Random I-Tunes Song of The Moment: A Year Without Rain by Selena Gomez
Two DVDs, 32 effects and techniques, $64 bucks and one Inscrutable Review. Is it gem or is it rubble? Stay tuned to find out.
Inscrutable Review: Overview
Considering the fact that this is multi-effect DVD set, I figured it would be easier to combine effect and method. Below are the notes I took while watching the DVD set. You'll notice that not every effect has notes about the method, and not every effect has notes about the effect. It's a mish-mash of some and/or both, but not all. Before we get to that section, however, I just want to make a few general observations about the material on this set.
The performance style of Joseph Barry is the epitome of Casual. It's super laid back and unassuming. This is, to some degree, part of the method. It allows him to get away with stuff that you may not, otherwise, be able to get away with.
Second, a ton of the material can be done with borrowed and shuffled decks. When you look at the material, you'll begin to realize how impossible seeming this stuff is, especially after the spectator shuffled his own deck. Just about everything seems so fair and so random and so impossible.
Lastly, the material starts out being pretty darn easy, and I'd say about 80% of it bordering on self-working. However, as things progress, the techniques get a lot tougher and a lot more knuckle-buster-ish. With that said, let's take a good hard look at the effects and the methods.
Inscrutable Review: Effect/Method
Rainman- Apparently memorize a deck of cards followed by a card at any number.
Prediction I- Impossible prediction where spectator deals truly random cards to you and you predict the position of a counted to card.
Prediction II- Alternate version of above. Includes a brilliant face up classic force.
Stocan (Simple Thought Of Card At Number)- A card is thought of and found to be at a number the spectator thinks of (he actually grabs a random number of cards out of the deck and that's the chosen number). Includes a version of a thought of card force that is very clever.
Simple Math- Four random piles are chosen. The top card adds up to the total number of cards in another pile.
They Match- This uses a set up for a lie detector type of routine. The overall effect is a little confusing as to what the effect is. It sort of has a Dunbury plot going on where they think their card is in one place but it's in another.
Thought of Spread Triumph- Pretty standard Triumph (uses thought of force from stocan). The big addition is his handling of the strip out shuffle.
Hofzinzer's Aces- Small Set up (four aces on bottom of deck one reversed). Included is a clever easy four ace production. Four aces are placed face down. The ace "selected" turns out to match the suit of the chosen card and ends up becoming the the selected card. This one requires a second deal.
Count to Aces- This is a very clever and impossible seeming spectator cuts to aces style of effect. It's based on Chad Long's Shuffling Lesson and uses Marlo's Double Deal in a super sneaky darn-near indetectable way.
Think Stop- This requires you to use a memorized deck. However, with a teeny, teeny variation which he teaches, you can use a stacked deck like the Si Stebbins. The effect is that two times the spectator thinks stop and of course they think it when you stop at their card. The third time, the spectator does the trick on the magician. I.e., she stops dealing when she thinks that the magician is thinking "stop." Of course when she turns over the card she stopped at, it is the card that you previously said it would be.
Subconscious Poker- From a shuffled deck, deal out a winning poker hand involving a thought of card. This is a very clever adaptation of a relatively common procedure used in poker routines. It allows you to deal out any winning hand from a shuffled deck. Further, the winning hand will contain a card that the spectator is merely thinking of.
LLL Peek- This is a super simple and clever peek. It's extremely easy and casual and can be done from a borrowed, shuffled deck. Also he teaches a bonus force in this segment.
The Centre Deal- This is a faux center deal with a kicker from a borrowed shuffled deck. It requires the Diagonal Palm Shift of multiple cards that are spread throughout the deck, which isn't quite as hard as you'd think.
Stand Up Royal Flush/Ace Selection- A small set up (four aces on top, royal flush on bottom) and a bottom deal are required for this effect. Also, a clever force of a Royal Flush Hand (same as Simple Math above) is used. Then from an actually shuffled deck (after producing a Royal Flush), the four aces are produced. This is a very clever method for keeping control of four cards even when the spectator is shuffling.
Jazz Gambling Demo- Produce all of one suit from shuffled deck. It requires 16 card stack and some false shuffling. It's well structured and super smart.
4 Stop- This is the production of four of a kind of any card selected. It requires a full deck stack.
Fair Deal- A winning poker hand is dealt from a shuffled deck. In phase two, the spectator deals. This is, by far, the hardest thing on DVD. Also, it requires an in the hands Faro Shuffle.
Out of This World- Of all the OOTW procedures I've ever seen, this is, by far the fairest procedure, but the ending is not as clean looking. The method is clever to be sure. However, the end display leaves you wide open for gaping exposure of the method. There's a part during the reveal where he has spectator's turning over random cards from their "red" pile. However, there are some cases where they could very easily turn over a card or two that totally exposes the method. This problem is not addressed anywhere in the explanation even though it's a glaringly obvious point.
Values- Another borrowed, shuffled deck effect. Two cards are selected, lost and found at the position of the card's value. It feels kind of like a spelling trick.
Matching The Poker Hand- Four of a kind magically becomes a royal flush. It requires a small set up of a Royal Flush on the bottom and a four of kind on top.
Memory Poker- This is a very clean thought of card effect from a borrowed shuffled deck.
Spectator Poker Deal- The Spectator deals cards, but no matter what, you get the winning hands from a shuffled deck.
Mental Selection- This is a clever application of estimation to produce a thought of card from shuffled deck and borrowed deck.
Inscrutable Review: Ad Copy Integrity
The ad copy is pretty simple and to the point. The video and the written ad copy accurately represent what you're getting. There's not a lot to say here folks.
Inscrutable Review: Product Quality
The production quality is superb, and the teaching is also excellent. There were two minor goofs. One is important for you to know about when you navigate the DVD. The other one is just funny.
The non-important goof is found at the very beginning of the DVD where they say, "Alakazam Present" rather than "Presents." Funny, but unimportant. On the DVD menu, however, it appears as though they were using a template or something and they forgot to put in the correct title. So where it should say "Play All" it just says "title." It was quite confusing to me. I finally figured it out, and have since passed on this wisdom to you.
Inscrutable Review: Final Thoughts
This DVD set is full of tons of techniques, methods and more that are extremely deceptive. Much of the material is very easy to do and can be added to your repertoire quite quickly and easily. All of the methods are legitimate and real-world methods. Some will, however, take a buttload of practice. That's always a good thing.
5 Stars with a Stone Status of GEM!
Available at your Favorite Magic Dealer. Dealer's see Murphy's Magic for details.