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Topic: Looch (mentalism)
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 15, 2009 02:31AM)
Title: Looch
Medium: 2 DVD Set
Arena: Mentalism, close up and strolling
Available: Any shop, distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Iím going to make a bold statement and keep in mind this is in the realm of my experience and the DVDís Iíve seen. Get ready because this is excitingÖ

Looch is the best set of mentalism that people will do that Iíve ever seen.

There, Iíve committed myself. Iíve never heard of Looch before, he is out of the UK, and I actually got this DVD because I am interested in mentalism and I had it sitting around and then on a cold day decided to dedicate myself to watching and working through the material. As you can tell I was very pleased with the DVD and with Looch, which is the name of the performer and instructor, in fact you can stop reading this review and run out and order or pick up a copy. For those on the fence still lets take a look at Looch from the fine folks at Inner Mind Productions.

First the quality of the DVD is outstanding. Inner Mind Productions uses excellent cameras and the microphones are set up right. Others making DVDs would do well to watch a bunch of their products to see how it is done right. I canít think of a problem with the DVDs in this set. The closest thing to an issue was during a performance two of the spectators are wearing very bright white tshirts and they had a little washout going on but that was until they got the camera to filter it. The set up is standard, Looch performs, and he is very good at performing, and then he sits down with Peter Nardi and Marc Spelmann, forgive me if I spelled that wrong, and they explain in a very clear manner how the effects are done. I want to point out they take the time needed to do the explanation and donít take short cuts as some do just to save time. The whole thing is professional, well thought out, glib, just over all the way it should be done. As an added bonus they actually credit properly!

There are twelve routines taught, a couple use the same principle, and none are fillers, they are all workers. Many use business cards, which is always good, and a couple use playing cards in a way that takes the spectator away from the idea of card trick completely and into the cards being used as tools to do amazing mental feats. There is even a great routine using a pool table and the balls that is very creative, it involves a reveal that is a photograph and you can either make your own or use the PDF file. While I donít like to go through and list effects and comments cut out from the ad copy as a lot of people reviewing do I want to comment on some of my favorite routines from this set. I am only going to give a few descriptions but as I said, everything here is real working material.

Intuitive Aiii is a routine where the spectators cut and mix cards face up and face down. In the first phase the cards are spread for just a couple seconds and the performer can tell how many cards was face up. The second phase is similar in that you tell how many cards are face up you then tell the spectator which cards are face down in order as you memorized them during the shuffle. The method used is also used in R.V. Protocol, another great presentation.

Wake Up Dr. Rhine is a routine using ESP cards that has three phases and ends with the spectator matching all the cards. This is very strong magic.

The Hustler is done on a pool table where you play a mental game of pool until three balls remain. You then show a photo on the wall which is of the three balls.

The Influencer is a routine where you predict the drawing a spectator will make. This is a fun routine.

P5ychom3tr1 is a modernized version of sneak thief in that it uses a method that is genius. Three spectators right down an object and you are able to determine which spectator wrote what. The method is what got me here because all the standard ways I knew to do this effect were eliminated in performance. I was very impressed with Loochí performance of this.

The other routines are great too.

I think you can tell that I am just thrilled with this DVD set. Iím already getting my brief case set up to do a number of the routines regularly. If you are interested in mentalism that you can do close up, tableside, strolling, at school, the office, any place other than stage because this is not stage stuff I think you will be very pleased if you get Looch. I donít know how Looch hid so well from me but heís now on my radar, outstanding mental magic, outstanding production value, one of the best DVDs Iíve seen in a long time.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 15, 2009 01:41PM)
I just realized the full title of this dvd set is Looch: Your Thoughts Are Mine. Might help you find it if you had the full title.
Message: Posted by: BMWGuy (Feb 15, 2009 11:55PM)
I agree with MagicSanta.

This 2 DVD Set is great!!!

Love it!

Alex
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 16, 2009 04:24PM)
One missed credit was John Kennedy in Nod To Pocket Watch.

Otherwise, if you are fairly new to mentalism, and you don't have all of the references that he cites, you will find a lot of very useful material here. It's all practical and performable.
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (Mar 28, 2009 11:37PM)
I was disappointed with this set. The performances come across as very amateurish. Clearly NOT a polished performance by a professional performer.
Message: Posted by: Bertrand Thornley (Mar 29, 2009 12:16AM)
I absolutly agree aussiemagic. Great effects for a true performer to craft into miracles and actual entertainment. Otherwise, a clever,humorless sleeping pill. Sorry if that sounds harsh but I was ticked off about how the "performance" made it difficult to appreciate. I hate that. But I'm flawed that way.

Bert
Message: Posted by: daghank (Mar 31, 2009 04:02AM)
I thought this set was very well,I especially loved his memorised deck routine,I use it quite often lately,

I don't have anything bad to say about the effects but the only thing I didn't like was Looch's lines where he said things like 'ive been trying to do this for a long time,i could not get a result for years but I got it finally etc. In my opinion,it takes away all the mystery,Richard Osterlind talks about this in his book mystique,you must believe in youre magic yourself to make others believe,people don't really care about how you do it,they care about what you do,what you can do. I doubt that people need to find a logical explenation related to psychology or body language etc. that's another lie. Also,the spectator kids on the set seemed like they are emotionless,I am guessing it was because of the cameras,they werent relaxed maybe? No reactions from them at all.

But do I recommend this dvd? YES. I will be performing the hustler tomorrow,im working on a few routines from this set,its not a one trick dvd,you will find a lot to work on.Well done Looch.
Message: Posted by: Looch (Mar 31, 2009 10:24AM)
[quote]
On 2009-03-29 00:37, aussiemagic wrote:
I was disappointed with this set. The performances come across as very amateurish. Clearly NOT a polished performance by a professional performer.
[/quote]

What a remedial comment. Point me in the direction of one of your polished performances please.
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Mar 31, 2009 11:58AM)
Don't bother yourself too much with it Looch, many folks said the same about Andy Nyman but look at who's on the cover of Genii this month ;)
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (Mar 31, 2009 02:11PM)
Looch,

My intention is not to hurt your feelings, however, I do think I have the right to express my opinion. I stand by my original post too. I could go into great detail about why I didn't like the set, but it seems that you lack the maturity to accept criticism. That is a pity.
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Mar 31, 2009 08:48PM)
I've watched the set and I find that the performance on the set was perfect for the material. This is intimate close up mentalism (the majority of the material was, there were a few where the props used were more justified for a parlour or stage setting) and as such Looch's conversational approach was perfect for it.
Message: Posted by: Lo-Key (Apr 1, 2009 12:13AM)
Looch idid not see your dvds so I will reserve my comments till then because I love mentalism.
Aussiemagic made acomment about your perfromance not personally about you, he has every right to do so it is his opinion.He aslo said it was no this intention to hur your feelings
so I Hope this keeps the Brits from ganging up on aussiemagic..

LO,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Apr 1, 2009 12:47AM)
He said this Looch fellow was an amataur, it wasn't a comment about the DVD it was a comment about him as a performer over all. The second fellow made a comment about a 'true performer', again beyond just a comment about the DVDs.

I don't know this looch fellow or his interactions with people but I smell a bit o' personal attack going on and claiming 'the right to say it' doesn't mean looch or his UKer friends don't have the same claimed right to respond.

Of course I recognize that Lo Key is Loki who is one of those horrible lil' mythilogical creatures that exist to cause trouble (note that was my feeling about myths).
Message: Posted by: Looch (Apr 1, 2009 01:10AM)
This is the last I will say on this matter, Aussie magic The first defence of many people in these types of situations is usually "I have a right to say this" This may be true as we live in a democracy, so technically yes but unless you put yourself on the line and release your performance material to the community then your opinion will be invalid for me. There are many many different styles of performance. Mentalism is a whole different ball game, and I suppose the yard stick to measure success of performance can be measured by how much you perform in the real world. I perform for paying audiences on a weekly basis, many with repeat bookings. I must be doing something right.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Apr 1, 2009 02:10AM)
I liked your performances El Loocho.
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (Apr 1, 2009 04:49AM)
Looch,

You say that this is the last thing that you will say on this matter and that is fine. I never asked for your opinion anyway. Many people made positive comments and you didn't drop by to respond to that, you just dropped in to tell me that my comment was remedial because I didn't like your dvds. The fact is that people are paying money to buy products and they are entitled to here reviews that are both positive and negative. This thread is not for your benefit, it is for people who are considering buying your dvds. If your fragile ego cannot cope with negative reviews then maybe you should not release products.

For those people who are interested in dvds that deal with close up mentalism, I highly recommend "Mind2Mind" by Marc Paul "Simply Psychic" by Ross Johnson and Jon Tremaine's video tape if you can find it. There is a lot of great material on these dvds and the performances are of a high standard.

I offer my opinion here for the benefit of people who are considering purchasing Looch's dvds, not as a personal attack on Looch.
Message: Posted by: Lo-Key (Apr 1, 2009 06:21AM)
Speaking of myths
1. tooth fairy

2. the easter bunny

3 MAGIC SANTA
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Apr 1, 2009 09:37AM)
Aussiemagic, I think it's befitting to ask at the minimum for reasons why you thought Looch was a amateurish performer.
Message: Posted by: Looch (Apr 1, 2009 09:43AM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-01 05:49, aussiemagic wrote:
Looch,

You say that this is the last thing that you will say on this matter and that is fine. I never asked for your opinion anyway. Many people made positive comments and you didn't drop by to respond to that, you just dropped in to tell me that my comment was remedial because I didn't like your dvds. The fact is that people are paying money to buy products and they are entitled to here reviews that are both positive and negative. This thread is not for your benefit, it is for people who are considering buying your dvds. If your fragile ego cannot cope with negative reviews then maybe you should not release products.

For those people who are interested in dvds that deal with close up mentalism, I highly recommend "Mind2Mind" by Marc Paul "Simply Psychic" by Ross Johnson and Jon Tremaine's video tape if you can find it. There is a lot of great material on these dvds and the performances are of a high standard.

I offer my opinion here for the benefit of people who are considering purchasing Looch's dvds, not as a personal attack on Looch.
[/quote]

It is evident you did not read my previous post. Your an interesting character aussiemagic, its weird how many profressional mentalists (thats mentalists not magicians) don't share your opinion
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (Apr 1, 2009 11:42AM)
Could it be that perhaps people who share my view just choose not to share them? I would be very interested to hear the views of professional mentalists (not armchair mentalists) regarding your performances on these dvds. I suspect that many would agree with me, but I would be willing to listen and learn from them even if they do not. Incidentally, I suspect the people who have commented positively on your dvds in this thread are magicians and not mentalists.

And, I did read your post! My comments are for those who are considering purchasing your dvds. I do not care whether you think my point is valid or not, that is not for you to decide.

Regarding my opinion of the performances on the dvd, I felt that there was a total lack of conviction in the performances. I thought the presentations were not polished! Compare the performances of the performers on the dvds I recommend above and you will see the difference. No "Ummms" or mumbling!
Message: Posted by: A.G. (Apr 1, 2009 11:47AM)
I watched these dvd's, I like them.

I watched them to see the approach taken in structure, method, and concept of ideas presented, not to be entertained by the performance, I have my own performance style....but I can see looch is a performer in his own right, and his style appears to be more casual, and believable, rather than a "put on" shtick.

Unless you plan on playing the performance part of the dvd for your audience,I wouldn't loose any sleep over it.

If you are looking to copy someone elses style until you find your own, I would reccomend reserching performers that fit your age, and charachter type.


I could be wrong, and am happy to be, BUT I believe these dvd's are for teaching,not entertainment.

Take the best of what you can get, or understand, and leave the rest...or come back to it when it makes sense.

I don't know Looch at all, but I hope my post helps keep things in perspective.

all the best, always,
Andrew Gerard
Message: Posted by: kissdadookie (Apr 1, 2009 11:52AM)
I'm not familiar with Mind2Mind but with Simply Psychic I can't disagree with your more on the conviction in the performances. Not disagreeing with your view that the performance on Simply Psychic is good but the venue is completely different than that of which is on Looch's video. Simply Psychic is more of a formal parlour presentation set in a close up environment and as such it's very scripted. Looch's video is presented in an entirely different environment all together, it's basically strolling but instead of strolling magic it's strolling mentalism. Looch's is more conversational (due to the setting it's trying to replicate) as opposed to more formal. It's very much taking two very different presentational environments and comparing them as if they were one of the same. I can't comment about Mind2Mind though as I have not watched that one yet.
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Apr 1, 2009 01:37PM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-01 10:37, kissdadookie wrote:
Aussiemagic, I think it's befitting to ask at the minimum for reasons why you thought Looch was a amateurish performer.
[/quote]

As somebody who was recently attacked for having a low opinion of something, I have initial feelings of sympathy for aussiemagic. However, with that being said, kissdadookie's point in completely valid. Sharing your reasons seems the minimum before calling somebody "amateurish" or whatever. Same for good performances (just saying it was "good" would be an equally empty comment).

I'm not exactly in agreement with Looch's response as it is 1.) a logical fallacy and 2.) inconsistently applied. In regards to 1.), it's the same fallacy (ad hominem if I am remembering correctly) that people use when they don't want to listen to their doctor for example. "You should lose some weight, it's unhealthy", "Yeah, but you're a bit pudgy doctor, so your opinion doesn't matter". Clearly completely unreasonable, you are attacking the person and ignoring the actual subject matter.

In regards to 2., I didn't see Looch coming in and asking/saying "Only professional performers can give positive reviews" yet he says the same thing with negative reviews. Pretty hypocritical. I don't blame him, mind you, it's easy to get into that kind of mode when you feel like you are being attacked but lowering yourself 1.) isn't fooling anybody and 2.) only results in you lowering yourself.

Now, in regards to the content, I can only say this: really great performers, who I know personally, say there is good stuff in here. I having nothing but respect for Looch, even though I may seem to be criticizing his response a bit (because, frankly, I am).

I have a bit of a problem (ok, a rather LARGE problem) in evaluating an instructional DVD based on PERFORMANCES merely because you shouldn't copy anybody's performance anyway. It's like saying you don't like a food critic because you don't like how he chews, utterly ridiculous and, interestingly enough, completely missing the entire point of the DVDs.

This doesn't mean Aussie is wrong, merely that I PERSONALLY think he is using the wrong criteria to judge this TYPE of media. Looch is wrong, in my opinion, in his response but he is as free to share his opinion as aussie is to share his.

I had to weigh in on this because, again, attacking negative reviews is counter-productive to the whole premise of "magicians helping magicians", isn't it?

Lem
Message: Posted by: Marc Spelmann (Apr 1, 2009 05:03PM)
Having been the subject of scathing reviews and high praise I can hopefully ease the tension in the room.

Looch does perform professionally first and foremost, I have passed work onto him and I can say with hand firmly on heart that the client feedback I get is always 100% positive. Does that mean that Aussie Magic is wrong? No not really..

Let me keep this brief and as always these are just my personal views.

I absolutely hated The Spice Girls, I thought they were talentless and painful on the ears, but I would have millions of fans telling me I was wrong, they are hugely successful, millionaires and world renowned, but in my mind, my view was valid and correct for me personally.

Aussie Magic can only say what he feels, a little harsh but Looch is my friend. He really didn't like Looch's style of performance or delivery. There is no right or wrong here, just like a friend of mine not enjoying 'Slumdog Millionaire', I loved that movie but it wasn't the same for my friend.

I enjoy Looch's style, for me it is slightly edgy, breaks from the norm and feels organic. The location is clearly not a regular performing environment but was perfect for what we wanted to achieve, the brilliant students we had in were perfect for Looch's style and they genuinely loved the experience.

I think that the material on Looch's set is brilliant and a strong close up mix and mingle set of three or four effects could easily be gained from the effects taught on the set. I wont ramble but Aussie Magic I can say Looch is not an amature, he really does this stuff. However the fact that you didn't enjoy his style or delivery is absolutely fine. Albeit little disappointing for Looch, myself and Peter as we believe the product is worthy of the praise it has received but none the less only you know what you like and do not like.

At the end what does any of it really mean? We are all different and like different things. Live and let live. Lets just try to be diplomatic from all sides.

Good thoughts

MS
Message: Posted by: Ogre1234 (Apr 2, 2009 06:56AM)
Well said Marc. I agree whole heartedly.
Message: Posted by: Marc Spelmann (Apr 2, 2009 08:46AM)
Thanks Ogre1234, Just trying to keep things in perspective.

My material and style isn't for everyone but for others they really enjoy it. I absolutely love Graham Jolley and Bob Cassidy but both could be and have been judged for being a little rude or harsh in their delivery to participants.

Cliche I know but one mans food is another mans poison or in this case one mans cherished DVD is another mans frisbee.

Good Thoughts

MS
Message: Posted by: magicdano (Apr 22, 2011 06:51PM)
Lets get off all this feeling stuff and discuss the material.