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.
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
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 . . .
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.
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.
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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