This was my first magic dvd ever. It may seem strange because it's not geared towards beginners, although beginners can
do the material. Also it doesn't deal with cards, coins, balls, etc. Now, I'm not exactly sure what my motivation for getting this dvd was, but whatever it was, I'm glad I bought it. There's some very practical material on here that can be done anytime, anywhere with no gimmicks. Without further ado, I give you Band Shark.Dvd Title:
$34.95 ($31.50 after discount) Where Can I Get It? Right here at Penguin!What is this dvd about?
Band Shark is a collection of 13 impromptu effects done with rubber bands. The effects range from visual penetrations, vanishes, finger ring links, links with other bands, and torn and restored effects. All of the effects can be performed impromptu. As long as you have some rubber bands on your wrist, you're ready to go. There are no gimmicks used throughout any of this disc.Teaching:
The teaching is average and Dan often times does the moves a second time so you can see it again. I would've liked the teaching more if he tried harder to clarify certain things like finger placement, and to go slower. Sometimes it almost seems like he's trying to fit into a time restraint which detracts from the teaching IMO. I also would've liked it more if he paused at certain moments to let us look at the exact situation. When I was trying to follow along with the rubber bands in my hands I often times got lost and had to rewind again and again, P'Link and Another Ringer especially.Video Quality:
Okay, yes, Dan Harlan has a mullet. Yes, Michael Maxwell has a '90s mustache. And a definite YES, the cover does
look like a cheesy, photoshopped Jaws cover, but the magic here is really cool! Don't think of these things as outdated, just think of it as a little extra entertainment for you! Anyway, the quality of the video is okay. Back when this was made, it probably would've been good quality, now it's a little crusty looking though. Really, it's not anything to complain about. You can see what's going on with no problems. Oh, and also, the actual dvd has a better video quality than the demo.Rating System:
(Number: Overall effect rating/Difficulty rating)
5: Absolutely fantastic/Very difficult
4: Great/Will take a lot of practice
3: Average/Not too hard, but will take a little bit of practice
2: Less than average/Some practice, but very little is required
1: Just awful/Super easyEffects Included:Traveling Tips:
Two rubber bands are stretched between the hands. Then the spectator tightly holds the top strand of the four. The held strand then visibly travels down to second, third, and fourth position. Originally, this was called Traveling Cash and it was done with a rolled up dollar bill, rather than a spectator's hand. I think using the spectator's hand is the better way to perform the effect because it gets the spectator's involved and it prevents people from thinking, "Maybe the bill is just opening up and then falling down." This way the spectator knows
that the strand is actually traveling down, not just the bill.
Difficulty- 3/5 For some reason my fingers keep wanting to do something too early, which would mess the trick up completely.
Overall- 4/5 I like this a lot, but I think it is best done as a 1-on-1 type of thing. Other spectators who happen to be watching may not fully appreciate what is happening.Original Impromptu Linking Rubber Bands:
Stretch any two bands of any color or shape between your fingers and then make them visually link, then unlink. Many of you who have played around with rubber band magic will most likely know this basic effect. What you don't know, however, is Dan's
way of causing the link. I love this effect so much. The ability to pick up any two bands and then visually make them link together is just awesome! One time, some really crazy (i.e. insane) kid at my school said that he thought it was possible to link two rubber bands. (I didn't bring it up, I swear. We were in math class and somehow the kid starting talking about it!) The other kids demanded that it wasn't possible, but this kid said that he had seen it done one time. I said, "Yeah it's possible. Here I can do it." (Proceed to link bands and fry them all) The kid just goes, "Yeah, yeah like that! Dude they're linked!" (Pointing to link point) It was classic.
Difficulty- 2/5 The beginning may take a few times to get it down smoothly, but it really is quite easy.
Overall- 5/5 Classic, simple, pure magic. You will definitely like this one.Snapped Again:
A band is displayed and then audibly and visibly broken. The ends are shown, and then tied together into a knot. The magician pulls the knot tighter, until he starts to rub it with his fingers. The knot seems to dissolve as the band visibly restores itself completely. This is, of course, a variation on Harry Lorayne's classic effect Snap; a very good one at that. You will need a pretty "stretchable" band to do this without making your hands looking all cramped up. The knot part is really the heart of the routine because your spectators will swear that the band MUST be broken. At the end, the band is really restored and can be handed out. Also, there is only one band in play, no switching for another band.
Difficulty- 3/5 I had to watch the explanation a few times to fully get it, and one part is a little difficult to do smoothly.
Overall- 4/5 One point docked off because if you don't have the best type of band, some parts may look awkward.Joint Venture:
A band visually penetrates through the joint of your finger twice, and then a third time in an even more visual fashion! This was a highlight of the disc for me because it's so easy, no "rubber band type" requirements, the final phase will make your spectators cringe. I can't give a higher recommendation for an effect. I mean, rubber bands take up NO pocket space and you only need one
of them for this visual-packed routine! I believe part of this is shown on the demo video (as is a lot of the material), so check that out. Try this thing out because it's awesome.
Difficulty- 2/5 If you want this to look the best it can be, then you will have to work in front of the mirror a small amount just to experiment with how the final phase looks.
Overall- 5/5 Awesome magic. For my reasons, see above.Bandlocked:
Do you know the jumping rubber band effect? If you answered yes, then you basically know Bandlocked. I would not perform this effect for anyone other than children because it's a very well-known trick that a lot of laymen have seen or know how to do. You may wonder why Dan decided to include this effect on here, I wondered the same thing for a while. Then I realized that Dan has added a presentation and motivation for this usually lifeless trick. If I were going to perform this for a child, I would definitely use the presentation and handling that Dan has created. To me that warrants publication.
Difficulty- 1/5 Easy enough to teach a small child.
Overall- 3/5 It's really not a bad effect, it's just that SO many people already know it. Great for kids though.Instant Separation:
Four different colored/shaped bands are shown to be mixed up on your fingers. You place you fingertips on the table, and then rub the bands. The audience sees them start to "sort" themselves on your fingers. In other words, one band to each finger. Dan has an interesting presentation for this, but I could never use it, nor do I think that I would want to use it. The effect just doesn't seem very amazing to me. Plus, I'm not sure how you fit this into a routine very easily. It doesn't seem like it would be worth the extra effort of pulling out the four bands just for this one effect. Maybe you could do it as an opener, since it is quite quick, and then perform magic with the bands. I guess, I'm still undecided as to how good this effect is.
Difficulty- 2/5 Very easy, but sometimes the bands can get tangled, so make sure you "grab the right spot," and "put your fingers through the right hole." That little advice actually makes sense if you own the trick!
Overall- 3/5 Like I said, I'm still undecided, but for now it seems like an average effect.P'Link:
This is another way to link two rubber bands that I don't like as much as the first solution. In this version you are going to have to perform a lot of moves like, "Reach for the second strand of the band, pull it around the back of the hand, and perform an aborigine duck call, all at the same time." It seems like a lot of unneeded, complicated work to do a rubber band link. This version is a little more open palmed, (hence the name P(alm)' Link) which some of you may prefer. The moment that the bands link, however, is not nearly as visual as some of the other versions, such as the one mentioned above. Maybe it's a personal thing, but I'll stick with the simpler version.
Difficulty- 4/5 I stil can't do this thing without making it look like I have an itch in my upper abdomen, so I'd say it's pretty difficult.
Overall- 3/5 The displays are nice, but the road to get there is a rocky one.Incredible Shrinking Rubber Band:
The magician stretches a rubber band, then proceeds to slowly "shrink" the band. The spectators are amused, but the magician explains that it really is shrinking, despite what they think. Now it seems as though the band really is shrinking, in fact so small until it gradually disappears. This is another highlight of the disc for me. The premise is fun for the spectators and it gets the spectators involved. Also, I love how the lame gag lets the spectators expectations go down considerably, and then you fry them with an impossible vanish. Structure is everything in this effect. The only downside is that you have to either have sleeves or several rubber bands on your wrist to perform this.
Difficulty- 2/5 Easy, but you just have to practice your movement during the "moment" when the band vanishes. That's all I'll say.
Overall- 5/5 For all the reasons stated above, and the downside that I mentioned isn't a big deal for me at all.Rubber Ring Flight:
A ring is borrowed and then vanished completely from the magician's hands. The magician then offers a rubber band to the spectator as a compensation for the lost ring. Of course the spectators do not accept his offer, so he decides to try and recreate the ring on the band. In a flash, the ring reappears on the middle of the outstretched band. Everything is then handed out. Being a magician you may think, "That's obvious, NEXT!" However, when I watched this about 4 years ago as a partial laymen, I could not believe my eyes! I watched it several times and out of the many tricks on this dvd, this was a standout for me, so don't overlook it. Basically it plays exactly as it sounds, although one thing to watch out for is angle problems during the vanish.
Difficulty- 3/5 The first part is a little tricky, but it happens during a natural moment.
Overall- 4/5 The handling during the vanish can look a little awkward, so I knocked off a point.Another Ringer:
Link a rubber band onto somebody's finger ring and then visually pull it off. I still haven't gotten this effect down. The handling reminds me of P'Link because of all the various twists that you have to do without arousing any suspicion. The visuals of the ring on the rubber band is nice, but you have to keep holding the ring when it's linked. In other words you can't just let the ring hang on the rung of the band. IMO there are better versions of this effect available that won't make your fingers cramp and have cleaner visuals.
Difficulty- 4.5/5 This is probably the hardest thing on the disc.
Overall- 3/5 It's alright, but like I said, there are better routines out there.Wrist Band:
A rubber band is doubled around your wrist and then is made to penetrate through. This is then repeated WITHOUT doubling the band. I really love this effect because it gets into the mind of the spectators, meaning that you seam to almost know what the spectator is thinking during the routine, "Why did he double the band?" Then when you show that you can do it without doubling the band, it makes the spectator have no explanation for what occurred. You only need a single rubber band to create this great illusion and I think you'll find yourself carrying one after watching this!
Difficulty- 2/5 You do need a little work on misdirection, but it's really quite minor.
Overall- 5/5 Yet another highlight of the disc for me!Michael Goldman's Twisted:
Originally published by Michael Goldman in Apocalypse, this is a penetration of a band going through itself.
That sounds confusing, but really it's pretty simple. Just one strand, or side, of the band visually passes through the other strand. The spectator can even hold onto one of the strands during the effect so they know that they aren't just being switched very fast. Be aware, this effect CAN be a bit confusing if you do not clarify the trick to the audience. I would recommend using a medium sized band so that people can really see which part of the band is where at all times. Smaller bands tend to make the effect a little bit harder to see, and therefore, harder to understand. When this is done well, it is a piece of visual eye-candy that I think many people will like.
Difficulty- 2/5 Really not hard at all, you just need to make sure you don't make a large finger movement at a certain point.
Overall- 4/5 A point is taken off just because, like I said, it can be confusing if you don't put the work into clarifying it.Band Roll-On:
A spectator is asked to hold onto your index finger with all their strength so that nothing can get onto it. A rubber band is then placed onto your pinky of the same hand and it is stretched a few times until it visibly jumps onto the index finger that the spectator is holding. This is the effect that they show at the end of the demo video and was a big reason as to why I bought the dvd. One problem about it though is that most of the time the method will kind've hurt you. I don't mean like scarring or bleeding or anything like that, but it does sting and it's often hard to ignore. Also there is a certain clothing requirement that I won't go into, but it isn't very much of a problem for me anyway. Another downside is that you may find it hard to make the actions that are used here natural-looking without using a very stretchy band. So, in conclusion, does it look like the demo? Yes. Will you perform it as often as you might think? Probably not. That said, when the conditions are right to perform this, and you've really practiced making this look natural, it's a GREAT illusion.
Difficulty- 3/5 Naturalness and ignoring the "sting" is the hardest part of this effect.
Overall- 4/5 A point is knocked off because of the required conditions and somewhat strange actions.In Conclusion:
Phew! I'm finally done with this review! I've been stretching this out for the past month or two and I finally just buckled down and finished it. In case you're wondering, that's why there haven't been any Apocalypse reviews for the past few weeks.
Anyway, I think if you're interested in doing rubber band magic you should definitely buy this dvd. I would make a venture that everybody who watches this dvd will find at least
two or three things that they will like and use.
There are many reasons why rubber band magic is so great. It's small, visual, cheap, memorable, etc. This is a good dvd for either a complete beginner, or a seasoned professional (as the ads often say!)
I would highly recommend this dvd to any close-up magician looking to find some great, new non-card/coin material!