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      ON-LINE MAGIC REVIEWS

 
Below Average Magic Tricks

 

 

Magic and mental effects (mostly outdated) that should probably be ignored, considering the abundance of products available out there. But if you really have time and money to spend, or if you are a fan of a particular author…

 

Featuring (most recent on top):

 HN Magic Review 109: Flashback - Larry Becker

HN Magic Review 105: Another Book - Karrell Fox

Magic Review 104: Cut and Restored Credit Card - Mark Leveridge

HN Magic Review 77: Gellerism Revealed – Ben Harris

HN Magic Review 73: Mind and Matter – Stephen Minch

HN Magic Review 46: The Elevator (gimmick + cdrom) – Peter Loughran

HN Magic Review 44: Fat-free Mentalism – John Riggs

HN Magic Review 40: Unfaked Book Test – Val Andrews

HN Magic Review 39: Brain Control – S.W. Reilly

HN Magic Review 26: Creating Material and Making Performances Memorable – Kenton Knepper & Allen Zingg

HN Magic Review 13: Classics – Bruce Bernstein

 

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HN Magic Review 109: Flashback - Larry Becker

 

AD:

 

The original is back at a new lower price! Larry Becker has devised the most clever, the cleanest Book Test in the history of Book Tests! The effect is totally straightforward. One or more spectators freely select words from a popular paperback book. You are able to instantly divine the selected words! It's incredibly easy to do do. No sleights. No memory work --- the books do it all for you!

 

The books can be examined from cover to cover! You can have as many words selected as you wish! It can be repeated over and over! Nothing written --- any page used --- no "second looks". You never even know the page number. Comes complete with two paperbacks that can be used together or on its own. Fully routined by Larry Becker.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

A well-produced, very popular but pretty obvious booktest. Cons:

-      the paperbacks can’t be examined for too long.

-      you obviously need to carry it around if you plan to perform the effect; yes, DUH! but some people asked me if you could adapt the method to your own books, or if it could be performed in other languages etc. the answer is NO.

-      it really seems too evident to me.

 

The effect has sequels, which I didn’t purchase for obvious reasons  - so I can’t compare.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=187123&forum=109

 

 

HN Magic Review 105: Another Book - Karrell Fox

 

AD:

 

N/a

 

REVIEW:

 

Nicely produced hardbound book from the late Karrel Fox: golden spine, full color laminated jacket, lots of pictures and cartoons.

 

The contents revolve around comedy magic, focused on presentation and entertainment instead of methodology. There are about 100 tricks with cards, coins, inexpensive props and some mental magic stuff (including a center tear variation).

 

The methods are aged and poorly described, but a number of presentational ideas, M.C. bits and audience management suggestions could be of some use to the younger generations.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=93243&forum=110

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 104: Cut and Restored Credit Card - Mark Leveridge

 

AD:

The magician displays a small leather wallet inside which is one of his credit cards.

He explains he would like to show something with a similar card but does not want to use his own. So saying the card is returned to the wallet which is slipped back into his pocket.

Having borrowed a suitable card, the magician slips it into a pay envelope, puts the spectator’s initials on the envelope flap and then seals the card inside.

Brandishing a pair of scissors, he proceeds to cut the envelope - and therefore the spectator’s card - completely in half! With total confidence the magician claims the card will restore itself, despite the fact the envelope is clearly in two separate pieces.

Placing the two sections together, he cuts off the end of the envelope, reaches inside and pulls out - HALF A CREDIT CARD!

After much comic by-play, the halves are put away and the performer removes the small wallet he showed at the beginning to offer his own card in exchange.

However, to the surprise of all, the performer’s card has vanished and the spectator’s TOTALLY RESTORED CARD is found inside instead! The spectator removes his card himself to confirm it is indeed his.

Very easy to do, no sleights, no palming, no fuss - highly practical.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

I would be hard pressed to name 10 effects with credit cards – probably because people are always a bit reluctant in handing them out.

 

To perform this effect, you will need to walk around with special wallets, a pair of scissors and gimmicked envelopes – not something you will do “impromptu” for your friends; it is also awkward to perform in professional table-hopping situations, since the reset can’t be done on the spot. Refills (i.e. envelopes, good for 25 performances) are sold separately.

 

I thought about routining this one with a few lousy effects I already knew, such as Brad Manuel’s Credit Card Fraud, or Tony Antoniou’s Credit Card Quickie (in the Ammar’s Easy to Master Money Miracles video series) but abandoned the idea immediately...

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=81704&forum=109

 

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 77: Gellerism Revealed – Ben Harris

AD:

Step by step photos and instructions on how to bend keys, cutlery, stop watches, etc. Psychology and method are explained. Also contains an encapsulated history of Uri Geller's activities. This is some of the real work.


REVIEW:

The book (first published in 1982) describes the techniques supposedly used by Uri Geller to perform his paranormal feats: bending spoons and keys, changing the time on a borrowed watch, starting broken watches.

 

Most of the material is outdated and will appeal to Geller fans only; for updated methods and handlings, Banachek’s Psychokinetic Time and PK Silverware come to mind.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=56935&forum=110

 

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 73: Mind and Matter – Stephen Minch

AD:

A complete departure from the standard books on mentalism, this book deals with Psycho-kinesis or Telekinesis. The ability to move or alter physical objects by willing it with your mind is something an audience will really get excited about. Bend metals, alter the shape of matter, move inanimate objects, interrupt radio waves, and much more. Simple, yet mind-boggling experiments which are suited to the expert on extrasensory perception.


REVIEW:

Published by Micky Hades in 1975. The book includes effects with everyday objects such as keys, pens, flowers, nails etc, achieved through a variety of (well-known) methods but with a common intent: demonstrating the performer’s paranormal skills during the Geller era.

 

Most of the effects are outdated (“the spectator selects a page number by taking a poker chip from a clear bag held by a bulldog clip etc”), but some ideas and psychological tidbits are still valid and could be incorporated into your existing routines.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=52210&forum=110

 

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 46: The Elevator – Peter Loughran

 

AD:

 

How many times have you been asked to levitate after the David Blaine TV specials aired? How many times have you wanted to perform a levitation effect, but have feared the limitations, angles, etc? Fear not, because there are NO allusions with THIS illusion! Introducing The Elevator from Peter Loughran, the last word on levitation suspension!

First there came the Balducci Levitation. And then came tons of gimmicked versions that claimed to make the Balducci easier to perform. The problems with these versions were that you needed a coat, a towel, or other cover to shield how the effect worked. Not with Peter Loughran's Elevator!

Imagine, at any time during your act, whether you perform close-up, on stage, or on the street, you simply rise a full 3 - 4 inches above the ground, all without the angle problems and viewing distance restrictions seen in other self-levitations on the market. Simply put, The Elevator is Peter Loughran's new mechanical marvel levitation device that allows you to levitate while facing your spectators, and it can be viewed from the front and the sides! See the photo above!



There are no special shoes used! In fact, you can even perform the illusion wearing sandals or even barefoot! There are no special clothes or baggy pants required, and you can do this inside or outside on wet or dry land without any special lighting required! And get this, there are NO weight limitations! You can even do mid-air rotation, WOW! What other self-levitation can boast all these advantages?



You do not take your shoes off, nor do you lift up on one toe, and you can even show the bottom of your feet before and after the levitation. Please know that this is not a .pdf file, a mere manuscript, or instructional video; you get a specially constructed mechanical device that allows you to perform this miracle anytime, anywhere!



If you are looking for an affordable street levitation that works for real people in real situations, then be sure to check out this incredible and clever levitation device. The Elevator comes complete with special mechanical levitation device, instructional video, and fully detailed manuscript.

 

REVIEW:

 

A few critical notes:

- you cannot perform it with people standing at your sides;

- You cannot perform it on any surface;

- It is rather noisy;

- It is very bulky (need rapper trousers or heavy coat to hide it);

- Balance is indeed a problem (would like to see the Mr. Loughran himself levitating without external support for more than half a second).

 

It is perhaps the best close-up levitation commercially available  - but this doesn’t mean anything, since the previous items were junk.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=22143&forum=109

 

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 44: Fat free Mentalism – John Riggs

 

AD:

 

Mentalism for those who don't like to carry a trunkload of props. Strong mentalism requiring little or no props, the modern day approach to the art. Contents include Your Show, Gimme a Number, PWO Total Prediction, FloraRiggs, Information Steal, Cards of Desire, Q&A Prop, I Am!, The 30 Minute Walk-On Act, I've Got Your Number Too, How to be a Smooth Operator, Business Card Business, Centering Your Thoughts, Name and Sign Killer, Centers for Readers, Last of the Spike Tricks, The Art of the Read, Body Reading, and Q&A Another Way.

 

REVIEW:

 

Innocuous mental magic tricks. Chapter 1 includes a few effects with the Ostin Clip (talk about direct mind reading! “The performer brings out a prediction secured in a bulldog clip”….. man…...), chapter 2 describes some combinations of well-known mentalism methods, while part 3 is dedicated to psychic readings – copied straight from William Sheldon’s body typing principles.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=16849&forum=15

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 40: Unfaked Book Test – Val Andrews

 

AD:

 

You hand a book to a spectator. Other spectators call out numbers to select a page, line and word. No force, no stooges, no mis-calling. The spectator looks up that page, line and word. You read her mind by telling her exactly which word she's looking at.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

The booktest that Al Koran never used…

 

It can be appreciated by non-English magicians: use your cheap 200-page ungimmicked bestseller and give it away at the end. However, the procedure for the page selection feels too “mathemagic” for me - stick with MOABT if you can.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=32764&forum=110

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 26: Creating Material and Making Performances Memorable – Kenton Knepper & Allen Zingg

 

AD:

 

This is a book of ART. How to make your performances ART. How to make lasting impressions on your audiences. How to create emotional magic and mentalism. How to find your way of expressing yourself – not about how someone else tells you to do that. This book represents a mutual passion for the creation and performance of magical and mental ART.

 

As one well known performer put it "If people did only the exercises in this book, it could change magic and mentalism forever!" Kenton Knepper, Allen Zing, Docc Hilford, J. Tank and a privileged few, use this very book as THE reference book for their new shows. This book is that significant. Now you may be one of those privileged few.

 

If Kenton’s Rants Into Raves posed questions, this book is the one with the answers to those questions. Not just theory - but practical applications you can put to USE. In a recent random survey of successful performers in all forms of the performing arts, certain principles were found to be held in common. Amazingly, these same principles are what Kenton and Allen detail in this book. For those who could care less about having original material, or making their performances outstanding, forget this book. But if you want to be your best, if you keep searching for the right material, and to be better than ever before as an artist, then THIS IS FOR YOU.

 

Besides, there’s some great mental effects and innovative sleight of hand technique too. This book even has "pictures." Oh yes, if you think you can’t create your own tricks, you’ll find out that you can! Imagine that!

 

This full size 8 ½ X 11 inch book is over 100 pages in length Tricks and moves are fully explained with over 50 illustrations. There are excerpts from Wonder Words, Wonder Readings, Body of Influence and others,  along with completely original material not to be found anywhere else.  Here are some of the topics covered in the book:

 

Communication With Breath, Invisible Actions, Disarming Techniques,  Intuitive Actions, Integration of Body, Presentational Concept, Making Sense of Nonsense, Taking Risks, Texture, Creating Creativity, Motivation and Urgency, The Emotional Pattern, Instant Grace, The Authentic Self,   Zone Effects, Standing Zarrow, The Elmsley DEAL, Heart Connection,  Treasury Prediction, Banachek Revisited, Visual Words Effect, Kenton’s

Ghost Coins, How Rational Is Art? and more. Newly illustrated, revised and with additional material, at a price less than the original attendees paid...

 

REVIEW:

 

Large and disappointing book from the 2 business partners. Part I is a theoretical discussion on artistic creation (with “creative templates” – talk about an oxymoron!!), gestures, body positions (check Gary Kurtz' Leading with your Head instead) and a few linguistic deceptions already explained in the Wonder Words tapes. Part II includes useless card sleights, while part III consists of a few effects you already know.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=31122&forum=110

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 17: The Paper Rose video/DVD – Docc Hilford

 

AD:

In about ten minutes, this private video lesson will teach you Docc Hilford's impromptu method for making a paper rose, complete with a leaf, from an ordinary cocktail napkin. This is the same bit of business used by pros around the world to upgrade from Coach to First Class, receive superlative service in hotels and restaurants, and generally charm any lady, anywhere.

Our friend Richard Webster used it to save a cruise ship gig, when he discovered that none of his audience could speak English, and he could speak no Chinese!

This is not a trick, but rather one of the most delightful bits of business around. As Docc Hilford tells it, he was initiated into the art by an ancient in Paris — Texas, that is. He has taken this simple (when you know how) bit of business, and turned it into something of a trademark.

As with any great bit of business, there is more to it than just knowing how to do it - you need the correct presentation. Without the right shtick, you're just juggling a piece of paper! On this video, Docc shows you how he does it, giving you the kind of input you need to devise your own presentation.

This is not a trick or a mental miracle. It is not a cure for cancer. It is one of the most charming bits of business that you can add to your repertoire. You can have Docc's Paper Rose for just $24.95.

 

REVIEW:

 

As usual, unbelievably overpriced video from the Floras. The patter is not particularly convincing, but the folding procedure is easily understandable and – let’s face it – the effect always get a great reaction from the ladies.

 

 

OVERALL RATING: clearly below average (buy it only if you can’t find the effect anywhere else!)

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=30591&forum=111

 

 

 

 

 

HN Magic Review 13: Classics – Bruce Bernstein

 

AD:

Bruce Bernstein has collected 7 of his finest mentalism creations over the past 20 years. These are the effects that have been consistently mentioned by other performers and creators as their favorites. Contents include Trans-Premonition, Thought Card Across, Bernstein Center Tear, Couples, Scripted Thoughts, All Shook Up, and Masklyn's Ring.

 

REVIEW:

 

A good part of the book is devoted to F###### playing cards. You also get a routine with borrowed coins (as a side note for the ever expanding European Union: nope, will not work with Euros now), an interesting and more visual version of Maskelyn’s Ring, and the infamous Bernstein’s Center Tear method.

 

OVERALL RATING: below average

 

HN

 

Read/post comments:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=30589&forum=110

 

                                                                      
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