Review of "Paul Harris Presents Animate & Restore"
Reviewed By: Jeff Stone
Random I-Tunes Song of The Moment: Turn The Page By Metallica
For $35 bucks you get a very visual, self contained miracle that's extremely fidgety and not as easy to set up/reset as the ad copy claims.
The DVD production is excellent. The teaching segments, however, were very often hard to follow. I had to rewind multiple times and pause and stop and rewatch to make sure I was keeping up. That could just mean I'm slow, or it could mean that the explanations weren't clear enough.
The gimmick itself is well made. However, without exposing part of it, I'll just say that it is sometimes too aggressive thus causing some "sticky" situations that are hard to recover from in performance.
While it's true that this can be done "any time you feel like it," and it is all completely self-contained, there are still some hang ups. First, getting the pieces out of the envelope onto the deck of cards is very awkward. You'll notice in the teaser that there were a few "funny" cuts. This is because it's tricky to get the pieces out of the envelope. Even on the DVD, Jesse has some noticeably awkward moments trying to get the pieces out.
Resetting it is a bit of a pain and takes a bit longer than the instructions imply. Also, the final switch out at the end is clean however, the gimmick tends to "stick" and cause another awkward moment. Often times in teasers, the edits are there to hide the method. I'm ok with that. However, in this case, the edits seem to be to hide all of the awkward and messy moments of the handling.
Having said all of that, however, the magic moment where the pieces restore is very visual and beautiful. On occasion, the gimmick may hang up a little and you don't quite get as smooth of a restoration as I would like, but overall this part of the effect (the animation) is the best part.
It's a good idea with a decent method that's not as reliable as something like this should be. However, the price is relatively low considering what you're getting.
2.5 Stars with a Stone Status of Grubble (Gem idea, but a bit of rubble in delivery and method).
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