail stunning. Overall I'd give this film 3.5 stars.
But I will give this box set 5 stars as it is owning just for the first movie alone with second as an added bonus. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent serious animation from Japanese visionary, 18 Sep 2003
This review is from: Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
For those who don't know, "Patlabor" ("Patrol Labor") is a late 80's Japanese animation series based on the lives of a team of police force specialised in "robot crimes" (to fight robot with robot). These 2 movies are just 2 stories that accompany the main series... so people who are new to the name may find it a bit difficult to take up at the beginning... (like watching the X-file movie without knowing who is Mulder or Scully ) though the good news is... you don't need to.
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood thing about this series is the big robot picture on the front cover. Yes it is a movie with robots but it is not a movie about robots. It is about a projected future (the films were made in 1989 and 1992) where the police are solving robot related crimes with robots. It is a POLICE DRAMA, not HIGH OCTANE ACTION. It is more NYPD Blues, not Lethal Weapon... if you get what I mean.
And that is what I like about the films. They are story driven (since they don't need to introduce the characters), and the stories are visions considering the time when they were made. Both films brought about potential problems that were faced when a society is relying more and more on machines and computers than human and where human interact more to a screen than real people. In a way though the robots haven't arrived yet, I'm sure you will find what happened in the movies had already happened in our world.
The films are beautifully made with a surreal and a bit apocalyptic atmosphere throughout. At times the movies are very poetic but at other times very down to earth. My recommendations are that do not watch this for fun. There's definitely going to be a lot of discussions after you watched them. You may not understand what it all means but it's a showcase of serious Japanese animation. Worth a place on any dvd shelf.
P.S. Would be nice to see the original TV series again...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - unless you go in expecting an action film, 9 Aug 2003
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This review is from: Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
It seems the biggest complaint levelled at this Anime is that it doesn't have enough action, and has too much talking. Which is, quite honestly, a bit like complaining that the Harry Potter books are too childish and be more realistic: you've completely missed the point, and target audience, of them. The films never set out as action films, and so they didn't end up that way - they're police dramas, albeit on a grand scale, and should be treated as such.
Patlabor 1, set in 1998 (the future when the anime was first written - think of it as an "alternate" 1998), sees a huge rise in labor-crime in Tokyo - labor being the effective term for mecha in this series. The problem becomes a crisis when unmanned labors start to go out of control for no apparent reason, and the film follows the efforts of Special Vehicles Unit Section 2 (A police unit designed specifically for dealing with Labor crimes), and more specifically the efforts of Division 2 of this force to ascertain the cause of the problem and remove it before the city degenerates into chaos.
Patlabor 2 is set in 2002, with most of the original crew from Division 2 now retired or in other jobs. Things are back to normal, with the Patlabors (Or Patrol Labors, to give them their full name) being called out only as often as might be expected of any specialist police division. Things take a turn for the worse however when the Tokyo Bay Bridge is bombed, and following events lead to mass panic within Tokyo. Once more it's up to Division 2 to try and deal with this threat to the peace.
Being police drama, both of these films concentrate mainly on the events leading up to the solving of the crime, rather than the action which follows. As such we get to explore the minds of the main characters, and each one proves to be much more well-developed than what most anime might be content to provide. Both films are littered with wonderfully evocative still shots, with the "camera" looking out at parts of Tokyo, usually while we listen to a conversation going on between those investigating the crime. The artwork throughout both is impressive, the backgrounds particularly, and the animation in both is good for the time in which the films were released (1989 and 1993). What will keep you hanging in both is a mixture of tension and waiting to find out who and what is causing the problem. Both follow a similar formula - a short shot of something not apparently linked to the rest of the film (at least, not at first), then the bulk of the film - the crime and subsequent investigative work, and finally a fairly short mecha-action sequence as the Patlabors work to deal with the problem. The films both contain many pertinent points, as well as references to religion, and these, combined with the excellent characterisation and crime-solving, lead to two truly brilliant Anime. Indeed, these are about as far from the typical westernised view of what Anime are all about as you could imagine. If you're looking for a great police drama, or simply an Anime which doesn't just stick to the traditional lines and involves more thought than action, then this is definitely for you. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a quick action fix, or you simply want to see some robots beating each other up with a thin plot to explain it, then you'll want to be ignoring this pack.
Thankfully, that's not what I was after, and I truly enjoyed these two films. I can't recommend them enough.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films ever!, 9 Oct 2003
This review is from: Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
This really is one of the best films that I have seen in a long time! Admittedly I only wanted to watch it after seeing the music video for Wamdue Project's Your the Reason.
The films may take a while to understand, I had to watch the 2nd film 3 times before I got what it all meant, but that’s no reason to dismiss it as rubbish! If anything it gets better the more times you see it!
These films may disappoint some people as it isn’t all about robots fighting, nor does it include any type of sex scene what so ever (thank god), it’s a political drama and an excellent one at that! But don’t get me wrong it’s not a boring film, no way; in fact if you get into the film as much as I did then there are a lot of times that you will be sat on the edge of your seat. I was going to try and outline some of the story but if I did then I know I wouldn’t do it any justice at all, it really is a film you have you have to see to know what I am saying!
The animation is very good as is the character development through out the film; Captain Goto is (in my view) by far the best character in both movies! The soundtrack is very good also; it really works well to set the mood of the scene.
In short this film is a must see for people who like animation, even for people who don’t as the story is just amazing! Let’s put it this way I let my friend who thinks anime & manga etc…. is completely pointless, watch both film and he really enjoyed them! So there you go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The movies that introduced me to Mamoru Oshii, 27 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
Back in the early 1990s Manga and Anime was becoming very popular and my brother was collecting alot of it on VHS tapes and his favorite out of the bunch just so happens to be "Patlabor: Mobile Police" so l watched it.

As a kid l absolutely loved it even if l didn't fully understand the complex plot at an young age, there was so many things l loved about Patlabor like the animation (hand drawn is always the best), the mecha designs, the characters, the action sequences and storytelling are just fantastic. There are even scenes that l found to be really chilling and gripping, If theres anyone that's pushing the limits of anime it's Mamoru Oshii.

Patlabor 2 is another great example of Oshii's talents, this movie may have a problem with pacing for the average anime fan but it's a rewarding experience. Patlabor 2 is more concerned with character development and political background, their are even mentioning of several real-life disasters about the cold war propaganda. It's alot like a detective, film noir movie and at times it's like your not watching an animation at all.

If you are a fan of Oshii without a doubt you need these masterpieces in your collection, if you are an average anime fan give Patlabor a shot, its the mecha concept in our modern world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing special edition!, 24 Sep 2009
By 
Gerry (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Patlabor 1 and 2 [DVD] (DVD)
This is one anime you must have, it was was done by the director Mamoru Oshhi "Ghost in the shell" both films are amazing and both are full special editions. You get like 2 200 odd page books with artwork and storyboards as well.
Superb collection!!!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Great movies mirred by extremely poor quality DVD's., 16 July 2014
This review is from: Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
I would avoid these DVD's like the plague if you want to be able to enjoy these great movies without offending your eyes. Truly I have not seen a worse DVD in terms of image quality; its probably just barely 360p. Almost worse is the aspect ratio, 4:3, which completely undersells the cinematic scope of these films - it should be 16:9 or nothing. I didn't even attempt to watch these movies in this small boxy and blurry excuse for a presentation - I would suggest either importing other versions from the likes of America or Japan if you can play them and they're affordable or solicit these movies through other means, as they are both great (especially the first one).
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3.0 out of 5 stars 1 Good, 2 Not., 14 April 2014
By 
N. Merchant (south east UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
The first DVD, mobile police is fantastic. The story is clever & the artwork is amazing. The action goes very well with the plot & makes it one of the better anime of that time. Part 2-the movie, however, is disappointing. The animation is still great but the plot is so slow. The overdone intrigue makes the film more like a 20 page flip book. Endless still moments where nothing happens. Part 1 is a classic. Part 2 was a let down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
Bought as a xmas gift for my son who was happy with it Had to buy as 2nd-hand as not reissued since first out.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Metal (but sometimes heavy going), 9 Oct 2003
This review is from: Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD] (DVD)
I love Patlabor, but I'm not sure I love the Patlabor movies. The original series, OAVs and manga strips all concentrated on the mismatched lunatics of Special Vehicles Division 2, as they faced adversity every episode in their usual hapless way. They had charm and a touch of comedy in bundles, enough to make you a dedicated fan even though it wasn't anything particularly ground-breaking at the time (and even looks a bit dated now).
So when you watch the movies you can't help but feel a bit disappointed.
The first film (usually called Patlabor "1") is more of a serious take. The new Hyper Operating System (HOS) for Labors becomes a serious threat, when it turns out to be the brainchild of an insane genius which will drive Labors berserk, given the right conditions. But with the Government and the Heavy Industry Sector trying to cover up the impending threat, it's up to Captain Goto's Second Section to protect Tokyo, and possibly even the world from possible disaster - even if it means breaking the very law they swore to uphold!
The second film, Patlabor 2, is a more sombre piece, focusing on the paranoia and hysteria caused by a terrorist group as it pits the military against the police, and even threatens to topple the government itself.
It has to be said that while Patlabor 1 is OK as a movie because all the gang is still there and as manic as ever, the pace has slowed right down during parts of the film, possibly detracting from the overall production. However on its own this film would still deserve a good four stars for its quality and entertainment value. But I just can't say the same of Patlabor 2. It is a triumph of animation but not much else. Nearly every character we know is missing for the bulk of the film, the action is almost nonexistent until the last ten minutes, and the main protagonists, even Captain Goto (usually good for a laugh with his gloomy, deadpan sneakiness) spend far too much time philosophising to actually get out and do anything. At some stages I actually find myself looking at that counter to see just how much longer the film is going to go on for. This film is not a favourite even for big fans of the series, and I would only own it for the sake of completeness. Probably worth 2 stars on its own.
Overall verdict: Disappointing, with not a lot of action or charm. But at the asking price it's still very good value for what you are getting, and it's worth the money for Patlabor 1 alone. Three stars for the whole lot, mostly because of Patlabor 2.
Keep your eyes open for the third (and final) film, "Patlabor WXIII" for a movie that actually got the treatment it deserved. You will not regret it.
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Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD]
Patlabor 1 And 2 [1989] [DVD] by Mamoru Oshii (DVD - 2003)
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