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Series of Unfortunate Effects by Chris Mayhew & Five Academy (2 DVD Set + Booklet)

Price: $39.95
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Dealing with a mix of wacky personalities, including eccentric magicians and crazed card collectors, Chris and Ben go on a quest to learn the real secrets of magic.

After witnessing an amazing magic trick performed by the world-famous Lee Asher, Chris enlists his friend Ben's help to discover the secret.

They soon discover though that learning the secrets to magic aren't as easy as they once thought. Chris and Ben need to help Lee find something he's looking for before he'll share the secret with them. In order to do that they have to go through magicians Jeff Hinchliffe, Glenn West, and Chris Westfall, while avoiding destruction at the hands of crazed card collector Bill Abbott on a wild adventure filled with laughs and great card tricks.

More than just another instructional DVD:

  • Eight powerful routines using nothing more than a regular deck of cards.
  • A 90 minute feature length film, including a laymen cut (45min) so you can watch it with your non-magician friends and family.
  • Spend time learning from incredible magicians like: Ben Train, Chris Mayhew, Jeff Hinchliffe, Chris Westfall, and Glenn West.
  • Special appearances by Bill Abbott and Lee Asher.
  • Includes a 40+ page booklet filled with stories, fun facts about the cast & crew, and two routines not taught on the DVD but performed in the movie.
  • Bursting with extra features including: Director's commentary, hilarious outtakes, and a 40 minute interview with Tom & Judy Dawson about collecting playing cards.

1. Lu Lu Lemon (Chris Mayhew) Based on Paul Harris' La La's Lu Lu, the magician openly isolates a face-down card among a fan of face up cards, then sets the packet aside. While displaying a different packet of cards, the magician asks the spectator to freely name any card they see. In a feat of ultra-coincidence, the original face down-card proves to be the exact card the spectator chose.

2. Colour Changing Deck (Glenn West) A series of clever colour changes carefully blended together to create a visually eye-popping routine. As a special bonus, Glenn teaches his refined handling of Ed Marlo's Snap Change.

3. Wide Open Travelers (Glenn West) Like Ed Marlo's The Open Travelers, four aces travel invisibly from the magician's hand to the table. Each Ace's journey becomes more impressive and impossible than the last. Did we mention only four Aces are used!?!

4. Detour on 51st Street (Ben Train) A pseudo demonstration of shuffle tracking. Two jokers randomly mixed into the pack swiftly find a selection lost earlier in the routine. This will have your spectators convinced you're a professional gambler when it comes to tracking cards.

5. Harmony (Jeff Hinchliffe) Inspired by Dai Vernon's Triumph, cards are shuffled face up and face-down creating a chaotic mess. A spectator picks a card, then the magician claims he can divine subtle pieces of information about the selection from simply mixing the pack. After a handful of shuffles, the selection is revealed face up among the rest of the face-down cards. As a kicker to prove an ultimate display of skill, the cards are turned over to reveal they are now all in new deck order.

6. Oil and Water (Jeff Hinchliffe) A fast-paced multi-phase routine where four red cards are fairly mixed with 4 black cards, but they keep mysteriously separating. Each phase escalates to an impossible climax that the spectators won't see coming.

7. Training Wheels (Ben Train) A whimsically fun handling of an Ace production where the magician visually splits the Four of Spades into the four Aces in one seamless motion. So amazing and easy, people will want to chop off your hands to perform it.

8. Hold 'em Seductively (Chris Westfall) A Texas Hold 'em themed transposition based on Paul Harris' Seductive Switch where the magician trades his lousy cards for better ones using his magical powers. After witnessing this routine, your friends will think twice before playing cards with you again.

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Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 12th, 2014
This is a revolutionary idea that Chris and Ben have thought up of. Combining an entire movie with a magic dvd. The movie is great with a ton of funny moments. It is about chris and ben trying to find a secret to a magic trick. Overall the movie gets a 10/10.
The tricks
Lu Lu Lemon: A more direct version of La La Lu if you the original you might like this one better its ok to me 7/10
Wide Open Travelers: A very hard and a major improvement the phases get more and more impressive 9/10
Color Changing deck: I think that magicians would like this more that laymen, but if you like your card magic visual and a little difficult you'll probably like this one 9.5/10
Shuffle Tracking: Meh didn't seem that impressive just a card trick 5/10
Harmony: An EXTREMELY DIFFICULT triumph but it seems super impossible if you can do it 9/10
Training Wheels a very cool ace production 9/10
Oil and water: easy to do with a killer ending 8.5/10
Hold 'em Seductively a magic trick and a gambling demonstarion pretty cool 7.5/10
Overall the tricks get a 8/10 pretty good but I think they could have been better.
Overall a cool dvd project that you should pick up.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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Really good Film Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on February 21st, 2015
I really really like this film , very inspire . But why I can't see tutorial for Shuffle Tracking by Ben Train in this film ?
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
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The Title of the DVD is Accurate - Unfortunate Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 5th, 2014
I had such high expectations for this, as Im sure most magicians will. However, the title is 100% accurate with this DVD.

There are only 2-3 effects that are actually practical for real world audiences. Everything else is only for the camera, period. Just because there is a new method created for something, does not mean it is better, by a long shot! Please, please spend your money elsewhere. I honestly have already listed this on ebay because it is absolutely worthless. I do not come to Penguin to buy a horrible movie script, I want new and powerful close up magic. It is hard for me to believe that Chris Mayhew and Ben Train believe that they have put out a quality product with this DVD. I won't believe that
3 of 6 magicians found this helpful.
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Don't Miss This One Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 3rd, 2014
Just finished watching the movie. Twice.

First the Feature Film (magicians' version) on Disc 1, then the Layman's Cut on Disc 2.

I would recommend watching the Layman's Cut first in order to fully appreciate and enjoy the film. The Layman's Cut has all the magic, minus the explanations of course. Although they did incorporate the explanations within the story in the feature film as seamlessly as they could, it does seem to put a little drag on the pace and storyline that won't be found at all in the Layman's Cut.

With the Layman's Cut, you get a generous helping of pure entertainment; It moves along at a brisk clip, dry and subtle humor sprinkled throughout (with an occasional gut-buster), and a wonderfully written story line, exquisitely shot,(considering their budget) and a GREAT ending.

I would have enjoyed this film even if there wasn't a single real trick in the thing at all!

But that being said, the card tricks are fantastic. My favorite is Glenn West's "Color-Changing Deck" routine. His "Wide-Open Travelers" is also a masterpiece, but to be honest, I think very few will be able to pull it off anywhere near the way Glenn does (it's hard), and it's not one of those things that you can get away with doing, "almost as good."

On the other side of the coin, you've got Ben Train's, "Training Wheels" - a beautiful little eye-popper you can do right off the bat, as well as Westfall's, "Hold'em Seductively", a commercial and highly visual take of Harris' "Seductive Switch" embedded in an entertaining as hell Texas Hold'em Plot. Then there's Jeff Hinchliffe's, "Oil and Water", another you can do right "out of the box." Really well thought out.

For the faro guys, you've got Ben's "Detour on 51st Street", a real gem, presented as a demonstration of incredible "Shuffle Tracking", as well as Hinchliffe's total butt-kicker, "Harmony". Probably one of the most exquisite demonstrations of full deck control with Triumph embedded into it that you're ever gonna see. (The latter however, is one reserved for the real faro shufflers out there, not the "I can pull off one or two in a pinch" type guys like myself.)

This film (and it's a real film - not just another "magic video") is a work of art on so many levels that I can't possibly do justice to it if I were to attempt to discuss everything that deserves attention. (Even if I were qualified to discuss film making at any level.)

All I know, is that if you don't buy it, at least make sure that you see it. You're gonna love it!

3 of 6 magicians found this helpful.
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AMAZING Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on December 22nd, 2015
Just want to say its not for beginners like me so it wasnt really useful but the tricks are amazing and all you really need a normal pack of cards!!!!!
So deserves 5 stars
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