Batteries Not Included (1987)

Day: January 19th, Movie: 19

You could tell this movie was made in the 1980s.

While it did feel a little dated, and the film was much like a ton of other family friendly, action-adventure movies from the time frame, Batteries Not Included, from Amblin Entertainment, was a fun watch and had a couple of surprisingly deeper moments.

According to IMDB, “A group of tenants in an apartment block are being forced to move out so that it can be demolished. The tenants are reluctant to move, so the developers hire a local gang to ‘persuade’ them to leave. Fortunately, visiting alien mechanical life-forms come to town. When they befriend the tenants, the aliens use their extraterrestrial abilities to defeat the developers”

The older couple who worked in the café in the building, Frank and Faye, were played by Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy. This is one of the reasons why the film is able to succeed. You have to classic actors in the lead roles and you can make many stories watchable. They were even given a pretty surprisingly deep storyline to add to the trouble they faced with the developers. Frank and Faye had a child who had died and Faye was in denial, going as far as calling one of the gang members by their son’s name. It was an unexpected piece to the script that did to need to be included, but made the film for me.

The little robotic aliens were cute and helpful. I did not relate to them as much as I had done with other stranded aliens such as E.T. The lack of a speaking character did limit what could be done with the robots.

The cast included other stars such as Dennis Boutsikaris, Frank McRae, Elizabeth Peña, Doris Belack, Michael Carmine, John Pankow, Tom Aldridge, Wendy Schaal, MacIntyre Dixon, and Michael Greene.

Produced by Steven Spielberg, Batteries Not Included was much like a lot of Spielberg’s early films. It was a fine story with a few very notable moments and scenes. There was some good humor and Cronyn and Tandy were very charming and entertaining.

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