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Topic: Link! by Nabil Murday - my review (long)
Message: Posted by: DougNicols (Jul 29, 2007 04:39AM)
Link! by Nabil Murday - my review

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=1665

Our Price: $27.95 (Penguin just jacked the price)


In what has become his first DVD, Nabil Murday has released an excellent set of rubber band magic effects. These aren't new by any means, but Nabil presents them very well, connects with you through the TV and has a certain chemistry about him that draws you in. His mannerisms are warm and friendly, and he's entertaining to watch.

The DVD instructions are mostly "over the shoulder", and Nabil uses a very large pink rubber band and a standard drab yellow one for contrast. The techniques are explained excessively well, and very little is left to the imagination. Video and audio quality are excellent, the animations and sound effects between chapters are a fun distraction. The lighting is literally perfect, and the camera zoom covers his hand motion without being too close or too far away.

The overall production quality of this DVD is exceptional. For a first DVD, Nabil's LINK! is a prime example of a magic DVD done correctly.

Chapter information:

------ Ungimmicked Goodness ------

[b]Intro (1 min)[/b]

"This is REALLY about the crazy man's handcuffs". Which is true, since only a couple of chapters involve his gimmick. Yes, the demo does indeed show his gimmicked version as first-up, but overall this DVD involves clean rubber band magic that can be done impromptu.

[b]Please don't steal (1 min)[/b]

Word.

[b]Band info (2 mins)[/b]

Alliance makes the best rubber bands. Their website is http://www.rubberband.com, get the Brites! package. Nabil goes over where to hold your rubber bands, and how to approach without waving rubber bands around like a dork.

Personally, I got mine from WalMart in the crayon section for like two dollars. They had a few #19's in the package.


[b]Basic effect - watch (3 mins)[/b]

[b]Basic effect - learn (6 mins)[/b]

Standard crazy man's handcuffs, starting with the band dropped in between your fingers (begin INNER vs OUTER). Nabil covers timing,


[b]Subtleties (5 mins)[/b]

First one comes from Michael Ammar, where he forces the inside band against both opposite fingers to demonstrate that it's really stuck. He grips the bands differently, and turns it a little sideways for better audience view. So if you've learned this already, you'll need to practice the new handling a bit.


[b]Ammar finale (3 mins)[/b]

Crazy man's handcuffs using the spectator's fingers. Nabil has some interesting thoughts on audience instructions, and has optimized a way to get them to hold the rubber band properly with minimal confusion.


[b]Womach move (1 min)[/b]

Womach suggested how about going halfway through the band, which does look rather slick. Nice subtlety, will definitely be using this for a two-phase routine.


[b]Dean Dill (2 mins)[/b]

Dean appears in his shop, with his own variation which doesn't use a pull. Apparently some spectators jumped on him for doing the pull, so he modified it slightly to remove that portion. I have mixed feelings, since it requires some cover for the "move", and any observant spectator watching closely might notice what happened. But on the other hand, removing the yank is a nice alternative.


[b]Loren Michaels (4 mins)[/b]

Very grainy, old VHS video from 9 years ago featuring Loren explaining Band-It at a magic lecture. He performs it beginning with your rubber bands on the outside, going inside, then back outside. The technique is a lot like Dean Dill's modification.


[b]Band-It variation 1 (7 mins)[/b]

Nabil thought the move was a little bold, so he added some misdirection into different phases, along with subtleties for demonstrating the penetration to your audience. "The toughest thing is to sell this, you must point to what's going to happen". Very comprehensive tips, and some great ideas in my opinion.


[b]Band-It variation 2 - watch (1 min)[/b]

[b]Band-It variation 2 - learn (10 mins)[/b]

"I was so happy with myself, with this. For quite a while". Again, the biggest thing is making clear what's happening according to Nabil.

This version is the one shown on the demo video. I had wondered why he held his hands like that, and now I know! :) Awesome way to deal with his "bold move" mentioned in Variation 1, by simply hiding the action in a clever manner. He does mention that timing is crucial, and shows what should be performed where very clearly. Presentation, what to say, how to move your body the right way to merge with the routine is discussed ad neauseum.


[b]Band-It with helper - watch (1 min)[/b]

Having a spectator hold his rubber band with hookie fingers, then penetrating your rubber band through it.


[b]Band-It with helper - learn (2 mins)[/b]

Ammar finale using the Band-It moves? Great misdirection tips, looks like real magic.


[b]LIVE (2003) (4 mins)[/b]

Nabil performs Band-It standard effect for a live audience in a theater environment, then does the helper version on a lady up front. Spectacular reactions and some gasps as the rubber band initially penetrates during his helper portion. Fun to watch, and the audience had a great time.


[b]Band-It variation 3 - watch (1 min)[/b]

[b]Band-It variation 3 - learn (7 mins)[/b]

My least favorite version because of the angles, and possible need for misdirection. He includes an addendum with tips for not flashing during the move, which is important since this is a pretty bold move, especially if you're in close with your spectators. Angly in my opinion, but a cool version if you can pull it off.


[b]Band-It variation 4 - watch (1 min)[/b]

[b]Band-It variation 4 - learn (4 mins)[/b]

My favorite, since the move is completely covered to a spectator standing in front of you.


[b]Band-It variation 5 - watch (1 min)[/b]

[b]Band-It variation 5 - learn (4 mins)[/b]

Very similar to version 4, with a couple additions from Dave Womach. Again, all the action is covered from your audience, so I liked it.


[b]Thoughts (1 min)[/b]

Nabil says don't believe that "Pros don't use rubber bands", and other misc after thoughts. Presented in black and white video.


------ Enter the Gimmick ------

[quote]On LINK! you will learn three versions of my design: the original for formal situations (close up/parlor shows, when a suit and tie are worn), Dave Womach's for stage guys (really clever!), and Cyril's which works great for street magic, bars, etc because it doesn't require formal clothes like the original or a stage show situation like Dave's. Cyril's design is what you see me using on the promo video.[/quote]

- Nabil

[b]The Link (1 min)[/b]

Looks like real magic, the focal point of the demo in my opinion. He uses Cyril's customized gimmick for this presentation.


[b]History (1 min)[/b]

"The gimmick was inspired by the Koran pencil, but openhanded".


[b]What it is (4 mins)[/b]

After seeing what the gimmick was, I immediately headed out to my local hobby store (Hobby Lobby). They didn't have the item Nabil described, and looked confused when I stated I was looking for it. After wandering around for a while, my daughter suggested another section where they had similar materials.

Of course, all those were sealed so I'm sitting in Hobby Lobby opening up a couple different types of packages from their staples, trying to figure out if they matched the "density and behavior" of his required gimmick.

After PM'ing Nabil to get more details, he said he didn't have exact specifications for the gimmick but he thought the one on a web page I sent over could qualify. With slight modifications, of course.

I would have liked more precise information about the gimmick, so I could have avoided opening packages in a retail store to see if those contained his required "qualities". But in the end, I found something good enough at WalMart, given some serious modifications.

Nabil does say an item is required from a gun shop, but I also found this at WalMart for three dollars. Given the gimmick I had to purchase, after my mods, the gun shop enhancement was not needed after all.

Your total cost to create this:

- Hobby store visit will be about $5 if you can actually find something that qualifies
- Gun shop visit (or snag from WalMart) for $3

Refills will not be needed. Ever. Your eight dollars provides a lifetime supply.


[b]The ***** (6 mins)[/b]

A piece of clothing that's optional, but does indeed make the gimmick routine go smoother. It also creates a self-contained package for your gimmick so it's not a permanent feature in your wardrobe.


[b]Cyril's design (3 mins)[/b]

Cryil had his own very slight modification to the gimmick location, which made perfect sense, and is what Nabil uses for the demonstration video. Designed for walk-around and close up, street magic.


[b]Womach's design (2 mins)[/b]

An out of left field modification that 99.9999% of the population will never use.


[b]Linking bands (4 mins)[/b]

How to use your fancy new gimmick to perform just like on the demo video!


[b]Rings - basic (3 mins)[/b]

Himber Ring routine.

What's a Himber Ring?? Do a search ...


[b]Borrowed rings (1 min)[/b]

Two borrowed rings are linked together in mid-air, then magically fall apart.


[b]1st Routine (5 mins)[/b]

Combine the gimmick with a Himber Ring for a variety of effects. Nabil covers the rules of what rings to use vs very bad choices, spectator management with your Himber, and how to adjust the routines to allow spectators to examine the linked rings. You could also have the rings come unlinked and fall into a spec's hand, which is a nice touch.


[b]2nd Routine (4 mins)[/b]

Requires Interlace by Richard Sanders, and again the Himber (Any Ring by Richard Sanders is also suggested).

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=1604

Presented in "pretend mode", in other words Interlace and Any Ring is not shown, but instead just routined out loud.


[b]3 ring combo (4 mins)[/b]

The first routine, but with three rings linked together using Nabil's gimmick.


[b]Ring and band - watch (1 min)[/b]

Rubber band and a ring - looks incredible. Plus he shakes it back and forth, visually stunning.

[b]Ring and band - learn (3 mins)[/b]

Not much new here, just the two rubber band routine using a ring and rubber band instead of two rubber bands.


[b]Restored - watch (1 min)[/b]

[b]Restored - learn (10 mins)[/b]

Rubber band is broken, then restored. Exhaustive ten minute tutorial.


[b]Jumper - watch (1 min)[/b]

Two rubber bands are used, one linked between all four fingers and the other deeper inside the fingers, trapped by the first on the top two fingers. The inner rubber band jumps onto the bottom two fingers, then back.


[b]Jumper - learn (5 mins)[/b]

Cool routine I'll definitely be using. The illusion of the inner rubber band being trapped is perfect, plus allows you to use two different colored rubber bands for contrast. Nabil covers a couple extra ideas in this section that allows a one-handed presentation. You also don't have open your hand all the way.


[b]Conclusion (1 min)[/b]

[b]Credits (1 min)[/b]


------- Conclusion -------

Although I was expecting a solid gimmicked DVD from seeing the demo, I was pleasantly surprised at just how much ungimmicked, impromptu material was contained herein. This video will undoubtedly be compared side by side with Dan Harlan's "Band Shark" DVD, of which I personally like this one better. First for the gimmick, especially since it seriously looks like real magic, and is significantly more visual than CMH, but it does have angle issues. And also for Nabil's charisma, which drew me in and made the entire 2 hours easy viewing. But hey, just my opinion.

If you're into rubber bands, or always wanted some routines using them since they require so little pocket space, this DVD is an excellent buy. I'm very pleased with my purchase.



The official spam:

[quote]
1. You show two REGULAR AND UNPREPARED rubber bands, each held between a thumb and finger. The bands and your fingers make rings. You show that there is no way to link these rings. You rub the bands against each other, and make them VISUALLY penetrate each other. This is a compelling illusion, with exactly the same visual as crazy man's handcuffs- except the bands are going IN!

2. You show that now there is no way to get out. Then, the bands visually penetrate out- ONE STRAND AT A TIME! When they are half way through, the bands can be pulled to show that the bands are REALLY HALF-WAY THROUGH! Then, the last strand pulls on the other rubber band and VISUALLY POPS THROUGH!!!

3. You offer to repeat the effect, bringing the bands up to chest height. Again, the bands penetrate IN AND OUT!

4. You then ask an audience member to hold one of the bands between their two hands. You show that the bands are definitely outside each other, and there is no way to get through. Now YOU TELL THEM EXACTLY WHERE TO LOOK! The bands immediately and visually penetrate each other RIGHT AT THAT SPOT. Then, they penetrate back out and you take your applause.

The above routine is 100% commercial, and has been audience tested over thousands of performances. You will have all the tools you will ever need to construct your own personalized version of the crazy man's handcuffs:

1. DEAN DILL personally teaches his legendary "no pull" method for getting the bands apart.

2. Michael AmmaríS brilliant handling of the crazy man's handcuffs, in which the spectator is holding one of the bands.

3. DAVE WOMACHíS move to show the bands HALFWAY THROUGH the penetration!

4. All the refinements and subtleties Nabil has made over the years.

5. LOREN MichaelS teaches his original "Band-It" move, which allows you to make the bands penetrate IN! NO MORE AKWARD SET-UP!

6. Nabil takes you through 6 VARIATIONS of Loren's move, including HOW TO GO IN ON A BAND HELD BY AN AUDIENCE MEMBER!!! This leads directly into Michael Ammar's penetration and makes an unbelievable finalť that NEVER FAILS TO GET AUDABLE GASPS!!!

EVERYTHING IS TAUGHT FROM THE OVER-THE-SHOULDER PERSPECTIVE. What you see on your screen will look just like you are looking down at your own hands. All you have to do is just follow along and do exactly what you see on the screen. This is the EASIEST, FASTEST, AND MOST POWERFUL WAY TO LEARN MAGIC!!!

With the above, you can perform THE MOST AMAZING, COMMERCIAL CLOSE-UP EFFECT OF ALL TIME, and do it BETTER THEN EVER!!! All you need is two rubber bands...THAT'S IT! You can perform this anywhere, anytime, and under any condition (even underwater)!

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!

"LINK!" has 2 HOURS OF CONTENT!!!

You will learn how to make and use a special gimmick that will allow you to VISUALLY LINK AND UNLINK 2 UNPREPARED, EXAMINABLE RUBBER BANDS!!! You can do this with BORROWED rubber bands! You will learn 3 VERSIONS of the gimmick:

1. Nabilís original version, which he has used time and again to FRY BOTH MAGICIANS AND LAYMEN.

2. CYRILíS REVOLUTIONARY VERSION. Cyrilís design on the gimmick allows you to perform the effect in casual clothing, whereas Nabilís original set-up is designed specifically for a tie.

3. Dave Womachís version, designed for stage performers. Dave's version allows you to have the gimmick come on and off your person whenever you want, with no suspicious moves!

With this gimmick, you can VISUALLY LINK AND UNLINK ANY SMALL, THIN ITEMS! THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!!! Here are the routines you will learn that use the gimmick:

1. The WORLDíS CLEANEST AND MOST DIRECT Linking Rubber Bands.

2. LOTS OF CONTENT ON THE LINKING FINGER RINGS. First, you learn how to LINK TWO UNGIMMICKED, BORROWED RINGS, then have them VISUALLY MELT APART! Then you learn Nabilís basic linking finger rings routine without the gimmick, utilizing a standard himber ring. This includes NEW SUBTLETIES AND MOVES with the rings. Next, you learn 2 versions of the effect using 2 rings and the gimmick. Finally, you learn how to combine the gimmick together with a three-ring routine. The Linking Finger Rings is A REPUTATION MAKER, and now itís BETTER THEN EVER!!!

3. A Ring on Rubber Band finale that will BLOW THEM AWAY! And thatís just THE TIP OF THE ICEBURG. By combining the LINK! gimmick with other linking effects, you can perform the links and/or unlinks in a VISUAL, CLEAN, AND COMPELLING MANNER.

GUESS WHAT? THERE'S EVEN MORE!

DISCOVER NEW AND POWERFULWORK ON 2 EASY-TO-DO, CLASSIC EFFECTS!

1. The Broken and Restored Rubber Band. With this handling, you will be able to set up FASTER THEN EVER, right under the audiences nose. When you break the band, the AUDIENCE CAN SEE THE BROKEN ENDS! Then, the band is VISUALLY RESTORED and without any wasted motion or suspicious looking moves. The restoration is STREAMLINED, FAST, AND STUNNING.

2. The Jumping Rubber Band. Discover how YOU CAN PERFORM THIS WITH ONE HAND! The effect is now CLEANER AND MORE FAST PACED THEN EVER BEFORE!

With "LINK!" you donít just get the WORLDíS GREATEST Crazy Man's Handcuffs, Linking Rubber Bands, Linking Finger Rings, Ring on Rubber Band, Broken and Restored Band, and the Jumping Rubber Band. You donít just gain a powerful weapon which will REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR MAGIC. You also will GROW AS A PERFORMER! Throughout the ENTIRE DVD, you learn how to apply the concepts and philosophies to all your magic.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Goku (Jul 29, 2007 08:12AM)
Wow, thanks for the detailed review, I really appreciate the time you took to write this and I will definetly be purchasing this DVD soon.
Message: Posted by: Harm (Jul 29, 2007 09:17AM)
Also thanks for the review. I'm in. Going to order this one :)
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 29, 2007 09:58AM)
Although Nabil has a great handling of it does he give credit to Mark Fitzgerald for his "back together" move?
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 29, 2007 11:08AM)
Diug, killer, detailed review. Right on the mark!!!
Message: Posted by: zerofire (Jul 29, 2007 11:21AM)
Doug,

Thanks for your review, so detail!
Message: Posted by: nabil (Jul 29, 2007 11:22AM)
Al, I credit Loren Michaels for that, as it is my understanding that he created it a long time ago, lectured on it for several years, and then published it in "Kick The Trick." I don't know anything about Mark Fitzgerald, but am willing to bet that its probably the exact same method and independant invention, regardless of who put it out first. I, like many who I've talked to, thought to perform it but couldn't figure out a way withour twisting the bands. So with such an obvious hole in the routine (why does it only go through one way?), there were probably many of us trying to figure out a way, and maybe several of us found a way....independantly. But in any case, apologies to Mr. Fitzgerald for not checking into it more thoroughly, and not crediting him.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 29, 2007 12:54PM)
The best part of this DVD is Nabil's charismatic style. It's like a friend stting across from you teaching you.

FANTASTIC project!!!!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 29, 2007 01:09PM)
Nabil
Dan Harlan teaches "back together" on his three DVD set, I don't know when he published it, but Dan gave credit to Mark, and Mark has a demo video of it on his web site. That being said your handling is quite original, and requires no mis direction for it to work.
GOOD LUCK
Al
Message: Posted by: THEGUY26 (Will Swanson) (Jul 29, 2007 01:13PM)
I have this, and this is another GREAT rubbeband video. no one has gone more in-depth teaching Crazy Man's Handcuffs. Before I saw this DVD, I never even knew about the melt-through illusion. He ceovers all the subtleties. Get it!
Message: Posted by: Ed Garcia (Jul 30, 2007 06:27PM)
I just got finished watching this DVD, and I never truly realized how much detail and depth can go into Crazy Man's Handcuff's before. Every base seems to be covered here and will definitely keep me busy with creativity for a while.

This DVD definitely gets my highest recommendation.

Very well done, Nabil. I look forward to more of your work.

-Ed
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 30, 2007 07:22PM)
I think I can say it....
......IT'S A CELEBRATION!!!!!!!!
:dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing:
:hamburger: :cheers:
:spinningcoin: :spinningcoin:
:heavymetal: :drinkup: :drinkup:
Message: Posted by: runawayjag (Aug 1, 2007 01:16PM)
I think this is an outstanding DVD and Nabil is very personable and easy to learn from. I think the part with the spectator was the best part and had some really fine touches. Yes, the trick was published in Tarbell 7 and belongs to Bob Jardine. It was not invented by Michael Ammar and did not become known as the Crazy Man's Handcuffs until Ammar published his little manuscript about the Jardine trick, kind of like Three Fly didn't become known as that until Chris Kenner published his handling. In both cases the new title stuck. Bob Jardine ended it with the rubber band "unlinking" from a pencil which was held by a spectator which was also very effective, but Nabil's misdirective touches with the spectator really make it strong, especially when the band first goes through.

The trick has always been a really fine one. I don't know if many remember, but David Copperfield actually did it on an early TV special when he visited China. I guess that negates the "pro's don't use rubber bands" theory.

The gimmicked part is also quite a fooler, although it has been done before with full size Linking Rings and hangers. Koran's pencil, on which it is based, is still probably the best part of any Linking Finger Ring routine in which it is used.
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Aug 1, 2007 09:32PM)
Great gimmick. I'm a bit iffy on the clean up of the gimmick afterwards though. Trying to figure out a modification for the gimmick so that the cleanup is automatic.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Aug 1, 2007 10:33PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-01 14:16, runawayjag wrote:
I don't know if many remember, but David Copperfield actually did it on an early TV special when he visited China. I guess that negates the "pro's don't use rubber bands" theory.

[/quote]

Maybe it's "urban legend" but I read once that Copperfield was amazed that the most talked about part of his special was the "rubberbands passing through each other".
Message: Posted by: norman (Aug 2, 2007 10:17AM)
I purchased the dvd 'LINK' a couple of days ago from my usual magic shop http://www.mikedanatasmagicstudio.co.uk and watched it from beginning to end. C.M.H. was the first trick I ever leant from a video, and have been looking for further material to expand my love of doing ELASTIC BAND MAGIC. This dvd is going to be ideal for me, as I have been wanting to know how to re-link the bands after the release. This dvd by Nabil Murday will do just that and MUCH MORE. I donít think I will be doing anything with the gimmick, as I only do very close up magic for friends, but I think the dvd is still worth the money for what it contains. I am left-handed and find that sometimes I have to use a mirror with the laptop as I did with the PINNACLE dvd. Nabilís explanations and friendliness makes it all sound so easy.
I canít wait to start practicing. Norman. Poole. Dorset. England.
Message: Posted by: Newb2 (Aug 2, 2007 04:33PM)
I'm pretty much echoing on what everyone else has said so far. This dvd is perfect if you do CMH. The teaching is absolutely spot on. All the teaching is a POV (point of view) shot which makes everything crystal clear. I didn't have to rewind back to a certain point which is very rare. I really like the dvd and I'm hoping for more projects!
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Aug 2, 2007 08:24PM)
Congratulations, Nabil!!!

Greg
Message: Posted by: magicandsoul (Aug 2, 2007 09:22PM)
I will probably never use the gimmicked version taught on this DVD (except for family and friends) ...BUT... I cannot stress enough how fun it was to learn the superior handlings that both Nabil and Dean Dill teaches...THOSE I will use and it made the DVD well worth the purchase price. Nicely done!

M&S
Message: Posted by: actorscotty (Aug 3, 2007 07:34AM)
Great review, I have this dvd as well, and have been doing a band routine since attending a n Ammar lecture several years ago, found a lot of material here, was plesently surprised to learn that I have the required gimmick in my case of unused magic, for link..... wow, ne ver used what I have but will here, can't mention the old effect for fear of disclosure,,,,, welll done Nabil
Message: Posted by: rmorrell (Aug 11, 2007 03:01PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-01 14:16, runawayjag wrote:
Yes, the trick was published in Tarbell 7 and belongs to Bob Jardine. It was not invented by Michael Ammar and did not become known as the Crazy Man's Handcuffs until Ammar published his little manuscript about the Jardine trick, kind of like Three Fly didn't become known as that until Chris Kenner published his handling.
[/quote]

Just to keep things straight this isn't Bob's trick it was actually invented by my late friend and teacher Arthur Setterington, and Tarbell 7 wasn't its first appearence, it was actually first published back in 1970 in Peter Warlock's New Pentegram as Getaway and it was Daryl who gave it the title CMH and it was further developed by Herb Zarrow.

I've just recieved my DVD from Nabil and have been watching it over the last couple of days, and I'm just sad that Arthur isn't here so I could show him how his trick nearly 40 years on is still been taken to new levels.

Nabil this DVD is fantastic I have been doing this trick for years, the standard way and ending with an impromptu linking bands, but now I feel like a beginner again I get to learn it with your different fingering, and even left handed!

There are some great bits and tips for anyone who does this, and the section on Band-It is comprehensive, I was already doing a version I learnt from Jon Allen's lecture which doesn't require you to swap fingers. But I will be certainly practicing some of Nabil's handlings, he makes it look so effortless and like real magic.

As for the Link! portion this really looks like trick photography I need to find the gimmick, so if anyone has any leads in the UK? I can find the liquid needed on ebay, but need the other bit.

Anyway congrats on a great DVD Nabil, I'm off to practice!

Richard Morrell.
Message: Posted by: nabil (Aug 11, 2007 03:28PM)
Thanks everybody! Richard, I'm glad you approve. Hope he would have as well. :)
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Aug 21, 2007 03:02AM)
Title: LINK! By Nabil Murday
Medium: DVD
Arena: close up and parlour
Available: Any shop, distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

I believe in the 80/20 rule. I believe that of all the magic released 80% will never be performed by anyone and the remaining 20% will be worked on by magicians. Of that 20% I again believe the 80/20 rule applies. By this Iím saying with all the magic released these days, in fact during most of the time, very little of it is really commercial material that will be done by magicians working restaurants or parties or even their school halls. Then there are the effects that I truly believe 100% of the people who learn it not only will perform it but it will become something they will always perform, these effects are few and far between. One of the best close up effects of all time, one that uses every day items, that is pretty much a pocket illusion, one that floors the lay public is the unlinking rubber bands, best known as Crazy Mans Handcuffs. I first encountered this masterpiece in Tarbell, it later was done on TV by David Copperfield which led many to the great book The Magic of Michael Ammar. The Tarbell instructions were not accurate but the Ammar book had it down. Now, for the first time to my knowledge on DVD, you have LINK! by Nabil Murday.

LINK! is about the linking and unlinking of rubber bands, regular rubber bands like you find at the office supply store, donít be conned into paying big bucks to some magic store trying to convince you they have Ďmagic rubber bandsí, they donít. First letís look at the production levelÖ.it is great. Good cameras were used, great sound, they shots were from the perfect angle. The editing and graphics were really well done and as an added bonus Nabil is a very likable fellow who knows his subject and delivers the information in a polished manner. This is a really good way to teach this effect because some people get confused when reading the descriptions even if the descriptions are well written. Hats off to the producers of this DVD for caring to put together a good quality product. Oh, I do have one snivel. I think Loren Michaels, assuming he is fine as Iíve not seen him in years, could have re-shot his Band It, I believe is the name, for this project rather than using the poor quality video they had of him doing it. It didnít really matter because Nabil went over everything very clearly.

The DVD opened with Nabil describing the best bands to use, he is correct by the way though I prefer regular bands as it fits my patter, and how to carry the bands. I was surprised that Nabil suggest the same thing Iíve recommended for years and that isnít to use the wrist but another item. I agree with this as well because I think it is more fun for the spec if you open a special box to take out the rubber bands rather than pulling them off the wrist. You then learn the basic routine as taught by Michael Ammar and then some pointers that took me a long time to figure out, now it is out for you to have access to without working through it, pretty good deal. Nabil hit some fine points and I sat here thinking ďdang him! I thought I was the only one that did that!Ē. Iíll be honest, it made me happy to see this kind of straight forward instruction without trying to change things for the sake of change. Too much garbage is coming out because people think they have done something of value when they have not. If the DVD stopped after showing the Ammar handling and the tips it would have been a worthwhile project, but bless his heart Nabil continues. Next on the agenda we have the great Dean Dill in his barber shop showing his none stretch version and it looked great. Iíd not seen it before but he brought up the point that people often think the stretching has something to do with it, and he is right, people do assume that. What I had done prior to this was just angle the fingers and show them if I try anything at all they bands will fly off, which they do. The Dean Dill move is very sweet.

We get to learn Loren Michaels move that links the bands together. I learned this from Loren many years ago and while I think it is a fine move and never had the issues with it that Nabil admits to I only used it when someone challenged me to link the bands. It is a cool move though and well worth learning. Nabil shows a method for taking the link apart one band at a time and then the Ďin the handsí version where the spec holds the rubber band and you then separate them. I love that move and I have a knack for this effect so Iíll do it three inches in front of the nose of the spectator. Nabil goes on to teach five different methods of using Band It and let me tell you, he is slick and so are the methods. Iíve been doing this effect for over twenty years and I learned a lot from this segment of the DVD. I will be altering my performance to include the linking I think, if I can get it to look as good as it does on the video. So even if you know Crazy Mans Handcuffs this is something you may be interested in.

By now you may be wondering why the DVD is called LINK! If it is about the Crazy Mans HandcuffsÖ.well, the next part of the routine Nabil does is linking two rubber bands in an extremely clean and visual way. I had not seen this before and was shocked about how good it looked. I mean it looks exactly like the rubber bands were just rubbed together and, they are linked! This is done by a very clever and yet basic gimmick based on the work of Al Koran and others. You get very clear instructions on how to make the gimmick, how to dress for it and place it on your clothing, you get the whole nine yards. The gimmick is also used for linking finger rings and that also looks great, you get multiple methods on using rings. In the right situations, and I know youíll only do this in the right situations, you will completely fry the audience with the linking and unlinking. Iím sure others will come out with the same thing only with a clockwise twist rather than counter clockwise or some such nonsense. Doesnít matter, if you make this routine, and I did, it delivers. This makes for an absolute killer close to a rubber and or linking finger ring routine.

The bonus effects are the torn and restored rubber band, another of my favorites, using a method Iíd not seen. Iíll mess with it but I like the way I do it which is the way it is written up in Ammars book. Next is the old jumping rubber bands, and I donít have much to say about it other than it is a basic rubber band trick.

Over all this was an outstanding DVD and if you do not do Crazy Mans Handcuffs and like to learn from video I wouldnít hesitate to recommend you get this one. For you book guys get The Magic of Michael Ammar, which you all should have anyway. I donít think Iíll find an experienced magician who does the Crazy Mans Handcuffs that doesnít know how powerful it is. I think it may be the best close up effect done with every day items. The addition of The Link gimmick brings the rubber band magic to a higher level. It isnít difficult to make and it isnít difficult to do and you will get eyes wide open if you do it when the lighting and time is right. This is an excellent DVD in both production and content and, well, what can I say, you are not going to find a better close up trick than this in my opinion. I look forward to see what Nabil does in the future, hopefully he can maintain the same level on the next one. Great job guys.
Message: Posted by: Fast Eddie P. (Aug 21, 2007 10:45AM)
MagicSanta, thanks for the excellent and detailed review!!
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Aug 21, 2007 12:19PM)
You're welcome. What was funny to me was during the beginning of the Link discussion I was distracted by the dogs. When I turned back Nabil had used white tape to make it so you could easily see the gimmick, I didn't know this. I sat there thinking "dang, that is the most obvious freakin' thing I've ever seen!" then it hit me that it was there for a reason. Old brains...go figure.
Message: Posted by: WalkingLiberty (Aug 21, 2007 03:12PM)
Where do I find the best rubberbands for Crazy Mans Handcuffs?
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Aug 21, 2007 05:14PM)
Go to your favorite office supply store and get Alliance brand. I get crepe but get whatever color you like, most use number 19, some 16. Thar ya go.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Aug 21, 2007 06:51PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-21 13:19, MagicSanta wrote:
You're welcome. What was funny to me was during the beginning of the Link discussion I was distracted by the dogs. When I turned back Nabil had used white tape to make it so you could easily see the gimmick, I didn't know this. I sat there thinking "dang, that is the most obvious freakin' thing I've ever seen!" then it hit me that it was there for a reason. Old brains...go figure.
[/quote]


HAHAHAHA. The EXACT same thing happened to me. lol!
Message: Posted by: John Long (Sep 1, 2007 05:08PM)
I am interested in getting Link. A big part of my interest is in the gimmicked ring on rubber band and ring on ring. I would like to know if the gimmick will work with linking a ring to a string (instead of to a rubberband), and how far will people need to be away from the linked objects if I let it sit still in front of them (needed for the routine I would like to do)

Also, will the gimmick work with larger rings, say 1 - 3 inch in diameter?

Thanks
John
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 1, 2007 06:53PM)
The gimmick will work for those things but you will want some distance. When you use two like materials, two silver rings or two rubber bands, the eye can't see well where they are next to each other. If you have a ring and string there is a chance, if too close, they will see what is really up. The size issue comes into play with the larger rings, again it will work but how good the visual is is questionable, again based on material and distance. How is that for a vague answer?
Message: Posted by: jimbowmanjr (Sep 2, 2007 10:47AM)
Doug,

Thanks for this great review. I bought this directly from Nabil last week and I am really looking forward to learning and working with these effects.

The first person I saw do rubberband magic was Al Angello and it totally blew me away (apologies Al I can't remember the names of the effects you did in Reading). I have been wanting to add 1-2 effects with rubberbands simply because they are a fairly common item you can perform strong magic with.

--Jim
Message: Posted by: guido (Sep 2, 2007 11:45AM)
I started watching this DVD and I must say WOW...
I must get those rubberbands :)
Message: Posted by: John Long (Sep 3, 2007 09:07AM)
MagicSanta

Thanks for the info, but about how far? Is 2-3 ft far enough?, or are we talking about 10 ft.

John
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 3, 2007 12:24PM)
I think you'll have to experiment with lighting and the reflective nature of the rings. If the rings are thin it wouldn't be an issue at 2 to 3 feet, if thick further is needed. Are you familiar with how the illusion works? It is actually an old idea used before but if so you'll understand why the thickness matters when it comes to the look. If you have specific questions PM me and I can more freely answer them.
Message: Posted by: baobow (Sep 3, 2007 07:52PM)
Nabil, thanks for your slow, clear and concise instructions. For me, learning the Band it (where the bands link together as opposed to the traditional crazy man's unlink) moves, variations and subtleties was worth the price of the dvd . I truly believe that by being able to both link and unlink the bands adds so much more credibility to the overall effect. It just makes so much sense. If you can pull the bands apart then you should be able to link them together. Crazy man's should be a staple effect for any close up magicians ( pro or hobbyist alike), and for me, it just got a hell of a lot stronger whilst still remaining impromptu and not too technically demanding.
Message: Posted by: Jeff (Sep 3, 2007 09:09PM)
[quote]
On 2007-07-29 12:22, nabil wrote:
Al, I credit Loren Michaels for that, as it is my understanding that he created it a long time ago, lectured on it for several years, and then published it in "Kick The Trick." I don't know anything about Mark Fitzgerald, but am willing to bet that its probably the exact same method and independant invention, regardless of who put it out first. I, like many who I've talked to, thought to perform it but couldn't figure out a way withour twisting the bands. So with such an obvious hole in the routine (why does it only go through one way?), there were probably many of us trying to figure out a way, and maybe several of us found a way....independantly. But in any case, apologies to Mr. Fitzgerald for not checking into it more thoroughly, and not crediting him.
[/quote]
Nabil,
Mark Fitzgeralds "Back Two-gether" was first published in volume 1 #2 1988 edition of The Minotaur.

Jeff Pierce
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 3, 2007 09:15PM)
I think you'll find that Loren Michaels connecting move predates 1988. I think I learned it from Loren around then and he had done it for years. As such I think the crediting is accurate.
Message: Posted by: Peo Olsson (Sep 4, 2007 12:17AM)
Got the DVD last week and have viewed all of it and I like it a lot.
Great work Nabil!
Message: Posted by: nabil (Sep 4, 2007 09:01AM)
Thanks guys! It's really nice to know that you like it. Jeff, thanks for the information. Does anyone who bought LINK! also have The Minotaur? I'm interested to know if the method that Mark Fitzgerald came up with is the same as what Loren made, or if its something else. My guess is its going to be the same, as the move seems to be the most efficient way to get in.
Message: Posted by: John Long (Sep 24, 2007 05:54PM)
I just got the DVD, and took a quick look at the relinking, and the gimmicked link method. The finesses look very good. Your relinking of rubberbands looks much better than the method I had developed on my own. Now if I could just un-learn the "gravity link" :)

John
Message: Posted by: Donny Orbit (Oct 3, 2007 07:40PM)
I wonder if David Harkey is aware that the gimmicked linking taught on the dvd is exactly the same as his marketed effect Lynx that came out last year.

XX
Message: Posted by: Cameron Francis (Oct 3, 2007 08:52PM)
Xander, this was already discussed. Perhaps in another thread.
Message: Posted by: Donny Orbit (Oct 3, 2007 09:50PM)
Cameron,

Thanks. I'll check it out.

X
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Oct 3, 2007 10:37PM)
I don't believe Nabil claimed originality for the gimmick, in fact he gave its history as going back some time.
Message: Posted by: sickmagic (Oct 3, 2007 11:32PM)
[quote]
On 2007-10-03 20:40, Xander DraX wrote:
I wonder if David Harkey is aware that the gimmicked linking taught on the dvd is exactly the same as his marketed effect Lynx that came out last year.

XX
[/quote]

This has been discussed, however keep in mind that Nabil only claims the original part being the handling and the use of the gimmick the way he does! Also were can you get such a complete guide to the crazy mans handcuff! A lot of really amazing artist contributed to this. I believe that this is really a complete guide to the crazy mans handcuffs and the gimmick (link) is just a bonus.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Oct 4, 2007 02:01AM)
It is an outstanding DVD, one of the best of the year.
Message: Posted by: Rcitgo (Oct 4, 2007 05:30AM)
I have it and think its a great Dvd.It has many idea's about The Crazyman's Handcuff's.If you do this effect you'll want this dvd.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Sway (Oct 5, 2007 05:02AM)
Amazing!!! Great stuff !!! thanks for this powerful DVD... Nabil
Message: Posted by: John Long (Dec 20, 2007 07:55PM)
Has anyone found an online store for the gun store item?
Any suggestions on the gauge to use for the other item?

thanks
Message: Posted by: nabil (Feb 23, 2008 04:08AM)
Thanks to everyone who has posted and emailed in there reviews! After about half a year, the reviews are in! 99% positive, and then there was magic magazine. (Hey, you can't win them all!) Actually, I've considered the constructive criticism and will try to make my upcoming dvds even better! (Lookout for the ad coming soon to the Cafť, and these will be distributed by Murphy's again.)

I collected some of your reviews here-
http://magicnabil.com/reviews.html

Thanks again for all the feedback. Hope the dvd brings you continued rewards. :)
Message: Posted by: nabil (Feb 23, 2008 04:08AM)
Woops, I mean "their reviews"