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Topic: Matt Mello's MODERN MENTALISM v1 & v2
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Feb 2, 2011 09:40AM)
Another Café member gave his review of volume 2 and I tossed in my 2 cents here:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=397432&forum=111&10

After seeing the Wizard Product guys till gushing over this set, I thought I'd post a review covering both volumes.

[img]http://www.elmwoodmagic.com/ama/med/m-modern-mentalism-vol.-1.jpg[/img]
The guy with the hangdog expression on the cover is Mr. Mello, a Rhode Island mentalist. He performs with all the passion of someone working off a debt. He's joined on this set by a big guy named Shaun Dunn, whose purpose is unclear (He sits there in silence most of the time). I half expected the two of them to burst out into "Puttin' On The Ritz".

V1
Serial:
In my opinion, the problem with some serial divinations is that they're too perfect. Getting all the numbers right practically screams, "Trick!" "Serial" avoids this pitfall by only divining the first three digits. The effect still screams, "Trick!", however, because it uses clumsy misdirection and a rather obvious p***.

Coffeemelt:
PK bending using a plastic stirrer from Dunkin' Donuts. Not QUITE as impressive as metal bending!

Photographic:
A memorized deck routine with an awkward cr**.

Lotto/Lottery:
Three spectators arrange numbers into three three-digit numbers. The numbers are added up and match a Win-4 lottery ticket. Nothing new here.

Stop:
Spectator rearranges the leters "S" "O" "T" "P" to form a word which matches a prediction. Mr. Mello calls this an exercise in suggestion/influence. HELP! Better yet...STOP!

Handy Prediction:
Spectator holds up five fingers and focuses on one. The performer can determine which finger. Next, the spectator is asked to lower/raise any number of fingers and this matches a prediction. The first part is Al Baker's "The Finger Knows- and Tells." The second phase is child's play. Sidekick Shaun Dunn breaks his silence here to pose the profound question, "What if the spectator gives you the finger?"

ACAAN:
This is hardly any card at any number. It's a specific card at any number. The spectator has no choice, as far as card selection.

V2
PS I Love You:
One spectator chooses a number. Another spectator chooses a card. The performer divines the card chosen and it turns out to be at the position named by the first spectator. I'm surprised this one wasn't called "ACAAN" too.

GI Joe:
Spectator chooses one of four random objects. It matches a prediction the performer has written on a card in his pocket. I kid you not.

Billetear:
A variation on the c***** t***.

Instinct:
A decent nail roulette routine using inexpensive materials.

Preservation:
PK effects where performer makes a dollar bill, resting on top of a bottle move. The most interesting part here is the way the performer gets the well-known gimmick into place.

Point and Predict:
Spectator shuffles the pack of cards and spreads it across the table, she is asked to touch one. The card box is then opened, showing that it held an accurate prediction. A decent effect.

Dark Arts:
Drawing dupe using pay envelopes. Nothing really new here.

These discs sell for about $30 each. Each disc has about an hour's worth of material on it. So, though everything could have fit on one disc, it was padded out to a two disc set. I recently saw someone on the Magic Café selling the set for $25. If you can get them for this price, they may be worth a look. If you have to choose one volume over the other, I'd go with v2.
Message: Posted by: james_thecanadian_magician (Feb 2, 2011 03:02PM)
Thanks for the review. It's always great to see reviews that look 100% unbiased.
Message: Posted by: edh (Feb 2, 2011 11:08PM)
I second the above. Thanks for taking the time to review this.
Message: Posted by: MindBrigade (Feb 4, 2011 02:02PM)
Still doesn't know why the wizard review guys were so excited, in fact I think I ve never seen Craig so excited about a product...and...comparing a "caan" to the "closest thing to the berglas effect". Anyway thanks for the review, I just wished I had read it before purchasing those dvds.
Message: Posted by: magicinsight (Feb 4, 2011 02:57PM)
I watched vol 2 last night. My only favorite item/effect was the Dark Arts effect. It is an interesting and good concept for using a coin envelope to p..k at a person's drawing. IT is a good, organic alternative to using a standard p..k wallet. Both the first routine involving knowing a random card selected, GI Joe and The Pick and Prediction effect were very weak. The lo.p effect was OK, nothing special, but is good if someone has never used lo.ps before. All is all it a fair dvd for beginners as an introduction to mentalism effects although getting Mr .RIchard Osterlind dvds and Looch's dvds are much better. If you are intersted in using a coin envelope instead of a wallet for p..ks then this dvd (vol. 2) is worth the investment.

Michael
Message: Posted by: magicinsight (Feb 7, 2011 12:08PM)
I watched vol 1. a few nights ago. I liked the bill serial number divination (Serial), Lottery and Handy Prediction. However, these effects could have been more thought out and theatrical. A performer could flush out these routiens to make them real showpieces. "Woodfield," a member here, shared some wonderful ideas with me about the effects on both volumes to make them even better. I would still recommend both volumes as there are a number of good routines on both dics. But a performer can certainly alter the presentations to make them even better.

Michael
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Feb 7, 2011 12:18PM)
My problem with the serial number effect is asking the spectator to look at/remember something without any justification (It's never brought up again). To me, that's just a couple of steps above pointing over her shoulder and saying, "Hey! Look over there!" :P
Message: Posted by: Dr. Magic (Feb 7, 2011 02:43PM)
We should be grateful to the Café's 'Mind Guerrilla' for giving reviews that tell it like it is.

I bet he's on the hit list of many producers and their friends.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Feb 7, 2011 05:48PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-07 15:43, Dr. Magic wrote:
We should be grateful to the Café's 'Mind Guerrilla' for giving reviews that tell it like it is.

I bet he's on the hit list of many producers and their friends.
[/quote]
LOL You're making me feel like the Oliver Twist of the Magic Café.

[img]http://thedailytruffle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/oliver_twist_.jpg[/img]
"Please, sir, I want some better instructional DVDs."

Surely, honest reviews aren't that rare around here. Maybe I'm too fussy. :P
Message: Posted by: Joe Fitch (Feb 8, 2011 04:33PM)
Tbh, as a new mentalist I really enjoyied this dvd set, and I would recomend it for people who are looking for a basic insight into the world of mentailsm.
Message: Posted by: RNK (Feb 10, 2011 10:15AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-07 13:18, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
My problem with the serial number effect is asking the spectator to look at/remember something without any justification (It's never brought up again). To me, that's just a couple of steps above pointing over her shoulder and saying, "Hey! Look over there!" :P
[/quote]

I have to disagree- I have performed this a few times now- and every time the spectator had no idea how it was done or made any mention of having them look at the "something". They are to impressed with what just happened!

RNK
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Feb 10, 2011 11:26AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-10 11:15, RNK wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-02-07 13:18, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
My problem with the serial number effect is asking the spectator to look at/remember something without any justification (It's never brought up again). To me, that's just a couple of steps above pointing over her shoulder and saying, "Hey! Look over there!" :P
[/quote]

I have to disagree- I have performed this a few times now- and every time the spectator had no idea how it was done or made any mention of having them look at the "something". They are to impressed with what just happened!

RNK
[/quote]
Whether or not it works, I find it less than elegant.
Message: Posted by: ted french (Feb 10, 2011 10:58PM)
If I remember correctly the scenes I (Shaun Dunn)was in I was usually helping with an effect as a volunteer or in the instructional part it was taught as he was teaching me. The purpose of this set was to have a wide variety of mental effects that could be performed with little to no props and were designed for close up. The effects are strong and are doable for folks that don't have stage or corporate mentalism shows. Most mentalism products are not designed for the close up worker hopefully its success will inspire others to create mentalism for close up.
Message: Posted by: Reuben Dunn (Feb 12, 2011 08:30AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-08 17:33, Joe Fitch wrote:
Tbh, as a new mentalist I really enjoyied this dvd set, and I would recomend it for people who are looking for a basic insight into the world of mentailsm.
[/quote]

Joe;

As a new mentaist, looking for "a basic insight into the world of mentalism" you cannot get much better than "Mental Miracles" with Bob Cassidy.

For an even more "elementary" introduction, and I mean "elementary" I'd recommend the mentalism DVD from Dan Harlan's Packs Small, Plays Big set.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Feb 12, 2011 09:32AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-12 09:30, Reuben Dunn wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-02-08 17:33, Joe Fitch wrote:
Tbh, as a new mentalist I really enjoyied this dvd set, and I would recomend it for people who are looking for a basic insight into the world of mentailsm.
[/quote]

Joe;

As a new mentaist, looking for "a basic insight into the world of mentalism" you cannot get much better than "Mental Miracles" with Bob Cassidy.
[/quote]
I concur. MENTAL MIRACLES was the first instructional DVD I ever bought and still gives best bang for the buck imo.
Message: Posted by: lumberjohn (Feb 13, 2011 02:10PM)
The problem mentioned with Serial is easily fixable. After having the spectator note the letter, tell her to concentrate on it as you read her mind. You then tell her the letter she is thinking of. Tell her to open the bill and note the city in the ring around the letter. After a few moments of concentration, you tell her that as well. Finally, tell her to take note of the serial number under the circled letter and to concentrate on the last three numbers (since the first numbers could be part of a common series). Tell her that as well. Finally, tell her the letter at the end of the serial number to bring the effect full circle.

Many of you will know the method for the additional revelations right off. For those who don't, PM me and I'll share the details. Given this presentation, I really like Serial and expect to use it regularly.

John
Message: Posted by: TheMagicalMan (Nov 10, 2014 06:14AM)
Can anyone please guide me to the ORIGIN of lottery ? I'm trying to come up with an effect I've seen where mentalists ask 3 spectators to name numbers and thier sum is a corresponding phone number to another spectator or his cellphone ? Any advice would be appreciated thank you.