Sweet, heartwarming, and easygoing, Batteries Not Included will charm the socks off you. It’s a science fiction movie following a very different kind of alien invasion. The story focuses on the residents of an apartment building soon to be torn down to make way for the swanky new development project. This is a common and recurring theme in many movies. For example, Joe’s Apartment also taking place in New York City features a similar story. However, instead of a young newcomer, in this movie, we will be following the adventures of a group of senior citizens who have lived there all their lives.
Both of these age groups are treated the same like they’re trash. This is just how the tribal system of values works, it’s ruthless and without any morals. The characters we’re going to meet feel familiar like they could be your grandparents. And this adds another layer to the story. If you’re looking for a family-friendly Disney-like science fiction movie, you’ve just found it. Batteries Not Included is a movie the whole family can enjoy. I would like to add that I watched it alone and still enjoyed it as a very jaded science fiction fan. It’s got that special Steven Spielberg touch that makes it appealing.
So think Close Encounters or E.T. and you’ll be on the right track. Although it’s much more similar to another eighties science fiction movie starring a group of senior citizens, Cocoon. The special effects are at the same time awesome and adorable. Our visitors from outer space look like they escaped from Star Wars as the main ship looks like a miniature Millennium Falcon. A miniature Millennium Falcon but with big googly eyes like Wall-E. So, you might as well treat them as friendly robots, a common theme in eighties movies.
Welcome to the New York City folks! This is a place where all your dreams will come true. At the expense of someone else’s dreams, of course, this is how the whole thing works. And people who are poor, old, and helpless are a perfect target for this theft. A group of residents of a very old building is constantly being harassed by a group of young thugs to move out. The investor wants to build something there and no one can stop him. However, he doesn’t know that someone is about to help these poor people.
It’s so natural to feel angry after witnessing what these old and vulnerable people are going through. You feel like some system, some person, anything should come into play and help them. Is this really the society we live in? Well, I hate to break it to you but it is. There are no systems in place to protect these powerless groups because that’s the system. A system of winners and losers. A system I think is mislabeled as capitalism because capitalism is just an extension of the tribal system of values.
And yes, these same old people that are suffering now, did nothing to change it in the past. But I digress as always. Mostly because the same shit is happening right now, almost forty years after the release of Batteries Not Included! Finally, I would like to add those spaceship robots in this movie feature some pretty frightening characteristics. I don’t want to reveal too much but let’s just say that you could make a much different movie with them. If you’re looking for similar movies, check out Short Circuit from 1985 starring Steve Guttenberg.
Director: Matthew Robbins
Writers: Mick Garris, Brad Bird, Matthew Robbins
Cast: Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Frank McRae, Elizabeth Peña, Dennis Boutsikaris
Fun Facts: One horror movie had a working title Batteries Not Included but had to change after the release of this movie. That horror movie turned out to be cult classic Child’s Play starring the evil doll Chucky.