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*batteries not included is a very underrated movie, especially among reviewers on the IMDb. The pros, such as Roger Ebert seem to give it some respect (along with 3 thumbs up). There was nothing sugar coated about the performances of the 5 main characters in *batteries not included. Jessica Tandy gives one of the best performances of her career as Faye Riley who appears to be in the early-to-mid stages of Alzheimer's disease. Hume Cronyn is Faye's husband Frank, owner of a small diner with no customers. Elizabeth Peña is Marisa Esteval, a single soon-to-be mother who clings to her statue of the Virgin Mary for what little hope she has. Dennis Boutsikaris is the cynical artist/painter Mason Baylor, who has a heart as big as his artistic talent, yet no one other than Marisa seems to acknowledge his talent. Finally there's Frank McRae as the former boxer extraordinaire Harry Noble, now living in the basement of the building that houses each character and the Riley's diner. Oh... Harry watches way too much TV... especially the commercials. His only lines (which were few) in this movie were lines from commercials. This movie represents a cross section of people who are on the verge of losing their homes to a real estate developer, who will stop at nothing to get them out of their building. After throwing large sums of money at them (to no avail), the developer hires Carlos (Michael Carmine) to run them out using whatever means are necessary, including force. The characters are developed to the point that you actually care for all 5 of them. Just when it looks hopeless for our friends, small spaceships, compliments of Industrial Light and Magic show up and start fixing everything. And flipping burgers in Riley's Dinner. They also wash dishes, repair broken Virgin Mary statues and stopwatches and they replicate using spare pots and pans and electrical appliances, fused together by at least 1.21 gigawatt's of electricity. Although the aliens are portrayed as mechanical beings with heart, they certainly give hope to the residents, and help bind them together. The visual effects are a treat... especially for those of us who have tired of CGI effects that look more like a cartoon than reality. There's something about filming a real model, built by human hands against a blue screen, then matting it into the film that makes it look more realistic than computer animated visuals. Many have written that this movie tries to suck the viewer in, using emotional techniques, as opposed to making it an intellectual masterpiece. I believe it takes more talent to get the audience to emotionally invest themselves in a movie than to create eye candy. Thanks to great acting, a decent-enough script, good cinematography and an equally emotional score from James Horner, this picture works in every way... even 20 years later. If you haven't seen this movie in 20 years, go ahead and give it a spin. It's as good today as it was in 1987! Prices may vary in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico...
This film does, as suggested, bear semlence to Cocoon, however it contains a far richer storyline and a generally superior level of acting. This film while not specifically being a comedy tells a relativly amusing story of a group of residents of an old building, targeted for demolition, visited by alien 'devices' (the nature of which remain undisclosed throughout), who help them by fixing everything in their path in exchange for some power and spare parts. As for the level of comedy, well it depends on your sense of humour, I certainly found the funny bits, well, funny, and not in the usual 'in your face' american comedy style.
A true classic. This was the first film I ever saw, and it has stayed
my favorite for almost 17 years! Obviously, some may hate it, and some
may love it, but its one of those films you have to judge for yourself.
OK, so, perhaps the storyline is a bit thin, predictable and slightly
unbelievable, but, what film isn't? There are more good points than bad
(I'm not giving the good ones away, you'll have to see them for
yourselves!) It could do with a bit of updating, maybe a newer version
could cover up plot holes and dodgy script, but then it would lose all
its charm. And Batteries Not Included definitely has charm,
In my opinion it should be up there with Star Wars and E.T as a cult classic. It'll make you laugh, cry and hate the bad guy.
I definitely recommend it! Go watch it!
This movie sticks out of my memory from my childhood, because I remember it as a heart-warming tale, touching and tender. Today, I still like it, it continues to be a sweet story about ordinary people who find the extraordinary. Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn are very good, and make the acting juice of this movie. Liked it, and am still able to see it anytime!
I like this movie a lot. Without getting too corny, I would even go out on a limb and say that it's a bit magical. It's a feel good movie that doesn't get too sentimental or campy. The cast does a average job with their average roles. Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn do a good job as the feisty tenants that wouldn't move out. The DVD release of this movie really doesn't have any extras so if you can score it cheap on video then I suggest you do so. That's what I did anyway. Spielberg proves once again that he is the master of the family movie. Interesting and heartwarming for the adults, special effects and fun for the kids. Bottom Line: This movie isn't really looked upon as a classic or anything but it's good to have on the shelf to watch every once and awhile.
While I realize that this movie has been blasted as being one of Spielberg's
low points, it does have it's strongpoints.
First and foremost, this movie contains stronger characters (and places more emphasis on them) than most popcorn movies of today. If only a movie like TOMB RAIDER or MUMMY RETURNS (or even CATS & DOGS) were to pay as much attention to characterization!
The sci-fi elements, while cheesy, actually serve a purpose, and work quite well within the framework of the story. It's essentially a feature-length episode of "AMAZING STORIES."
Ultimately, this is a small movie with a small scope and intimate feel. Is it dated? Yes. Is it perfect? No. But it is a charming little movie that might be worth a second look.
This is a fun movie if you're not looking for heavy philosophy and just want some bubblegum for the eyes. Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy are brilliant - he as the husband who's watching his wife's mind deteriorate, she as the "living in the past" wife. My favourite part is when Carlos walks into the hut on top of the building. The expression on his face when he comes out is priceless.
Okay, *batteries not included is not a great film. It's not meant to be!
The makers of this movie were obviously not trying to win any awards, but
make a sweet movie for all ages about love, acceptance, friendship and
Frank and Faye Riley (Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy)own the cafe that's located on the first floor of the building they live in. Among the other tenants is a former boxer (Frank McRae), a pregnant woman (Elizabeth Pena) and a starving artist (Dennis Boutsikaris). They band together and try to stop an angry developer (John Pankow) and his assistant (Michael Carmine (II)) out to run them from the building. They're assisted by some mechanical aliens and discover the meaning of forgiveness and family, acceptance and love.
There is always hope when people are in desperate need of help. Either it may come from the heaven or may not be. But the film is not just with the hope. Its beauty is with characters it has. The mad woman and her husband, the pregnant girl left by the boyfriend, the artist left by the girl friend and a rowdy who is an orphan and longing for somebody who can say "bobbie my little boy". I like it very much. I loved the movie when I was a school going boy ten years ago. I like it the same way now too.
I must admit, I was a kid when this movie came out, but I never saw it
as a kid. I watched it for the first time today--with 20 intervening
years since the film came out. And I think that perspective shines a
new light into this old chestnut.
If you'll look at the writing credits, you'll notice that the head writer is none other than one Brad Bird, who today works for Pixar. *Batteries Not Included might be sappy for a Spielberg flick, but it is right on target for Brad Bird. Rather than comparing it to E.T. or Cocoon, this movie is more properly compared to The Iron Giant and Toy Story--two movies that successfully bring out the humanity in inanimate objects.
If this movie came out in 2007 instead of 1987, you'd probably see a Pixar logo on the trailer. For now, just pretend it's computer animated and enjoy the show!
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