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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Review of Strolling Hands, Volume 2 by Justin Miller (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Matt Bartz
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If you haven’t read the introductin in my review of Volume 1 of this set, regarding the quality of the explanations, video and audio on this Dvd series, you should do that first.

For those that are too lazy, let me quickly say that these are the best taught effects I have ever seen. Justin goes into every detail, no matter how small. Even an absolute beginner could learn to perform these flawlessly by the explanations Justin provides (if they put in the time). He leaves no stone unturned and teaches every slight in great detail.

Okay, on with the review.

Seal-A-Feign: Beautiful 3 phase routine using a borrowed quarter and a card box. The spectator and magician each sign a side of a borrowed quarter. The cellophane wrapper of a card box is pulled down about one and half inches, exposing an empty area. In a blink, the signed coin passes through the cellophane and is trapped and rattling around inside. Then it gently glides out through the sealed cellophane bottom. Then, with the right hand holding the signed coin at shoulder level, it instantly disappears and reappears in the empty area of the cellophane around the box. It is removed again, but found trapped again in between the cellophane wrapper and the card box while the spectator holds the box, but this time, the cellophane it tight around the box, and is shown to be completely sealed on both end. The wrapper has to be torn off to shake the coin out!

My Happy Thoughts: This effect expands, in a very good way, on an effect taught by David Williamson in his book Williamson Wonders, and his dvd Magic Farm. I liked watching David perform his version on his Dvd. But, Justin really has developed the idea into something special. I love this effect. Oh, and Justin teaches some great Bonus material after this effect, that is not listed on the cover.
My Not-So Happy Thoughts: Justin admits that the minor set-up for this is pretty basic, but the setup makes this an effect that you will most likely only perform once or twice a night.
Final Thoughts: My wife was watching the performance of it and gasped at several points, so it passes the litmus test of surprise. I like that the last time the coin travels under the wrapper, the spectator is holding the box.

Card Men Don’t Do Coins: First of all, the Dvd box cover fails to mention that this is a totally impromptu version taught (4 coins, no extra coins, no gimmicks), plus a version that makes it even more convincing and uses a basic coin gimmick that everyone should have. The box cover also makes this effect sound kinda gruesome. It’s not gruesome, but it is very fun to watch, entertaining and pretty easy to perform. This is a nice on the spur of the moment coins across routine.

My Happy Thoughts: I’ve always had a hard time with the Goshman Pinch required by many coins across routines, I love that its not part of this effect.
My Not-So Happy Thoughts: With the impromptu version, there are a couple bold moves, but just needs some practice on the timing.
Final Thoughts: Good, effective, coin routine with a really nice ending.

Two Pence: Two Walking Libertys and Two English Pennies jump from hand to hand. First it happens in the magician’s hand, then it happens in the spectators hand, then all the coins turn into Chinese coins.

My Happy Thoughts: A good amount of spectator involvement with a nice kicker ending. Slights are not too difficult or numerous. The gimmicks take care of most of the work.
My Not-So Happy Thoughts: Slightly gimmick heavy on this effect. Serious coin workers may already have most of these, but I think most people are going to need to put out a little amount of money to effectively perform this effect. (Even if you had to buy everything, this should cost less than $90) To save a little money, replace the magic Chinese coins with some normal Mexican pesos, or coins from any other country that has devalued currency.
Final Verdict: Great spectator involvement and very visual. Even if you had to buy all the gimmick items, the effect is well worth the investment. Plus you’ll be able to use every single gimmick to perform lots of other great magic in the future.

Shell Fish and Silver Dream: These two effects are performed back to back. But each is solid enough to stand on its own. Shell Fish is explained, but Silver Dream is not. Both are performed standing, without a table. These are truly magical effects. I understand that Justin is going to be releasing an separate Dvd just on Silver Dream (so you could learn it in the future) Shell Fish is a twist on the Visual Coins Across routine. Three Coins: First they appear one at a time, then disappear one at time, then they all reappear one at a time. Really visual and fun. In Silver Dream, all three coins disappear one at a time in the most visual manner imaginable. It really is kinda like a weird dream, because they just vanish (one of them literally vanishes in thin air!).

My Happy Thoughts: Only one really basic coin gimmick required. If you pay attention to the name, you’ve got a decent clue.
My Not-So Happy Thoughts: I really can’t think of any at this moment.
Final Thoughts: Solid entertaining effect for strolling.

Flushed Again: Spectator selects a card and places it back in the deck. Magician removes 4 blank cards to help him find the selected card. Each blank card discloses different information about the selection. As the spectator stares at one of the blank cards, it turns into their selection. Then the remaining blank cards turn into a royal flush.

My Happy Thoughts: I’ve said it before, but I think that printing blank cards is very visual and entertaining for adults and kids. This is a nice and visual card effect.
My Not-So Happy Thoughts: Not exactly impromptu. However, it really doesn’t require major gaffs and what is required, most should people have or is easily acquired for less than a few dollars.
Final Thoughts: Good effect. While a set-up and gaff is required, if you can palm a card from your pocket and add it onto the deck, you could easily get into this routine at any time. Otherwise, Justin teaches you how to set it up to be the first effect in a set. He also teaches you the clean up for examination and reset.

Miller Cases Dancy: This is Justin’s version of a Luke Dancy effect “Advertise This” from Luke’s Dvd “Magic for the Eyes.” Not being familiar with Luke’s routine, I can’t make a comparison. A card is selected and returned to the deck. The Joker is removed and put in the card box. Spectator is supposed to focus on the deck and imagine his card turning over. When the deck is spread, one card is face down…the Joker. The spectator’s card has jumped to the closed card box.

My Happy Thoughts: Personally, I really like impossible location effects, but I love impossible location effects that tie in a transposition. I like how the spectator makes the magic happen in this effect by mentally making a card turn over.
My Not-So Happy Thoughts: One simple gimmick is required to gaff a normal card. Not a big deal, some guys love using this stuff. I just haven’t gotten that into it.
Final Thoughts: Because I like the effect, I’m gonna have to try to get more comfortable with that gimmick, plus, that would help me be able to perform some of the other card magic taught on this 2 disc set.

This is a great Dvd if you are into coins, and the printing+gambling card effect as well as the surprise transpo card effect are very nice and visual. There is a lot of spectator involvement with these effects. However only 1 of the 6 effects is totally impromptu and doesn’t require any gimmick, gaff of set-up. But, that’s shouldn’t dissuade anyone from purchasing the dvd. Most of the gimmicks for the coin effects will already be owned by coin workers, and if you don’t have them yet, you’ll find them very useful for countless other effects taught in books and dvds by other magicians. As for the card effects, the total price of gimmicks should be less than $4. Plus, Justin uses these gaffs and gimmicks to add to the effects and reduce the number of slights required. Actually, they allow you to accomplish the impossible.
Once again, Justin has packed this Dvd with detailed explanations and repeated explanations from multiple camera angles. His instruction on the slights is incredibly valuable almost anyone can learn from all the touches and finesses that he explains.
This Dvd, like Volume 1, is taught in a way that even if this was someone’s very first magic purchase, they could put in the time and perform these flawlessly.

First note: I know that my review of the first Dvd may read with mixed emotions. Between writing that review and this review I realized why I felt that way and wrote the review that way. The title of these Dvds is “Strolling Hands.” There is a strong inference that the Dvd contains all strolling magic. I wrote my first review with that in mind. Meaning, that if the effect was heavy in gimmicks, didn’t reset instantly/nearly instantly, or required a table, I was a little hard on it. That’s not to say there aren’t effects on the disc that are perfect for strolling—There are several. It’s just to say that my first review was slanted by my expectation of the type of effects I thought were supposed to be on the Dvd.

The thing is, while a good number of these effects may not be very perfect for strolling, (because of needing a table or reset), pretty much all of them would be fantastic in a restaurant setting (but some would require a trip to the corner to quickly reset). So, unless 100% of your business is done as a strolling magician and you never have a small surface to work on, the reader should not be deterred from purchasing this set. Almost all of these effects are very magical, fun to watch, and very workable in environments other than strolling. Plus, they certainly are taught better than any effects on any other Dvd or VHS that I own in my extensive collection.

Second note: In my review of Volume 1, I mentioned an effect that was ‘performance only’ called X Marks the Spot. I was on Justin’s website and saw that he is releasing a special Dvd for that effect (similar to what is being done with Silver Dream), so look for those in the future. The Dvd only cost $20 on his website.
If Justin teaches how to perform X Marks the Spot without using flash paper (for those CA magicians that have a heck of a time using that stuff in paid performances due to legal restrictions) to make the Xs appear, I’ll probably purchase that Dvd soon, because it was a killer effect.

Last note: I also got Justin’s Lecture Notes “2005 Lecture Notes…Huh?”. These are well made, well written, and contain some effects that apparently didn’t make the cut for the Dvd. They are a worthy purchase and make a great companion to the Dvd Set.
Matt Bartz
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Gilbert, Arizona
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I forgot to mention that I noticed that Justin has some great package deals for all this stuff available on his website...If you haven't bought this set should look at the deals on his site.
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Would you recommend purchasing the Silver Dream dvd when it is released, or purchase the SD manuscript now, and Strolling Hands dvd with performance, or purchase all 3? (whew!)..... Smile ...
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
Justin N. Miller
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WOW, thank you for such a great review. You make me want to go buy a set!

The e-book will no longer be sold on my site because of it containg Silver Dream which will be out very shortly.

Justin Miller
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