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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Art of Astonishment Pieces of Strange….. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagicSanta
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Title: Art of Astonishment Pieces of Strange…..
Medium: DVD
Arena: close up
Available: Any shop, distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Paul Harris is one of the more interesting characters in magic. He wanders from place to place, I don’t think he really has a place he calls ‘home’, and releases some incredible magic and also some pretty bad magic, the incredible is more frequent than the bad. One of my favorite photo’s is of Paul Harris with Michael Ammar and Daryl taken in Santa Cruz at the beach years ago….imagine what those sessions were like. Paul Harris’ magic was released in book form in the very popular three book series The Art of Astonishment. Again filled with great magic and bad magic at the same time. Well, you can’t hit home runs w/out striking out every so often I guess. A1 Multimedia released a series of video tapes a few years ago and Murphys Magic Supplies is re-releasing at least some of the material on DVD form, which is cool.

Let’s look at the production value. The sound and camera work is great, not a problem to be found. Here is the problem…this set is one of the most irritating sets of video I’ve ever encountered. Not because of the magic, which is pretty durn good, but because for some reason Maxwell decided to go artistic, maybe Paul influenced him, I don’t know. The opening is odd with static and voice over that make no sense. Then the real problem starts, A1 gathers spectators together than make the worse audience L&L put together look interesting. The segments open with Paul showing an effect while talking to a spectator in a ultra casual setting. Oh man is it hard to watch, but it gets worse. After Paul performs, which is the great part of the videos, the specs are filmed as if by a secret hidden camera, discussing their amazement over what they had just seen. You have to deal with them during performances but I suggest you fast forward through the discussions, they are a complete waste of time. I’ll tell you what would have made the spectators more interesting….have Paul go to the store to get a deck of cards and then the Manson Family break in and do their thing. Even with these horrible people the DVD is cool because Paul is cool. Here is what is on this DVD.

Unshuffling Rebecca:
Kind of like Triumph the routine is interesting and Paul makes very good use of the guarantee card found in a pack of Bikes.

Backlash:
Signed card to pocket. Nice mix of different themes into one presentation, along with Unshuffling Rebecca this may be one you’ll do.

Angel Case:
Mentalism using a card box. I think this is a very neat idea and I’ve done this a few times over the year to great success. A message is revealed in a mysterious way.

Zen and the Art of Boomering:
Will take practice, did for me at least, but it looks very neat. The idea is a card is flung into the air and ends up splitting the deck at the mate. Great trick but again you will need to practice the move.

Flesh:
Useless……

Impromptu Nightshades:
My friends daughter went to a fair and this was the only trick she remembered seeing and to this day she remembers it. A very cool trick that you will want to perform and one that will work for table workers and the street assassins alike. You put sun glasses on George Washington on a bill and then push the glasses off his eyes and to his forehead. You have to see it to really realize how cool this is. A great trick.

Buck Naked:
A way to fold bills to make them look lime more than what you have. For some reason I really like this effect because I just like the way the bill(s) look.

The Shape of Astonishment:
Very easy yet every time I do it people are shocked with the result. You sell it with presentation. It should be obvious to the spec but isn’t and I do this one all the time.

Fizz Master:
Oh you street assassins and hallway hit men, here is your routine. You shake up a can of soda yet when you open one that has been sitting and not shaken up and the shook one doesn’t explode but the one that has been sitting does explode! Very cool.

There you have it, some very neat magic with one exception mixed in with the worse train wreck of an audience you’ll find. One thing, if you have not seen these before do watch the spectators, you know, train wrecks are fun to watch.
Lukenp
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Good review! Now, when is the 9 DVD set coming out? I've been curious...
"Be natural"

-Dai Vernon
MagicSanta
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I couldn't tell ya....I know Paul Harris has some work on the new video magazine being put out in July by kozmo magic. I'll see if I can find out about a nine DVD set, I'm not privy but I know shop owners and they may know.
Review King
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It's one of the most underated Videos/DVD's of our time. KILLER material!!!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
MagicSanta
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It is good material, I just wish they didn't put in the other stuff. It could be just performing but those women on that DVD are out of it. On this DVD you get to see a woman spell her name wrong, and her name is Sandra!
Andy the cardician
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You know what they say about dumb women . . .
Cards never lie
Joe Roberts
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Quote:
On 2007-06-19 20:22, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
It's one of the most underated Videos/DVD's of our time. KILLER material!!!


Hmmm... apparently underrated by everyone including yourself:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=111

Quote:
On 2005-02-11 21:57, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:

The cheesey pretend excitement of the spectators looked like an experiment in audience reactioins. It was annoying but, didn't ruin the video. The terrible magic did. Dull, dull, dull!!!

It was panned by critics. The effets were poor. Even the greats slip once in awhile.

MagicSanta
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Ahhh....Christopher is very astute. Since there were three videos who knows which one he is refering to? Paul Harris, like a couple others, loves to release every thought as magic, when he hits it is good, when he misses it is by a mile. I didn't enjoy the spectators as much as Christopher.
Joe Roberts
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Quote:
On 2007-06-20 21:18, MagicSanta wrote:
Ahhh....Christopher is very astute. Since there were three videos who knows which one he is refering to?


Actually there was only one Art of Astonishment DVD.
Cameron Francis
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Yes, but there is another thread where Christopher takes back what he said, admitting that he misjudged the video the first time around.

I think it was posted within the past year. Christopher is a very honest guy and a real straight shooter. If he doesn't like something, he'll say it. But he is also not afraid to re-evaluate material and even change his mind. At least, this is what I've observed.
MagicSanta
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There was only one? No kidding.... I'm actually shocked because that was the middle of the "Everything must be released in three tapes". I saw the one and the audience put me off so much I never looked for others. By golly we must torture Christopher but first what made that fellow even look up the old thread?
Steve Hook
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In the MAGIC interview, Paul or Eric mentioned that there should be a release of three new DVDs of new PH material (not AOA material), possibly this year.

The goal is an eventual nine DVDs, release in three groups of three if I remember correctly.

This was a revelation, since the early buzz was that it was to be a video record of the AOA material.
Like Bonnie Raitt said, "I miss Little Feat more than I miss being 8 years old." Thanks for the concerts + recordings, Lowell, Richie, and Paul!
Review King
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Quote:
On 2007-06-20 23:44, Cameron Francis wrote:
Yes, but there is another thread where Christopher takes back what he said, admitting that he misjudged the video the first time around.

I think it was posted within the past year. Christopher is a very honest guy and a real straight shooter. If he doesn't like something, he'll say it. But he is also not afraid to re-evaluate material and even change his mind. At least, this is what I've observed.


Cameron, thank you for mentioning the thread where I corrected myself. Here it is:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=111

I hated this when it came out on video. But, I explain all that in the above post.

There are killer effects on this. And...with it on DVD you can pass by any parts you don't like.

Paul was trying to do something fun and different. I was so full of myself I missed it and also the incredible magic he crfeated.

I was wrong and stupid! That's a bad combination!

Joe Roberts, thanks for finding the old post so I could again appologize. I appreciate your doing that!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
MagicSanta
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I'm still shocked he didn't have three vids....
Joe Roberts
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Hey Chris,

I hope you realize I was just busting your balls a little bit. I'm glad you came around on the DVD. I agree that it's pretty great and underrated. I can also see how someone (you, me, or anyone else) might dismiss it depending on what you're into magic-wise at the moment.
Review King
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Quote:
On 2007-06-21 12:14, Joe Roberts wrote:
Hey Chris,

I hope you realize I was just busting your balls a little bit. I'm glad you came around on the DVD. I agree that it's pretty great and underrated. I can also see how someone (you, me, or anyone else) might dismiss it depending on what you're into magic-wise at the moment.


Joe I took your post in the spirit it was intended. I might not have been so kind if someone made as ignornat a post as I had.

You rock, baby!!!

Chris
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
ralphgironda
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Paul just released his website project...

http://www.theastonishmentproject.com
MagicSanta
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I'm starting to suspect Christopher and Joe were spectators on the video. Joe, please post a photo of you in a shoulder leangth brunette wig, denim ho' shorts, and with a smoke in your mouth so I can see what is up.
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