Man! This guy is annoying! That was my first thought in the first 10 seconds of this DVD... Sorry to
say it, but it's true. However, out of duty to my readers, I decided to watch the whole thing. I'm
glad I did. While he's still a bit annoying, there was a lot of great magic and really clever ideas
on this DVD. More details in a moment.
Matthew Johnson is a professional performer and does
a lot of strolling work. I'm thinking that if this guy came to my table putting on the personality
act that he did in the performances, I would likely tell the waiter on my next visit to make sure
the magician skips my table. I refer to it as a "personality act" because in the explanation
section, you saw a different side of Mathew... a much less annoying side.
I'm sure that I'm
coming across as rude, and I certainly don't mean to. However, I do think it is important that we
constantly are examining our character to make sure that it's solid and like-able. Mr. Johnson comes
across as an over-the-top stereotypical car salesman... Imagine if Matthew Lesko were to perform
close up magic for you . . . yeah . . . it's kind of like that.
Ok... enough raggin' on the
guy. He really does seem like a nice guy, if you make it to the explanation section. My hope is that
Mr. Johnson will read this review and take to heart what is meant to be constructive criticism about
his performance character.
To his credit, his presentations (not his character) are solid.
Again, he's not a put-and-taker. He clearly has thought through his routines and has given them a
lot of attention. He does have a couple of lines that he used in several tricks which was annoying .
. . again, that goes back to his character that needs a little work.
On to the material.
Much of his stuff is refinements and modifications to other existing routines. I think my favorite
was "ring vanish and flash production." This is a super visual piece of magic that requires you to
carry only a lighter and a some flash paper . . . You borrow the ring. It's simple, direct, and
Most of the material is pretty solid and is good for the studying performer. I will
say that his handling of Ring Flight was very nervous, choppy, and appeared unpracticed and he
flashed the gimmick several times. That was the only effect where I felt a bit disappointed.
Matthew is a good teacher. He knows his stuff. He just needs to tone down his performance
personality a bit. For $30 bucks, you'll likely get your money's worth. He had some clever
ideas, vanishing card box for one, that are worth the price of the disk. If you're looking for some
different ideas this might be your thing. Gem.
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This was one of the DVD's that I picked up several years ago when I was getting back into magic and
it has always stood out as something very special. Consider this: Two of the effects on this DVD -
MELT and Knife Thru Finger - have consistently been on Penguins Bestsellers list, and this is years
after this DVD was released! I think that is a testament to the value and endurance of these
top-shelf tricks, and no doubt you will enjoy Matthew's personality and be inspired by his thinking.
Another effect, Vanishing Cardbox, has also been released independently and is another winner. You
will have to do a little arts and crafts for the tricks mentioned, but it is relatively easy,