Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Bandai Visual
- MSRP: ¥9800
- Running time: 99
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Patlabor
Patlabor The Movie
September 19, 2005
Patlabor The Movie
What They SayThe Review!
© Bandai Visual
Packaging & Extras
The disc, which has no artwork, is supplied in a regular Amaray case. The front image is actually a photo ? similar in style to some of the soundtrack CDs. Upon close-up, the props in the photo has a ?plastic? look to it and is not very good. Also included is a 20 page colour booklet, featuring interviews (in Japanese text) with the main characters and crew. The interviews mainly concern the new audio remix.
The DVD loads immediately to a static screen showing links to all the options: 3 trailers, chapter select submenu (about 30 chapters), DVD information and 2 play options - one for each audio setting (interchangeable during play).
The picture quality is sharp and clear throughout, even on a PC monitor. VERY close examination does reveal minor flaws: Frame by frame viewing revealed a case of visible compression artefacts (small grains around contrasting lines) in a scene near the start involving heavy gunfire. It is not noticeable under normal playback.
Extremely minor ghosting occurs throughout the film, but it is only between about 2 adjacent frames, so again, not noticeable under normal playback. It is not the normal type of ghosting, since the ?ghost? left behind when a frame changes is a faint white colour e.g. in a scene near the start, where a character?s head moves, a faint, white line is left behind where the position of the head used to be. In fact, this was the only time where this ghosting was visible under normal playback.
Because of the age of the film, there are very fine scratches and grains on the image, on average, one every 4 seconds. They are not visually distracting.
The encoded video is anamorphic but switches between progressive and interlaced. All panning shots and fast scenes are progressive while still scenes (e.g. just lip movements) are interlaced. It is done very well and avoids the ?jagged? edge effect seen with interlaced video, so generally, the whole film looks progressive.
The colour adjustment is just right. There are lots of scenes featuring dark shadows against very bright skylines, and these show no over or under saturation, making every detail visible.
Finally, the layer switch is sensibly placed between two still scenes, so it should not be noticeable on even slower switching players.
Content (No story spoilers)
Upon first viewing, I thought this was below average. The film introduces A LOT of characters, and not having seen the TV series, it became confusing, as it did not focus on a particular character. The character relationships were developed during the series and this film just follows on from that. Several characters have been included possibly to satisfy fans of the series, making the film even more disjointed. This combined with the slow pace made for a boring viewing.
However, it becomes a lot better with repeat viewing. Once you become familiar with the characters, the subtle story can be appreciated. Set in the near future, the film follows the investigation of giant labour robots that suddenly go berserk and run riot. What is unique is that the investigation is followed from two different points of view. One is by an experienced detective who takes a rather philosophical approach and the other is by a young police officer with a more technical approach. The mood of the film varies with the two characters, but the film does well in blending the slow, beautiful scenes of derelict Tokyo, associated with the detective, to the brash approach by the officer.
It is cut by brief scenes of humour, where the quirkiness of the characters are revealed, sometimes causing them to ?super deform? in appearance. These seem strange considering the serious nature of the film, but they give good clues towards the nature of the characters for those who have not seen the series.
This DVD contains a new audio track recorded in 1998, with the dialogue re-recorded using the same actors from the original 1989 version. The differences are minor, but it is quite an improvement. Dialogue-wise, the characters now, put simply, sound better ? more mature and less annoying. A particular improvement is with the emotional expressions, which now sound more realistic (e.g. when crying, when shocked, when about to eat the tomato etc). The music has also been slightly re-mixed. More instruments are used, so sounds less monotonous than the original. The 5.1 audio also highlights more of the subtle background sounds. Both audio tracks are encoded at 448 kbit/s.
Original Japanese Language,Dolby Surround· Re-recorded Japanese Language Dolby 5.1,3 Trailers,20 page booklet
1. Power DVD 3.0, Pioneer A103, Samsung SyncMaster 700s
2. Sony KV-14 Trinitron, Sony DVP-F11