Three tricks for 27 bucks . . . that's 9 bucks each. The question is would these be able to sell
individually for $9.00 each. My guess is no (my math teacher was right - I do use math
everyday). However, these are really good effects . . . however, the production quality was pretty
rough. The lighting was really bad and the whole thing was pretty much shot as a wide shot. The only
place where close up shots were uses was during the ambitious card explanation where they weren't
nearly as necessary.
The menu navigation was fine . . . although "play all" didn't play all
. . . it stopped after the first effect.
Two of the three effects were very difficult to
see due to the wide shot and the lighting. The explanations weren't any better. Mr. Paul did a great
job explaining them and taught them well, and I believe you can still learn them even though you
couldn't quite see what he was showing you.
Another point of annoyance was the repeated
appearance of text on the screen in the middle of the explanation. That's a nice tool for something
that needs clarification, however, we are treated to text so small that even my 20/15 vision (that's
better than 20/20 for those who are counting) couldn't read it.
Before I get into the
specifics of each effect, let me offer a retro-suggestion to Mr. Paul. These effects are excellent .
. . all three of them are professional and visual (even though it was hard to see on camera)
effects. What I would have done if these were my effects is bring the production quality up about 2
or 3 notches, and then sell each effect individually as an instant download for about $4 to
$5 bucks each. The money saved by not replicating DVDs would have offset the cost of a better
Regardless of my opinion of the product quality itself, these tricks are top
Atomic 2.0 (4.5/5)
A piece of candy (atomic fire ball) appears in a flash of
fire. Then the candy vanishes from the wrapper and appears in your mouth. Two versions are offered
here, and they are both very simple to do and very visual. Again, Mr. Paul explains the effects
well; I just wish we could have seen them better.
This is Paul's handling
of an old Gimmick/Technique. It's beautifully visual. It is a bit angly, however, but is still very
valid for multiple venues. The effect is a bare-handed-you-can-do-it-naked vanish of a coin . . .
and you can show both sides of your hands, and you can still reproduce it just as cleanly . . .
again, slight angle problems but nothing too impractical.
A.mbitious C.ard . . . and ultra visual it is. Paul has some nice work on this plot. He has some
excellent points of theory that are worth considering. The only thing I didn't like about this is
the fact that he makes the signature on the playing card vanish at the end of the effect. Although
the vanish is super-visual, I think it takes away from the effect rather than adds to it. However,
the rest of the routine is beautiful. The moves, the timing, everything is well put together and
much more visual than a typical Ambitious Card Routine. That reminds me, I forgot to feed my goats.
Finally, you have the "Jam Session" which was just ridiculous. It was Paul talking to (not
with) his friend Matt Mello. Mr. Mello sat there living up to his name, and didn't say much as Paul
went through a no-where-near-as-interesting-as-the-earlier-explanation walk through of the U.V.A.C.
explanation. First, nothing was added by him going over it again, especially considering that he did
so in such an inferior manner. Secondly, having him do an unnecessary act was bad enough, but to do
it with a person just sitting there doing nothing was even further useless, and if that's not
enough, Matt Mello mostly remained out of frame, and the rare times he did speak, you can't hear him
because he's not mic'd like Paul is.
This is by no means a criticism of Mello. Rather it's
a criticism of Paul (or whoever the parent of that ideas was). It just added nothing to the video
and it cost this review of it a half star . . . for a grand total of 3.5 out of 5. Is it a gem or is
it rubble . . . it's a tiny gem, but gem nonetheless.