(Close Window)
Topic: What did you think about Criss Angel's "Wine Barrel Escape" episode on MINDFREAK?
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Jul 27, 2005 11:55PM)
It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on Criss Angel's "Wine Barrel" episode.

This was my favorite episode so far and I really enjoyed the effects. Besides the barrel escape my favorite effect was the signed card through bus window.

What was your favorite effect?

Oh, I also liked the water to beer effect. Man, I wish I could make beer out of water!!! That would save me a bunch of money on the weekend! :)
Message: Posted by: the levitator (Jul 28, 2005 01:15AM)
I thought the timing on the water/beer effect was perfect! It reminded me of that Miller Lite commercial where all the guys are running around with their mouths open thinking the rainwater is beer. I was proud of myself for correctly guessing the climax for the card on bus window effect. I told my fiancee a minute before he chucked the cards, "it's going on the window!" I wasn't totally right though, I thought he was going to throw them at their side window, not the front window.

I was relieved that the escape was just that, an escape. The buildup was a bit mellowdramatic, but great TV for most people I'm sure. I think the first 2 specials were a bit better, although I'm not sure why I feel that way. I think it was just the newness and excitement of a new magic series on television. Despite all the naysayers and people who judge Criss more on his clothing and musical tastes, I think he and all of the great magicians helping him are doing a great service for our art! Putting Criss down for this monumental effort is a slap in the face to some of the best in the business. Banachek, Lance Burton, Johnny Thompson, Luke Jermay, the list is huge. I respect everyone who put their names and reputations behind Criss and his vision, and am personally grateful that professional courtesy and mutual respect still exists with those magicians I look up to. Hopefully some of it will trickle down and turn this thing we call magic into a true brotherhood again.
Message: Posted by: jynx (Jul 28, 2005 02:35AM)
I enjoyed both episodes very much so. I wasn't too fond of the stunts on these two but that's just my taste. Great shows and I look forward to next Wednesday!!
Message: Posted by: unilogo (Jul 28, 2005 06:30AM)
On a personal note. I believe , the whole hour today was the best thing in magic I have seen in a long time. But yeah personal taste.

Dejavu was JAW DROPPING! Real magic.......it was the most amazing thing I have EVER seen ANY magician do. (if as stated in the show , it was a single shot with the camera). I am floored in the method. I can't find no explanation short of non sense. Rooms moving , etc.... I feel like the day I first saw the tenkai palm being performed. Before I was into magic. With some incredible presentation that could make you a god. Enough said. I would give all my magic to know how that is done.

The rest of the show was great too. It didn't have the family drama the first two had but I feel that was a good thing. The whole show just seemed to flow.

I wasn't that stunned by the wine barrel escape. Except for the last 10 seconds! But that had been spoiled in the commercials :(

Just like the hook effect for next week has been spoiled. Almost.....

For the card through window, I was expecting something crazy. Well I got it...and didn't even come close to guessing right.

Good stuff.

Love the show.

But I love sideshow toooooo much and what angel did in the second show was drop dead amazing too! My personal favorite show of his to date. Todd Robbins.....he made it worth it. He is great. Angel doing the nails was .............(I can't explain.......) THE MOST DANGEROUS THING EVER!!!!?????

Great second day. Loved it far more than last week.

Looking forward to the rest.
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Jul 28, 2005 08:31AM)
I wasn't terribly impressed this week, to be honest. That's partly because I'm not a fan of the kinds of stunts he was doing, but also, I wasn't impressed by many of the effects. Honestly, Deja Vu didn't fool me one but. It only took a bit of thinking -- about three or four seconds worth -- to figure it out, and a second viewing basically confirmed that even if I didn't have the exact method, the method I came up with would work perfectly. A big tip off is the woman, who appears to telegraph a part of the method just before she "vanishes". I also felt that the method for the beer effect was a little too easy to deduce. In each case, I felt that if I asked a lay person "how would you do it", they'd come pretty close to the solution.

Still, there was some good stuff. I loved the twist on the needles trick, although I would have preferred to see him do a more traditional "swallowing" ... putting the needles in his mouth one at a time. Using the wine glass left room for funny business, which isn't really necessary. And doing the card through window on a bus was a neat idea.
Message: Posted by: TheRock (Jul 28, 2005 09:37AM)
The only part of the show I didn't really like was the card trick on the bus. As soon as he asked the girl to sign the card, it was obvious to me what he was going to do. I guess that trick was ruined for me, because in the last 2 days I have been watching a lot of magic videos, in which they show this trick done in different situations.

But overall, I loved the show. I am not to sure about next week's show though. The stuff going into his back and him hanging in the air, not my cup of tea there.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jul 28, 2005 10:37AM)
On 2005-07-28 09:31, Magicbarry wrote:
I loved the twist on the needles trick, although I would have preferred to see him do a more traditional "swallowing" ... putting the needles in his mouth one at a time. Using the wine glass left room for funny business, which isn't really necessary. And doing the card through window on a bus was a neat idea.


This was definitely a different twist to the needles. Although the method of using the wine glass and bottle is a great method. It is Jim Steinmeyers book and featured by Dave Williamson. Dave did this at his last visit to the Magic Castle.
Message: Posted by: RealDeal JU (Jul 28, 2005 11:05AM)
I liked the water to beer effect. I thought it was cool. It would be a great trick to do at your next social gathering. Now if only I could figure out the method...

Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Jul 28, 2005 11:08AM)
Hmm. I hadn't realised the wine glass method had been developed elsewhere ... though it's not an effect I perform myself, so I don't keep track of new subtleties/additions.

My feeling is that it actually lessens the effect. With the traditional method -- putting the needles directly into the mouth -- the spectator has no doubt that the needles actually went into the magicians mouth, and is convinced that they are swallowed. With the wine glass, once the needles are in the glass, the spectator has lost sight of them, and might assume that something happens to them prior to the magician lifting the glass to his mouth.

It is a neat touch, which I like, in a way ... but I wonder if it's one of those "neat touches" that enhance things for a magician while diminishing things for a layperson.

All that said, I enjoyed that effect immensely. It's a trick I enjoy watching, even if I don't perform it myself, and the twist Angel put on it was priceless.
Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Jul 28, 2005 12:32PM)
[quote]I liked the water to beer effect. I thought it was cool. It would be a great trick to do at your next social gathering. Now if only I could figure out the method...[/quote]Whether they used the method I'm thinking of or not, the method I came up with would work identically. And it's so simple that you likely thought of it already, and dismissed it as too simple.

I won't actually give anything away here ... but I'll say this.

Look at what happened:

He asked her to drink the water, and think of a beverage. (It really was water, by the way.) Then he asks if the beverage she thought of was beer. She said "yes".

Now, it's not necessary for him to be right in this situation, though 9 out of 10 times, in the same context, the spectator will think of beer. If she says, "no, I thought of wine" ... no bigee. Just go on and produce beer.

Now ...

He covers the water with a coaster. This is a key moment, I believe, at least in my working.

He shakes the water. Another key moment. It's not just for effect ... the trick won't work without shaking. (Hmmm ... why is that?)

The water has, seemingly, changed to beer. Interesting to note that, despite some rather vigorous shaking, there is very little head on this beer.

The water is never emptied from the glass. No other liquid is ever poured into the glass. The liquid is never replaced by another liquid -- the liquid itself changes. Now ... what would you do to make a beverage out of water? Something that involves shaking ... with shaking being a mixing technique?

The woman drinks it, it tastes like beer. As it should -- the method allows for this to be a beer beverage. It might not be GOOD beer, but it's beer.

All you need is a little special something. It might not be something you'd thought existed, but it does, and it's probably something that could be made at home.

Is my method the method Angel used? No idea. But if it's not, he was doing it the hard way.
Message: Posted by: RealDeal JU (Jul 28, 2005 01:25PM)
Things that you mentioned, I did think of. The coaster, the shaking, all of the above. The missing link for me was the "little special something". I had no idea that something like that existed. I'll have to look into it.

Message: Posted by: Magicbarry (Jul 28, 2005 02:06PM)
Oh yeah, the little something does exist. It's fairly easy to find, actually.

The beer won't be great, and you MIGHT need to do something else to make the effect more credible (or you might not -- it's been a while since I've seen the little something) ... but it will "be" beer. Not terribly drinkable ... but we're magicians, not miracle workers.

Again ... I'm not saying my method is the method he used. Heck, he might have Jesus-like powers for all I know. But it's a method that will work, and it shouldn't take much experimentation to replicate the effect exactly as shown.
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Jul 28, 2005 02:21PM)
The Wine Barrel episode is definitely my favorite one. As I've stated in other topics, I think Criss is an excellent magician, but not my cup of tea. I also am tired of the constant buildup of death defying stunts and every five seconds having to listen to somebody say how dangerous it is and they would never do it, etc.

All that being said, while I didn't like the actual escape (see above paragraph) the rest of the show was more entertaining than the other two shows put together. I also enjoyed the following show, but turned it off before the final stunt. That improved the show, for me at least, immeasurably.

So, after disliking the first two episodes, the show has grown on me (I think they made some improvements, but not sure what they are), and I will be back next week (which is more than I had thought after watching last weeks episodes).

As to the methods, I really don't care. I just want to sit back and be entertained. If I'm entertained, it really doesn't matter...just like the movies.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jul 28, 2005 02:58PM)
Speaking as a magician, I thought these shows were an improvement over the first two programs.

Deja Vu. Although a television-only trick, I feel like this is a legitimate TV trick. It doesn't use edited tape or digital manipulation, rather it uses the restriction of the TV frame to hide the method. (It doesn't use TV to relieve the magician of a skilled performance.) And most importantly, it produced a strong and surprising effect. Wonder how many takes it took?

Water To Beer. A fun variation of the Any Drink Called For plot.

Card Through Window. Well, I think the "we just happen to be on this bus" and "totally impromptu" comments were a little bit much. But that's probably just the magician in me. Remember the old admonition; don't run when you're not being chased. Copperfield was able to accomplish this same effect on a train, without cut-aways. Notice the terrible cut right after he asks her if her card is still in the deck and she replies, "Okay". Who knows how many minutes, or hours passed between those 2 takes. Angel added the touch of being able to exit the bus and peel the card from the windshield, but imagine how much stronger this would have been if it had been presented with one continuous shot after he throws the cards.

Needle Swallowing. I think Teller set the bar for this with his presentation, on a late night show, which included the laying of the needles directly on the tongue. This is clearly the better way to go, versus the wine glass. Considering Angel's penchant for edgy, gross-out presentations, this would have suited him better as well. There are unnecessary cut-aways, but for this denouement it doesn't really matter.

Psychokinetic Pen / Wine Glass Smash made for a good combination.

Floating Frisbee. Look ma, he can make a Frisbee float in the air! Yeah, okay, I get that it stays in one place and then moves off at his beckon call. This seems a little weak against everything else. And any layman who saw the movie 'Ed Wood' will be reminded of the scene depicting the flying saucers not-so-special-effect during the making of 'Plan Nine From Outer Space.'

Three effects (I'm not including the 'death-defying' stunts) per 22 minute show may seem awfully lean. But he had 16 shows to fill, so you do the math. Actually, I'll do it; 3 x 16 = 48 tricks. That would be a lot of tricks for me to have down cold. But then, Angel doesn't have to have them down cold as he has the luxury of multiple chances of getting it right.

I think these two shows were more satisfying to me because they presented some real magic tricks being performed. I grow weary of the concerned brother's shtick though.

Thoughts? Comments? Inevitable accusations of my jealously...

Message: Posted by: dmand4 (Jul 28, 2005 04:27PM)
I really enjoy this show. By far the card through window was my favorite of this week. However, overall, my favorite effect was the "Matrix" levitation
Message: Posted by: boboshempy (Jul 28, 2005 06:43PM)
Well Yes, I want to break a wine glass now!
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Jul 28, 2005 09:31PM)
As a science teacher, I wanted to yell at Criss, for the cinder block on the chest bit. I watched that sldge hammar swing, and I said, that block is going right into his face. Sure enough it did. A face shield would have helped, and I wonder if OSHA got on his case over that. I know I am nit-picking here, I did enjoy the shows. My favorite was the water to beer trick. The barrell escapewas brilliant, except for A&E telegraphing the ending, but that has been stated elsewhere.
Message: Posted by: jayp (Aug 5, 2005 05:48AM)
I am still unsure whether I like Criss yet, I don't like the way he says stuff about Blaine that's just petty, when he uses camera edits, tricks and stooges maybe not as much as some people say, but he does use them none the less. I also didn't like the way on the wine barrel escape episode he kept going on about Houdini and how he would never attempt his stunts if he was still alive, and then he goes on about paying something or other to the master, Houdini. However I did like the Card thru window, frisbee thing, although the whole 'crew in the park' thing and 'always thinking' irritated me for some reason. Also the barrel escape thing he aborted it twice, and on other stunts he says don't stop it for any reason, and all that old pony. The De ja vu thing was cool but again stooges because you can see like someone above said what they are going to do because the women gives it away just before they 'travel'. I do like Criss when hes performing magic close up maybe even with the slight edit, but when half the episode is his brothers going on about the upcoming stunt or you just see criss levitating 8-foot in the air all the time, that's just annoying, maybe once show it but don't keep going back to it over and over again and if he could float 8 foot in the air why does he need to go to the indoor skydiving place! Anyway I don't dislike Criss because he clearly loves magic I just don't like some of the things he does and how he does it (see above comments).
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Aug 5, 2005 06:18PM)
Overall, it would be AWESOME if Criss was able to produce a show in which the final stunt was shown LIVE on T.V.

All the stuff before the final stunt could be taped ahead of time but at the end you see him do the stunt live. It would make for a great 1 hour episode where it would flash to the live moment every now and then throughout the show to keep up the suspense. Then at the very end of the show you see the live stunt. Man, that would rock! This would add a lot of drama and then the tension would be real. We'd all have thoughts that he might not acually survive and then the suspense would lock in a ton of viewers.
Message: Posted by: trickyat86 (Sep 9, 2005 03:40PM)
On 2005-07-28 11:37, Michael Dustman wrote:
On 2005-07-28 09:31, Magicbarry wrote:
I loved the twist on the needles trick, although I would have preferred to see him do a more traditional "swallowing" ... putting the needles in his mouth one at a time. Using the wine glass left room for funny business, which isn't really necessary. And doing the card through window on a bus was a neat idea.


This was definitely a different twist to the needles. Although the method of using the wine glass and bottle is a great method. It is Jim Steinmeyers book and featured by Dave Williamson. Dave did this at his last visit to the Magic Castle.

Which one of Jim Steinmeyer's books has his writings on his workings for the thread and needle illusion?
Message: Posted by: Skinny Fatts (Sep 9, 2005 08:26PM)
There is one in "Device and Illusion" (pg. 117). I haven't seen the show so I'm not sure if this is the one.