Batteries Not Included | Chicago Reader

Batteries Not Included

Matthew Robbins acquits himself honorably as cowriter and director of this gentle 1987 fantasy about miniature spaceships that land on a tenement in Manhattan's Lower East Side and save the tenants from imminent expulsion and disaster at the hands of greedy real estate developers. The likable Capra-esque victims are Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, who run a cafe, a quiet ex-boxer (Frank McRae), a pregnant Hispanic (Elizabeth Pena), and a painter (Dennis Boutsikaris). The extraterrestrial elves, who thrive on electricity and replicate themselves out of scrap metal, are no less charming, and the special effects show them off gracefully.

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