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*Batteries Not Included [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)

4.4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: March 8 2016
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B019PQ0IME
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,619 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

When an unscrupulous real estate developer sends thugs to get rid of the last five tenants of a deteriorating apartment building, they need a miracle to save their building from demolition.

Amazon.ca

Quite possibly the nadir of Steven Spielberg's career as a producer, this piece of sentimental junk from 1987 concerns five little spacecraft which arrive on Earth just in time to help out some New Yorkers getting kicked out of a tenement. The script's goo just sticks to the viewer, and the cast looks silly by trying not to be silly. You get the feeling that Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment was pretty much throwing stuff at the wall to see what would hang there, and they came up with this ridiculous thing. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I can't help but believe that *Batteries Not Included would never have been made without the imprimatur of Steven Spielberg stamped upon it. It's a wonderful film, but it couldn't have made for an easy pitch: we've got a group of disparate characters trying to save their run-down building from demolition by your basic big bad developer, and the miracle they all hope for comes in the form of these little alien gizmos -- who not only go around fixing things, they also reproduce. I just don't see a lot of Hollywood studio blowhards jumping up and down in excitement over such a wacky idea. With Spielberg being Spielberg, though, the project was approved, and the end result is a film that delivers a rather amazing amount of heartfelt emotion.

I'm not saying it's Spielberg's best, mind you, not by a long shot, but this little film is disarmingly good. Many a viewer will go in expecting something a little silly, maybe some sort of Gremlins-like story; a half hour into it, that viewer will almost certainly be wondering when the fun is going to start. You can't help but have an almost immediate connection with all of the characters, though. They are surrounded by destruction, as their building is the last one standing in the way of redevelopment by a stereotypically greedy businessman who doesn't care how his goons get the people out -- as long as they get them out. Frank Riley (Hume Cronyn) stands to lose his home and his business -- and he already has the extra burden of looking after his wife Faye (Jessica Tandy), who is constantly confused due to senility and an emotional tragedy from the past. I'll just tell you right now -- that Jessica Tandy is a true actress; her amazing performance here makes her the heart and soul of the film.
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Format: DVD
When you think about it, there aren't too many movies with a premise like this one. I mean, robot aliens who resemble UFOs that can procreate, raise families, and repair anything at super speed? Pretty unusual.
Something else unusual is that the plot doesn't focus on the robots but the humans who are each trying to hang on to their little piece of home. The robots offer assistance to the main characters and add some comic relief, but the story centers on the human element. The story is well-told and unfolds at the right pace. I thought the acting was also pretty good.
There's one last thing worth mentioning. I notice that the video quality has an odd fuzziness to it. It's barely noticeable and not terribly distracting but potential viewers should be made aware of it. Personally it did nothing to detract from my enjoyment of the movie.
This film was made in 1987 so don't expect the special effects to be impressive by today's standards. Remember that, suspend disbelief, and you'll find *Batteries Not Included to be an entertaining experience.
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Format: Blu-ray
*batteries not included [1987 / 2016] [Blu-ray] [US release] Five Ordinary People Need A Miracle! Then One Night Faye Riley Left The Window Open!

*batteries not included is a delightful fantasy for the whole family presented by Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg. When an unscrupulous real estate developer sends thugs to get rid of the last five tenants of a deteriorating apartment building, they need a miracle to save their building from demolition. One night, when all hope seems lost, tiny visitors from outer space mysteriously glide through their windows and begin to turn the tide with their magical powers. Filled with dazzling special effects, this amazing story of intergalactic warmth stars the acclaimed husband-and-wife team of Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy as a pair of feisty long-term tenants whose faith is rewarded in ways they never expected.

FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: Saturn Awards: Win: Best Actress for Jessica Tandy. Nominated: Best Fantasy Film. Young Artist Awards: Win: Best Family Motion Picture for a Comedy. Principal photography started in New York in August 1986, but location scouting began almost a year before. "Since the story called for a solitary building amidst rubble," explained producer Ronald Schwary, "we had to find a vacant lot with burned-out buildings all around it. We finally settled on an actual building on 8th Street between Avenues C and D on New York's Lower East Side (the building no longer stands, and was probably located on the site of the current Housing Bureau substation, or the building to the east, approx. 40°43'27.33'N 73°58'40.49'W. Production designer Ted Haworth designed a three-sided, four-story tenement facade and oversaw its construction on a location that covered most of a city block.
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Format: VHS Tape
When I saw this movie as an early teen, I didn't understand that Executive Producer was a title usually handed out for financial backing or the like, but usually not for an active contribution to a film. The "Executive" makes it doubly so, but the name Spielberg was more than enough to get people in their seats in 1987. I was more than a little disappointed even at that age.
It's a shame that a better script wasn't found because it's painful to see these actors wasted like this. Director Matthew Robbins (of such losers as Bingo and Corvette Summer) has Jessica Tandy wandering scene-to-scene trying to pull laughs from her mental illness(!) and Hume Cronyn gets a paycheck just for looking distraught for 90 minutes. Elizabeth Pena is sweet in her role as a single soon-to-be-mother, but it's just not enough (and the "artsy" Kenny Loggins-ish neighbor who becomes her love interest is unforgivable).
I know, I know. It's primarily a movie for kids, and most under 12 will like the cutesy aliens and the wacky help that they give the tenants of the doomed building. Just be aware that contrived sappiness like this is not necessary to make a magic movie suitable for kids...anyone who's been a fan of Spielberg's own kid-oriented movies (the best being ET) knows that viewers of any age don't need to be insulted. Some of the issues raised in the movie are not only ham-handed but misdirected, not to mention the ethnic and age stereotyping.
In fact, the only good thing I can see about this film is that it was apparent that money was thrown at it (ET bucks, I'll bet). It looks good and the effects are passable, and that's it.
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