Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Billy Baxter and The Mystery of Dr. Amazo" Review

The term MTV generation has come to imply quick cuts and flashy shots meant to appeal to today’s attention-bereft media consumers, people typically seen as over-connected adrenaline junkies. They crave thrill after thrill, so we’re told, in order to sustain their spongy minds, which due to modern living now more closely resemble black holes than gray matter. A lot goes in and nothing comes out, or so the people who make our movies seem to believe of us.

But that is simply not the case, as writer/director Patrick Flaherty proves. No matter the generation people are people, and there is always a place in our hearts for a really good story, as in the film “Billy Baxter and The Mystery of Dr. Amazo.”

Set in the times before honesty in advertising was under governmental regulation, back when a quarter and stamp could get you x-ray glasses, this film asks a simple question: What if the glasses worked? What if every wild promise in the comic book ads was true? Welcome to the world of Billy Baxter!

Few films now a days really spend time developing setting, acquainting the audience with the film’s unique world, but that is not so in the world of Dr. Amazo. Set around the 1950’s, a time when science seemed able to dissolve any boundary, we meet an intrepid young boy with a garage full of send away science toys. All by himself in his garage one rainy night, we get to know Billy Baxter (Jackie Olson), and watch as he discovers all the wonders of Dr. Amazo’s products for kids. Tension builds simply in this piece as one invention at a time, the audience beings to get the sneaking feeling that with so much power in the hands of one little boy, something is bound to go terribly wrong.

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