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*batteries not included More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A film I searched for years...

10/10
Author: everanju from Sri Lanka
13 April 2009

I saw this film for the first time back in the mid 90's when i was just a kid. And that led me searching for this movie for good 13 or 14 years coz I couldn't remember the name and only thing I knew was that Spielberg did it. Back then I was living in a area where the technological advances were minimal and very low recourses and very little international exposure. But I knew Spielberg because of E.T and Indiana Jones which I watched before this film. And just like those this one garbed my childhood imaginations and became one of the favorites.

Yes its not a great movie if you compare it with E.T or a Dark knight... But every genre or every type of creation has its audience. It might not win the hearts of the judges at CANNES or Oscars but defiantly it will win hearts of those kids and people who are young at heart and who can enjoy a sweetness of a film.

I rate it a ten coz I loved it so much and coz I searched it for years and I was so happy to find it.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Charming and Fairly Witty

8/10
Author: AJ-92 from AKRON, OH, USA
17 June 2001

I loved this movie when I first saw it. I still like it a lot, but nowhere near as much as I used to. The comedy and cute little spaceship thingies is what drew me into "*Batteries Not Included." This is like "E.T." in a more cute and cuddly way. In this nice family flick, elderly inhabitants of an apartment find small spaceship-looking creatures in their home, but the secret can't be kept for long. Punks are forcing people out of their apartments, including our main stars. Can they keep their place for long? "Dun dun...." If you like funny family films or are looking for a flick to keep your kids entertained, this will work for you. But if you are a fan of "E.T." and expect the exact same here (I don't like the flick, but I understand its so-called "superiority"), look elsewhere.

8/10

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3 out of 6 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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3 out of 6 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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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

*batteries not included but Jessica and Hume are included.

9/10
Author: Rodrigo Amaro (rodrigo882008@hotmail.com) from São Paulo, Brazil
1 April 2010

When "*batteries not included" was released many critics panned this movie saying that "the mix between "Cocoon" and "E.T." didn't resulted a great movie as these". In one hand I agree with them in this matter. This film doesn't have the adventure side that "Cocoon" and "E.T." had, because it's centered in one place, it doesn't have much action and it has many dialogs. But on the other hand I think that "*batteries not included" it's a good movie, features the great performances by the couple Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, and the supporting cast are also great. Not only that. It is a watchful little movie way better than today movies.

Here, a group of tenants are forced to move out of their building so that it can be demolished and transformed into a magnificent project. Despite the company pays them to move out they don't want to leave the place. Of course it's the only place they know. But suddenly aliens (in tiny little robots form) show up and help Tandy, Cronyn, Dennis Boutsikaris, Elizabeth Peña and Frank McRae to defeat the developers of the new construction.

Best things in the movie: all the scenes between Jessica and Hume (they're just wonderful together in everything, in real life and on screen life); the funny aliens moments specially when they electrocutes Carlos (Michael Carmine, very good actor who unfortunately didn't live enough to do more movies); and the effective special effects.

If the movie wasn't centered only in the building (when it moves forward to the city one hour has passed and many people might get very tired of watching) and the presence of a more stronger and funny plot was presented it could be a greater movie than it is. Highly recommended. 9/10

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1 out of 3 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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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One of the most compelling movies I have seen.

Author: ladibug340 from Murphy, North Carolina
20 February 2001

Matthews Robbins does an excellent job directing the characters in this way out movie about a group of destitute people fighting to prevent the destruction of their Chicago apartment building in the mist of progress. Faced with the taunts and threats of the developers, five families are forced to take a stand. Help comes from two tiny "living" spaceships that give birth to three more, one of which "dies" and is brought back to life by an ex-boxer who has not spoken in years after his failure in his career. With the help of the outsiders, the diner on the ground floor of the apartment building is able to continue running even after it is destroyed by agents for the developers. Although helpful, the "babies" find themselves in pancake batter and replacing the meat in hamburgers! A hilarious film. A must see by all who have a tender heart!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Old people and aliens...perfect box office combo?

8/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
5 January 2013

I'm guessing that following the success of COCOON, Hollywood producers saw the potential of mixing old-timers with aliens, hence we get BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED. Despite the presence of the geriatrics in the cast, it's a children's film through and through, an old-fashioned fable about tenants in a run-down housing block trying to hold out against greedy developers and the little aliens that come to help them.

I don't usually 'do' sentimental films, but I'll make an exception for this one: it's a solid piece of entertainment that quite often reaches magical levels. Certainly the aliens themselves are wonderful creations; little UFOs who whizz around the screen and commit all sorts of mischief. The special effects are exemplary and hold up to this day, even by modern standards.

The cast are faultless; Jessica Tandy is a given, but kudos to the producers for hiring SHADOW OF A DOUBT's Hume Cronyn, who has a kind of crusty charm all his own. The highlight, for me, is Michael Carmine's villainous Carlos, who's given much more characterisation (and who elicits far more sympathy) than you might expect from a Hollywood bad guy.

Yes, BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED is twee, sentimental and silly, and totally unrealistic with it. Needless to say, Spielberg's fingerprints are all over it. Nevertheless, it still works when you watch it, even today, as a touching fable. One of the things I liked most about it is that it has great characterisation for an effects film; all of the people living in the apartment block have their own story arcs. Plus, the inclusion of the dementia sub-plot gives it an adult, bittersweet taste missing from your usual kid's flick.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great old-timers Comedy

7/10
Author: Bill Goode from Los Angeles
23 June 2004

I saw this film a long time ago when in first came out in theatres and just saw it again on DVD. It is very funny. It was great to see long-time veteran actors as Hume Cronyn & Jessica Tandy putting out such great old style comedy, not the stuff today that tests the censors. Just good clean fun. Nothing here to offend anyone, as it's just poking fun at the sci-fi.

You don't see much of this style of comedy anymore. Now days comedy is built around sex, romance or race. But the comedy here is centered on the sci-fi of the film. Great relief to get away from socio-political-sex issues. Anyone could enjoy this film. Young people can enjoy the sci-fi while older people can identify with the age of the characters. All can enjoy the comedy.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Sweetness at its best

Author: spost8260 from San Pablo, CA
26 November 2002

People put too much emphasis on the fact that Spielberg had something to do with this film. So what? I congratulate him for it! He's a gifted man that I sincerely appreciate! He knows a good thing when he see's it (or does it). This film is as sweet as they come. My favorite part of the entire project was the message that Capitolism CAN be overcome if you really believe you can do it. It was all about "answered prayers"...all the tennent's said that they had prayed for a miracle. So it was an unothodox miracle? Isnt film supposed to be about fantasy? Youre kids are going to love this, if they still too small to have had their minds burned out on video games, yet. The adults will love the messages sent out by this obscure little venture. All in all, its not a waste of film OR time -- you are bound to find something about it to love.

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