(To see the original post with pictures go to
Production: This is a Big
Blind Media production so, as we have come to expect from them, the production quality is excellent.
The graphics are not overdone or distracting and the picture quality is very clear. You can hear
everything very well and the music fits the theme of the dvd. There is absolutely nothing to worry
about in this category. It's a very well-produced dvd.
The Menu: There are just four simple
options on the menu, which make for easy access. You can press Play All, Performances, Explanations,
and Credits. If you press Play All, all of the effects will play in performance then explanation,
next performance then explanation, etc. Of course all of the performances and explanations can be
accessed on demand from the other sections on the menu, as mentioned above. Nothing to worry about
in this category either.
Performances: All of the performances are done in a black studio
with "psycho-bunny," which is played by David Forrest. You can see what all the performances look
like from watching the demo. The bunny might distract some people who are a bit less tolerant to
goofiness on magic dvd's, but personally I thought it was funny, entertaining, and much better to
watch than some bored spectator who clearly doesn't want to be there.
crediting for each effect rolls across the bottom of the screen at the beginning of each
explanation. This was a little distracting, but it only goes on for about 30 seconds at most, but
you can still just rewind for those few seconds if you think you missed anything. I think I would've
liked it better if the credits were at the end of each trick, like BBM did with Killer Gaft Magic (A
great dvd by the way). Either way, the credits are clear, concise and they don't take up a long
portion of the explanation, which I enjoyed.
Teaching: The teaching on the disc is
entertaining and does what it's supposed to do; explain the effect. Liam often offers little tips or
ideas to change the method and/or presentation. The ever jubilant Owen Packard accompanies Liam
during the explanation and makes sure to ask questions that we, the viewers might have when watching
the dvd. He also provided some entertainment and funny banter with Liam to make the explanation not
so dry. I really like this format of teaching, and as a result I found I was able to learn
everything with no problem.
My Rating System-
I rate on a scale of 1 to 5. It is
broken down like this:
Now that you know the rating system, Ill describe and give my thoughts on each of the effects
presented on The Wicked World of Liam Montier.
Stickman Sebastian: A
card is selected and then lost into the pack. A little post-it note with a stickman on it is
introduced and stuck onto the top card. The post-it note vanishes and when the deck is spread, the
post-it note is on the back of the face-down selected card. The post-it note is taken off and put
onto a different card, as the selected card is placed under the spectator's hand. The post-it note
vanishes from the card in your hand and of course appears on the back of the card under the
spectator's hand. What a awesome way to start the dvd off! It's so simple, as most of Liam's effects
are, and it's a very fun piece that would play excellently in a walk-around situation. One of my
favorite effects on the dvd. 5/5
Hof Slap: The four aces are taken out and placed aside.
Another card is selected, returned, etc. The aces are placed face-down into the spectator's hand.
When you slap the cards all but one fall to the floor face-up. Of course it is the ace that matched
the suit of the selected card. However when the card is turned over, it has changed to the selected
card! As a bonus and optional ending, the other three aces then change into the mates of the
selected card. Another kicker that you could add, but he doesn't teach, is having the missing ace
appear face-up in the middle of the deck. Once again Liam took some old moves and put them together
to make a really quick, simple, fun version of the Hofzinzer ace problem where the change actually
happens in their hands (always a good thing). There are some spectators who know the "slap
revelation," but they're still going to be totally fooled when the ace changes in their hand, and
when the other aces change as well. I can see myself doing this routine in the future. 4/5
Worry Dolls: This is the first non-card trick, and it's a bit of a weird one. Three little
"worry dolls" are dumped out of the container which you can see in this picture. They are placed
into your hand one at a time and they subsequently vanish. When the box is shaken something can be
heard inside, and of course when you open the box, there are the worry dolls once again. I think if
you put some thought into the presentation, this could be a fairly creepy performance piece. This is
a good example of showing Liam's style of creativity, which you can apply toward creating your own
magic. He pretty much took a very old method and just applied it to a prop that was different,
engaging, conversation-starting, etc. 3/5.
Lollipop: Here's a nice little off-beat effect.
Basically you pull on the top of a rounded lollipop and it breaks off. You then visibly restore it.
It's quick, simple, visual, and fun. This is like an effect that would belong in Michael Weber's
book Life Savers, meaning it looks impromptu and it pretty much is impromptu...but not quite. I
think this would be a great thing to do for kids at a fair or some other place where they give out
lollipops. I mean, you could either do an ambitious card, or you could take a kid's lollipop and
visibly break and restore it (That sounded very wrong). You won't be doing this in a show, but it's
a nice situational effect to keep in the back of your mind. 3/5
OOTW-999: A packet of
fourteen cards is introduced. One red card and one black card is taken from the packet and they are
set down as marker cards, in true OOTW fashion. You then show the other cards to all be in pairs of
one red card and one black card. The cards are turned face-down, and you hold out two cards, asking
the spectator to sense which is the red card. The card they do not pick is set aside and the card
they did pick is set by the appropriate marker. This occurs until the packet is exhausted. Of course
they are right on all the colors and when you look at the cards they set aside, they form the
spectator's phone number. It's an interesting effect, but quite frankly, there are better OOTW
routines out there, and much better phone number revelations (As in David Regal's On Call effect
from Constant Fooling). These effects just don't seem to logically fit well together. I mean, you go
from a spectator mentalism effect to "Look, your phone number!" IMO both effects are strong enough
to do on their own. Combining them just seems to confuse things. 3/5
Visual Voodoo: Six
stickmen are drawn on a business card and a spectator selects one of them. You circle the one they
selected, and then have them write the initials of somebody that they would like to be the "subject"
of your voodoo on a piece of "tissue paper." This is then crunched up into a ball and placed on top
of the business card. The paper is lit and when the excitement dies down, everybody sees that the
circled stickman has vanished but all the other stickmen and the circle still remain. This can be
given away as a souvenir. This is a very cool effect, but it does use a forcing technique that I
personally can't stand. Liam does offer some GREAT advice though on how to make the technique much
more believable. Thanks to his tips, I can see myself getting some milage out of this effect. It's a
great way to hand out your contact info. Obviously you will need flash paper and a secret something
else that will last you a long time. 4/5
Triumph Twist: A card is selected, put back, etc.
The cards are shuffled face-up and face-down which are convincingly displayed. The cards are left
somewhat unshuffled and the face-down cards are pushed "through" the face-up cards. The face-down
cards instantly emerge face-up (ala Unshuffling Rebecca which was an inspiration for this routine).
The cards are immediately spread and all are shown to be face-up except for one...the selected card.
This routine also leaves you set-up for Cheater (the next effect), which is nice. There's no set-up
for this effect, it has a great visual moment, it's convincing, easy, requires no table. I really
like this! 4/5
Cheater: You offer to show the spectator how to cheat at blackjack. You take
out two desirable cards, the JS and AS, and place them face-to-face sticking out of your sleeve. You
then take a random bad hand like the 9H and the 7D. These two cards visually change to the AS and
JS. When you pull out the cards in your sleeve they have been switched to the bad hand cards. I LOVE
this routine. Part of it might seem a little ballsy, but just don't think about it, and you'll be
alright. The premise is great, and there's little or no set-up (If you do Triumph Twist before
this). The change is so visual, so stunning, and it's easy to do. 5/5
Psy-Kik: Here's a
mentalism piece where you divine the ESP symbol somebody thought-of (and wrote down) as well as any
number, or set of initials that they also thought-of (and conveniently wrote down on the same
post-it note). You never touch the post-it note, they never say anything out loud. No furtive
glances towards your hand. They can keep the post-it note. The post-it isn't prepared at all, there
are no gimmicks to buy (Well maybe one that you can find at the dollar store, if you don't have it).
Basically it's just a really solid, strong piece of mentalism, IF you present it right (Like all
mentalism). I love this! 5/5
Coin-Corde: A chinese coin and a closed loop of cord is
introduced. The chinese coin visibly links onto the cord. Then it visually unlinks with just a wave.
Finally you throw the coin at the cord and it visibly links back onto it. Everything can then be
examined. I really like this routine! It's quite simple, it has some really nice visual moments in
it and it is something you can carry around with you very easily for walkaround situations. Just as
a note, you do not actually have to use a chinese coin. You could routine this with something like
Sankey's Holy Moly and just use a washer. I think using the chinese coin has a nice presentational
hook to it though (How ancient Chinese used to carry their coins). The final move, throwing the coin
back onto the cord, takes some practice and it is a little knacky, but it's nothing too difficult.
Overall, there is a lot of flexibility in this routine, and room for changing each of the phases to
fit you. 4/5
Withdrawal: A bank slip is folded up and when you snap your fingers, you open
the bank slip to find $20 inside! Also another interesting kicker has happened, but I don't want
to say it since, somebody could probably just steal the idea, without buying the dvd. Anyway, this
is a very simple, fun routine with a nice premise. If you have been in magic for any amount of time,
then you will easily be able to switch out plenty of different, possibly better, methods to the one
provided. I think this effect would play best in an impromptu seeming situation like if you were
searching through your wallet and "just happened upon" a bank slip. Then you could go into the trick
and it would have much more impact. 4/5
Psychic Pickpocket: Five cards are randomly
selected and the spectator is asked to think of any one of them. Those cards are replaced face-down
into the face-up deck so that they stand out. You never look at those cards. The deck is placed into
the case and then into a bag or somebody's pocket (ala Clutch). You reach in with an empty hand and
of course, pull out the card they thought of. Everything can be examined. The presentation involved
in this effect is very nice IMO. It seems like Liam really put a lot of thought into this effect.
This is another highlight of the disc for me. Really clever effect. 5/5
Overall: This was
my favorite volume of this WWOLM series. It had great magic that I could see myself doing (actually
several that I have done) and it inspired me to apply magic concepts to things maybe I wouldn't have
thought of. Don't expect any crazy, new-fangled methods to come out of this dvd, but expect to find
several effects that are simple, solid, workable, and effective. I believe that I got my $26
worth and I would think most people will agree!
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