21 - Magic by Sweden (2 Disc Set) - My Review
Buy it: http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=2369
Price: $28 after discount
Note: This review is simply MY OPINION on the DVD set.The DVD
The DVD is super high quality, both in production values and picture clarity. So high quality that one hour consumes over 3.5gb of space on the DVD, which translates to eye-bleeding, push-back-your-chair kinda picture on your TV. In fact you could probably display this signal on the jumbo-tron at your local football stadium, and it would STILL be crystal clear.
The post-production editing revolves around the old "24" television show with a clock ticking. And it's advertised as "this happens in real time from 10am - 11pm. When a performer comes on, you get the clock again, complete with what time they explained the trick. The text fadeouts and subtitles are very attractive, and the whole DVD is enjoyable to watch. Some people have described it as "movie quality", although I wouldn't go THAT far.
It contains a wide mix of tricks, ranging from bending straws to bottle productions, and is billed as "something for everybody". The actual filming takes place in the back of Magic Bar Sweden (http://www.magicbar.se
), which is a bar/restaurant based in Stockholm. Since most younger swedes speak better English than most of us, you can clearly understand everything, and there's no real gap in language accents.
The music was created by Kevin MacLeod (http://www.incompetech.com
) and sounds great plus blends well with the overall theme of the DVD.Disc #1
- one hourAxel Adlercreutz - The Self Bending Straw
Anything this guy releases in the future, I'm buying. Straight up. Cool ideas with a heavy visual twist.
A standard bendy straw flexes down or up at your fingertips using the power of your mind. I love this trick, with a little preparation you can carry it around and do this repeatedly for different tables. The setup requires simple items you can find at WalMart for a dollar (straws + gimmick), and you can easily cover your straw with a paper tube then lap-switch at a restaurant.
Difficulty: 1/10. Requires about 5 minutes to setup per straw. Instantly repeatable.
Rating: 9/10. Very cute. I already made one up and entertain myself in public with it. The kids come over - "WHAAAT ..."Axel Adlercreutz - Circle Vanish
A coin vanishes while holding it at the fingertips. Very "gravity" kinda move which will take some practice. But best of all, you can do a visual coin switch with this WHICH LOOKS FANTASTIC.
Difficulty: 4/10. You'll need to dedicate some time into this, especially the coin switch.
Rating: 10/10. Worth the price of the DVD. Totally impromptu coin switch IN FULL VIEW at your fingertips.
Edit: Your fingers DON'T MOVE, just your hand waves in a circle. The actual coin (and fingers) are locked in place, making it more impossible.Axel Adlercreutz - Two rope & ring moves
Cute rope subtleties where the rope becomes unlinked from a standard 3-ring type large steel ring, then magically re-links visually. If you're already doing rope stuff, you'll absolutely love this.
Difficulty: 3/10. Standard rope moves, you'll have them down in no time.
Rating: 8/10. Very visual, great ideas.Erik Nordvall - Memoradix
"After three increasingly impossible card locations, the deck ends up in new deck order."
Inspired by Juan Tamariz's "The Missing Card" from Mnemonica, this routine is SOOO complex and requires quite a bit of stage time to pull off. Erik is very excited and interactive with the audience, and does get a good reaction, but this whole setup is just too complex.
You need a false riffle shuffle (he uses "The Real Green Shuffle" from Green Magic DVDs), a card separation, a cull separation, and to memorize 3 cards while you're searching through looking for missing ones. Ouch.
Difficulty: 8/10. You'll need to dedicate a large portion of your life to get all the pieces down.
Rating: 4/10. In my opinion, there are so many great card effects out there (even stage-based) that aren't nearly this complex.Erik Nordvall - The Real Green Shuffle
Here's his variation of the Green Shuffle mentioned above, which looks fantastic. Worth the practice time since it looks super clean.Johan Ståhl - Sleeveless Sleeving (pen routine)
His great technique for sleeving objects while your sleeves appear to be rolled up. Watch the demo from his DVD here:http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=S12296
Which features a pen routine taught in this section. Since that DVD is only 40 minutes long, you're receiving like 1/4th of it right here in his section of 21. It's very visual, looks fantastic and is extremely disarming to the spectators. I'll go out on a limb and say it looks like real magic when he does it.
The final phase of the pen routine on the "Sleeveless Sleeving" contains a spoon, but on here it's a jumbo pen. Like it matters, but still.
Difficulty: 4/10. Will take some considerable practice to become as proficient as him, but WELL WORTH IT.
Rating: 10/10. Looks like real magic, and the possibilities of your OWN routines, especially with coins, metal bending, etc using this stuff is endless. I'm giving it a perfect 10.Johan Ståhl - Sleeveless & Purseless
The same sleeving techniques from above, using a coin purse frame.Jonas Ljung - Forced Will
Some contraversy over this being similar to Jimmy Fingers "Order of Free Will", although they are said to be different.
Spectator moves objects around the table, and you display a prediction that's been sitting on the table before it started. It shows exactly where the three objects are. Does use equivoque, but it's VERY refined and not noticeable by even the pickiest spectator. They literally pick some objects out of their purse or pockets, move them around, read prediction. Whole trick takes like 1 minute, however does require a table.
Difficulty: 1/10. You only need to memorize two small things, both of which are easy. Requires no outs at all, works 100%.
Rating: 10/10. Everybody is always seeking an impromptu effect that hits hard. This is your ticket. Especially since you can write the prediction on the back of your business cards.BONUS: Joachim Solberg - JS Card Control, DL and Top Change
JS Card Control: A riffle peek and side steal replacement, that brings the selected card to the bottom.
DL: Paintbrush change variation, NOT a new actual DL technique.
Top Change: Method of inserting a selected card between two jokers.
Out of these three, I was impressed with the Top Change move. The other two reminded me of many moves I've seen before, just combined in a different manner.Disc #2
- one hourAnders Modén - Cherry Blossom
Anders sticks a cherry in his mouth, eats it, and while showing his mouth empty a bottle appears. Cute bottle production, very angly.
Difficulty: 3/10. The bottle hold will require some practice.
Rating: 9/10. If your spectators are mostly in front, or you need some great YouTube footage, this is stellar.Anders Modén - Suction
A glass sticks to the table, actually lifting the table slightly off the ground when you try to pull it. You instantly release it by twisting. Anders states this tricks sucks, although it's just something cute you can do for friends at a restaurant.
Difficulty: 1/10. You'll be ready to perform it in 10 minutes.
Rating: 7/10. Cute impromptu gag for restaurants or bars.Tim Star - Ace routine
A multi-phase trick consuming ONE THIRD of the DVD (20 minutes). Cards you select randomly out of the deck transform into the four aces then vanish one by one. Then the deck changes. A lot of moving parts here, and an almost master's thesis on lapping. If you've ever wanted to learn lapping techniques, you'll be enthralled by this effect.
Difficulty: 7/10. Many sleights and lap switches you'll need to master. Getting to his level of performance will require A LONG TIME.
Rating: 9/10. Lovely effect, well thought out and engaging. You'll obviously need to be seated at a table to perform all stages.Micke Askernäs - Display Bend
A spoon magically bends - three times, then finally straightens out to its original position.
OK so we got:
- Liquid Metal, phase 2 bend
- Palm subltety I've seen before (Banachek?)
- Interesting bend I like
- The straighten out phase that I like
These require a very short spoon, that can (mostly) fit into your hand. Combine this with Dee Christopher's Metal DVD (QuickSilver routine) for an AWESOME spoon sequence.
Difficulty: 3/10. Standard metal bending, you should already be able to do this.
Rating: 10/10. Cute little spoon routine. I'm rating it a perfect 10 if combined with QuickSilver, 9/10 by itself.Micke Askernäs - Askernas Retention Pass
Retension pass with a coin, but using a different technique. The retension of vision is very strong here, plus there's an extended space between your other hand and the coin that I like, making it more impossible.
Difficulty: 3/10. Standard retension pass, just modified.
Rating: 10/10. I gotta practice this immediately, looks really great. The distance impossibility straight up turns me on.Tom Stone - Redneck Remedy
"An innovative twist on the multiplying bottles" - Tom performs a multi-phase routine that provides some much needed spice to your multiplying bottles prop. He adds a silk that moves between bottles and shot glasses, which is pretty cool.
Difficulty: 1/10. If you can use your existing bottles prop, you'll master this in no time.
Rating: 8/10. Nice subltety.Tom Stone - Gap Drive
A coin move that invisibly switches it from one hand to the other, at a pretty good distance.
Difficulty: 4/10. A knack move, will require some considerable practice.
Rating: 7/10. Kinda cool I guess.Tom Stone - Clink Catch
More of a bar bet, Tom shows how to catch coins resting on your elbow while simultaneously changing them to another object.Tomas Blomberg - Time After Time
Break out the pipe and slippers, here's a very magician-oriented trick where you sit down and blabber about randomizations, correlations and have the spectators count cards (THREE TIMES). Based on Jack Parker's "The Third Time's The Charm" which appeared in Genii (06/2007) but altered to use a shuffled deck, this trick requires two breaks, a rigged table shuffle and other unpleasantries. Bring some uppers for your audience, because I can't imagine anyone NOT checking their cellphone IM's from sheer boredom.
Difficulty: 4/10. A few sleights and rules, but nothing too difficult.
Rating: 4/10. OK for performing at your local magic club. Maybe I'm biased because I hate counting tricks, especially THREE TIMES.Conclusion
Several professional magicians are giving us actual routines out of their reperitoires. Normally, you'll get a collab DVD like this, and it'll be on dude making up street magic tricks. They aren't thought out, not very practiced and totally useless for an actual paid gig (yo yo, let me link yo shoelaces together!)
. But here you're receiving a virtual lapping lecture, the "Sleeveless Sleeving" DVD technique, some cool metal bending, coin moves, rope stuff, SOLID stage and close-up routines - all for $28?!BUY NOW - must have. Total hotsauce.The Official Spam:
"I have rarely enjoyed watching a magic DVD as much as this one. The productions values are top-notch, the setting is elegant, the inventors are charming and well-rehearsed, and the material is of an extremely high quality."
- Gordon Bean
"Ten of Scandinavias most clever and talented magicians demonstrate and teach their magic on this new DVD. This is creative, energetic and visual magic in a beautifully produced DVD, highly recommended."
- Matthew Field, Editor, The Magic Circular
"Watch out for the latest invasion from Scandinavia! Fortunately it is just excellent magic, very well executed. A Smorgasbord of Magic - it"s their specialty."
- Roberto Giobbi
"Do yourself a favor and get 21! Twen-ty-one, Twen-ty-one!"
"Refresh your perspective, recharge your attitude, and let the Lateral Thinking and novel approaches expand your consciousness! 21 does what creative works are supposed to do: inspire, guide, teach, satisfy, and make your magic new."
- Jon Racherbaumer
"Creativity is certainly alive and well in Sweden! The thoughts that popped into my head as I watched were - Wow! This is excellent! Great thinking! Got me again! How cool is that! My two word recommendation - "Buy it!"
- Mike Powers
"These DVDs have something for everyone - great bar gags, great close-up ideas, great stage magic ideas."
- Allan Ackerman
Ten inventors and performers of magic took siege of the magic bar in stockholm to record project 21, but it proved impossible to hold a strong fort against the proprietor who opened the doors and laymen flooded the premises. Could they continue their secret work, just a few feet away from the unsuspecting guests? The following takes place between 10 am and 11 pm:
* The Self Bending Straw - A drinking straw bends by itself as you hold it lightly.
* Circle Vanish - A very visual coin vanish.
* Two rope & ring moves - Fast, clean and super visual linking and unlinking of a ring and rope.
* Memoradix - After three increasingly impossible card locations, the deck ends up in new deck order.
* The Real Green Shuffle - Lennart Green's false riffle shuffle with Erik"s addition.
* Sleeveless Sleeving - A pen appears, disappears, appears and transforms, a crash course in sleeving!
* Sleeveless & Purseless - Bonus sleeving.
* Forced Will - An impromptu prediction of how the spectator will place random objects on the table.
* JS Card Control, DL and Top Change, adapted into three short and powerful card tricks.
* Cherry Blossom - Not suitable at the dinner table. Regurgitation, sort of...
* Suction - Impromptu, designed for dinner seatings.
* Ace routine - Includes Ace Production, the Turnover Muck Switch, Vanishing Aces, the Breakaway Case.
* Display Bend - Cheeky and visual spoonbending.
* Askernas Retention Pass - Utility coin vanish.
* Redneck Remedy - An innovative twist on the multiplying bottles.
* Gap Drive - You will love to practise this magician fooler.
* Clink Catch - An eyecatching stunt. Start with coins, turn them into anything you like.
* Time After Time - An amazing principle. Three spectators, a shuffled deck and a series of random events leading to three impossible card revelations that will probably even fool the performer.
Total Running Time Approximately: 2hr 6min