03 March 2008

Batteries not Included (starring Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy)

I'm not entirely sure how 'Batteries not Included' came to be on our DVD shelves. Possibly it was part of a special offer deal at one of the websites that offered 'three DVDs for 15 euros' or similar.

It sat there unviewed for some time, but finally we decided to watch it. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this: the pictures on the cover show children sleeping, and alien spaceships. And the film was rather depressing to begin with. High-rise buildings were being knocked down by a big businessman, and there was a rather sad group of people who really wanted to keep their home.

However, there was quickly some human interest. This group of people includes an elderly married couple who run a cafĂ©; the wife (played by Jessica Tandy) appears to have early forms of dementia. Then there’s an artist whose girlfriend has just left him, a prize-fighter who doesn’t speak to anyone, and a young pregnant woman.

The elderly man (played by Hume Cronyn) is at his wits’ end... when help comes from a most unexpected source…

Once I got into it, I found this film amusing in places, and moving in others. The effects are quite clever for the time (it was made in 1987) and still look good even with today’s advanced sophistication. But then Stephen Speilburg directed it, and this was the era of classics such as ET.

All in all, I thought it a pleasant family film. Rated PG due to the subject matter, I assume, which could be disturbing to some children.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews