This is a classic of magic, of course, and Michael Ammar continues to be a great teacher. If you are
serious about card magic, you'll want to be investing in Ammar's old series, "Easy to Master Card
Miracles" which is where I first learned this effect. (Disclosure: I'm reviewing this video in
exchange for being provided a free download.)
If you like the effect and can see yourself
wanting to amaze everyone with it, by all means purchase this right now!
But I have a few
First of all, the video is super short, about 6 minutes, only half of which
is instruction. Normally this doesn't bother me. I feel, "don't make a video any longer than it
needs to be." Still, the construction of the gaff could be explained a little better. It might have
been a good idea to show how it is constructed on not only Bicycle, but also Tally-Ho, Bee, etc..
Which is best for this effect, and why? Are aces better, jokers, or face cards, and why? These
questions are not addressed. It just feels a little rushed. That said, making the gaff is so simple
that you can easily experiment until you get it just right for you. (Every pair of hands is slightly
different.) It's not as if you won't learn how to do this. It's just that more detail could have
Another tiny quibble, the price point. List price is $10 for one effect?
(Even on sale at $6 for one effect...) If you want to get serious about card magic, you would do
well to invest in Easy to Master Card Miracles by the same teacher here, Michael Ammar. Penguin has
these DVDs ranging in price from $26-36, most having 10-12 effects on it. That doesn't mean this
download is "bad," but at $6 (or $10) for one effect, you'll find the DVDs are probably a better
investment. (I can't remember what volume this effect is on, #5 or #6, but you'll end up wanting all
the DVDs, I'm sure.)
Lastly, and maybe this is just me, but I've never been able to quite
get the reactions I would like from this effect. It's like there's an optical illusion going on in
front of the spectator's eyes. They don't gasp, they don't say, "How did you do that?" You know that
optical illusion where you see a vase, or you could see two faces staring at each other? You look at
that optical illusion and watch both effects flip back and forth, sort of hypnotized, wondering why
your eyes are tricking you. That's what I get whenever I perform Close Up Illusion. It's not a
magician providing some astonishment... instead it's like the spectator feels their own eyes are
Again, maybe that's just me! But this is an effect that could really use a
kicker. I've never quite figured out what to do, however. The cards can NOT be given out for
inspection. And you can't really move on to something else with these three cards. (You can insert
two of these three cards back in the deck, which only puts heat on the one card...and besides, I
can't think of any full-deck trick that is a solid kicker to this effect.)
Add 'em all up,
these tiny concerns, and I've got to deduct at least one star.
From mind magic to visual magic. I use this as a false explanation to Garrett Thomas's - Stand up Monte. You said you were looking for a kicker. I think that this effect is the kicker! Do the monte, everyone thanks i'm done, switch, and voila! Your ready for one last mind F***. Hope this inspires you as you did me. And thanks for writing your review in the first place. The ,"Tapes" are as valuable then as they are today. And I agree that the value for them was better than buying this stand alone piece. - Plaudits.
p.s. I was thinking about monkey in the middle for the switch as well but haven't tried it yet.
For anyone reading these reviews before buying: The reactions you get from your audience will ALWAYS depend on YOUR presentation, audience management, and personality. If you are using this specific trick, and getting poor reactions, I can assure you, the trick is not the problem.
And if you think $10 is too high of a price tag for a mini-miracle, there is something wrong with your thought process. Haha
Seriously though, this review is really nit-picking.
The stuff he mentions, like wishing there were clips showing the gaff construction, and which cards are best to use & why...all that will reveal itself to you through common sense once you learn the secret.
I sincerely can't understand why anyone would rate this trick less than 5 stars.
For all this really is, is a SUPERB packet trick that NEVER GETS OLD.