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The Castle Routine by Ed Ellis - DVD
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For over 25 years, Ed Ellis has performed close-up magic, sleight of hand illusions, and full time table magic for Hollywood, TV, and sports celebrities. His is also an accomplished award winning drummer, and has played on stage with The Buddy Rich Band.
"Ed's sleight of hand is simply AMAZING! He is a master of the art."
- Johnny "ACE" Palmer, World Champion Magician, FISM Grand Prix Winner
Running Time Approximately 71min
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Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
Ok . . . Maybe I'm retarded. I mean it wouldn't be the first time someone proved such a thing. I watched this video which was a fast-paced 20 minute routine of Ellis performing at the Magic Castle.
When it was all done, the DVD reset to the main menu. I should go on record now saying that this DVD menu is by far the most confusing menu I've ever experienced on a DVD.
First, you can't read some of the titles because the font is too small and the color blends in with the background. Second, it seemed like everything I clicked just took me to another commercial for another DVD of his.
So on the main menu you have 6 options:
1. Castle Act Live
2. Beginner's Corner
3. Perform with Style
5. Card in Shoe
6. Lecture DVDs
Lecture DVDs takes you to the above-mentioned illegible screen that seems to just take you to other commercials.
Clicking "Castle Act . . . " does what you think . . . it shows you the 20 minute performance
"Beginner's corner" teaches three sleights, a double lift, Tilt and The Elmsley Count.
"Card in Shoe" teaches his handling on coin in liver . . . ok it teaches card in shoe.
"Perform with Style" was literally Mr. Ellis showing us literally 30 different ways to turn over cards . . . literally . . . 30 . . . seriously.
After wading through all of the various menu items, it was time to watch the explanations. I can't wait to watch those explanations because there were some cool moves, sleights and tricks in the castle act. Suddenly Jeff remembers that he broke a mirror yesterday and thus the seven years of bad luck begins today . . . as I pressed "explanations" boy was I surprised that none of the castle act was taught but rather, I got to learn all 30 (yes literally 30) ways to turn over a card. Surely at the end of this, I will find the explanations to the castle act . . . no such luck . . . curse you broken mirror!
So I've come to the conclusion that the point of this DVD was not to teach you the castle act, but rather to show you a pro in his environment. I just confirmed that with the ad copy, and that's pretty much what they're saying.
Therefore let us pretend that I went in with no other expectations than to learn from watching his act. I think I got a D- or an F . . . cuz I didn't learn much. His routine was super fast, hard to see, and for the most part the audience reaction and interaction was weak. Don't get me wrong; there were a few good tricks in there, but a lot of it was basically this kind of crap:
Look; I'm so good at the classic force, I can make you pick your signed card 93 times in a row.
or another classic: Look; I'm so good at the pass that I can make these cards in the middle come back to the top instantly 438 times in a row.
and finally, lest we forget . . . Look; I'm so good at side-stealing and palming that I can put your card in the deck and immediately palm it out and pretend to pull it from my pocket.
Everything (for the most part) was just show off moves. The irony is that at least twice, he made the comment that he wasn't going to do sleight of hand because " . . . this isn't the Sleight of Hand Castle . . . it's the Magic Castle." Yet all he really did was demo how smooth (albeit rushed) his sleight of hand skills are.
The only effect you learn is the card in shoe. Everything else, you have to buy the other DVDs to learn how to do the effects. This whole DVD seemed to be a commercial that the customer pays $25.00 for. My vote is don't buy this DVD. Sorry Mr. Ellis. 1.5 stars. Rubble.
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