First off, todays my birthday
Now I've got that out the way, the review:
A lot of people have been asking about questions about the difficulty level of the tricks so I will try and focus more on this aspect of the dvd. Before I start there is nothing on the dvd that anyone who’s willing to put time into wont be able to do, eerythings easily do-able I’ll give the tricks a rating out of 10, then a difficulty rating out of 10. I bought this as a complete rookie to coin magic so bear this in mind when reading the difficulty levels. They will be more as comparisons against each other than to other sleights and tricks (if you think, they’re a load of balls, just ignore them) I’m pretty sure most of you know the tricks by now and I’m too lazy to write out detailed run-throughs of each trick so I’ll paste them off - http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=466
First off, the dvd is 2 hours long and the 13 tricks shown are shown with 3 performances (2 street, 1 studio) and a lengthy, detailed explanation. There can be no complaints about this aspect of the dvd.
- A clean and slick impromptu Coins Across. All you need are 3 borrowed quarters. Better start doing your Pinky-Pushups for this incredibly fair handling.
This in my opinion is the most difficult trick on the dvd and will take the most practice. Having said that, it’s just about my favourite. I spent a long time getting the slight used down still I just cant see how Greg does it so quickly, easily and invisibly. Just as a guide, it took me no time at all to learn the slight but days of solid practice to do it fluently. The great thing is though; you always have a coin on you so you can practice anytime, anywhere. Most the practice will be getting the performance fluent to a stage you are happy to perform it. This is pretty undetectable when performed and is a real killer. Greg also kindly throws in a really nice vanishing pinky effect. Score 10/10 Diff 8/10
- A very convincing copper/silver transposition with the spare change in your pocket - a penny and a dime. Now you can perform Scotch and Soda anywhere, at any time
This is another general favourite and the great news is, it’s so easy it’s stupid. This is another killer effect and takes minimal practice. No-one should put this down because of it’s ease, if anything this should make it more of a favouritre. Nomatter what your experience with coins, this trick really shouldn’t be a stumbling block. Score 10/10 Diff 2/10
- Gregory's classic, as you've never seen it. Greg's added new subtleties, moves and brilliant new ending where the pen is pulled from the pencap!
I already new this from AOA but had never really put much time into it, this was one of the things I was looking forward to most. Again, there is nothing too difficult with this effect and the main practice will be in making the routine flow. This is fun to practice and even more fun to perform. Every bit of praise this routine gets is deserved. Score 10/10 Diff 5/10
- A Paper Balls over the Head routine with anything - and everything. Gregory grabs glasses, plates, and saltshakers - anything he can get his mitts on!! This routine alone is a postgraduate course in misdirection.
At first I watched this, laughed, and discarded it as a jokey type trick. After watching it again though and seeing he gets the best reactions out of any trick I wanted to see if it would really work. This effect is dynamite and just watching Greg perform it teaches you great misdirection skills. It’s one that to practice, you really have to perform which may put people off but my advice would be to just try it. Score 8/10 diff 5/10
- A Close-up miser's dream that ends with a jumbo production! Multiple methods ensure that spectator's never see the same move twice.
I haven’t heard much positive said about this trick but I love it. The concept of it’s great but I think the trick itself could be stronger (its not hard to come up with your own routine though) The Sylvester pitch is an extremely useful thing to know and has a lot of uses. Its got a dvd devoted to it so cant be bad to pick it up here. As to the difficulty of it, I’ve heard people talk of it as the hardest thing on the dvd but I have to say I picked it up really quickly. I think the main aspect of it is co-ordination. Score 8/10 diff 7/10
- Ordinary keys and their key ring become a mini Linking Ring routine.
This is an excellent and extremely easy effect. As with everything, it’ll take practice but there is nothing difficult which you’re gonna struggle with. It’s a 3 phase routine and is yet another killer effect on the dvd. IMO leaving home has nothing on this which again shows what great value for money this really is Score 8/10 diff 5/10
- A smear of borrowed lipstick penetrates a spectator's tightly clenched fist. This is perhaps the most motivated and natural routine in the series! Even if you're familiar with the method, you'll still be fooled watching the performance!
This is an amazing trick and extremely easy. Greg’s tips are excellent and the spec really will be left confused as the method is sort of detached from the trick. This is a really great thing to know as whenever you see the opportunity, wherever you are you can do it. There’s gonna be loads of opportunities as well so this will get performed. Score 8/10 diff 2/10
- A quarter disappears and reappears three times - in your eye socket (like a monocle), on the spectator's shoulder, and finally under their watch. All you need is a quarter
This is another great routine but will take guts to perform in a real life situation. As others have said there is another phase which is a bonus. There is nothing more difficult than a false transfer sleight wise but misdirection plays a big part. Even if you never use it, you will learn a lot from Greg about misdirection and “the moment” which is basically when a spectator is off guard. Tips like these really will improve your magic and are another huge plus of the dvd. Score 8/10 diff 5/10
- The impact of a sponge ball routine with ordinary cocktail napkins. Greg's gone beyond the ordinary spongeball moves and has them reappearing in surprising places. Greg also introduces a new concealment that will fool you and your spectators
This is another great routine and again is fairly easy. It’s a sponge ball routine and can be used as that, Greg uses napkins to keep the impromptu, street theme. I’ve never done anything with sponge balls but this is a strong routine and wont take you anytime at all to pick up. Greg teaches a great ditch which has uses for many things and is great for thumbtip work as he points out. Score 7/10 diff 5/10
99 Cent Trick
- Multiple coin vanishes topped off with a dizzying transposition. That's all I'm telling you.
This is a nice trick but there’s just a lot better, it’s just not that shocking. You wont learn anything new from this. Greg does put the trick together very cleverly and each time a coin is vanished, it cancels out however the spec might think you did it from the last vanish and again from the explanation you will learn a lot from him but I just don’t like the effect that much. Score 7/10 diff 5/10
- You toss a borrowed wedding band into the air and then stab it with your finger
Greg says this is his favourite to perform on the tape and it is fun to perform. There is more to it than the description but I feel it’s more of a comedy routine than a trick. Greg gets great reactions from this and it really fits his style as a comedy magician entertainer type guy. It’s really easy and as long as you polish up your presentation you should enjoy and get a lot out of this trick Score 7/10 Diff 2/10
Ticker taker/ Playful Pick pocketing
- As much as enjoyed watching Greg perform these, like many others I just cant see myself performing them in real life situations. I think they’re impractical to practice and there’s always the old “hey he’s stealing my stuff” aspect of it all. Greg doesn’t really go into the pickpocketing as much as I’d like which is another reason I wouldn’t feel confident performing them. If you can do them, congrats and theres endless applications to them but I think I’ll leave them to the experts Score 5/10 diff 8/10
After looking at the difficulties I gave I realise they might not be of much help as its really hard to give as comparing against each other doesn’t give you a true indication of the difficulty. All I can say is that nothing on the dvd will be beyond anyone but much of it takes practice.
Overall I have to give the dvd 10/10 for obvious reasons
Oh, and I dont know how the edited magicmandan does a review this long everyday of the week, this took me about a week!!