I've been anxiously awaiting this installment, because my TW DVDs are sitting in storage in another
country. I was really looking forward to a refresher because it's been a while since I've done this
routine and I don't have my materials here.
From the opening statement of the tutorial, I
was disappointed. And I have never been disappointed by DH's work before. But we do not get TW in
this version of The Tamed Card. It has been reduced to not much more than DH's Walk on the Wild Side
handling of Wild Card.
None of the nuances and psychology that TW had worked out for this
routine is included. The routine has been reduced to a standard handling of Wild Card; although, DH
does keep the basic presentation premise.
If you want to do a good Wild Card routine, just
get DH's Walk on the Wild Side, which comes with the necessary cards. Either buy Tommy Wonders
Visions of Wonder or his Books of Wonder.
It should be noted that DH acknowledges in his
opening statement that TW purists are probably not going to be happy with the changes he's made. I
stand firmly in that group.
19 of 20 magicians found this helpful.
This is a difficult review to write, not only because I don't like writing negative reviews, but I
have a lot of respect and gratitude for Penguin Magic, Dan Harlan, and their contributions to magic.
I am not a Tommy Wonder purist, but like most magicians, I recognize that his contribution
to the art form was in the details of his work. What made his effects so especially brilliant—beyond
his abundant talent as both a close-up and stage performer—was his attention to not only detail, but
simplicity. As he paraphrased at the beginning of of one of his Visions of Wonder DVDs, he strived
for effects that were "as simple as possible—but no simpler."
Each week's video has felt
like a gut punch, as the brilliant balance both "simple" and "no simpler" has been hackneyed on both
ends, married to some poorly executed—improvised?—presentation. The effects have been over
complicated with new elements added that muddy rather than enhance the effect (e.g. the duplicate
card in Magic Ranch). Conversely, the methods have been dumbed down in a way that lowers the
impossibility of the effects. (over-simplifying and removing nuance from the Tamed Cards, in this
This is not to say that changes of presentation and method/apparatus are not
inherently bad, and are very welcome! In fact, I think Dan's presentation of this effect around the
spectator's name is stronger than Tommy's timer/hobby presentation which I always found the weakest
element of what is otherwise the pinnacle of Wild Card routines. I also think that a four-way
forcing deck is not the most practical for most purposes, and appreciate Dan's offering an
Otherwise, most of this routine and the ones that have come before, feel like
a series of shortcuts were taken to make the effect easier to perform and/or explain, but at the
expense of the effect. And much more importantly, to the expense of the very essence of what makes
Tommy Wonder's magic so wonderful.
If this was called "Dan Harlan's interpretations of The
Books of Wonder", or Simplifying the Books of Wonder - sure, then at least what you've offered to us
wouldn't feel like false advertising. But instead, I feel rather conned and deeply disappointed as
this could have been something really special. I've considered requesting a refund, but feel that in
this difficult economic time, I'd rather take the loss to support Penguin and Dan.
I'll stay along for the ride, but will keep my expectations low. I will also recommend that everyone
purchase Visions of Wonder, perhaps the greatest 3 DVDs of magic I've ever owned or watched. You
won't agree with every choice he makes, or love all his presentations, or find all his methods the
most practical. But the attention he gives to every subtlety is the dfiference between a good
magician and a great one. That 5-10% makes the magic is the difference between a C minus and an A
plus. And this let-down of a series is a C minus at best.
10 of 11 magicians found this helpful.
Warning Tommy Wonders Tamed Card is not taught
Dan Harlan teaches his version
advertise to teach a performers trick it must be that trick. You can teach a variation but they
original must be thought.
Example you can’t advertise Dai Vernons cups and balls and not
teach it that is fraud
Tommy Wonder was one of the best Magicians of all time. Everything
is in a routine for a reason that is why he was so great.
When Dan teaches he states I’ve
made some changes that I think improve the effect. His opinion is not valid it’s not his effect and
his versions will not get the same reactions due to his changes
On all these a Books of
Wonder Videos his routines must be taught period or it’s false advertising. It’s ok to add
veriastion but the original routines must be taught please please please for the sake of Magic and
for respect of Tommy Wonder
7 of 7 magicians found this helpful.
Tommy was a shrewd comedic master of premise and presentation. Dan Harlan appears to have wrung out
most of what was great about Tamed Card, arguably the pinnacle of all Wild Card routines. The
premise that Wonder mined to glorious effect in his original has been discarded based on an apparent
misunderstanding of where the original's power lay. Premise, script, method, presentation,
performance and effect are inextricably linked. In an apparent effort to open the routine up to
everybody, Harlan strips away essential factors in the original's success. Change the premise and
you change the heart of the trick. What you end up with is a tame imitation completely lacking the
original's comedic wonder.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
This is not the Wonder routine, it’s Dans interpretation which leaves out a lot of the psychology
that makes the original routine so good. If you want a good wild card routine get it, if you want
the wonder routine stick to the book or tommy wonders dvd set.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
With all due respect although the title is 'The Tamed Card presented by Dan Harlan' The graphic
shows The Tamed Card - Tommy Wonder.
Dan has the chops so why not show both Tommy
Wonder's version along with his version of the effect.
The version I prefer is Ultimate
Wild Card by Jean-Pierre Vallarino, but the heat is on the cards to be sure. It has to be situated
within the act at a time when the audience have yielded to the suspension of belief. By the time I
get to it they have seen the equivalent of a borrowed deck do the impossible and have pretty much
conceded to the pointless affair of examining the cards any longer.
Dan's version lends
itself more to an impromptu performance, and it can be done as an opener where as I would not
perform Ultimate Wild Card by Jean-Pierre Vallarino as an opener. I need to establish a true ability
to do the impossible before doing something that impossible. Although just as impossible The Tamed
Card removes dismisses much suspicion because the spectator holding cards that have visibly changed
faces during the routine.
Still Dan talks about how complicated it is to get through
some of Tommy Wonder's moves from the book. So again why not show them? What are those difficult
This is after all Dan's tribute to his work. I am by no means a purest. All ideas
can be improved upon, but this is review is more about the expectation learning Tommy Wonder's
routine and handing style and then maybe the bonus handling by Dan Harlan and Dan gets a 5 out of 5
4 out 5 because I learned some additional spectator management aspects from this tutorial.
3 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
Very magical effect. This time around, Dan looks great in both the presentation and execution. His
handling is also an improvement, in my view, over the original. And for what it's worth, he includes
the template for an ungimmicked envelope to carry the wildcards. Envelopes made with this template
can also be used for other effects.
3 of 8 magicians found this helpful.