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*batteries not included More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

This movie does have charm!

10/10
Author: (jijotomyp@hotmail.com) from India
27 January 2006

I rented this movie on a tape way back in 1990 from the local store. I watched it with a couple of my cousins. Even now when we get together, we talk about this movie.

The movie is so simple. Like Oscar Wilde's short stories. It doesn't jolt you or thrill you. It moves you. So you remember it for a long time to come.

Most of the scenes have faded from my mind's screen but the feeling lingers. Like the cookies my Granny used to bake.

Three things that make this movie my favorite: The story (no one has tried to make it complicated). The characters (People we see every day especially in the 80's). The Aliens (I wouldn't want to call them that!).

Do I want to watch it once again? Yes, but I might not. I'm afraid my grown-up mind would put on a critic's glass and the magic might get lost.

"Batteries not Included" definitely had Charm! Or else I wouldn't be searching for it on the net and writing my comment when I have hundreds of things to do.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A Nice Clear Cut Enjoyable Movie (Possible Spoilers)

7/10
Author: mwendel (mr.michael.wendel@gmail.com) from Kings Park, NY
20 December 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Every time I see this film, in part or in whole, I enjoy it thoroughly. It's not a movie where the acting makes me cringe, or there's a character that makes me go "I've seen this guy a million times over". I believe the characters are good and solid. The scenario (not the outcome) is plausible and the situation I am sure many people in their lifetimes have been in.

The movie, I believe, besides being designed to entertain both children and adults alike, was made to make the adults think about what's going on in the world at large: -Are all the big capitalists destroying all our links to the past and the "good old" times, in the name of greed? - Can the residents of a community, no matter how large or small, be heard when they band together and cry out? Many of you may feel that I am reaching but, I think its these larger aspects in some cases that gets a film of this nature made and makes it more appealing on the drawing board. (Plus, I think the answer to both questions is yes.) But enough of the socio-political analysis of the film.

Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy give strong solid performances as an aging couple with very real problems in a modern world. I think the issues they have are not uncommon among our aging population and make it a movie that both they and their children can relate to (more analysis, sorry). Their characters are lovable and crushing simultaneously, as Jessica Tandy's character is ill with what I believe was Alzheimer's and Hume Cronyn did the best not to burst the bubble she had wrapped herself in as a result.

With a strong supporting cast of unknowns playing likeable people with believable character flaws, the movies really gains strength. You really take a liking to all of these characters as they just struggle to maintain their everyday life in the play they want to live in. And none of these characters will scare the kids.

Then enter in the X factor - cute palm sized robots that come from who knows where - nor does anyone really care I think. I found these robots to be unique and disgustingly cute - no where before can I recall in all the movies I've watched, have a seen something similar - nor since either. These robots are curious, intelligent, and very entertaining to watch. Additionally, they save the day in the movie. (More analysis) They prevent the movie from becoming an overbearingly strong socio-political movie about the tactics and behaviors of big business versus the small individuals that is constantly replayed over and over in our society everyday.

Either way, its some classic actors, some unknown supporting actors and some very cute robots all coming together to make a film that can be watched over and over for many reasons by both young and old alike.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Heartwarming & Sad

10/10
Author: Cylex from England
12 August 2001

I love a good tearjerker & this is one of the best. The tenants are at the heart of this. They are all well played, especially Faye (Jessica Tandy) & Frank (Hume Cronyn)The visiting spacecraft are an added delight. The score is brilliant. 8/10

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"Good 80's Sci-Fi Flick!"

6/10
Author: gwnightscream from United States
4 March 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Elizabeth Pena, Dennis Boutsikaris, Michael Carmine and Frank McRae star in this 1987 sci-fi film. This tells of Frank (Cronyn) and his wife, Fay (Tandy) who have been evicted from their apartment building and diner by a developer. Their neighbor tenants, Marisa (Pena), a pregnant Latina, Mason (Boutsikaris), an aspiring artist and Harry (McRae), an ex-boxer are also in despair. Soon, they're helped by mini spaceships that have the ability to fix things. The late, Carmine plays Carlos, a thug who tries to help rid the tenants. I've liked this film since I was a kid, the cast is great, there's neat effects and James Horner's score is excellent as usual. I recommend this good 80's sci-fi flick.

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Always Worth Watching Again

10/10
Author: Loretta Yeo from United States
6 August 2016

In looking at other reviews I was amazed how many first saw "*batteries not included" as kids. I was 33 years old in 1986, and I got it on Beta, then LaserDisc before I bought the DVD. This is a movie you watch when you're in the doldrums because it will definitely cheer you up.

Yes, all the performances are great. Yes, the model filming by ILM is perfect - reality trumps computer generated images hands down; just look at the pudgy ENTERPRISE in the CBS "updates" of "Star Trek."

Where I disagree with some reviewers is in the plot. I think it is substantial enough to get you involved in the story, and using your brain and heart. Most of us don't need to be spoon-fed with too much detail; in fact data overload can rob you of the chance to imagine.

While I too love Spielberg's films, it would never have occurred to me to rank any of them as "not good," especially this one. While "Schindler's List" is amazing, honestly, can you watch it several times a year? Probably not, because it's just too intense. "ET" is one of those movies we can lip-sync the dialog while watching, we've seen it so often. But "*batteries not included" always seems new and fresh.

Next time you watch, see how the demolition/construction workers interact with the residents of 817 East 8th Street.

I would be more likely to recommend this movie to adults, although children can get the basics of it.

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The Sentimental Touch of Spielberg

6/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
22 May 2016

Apartment block tenants seek the aid of alien mechanical life-forms to save their building from demolition.

This story started out as something destined for "Amazing Stories", and you can tell that it maintained the feel when expanded in length. It still has that sentimental nature Spielberg loves and packed the show with, and it just has that sort of light-hearted fantasy you don't see very often.

Aside from the two leads -- Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy -- the cast is largely unknown, and that may not be a bad thing (though it is disappointing that they didn't go on to become bigger names). This isn't a "star" film, it's about regular people helping each other out.

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Batteries Included.

6/10
Author: Python Hyena from Canada
23 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Batteries Not Included (1987): Dir: Matthew Robbins / Cast: Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Elizabeth Pena, Frank McRae, Michael Carmine: Inventive visual spectacle that is basically recycling E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. These little disc shape creatures not only operate on their own but teamwork seems to be the prime function. Five people are threatened when a real estate developer wishes to demolish their home. They refuse to leave and these tiny creatures appear and provide friendship. Conclusion demonstrates these creatures at their best. Director Matthew Robbins does a fine job but the real estate developers are your standard villains. The screenplay is saved only by the presence of the gifted Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy. They steal the film and witness the spectacular in the climax but beyond that they are a real life married couple, which certainly translates into making their characters real and believable from an emotional standpoint. Supporting roles are either other depressed residents of the building or the idiot developers who wish to tear their home down. They come off as the standard thugs with no personalty to save their life, or the film. While the film is nothing compared to E.T, it still has its charm as well as inventive visual elements that will certainly entertain younger viewers who will likely marvel at the creation. Score: 6 / 10

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This movie will make you believe in miracles!

7/10
Author: OllieSuave-007 from California, USA
19 February 2015

This movie will definitely make you suspend reality and take a trip inside some imaginative fun, where five tenants faces eviction when their beloved apartment is about to be demolished. The developers hire a local gang to force them to leave, but, visiting outer space aliens in the form of miniature flying saucers visit the tenants and use their powers to help them.

I remember watching this movie on and off when I was a kid and really enjoyed seeing those miniature flying saucers mingling in with the humans and helping them in any way they can. The special effects team did a great job in making the aliens believable and Matthew Robbins did a pretty nice job directing, keeping the story going at a fairly fast pace, though, the plot is pretty basic with few twists.

Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy had great chemistry together and made great character leads. I did, though, wished more emphasis were placed on Michael Carmine and Elizabeth Pena and wished there were a little more action coming from the aliens. It would have made the plot a bit more exciting.

But, overall, this is still a pretty nice film and is fine for the entire family. It is imaginative and out-of-this-world, but will make you have faith in miracles.

Grade B-

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Good

7/10
Author: Harriet Deltubbo from United States
22 August 2014

Apartment block tenants seek the aid of alien mechanical life-forms to save their building from demolition. My first impression: From an artistic standpoint, there were some plot elements and character developments I didn't think were totally needed. They do however drive the story, which seemed to be their purpose, so I can accept them. My second impression: It will bring you to tears and make you laugh. My third impression: The acting is very effective. And finally, my fourth impression: This kind of sentimental character piece needs a tight focus so all of the nuances of the characters shine through. The characters in this film have a lot of depth, and that makes all the difference.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Uplifting story about a group of apartment dwellers...

7/10
Author: dwpollar from Evansville, Indiana USA
11 November 2006

1st watched 11/11/2006 - 7 out of 10(Dir-Matthew Robbins): Uplifting story about a group of apartment dwellers who don't want to leave their building while the neighborhood around them is leveled so that a new business complex can be built. After prayers and wishes are offered up to the heavens, a couple of electricity-needing otherworldly miniature spacecrafts come to their assistance by fixing things after getting what they need. The bad guy in the story works for the tycoon putting up the new highrises and first offers them money to leave their residences then starts destroying their properties to bully them into leaving. The group who want to stay is led by the Hume Cronyn character who owns a restaurant, that's on the 1st floor of the building, with his alzheimer-ridden wife played by Jessica Tandy. They make a great couple as always with the supporting players layering on enough neediness to keep the viewer routing for them. This is a forgotten classic of a movie that was overlooked in the Spielberg-hyped era and if I remember right it was advertised as being another Close-encounteresque type of movie when it weighs much more heavily on the human side. One of the executive producers was Spielberg, so the advertising was probably trying to cash in on that. Definitely worth another look if you hadn't seen it in awhile because it's well done from beginning to end and is a thought provoking essay into believing in your dreams and not letting go.

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