Magic Products Review

AM/PM

Written by Bernard Sim

10 routines are found in this DVD and they can be performed in most close-up situations.  The DVD starts with the performance of all the effects and then the explanations on the later part of the DVD.

1. “Local’ is not a new effect which has the matchsticks appearing from a seemingly empty matchbox in the spectator’s hand. The matchbox can be examined at the end of the routine. You will need to make a simple gimmick yourself. You can also do the effect in reverse; i.e. is making the matchsticks in a match box vanish. Pretty cool.

2.  “Between the back palms” is a card production that uses a sleight that is bold and rarely used in a close-up situation. This routine is not easy but it is very strong. Experienced card workers will not have any problems performing this routine as the sleights are not new inventions.

3. “4our” is a 4 card production that is quick and visual. The first appearance of the 2 cards uses a new move and the last 2 card’s appearance uses mis-direction. This is very tough to pull off, if you know Lennart Green’s Top Shot, you’ll know what I mean. If you know this, you’d know it looks really nice.

4. “The Coin Mint” A signed coin to impossible location effect.  Each time you do it, it’ll cost you a Listerine strip. The sleight you learn in this routine can be applied to other coin effects. You can even use this sleight in a spellbound routine.

5. “Papermate” A pen routine inspired by Gregory Wilson’s “Recap”. Now this is a very nice routine that is worth exploring. There are no gimmicks involved and it can be performed impromptu. The kicker ending will surprise your spectators.

6. “AKT 1” = Ace King Transposition is a 2 phased 4 card transpositions that happen all at once. No set-up and can be done impromptu. Sleights involved may be tough for some. You can perform this even without patter as this is a very visual change and the spectator will understand what is happening.

7. “The Domino Effect” is a copper/ silver coin type of effects using sugar packets (sugar and substitute sugar) which is also similar to Michael Ammar’s $1 and $5 transposition. It is a very simple effect which is suitable for restaurants. A simple construction of the gimmick is needed. The gimmick can be reuse for future performances.

8. “Cash Back”, Card production that utilized money. This looks rather visual and you have to prepare the gimmick prior to performance.

9.”Arson” A visual card effect that vanishes a lighter and then producing it at the end of the routine. The method is not difficult and the result is actually quite good.

10.”Under and Out” After learning this card vanish; you can apply this to your other card effects. You will have to prepare the gimmick and this will make your vanish of a card very clean.

So, with these 10 effects, you can use it for you close-up work, on the streets, in a restaurant or even in a casual setting with friends. All the routines in this DVD are actually quite good. I have to admit that I don’t like the way some of the routines are presented but you can always change the presentation. Some of the moves can be quite knuckle busting but I like the gimmicks used here as they can be made at home and cost very little. So, in all, I think this DVD is worth taking a look and I’m sure there is something which you can use.

Rating 4/5.

 

{extravote 1}

Akross by Sean Fields - DVD

Written by Bernard Sim

This DVD contains variation effects on the cards across plot.

The main effect Akross uses 2 gimmick cards that can be made by yourself or bought from a magic shop. You’ll need a no brainer set-up. The effect looks impressive and it is not difficult to do. The selected signed card from a red back deck travels to another deck (blue back) invisibly. You can even do this effect with multiple selections.

Krossed up: A variation of Akross which makes 2 cards to transpose.

Singularity: Described as a “thought” of card to travel from 1 half of the deck to the other. I find this description misleading as this is obviously not a “thought” of card. The card is chosen via a method that is a variation of the riffle force. The good thing about this force is it actually looks nice and convincing.

Duality: This is a packet trick type of effect that magically causes 2 cards to change places. Not quite easy but looks very visual and magical.

In the DVD, Sean Field keeps talking about how strong these effects are and he keeps repeating “This kills”. This kinda turns me off after awhile. But having said that, the effect in this DVD is good.  Receommended for intermediate level magicians.

Rating 4/5

 

{extravote 1}

Accuracy by Andrew Gerard - Trick (ACCURACY)

Written by Bernard Sim

This one is a really nice effect that looks impromptu. You need a simple preparation which is easy and fast.

As for the performance, you have to meet certain criteria on the performance area which I can’t say as it’ll expose the method. When you do have a chance to perform, this looks really good. The methods used are a combination of clever principles which is not difficult at all. Everything can be examined before and after the effect. I like this a lot.

Highly recommended 4.5/5

{extravote 1}

Comedy Routines by Matt Fore – DVD

Written by Bernard Sim

Frankly, the cover of this DVD didn’t excite me. I didn’t look forward to reviewing this DVD. Fortunately, I was wrong. I totally enjoyed watching this DVD.

There are certain things in this DVD that some of us may never be able to master, such as imitating Matt Fore’s character. But this DVD is not about duplicating his character; it is about developing a character that may make your audience laugh.

The routines in this DVD are not earth shattering routines, but these are workers and will elevate your performance level. They are not difficult to do but you’d need to purchase the props from magic shops. The routines are suitable for audiences of all levels. He did them in a company function, a church and even a kid’s party. One of them even got him a standing ovation.

Matt Fore didn’t reveal the workings behind the marketed items as he feels that it is not ethically right. What he does is to add his style to the effects and make it more enjoyable to watch. Some of the routines are explained in detail on the set-up/ preparation etc. Some routines are just performance only, e.g. the Chinese Sticks routine as the performance clearly tells you what and how to do.

So, if you’re thinking of injecting some fun in your performance, then you’d need to get this DVD. I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching it as much as I do.

Recommended, rating 4/5.

 

{extravote 1}

Colossal Blizzard by Anthony Miller and Penguin Magic – DVD

Written by Bernard Sim

This effect is based on a combination of Kenton Knepper’s Kolossal Killer and Dean Dill’s Blizzard. You’ll need to have a deck of blank face cards as the DVD doesn’t come with the deck.

Two different handlings are taught in the DVD. The basic handling doesn’t use any difficult sleights as the deck does everything for you. In the advanced handling which I prefer more looks cleaner and it’s probably easier to perform.

The overall itself is not too bad but I prefer Dean Dill’s Blizzard more. The deck can’t be examined though you can still show it as “Clean”.

The good thing about this effect is that you only use a single deck throughout the routine and there are no switches. This is very good for table hopping and is even suitable for a beginner.

Recommended. Rating 4/5

 

{extravote 1}

Collins Aces (World's Greatest Magic) - DVD

Written by Bernard Sim

There are 6 versions of Collins Aces in this collection.

Spelling Collins' Aces - Martin Lewis

Martin Lewis’s version ends by spelling to find the aces. No gimmick cards used in his version. Some simple sleight and setup is needed to accomplish this routine. The routine is simple and easy.

Collins/Lewis Vanishing Aces - Bill Malone

Bill Malone is very entertaining. His routine starts with the production of 4 aces (Steve Dobson’s Flip out Flourish) which looks really cool. His version of the Collins Aces is similar to Martin Lewis’s. Malone adds a few moves which makes it more magical and flourishy. The explanation is very detailed making learning a breeze.

J. C. On Collins' Aces - J. C. Wagner

There is no spelling sequence in this version. This version looks difficult to do but all you need is know how to do a DL and an Emsley Count. Some phase looks startling and magical. The best thing is about this version is there are no set-up. You can do this impromptu.

Spelling Collins' Aces - Michael Ammar

This is the same version as Martin Lewis’s version. The only difference (which is not significant) is Ammar allows the spectator to choose the number of times the performer cuts the deck. However, the explanation is more detailed than Martin Lewis’ as there are different camera angles used for the explanation.

Collinspell - Alex Elmsley

This version is the most difficult and a bit more technical there the rest of the routines in this DVD. There are no setup needed and thus can be done impromptu. The shuffle has to be precise in order to make the spelling work.

Collins’ Aces – James Swain

The routine starts with the production of the 4 aces (which is not explained), followed by the Collins’ Aces and ends by finding the Aces through a Poker deal. Nice but need a bit of work to accomplish it.

I think this is very nice DVD on this routine. You probably won’t do all the versions in this DVD but you have a choice to choose which routine which most suits you.

Rating 3.5/5

{extravote 1}