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Barry Daugherty
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This is not a review as I have not watched it yet. But, I wanted to offer a heads up about a mistake that could affect those who only order one of the volumes.

On L&L's website and other sites listing the contents of these DVDs, the effects shown to be on Volume 1 of this set are actually physically present on Volume 2. Let me give an example. I was interested in ordering the DVD with his Ten Exact Cuts effect. According to the website, that is on Volume 1. But, when I received Volume 1 this past weekend, Ten Exact Cuts wasn't on there.

I'm going to contact L&L publishing this morning when they open and let them know this, but I wanted to give a heads up to anyone just wanting to order one of the volumes. I would double-check before ordering to make sure that you are getting the right disc. Of course, ordering the entire 2 disc set would alleviate this concern! :o)

Thanks,
Barry
Barry Daugherty
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Just wanted to follow up. I was able to contact L&L publishing and they confirmed that this was an error. So, if only ordering one volume, be sure to specify the correct volume based on this updated content listing:

Volume 1

IMPOSSIBLE CONTROL 1 – Regardless of how many card discoveries you already know, you’ve never seen one like this! A selected card is found by the performer in a humorous way under impossible circumstances. The spectators shuffle and the performer never sees any cards until the revelation!

IMPOSSIBLE CONTROL 2 – Another jaw-dropping card discovery as the performer finds a selected card returned to a random position in the deck at the position named by the spectator himself!

MEMORIZED DECK – A two-deck stunner that will absolutely convince your audience that you can memorize a complete deck of cards in seconds in order to locate a selected card. You’ll also learn some great lessons on how to add humor and build suspense in an effect.

QUIT SMOKING – A very funny and unexpected effect as the performer produces a long stream of soap bubbles from the end of a cigarette in addition to a twenty-dollar bill. At the end, the cigarette vanishes completely!

IMPOSSIBLE CARDS TRANSPOSITION – You’ll be rubbing your eyes as you watch the backs of two selected cards change colors and are subsequently found in an opposite-colored deck that was in plain sight.

THE CARDS EXPERT – An amazing demonstration of card dexterity and control. The performer cuts to the four Aces and the four Kings. He then cuts to only red black cards and then to only black cards. He then cuts to alternating red and black cards. For the impossible finish, after a thorough shuffle, the colors completely separate.

CHINESE ECONOMY – A wildly visual routine as large Chinese coins vanish, reappear and multiply with absolutely no cover.

FOUR FOREVER – A stand-up version of Chinese Economy, ideal for walk-around situations with a climax that features the magic happening right in the spectator’s hands.

MATCHING COUPLES – The performer removes the picture cards from the deck and, after they are shown to be mismatched, they magically rearrange themselves by value and suit. For the unbelievable ending, the deck is continually shuffled by the spectator yet the rest of the deck manages to rearrange itself into matching pairs.


Volume 2

NEEDLE THROUGH DECK – The performer pushes a large, threaded needle through a playing card box. Not an impressive feat until the cards are removed and found to have no holes or any other evidence of the needle and thread passing through them. The perfect opener!

RISKY BET – A packet of cards is shuffled by the spectators as the performer places some paper currency into a glass as a bet against failure. The cards are divided into small piles and one is freely chosen. When the value of the cards in the selected packet are added, they are found to match the amount of money in the glass.

DOLLAR AND QUARTER – You won’t believe your eyes as a borrowed quarter and dollar bill are visibly fused together to form one of the strangest objects your audience is ever likely to see. The two components are then magically separated and returned to their owners!

FLIPPER CARD – A selected card visibly vanishes from between two Queens and is found in the card box which has been in plain sight. One of the most visual card effects you’re ever likely to see!

NEW K.O. ROPE – The performer cuts a length of rope into two pieces and then restores them but that is just the beginning of a startling sequence of magical events. Without any further cutting, the rope becomes two lengths again and then suddenly multiplies into three and then four lengths. The performer then restores it back to two and then back to one. For the surprising ending, the rope is in four lengths again and each is handed out for thorough examination.

MENTAL POWER – The performer correctly divines a spectator’s thought-of card and then subsequently shows that the spectator had no other choice as every other card in the deck is now blank!

KEEN SENSE OF TOUCH – Another impossible location as the performer finds two signed cards in a deck shuffled by the audience in a transparent bag while his eyes are covered. A great stand-up card effect for any size audience!

FINDING THE ACES – Imagine being able to locate the four Aces in an instant from a deck that’s been completely shuffled by the spectators. A very practical method for an utterly impossible effect.

TEN EXACT CUTS – The full details of Henry’s masterpiece, the finale of his FISM act, finally revealed! The performer cuts a deck of cards into ten packets in just a few seconds and then shows one card in the first pack, two in the second and so on to the tenth. For the dumbfounding finish, the deck is shuffled and cut into three packets which are shown to be the three remaining suits – in exact numerical order!

Thanks,
Barry
tuffnavyrn
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Give us a review when you've viewed it.
Brian-
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Review King
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I'm leary about the descriptions. The same "over the top" decriptions were given and I didn't find the effects lived up to the hype.

Here's one:
2000 Three Card Monte - Imagine being able to do the cleanest Three Card Monte routine ever where the spectator is totally convinced they know where the money card is, only to discover that the card has magically changed and then hand the cards out as souvenirs!

It's the WORST monte effect ever. I cringe when I think about it.

I'd have to have some folks that opinions I respect praise these before I got them.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Shakey
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I find with Henry Evans that you cant work from the DVD alone, and you are required to spend a considerable amount on further props - its the big put off for me !
joseph
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You will still need to purchase 10 Exact Cuts, since it would be very difficult to make...
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
Barry Daugherty
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Tuffnavyrn, I will definitely give a review when I finish watching them.

Christopher Kavanah, wow! Such harsh words. So far, I've watched the first 4 effects on DVD 1 and I can say that there is no hype or exaggeration in any of the descriptions of those 4 effects. I found myself laughing and shaking my head as it was perplexing to watch. Yet, the explanations use simple properties.

Shakey, so far into it I don't need anything special. I'm sure that will change though as I've only watched 4 effects.

Joseph, thanks for the heads up. I got this instead of Ten Exact Cuts to save some money, but it looks like that backfired on me. Oh well!

I will provide a thorough review once I finish watching the first one. Until then, hang tight and reserve judgment until you actually see this one.

Thanks,
Barry
jimesw
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Was it so dull that you could only watch 4 effects? Were you not gripped and eager to see the rest of them asap?
Barry Daugherty
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No, my DVD player froze at that point and I didn't bother with it further. I've just been super busy. I'm heading to England next week for business and haven't had a lot of spare time. So, I just shut the DVD player down and went to bed. Overall, I enjoyed the DVD up to that point, though, and will finish it this evening.
Mike M
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Chris,
I have seen just about every monte around; my favorite being Skinner's Ultimate 3 Card Monte. I saw Henry Evans do his 2000 Monte at a lecture and was stunned by it. I know a lot of people dislike it, but I bet those same people never saw him do it. Just my thoughts...
jimesw
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2000 Monte is incredible from a distance. Close up it is so so obvious. You would have to have really bad eyesight as a spectator not to see the gimmick staring you in the face. I saw him perform it at Blackpool a couple of years back and he asked the camera guy to zoom out a bit. It does look phenomenal on stage with a camera filming it but up close I don't think it works. I guess this is the wrong thread. Hopefully there will be reviews of the dvd's. Henry Evans impressed me a lot more with his newer stuff at Blackpool this year then when his last DVD set came out. He is a clever inventive guy. I hope for good things.
Barry Daugherty
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OK. Here is my review of Henry Evans - The Other Side of Illusion Volume 1.

I had never seen Henry Evans perform before. This was my first DVD of his. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. Due to his accent, it took a little while to get acclimated to what he was saying. Additionally, he is a very energetic performer. Most Americans would consider his performance over the top. But, I ended up smiling and laughing through most of it as did other audience members. So, his style may not be for everyone, but it works for him. On to the effects, the dealer description of the effects, and my comments. Contrary to Chris Kavanagh's comments above, the dealer descriptions are spot on.

IMPOSSIBLE CONTROL 1 – Regardless of how many card discoveries you already know, you’ve never seen one like this! A selected card is found by the performer in a humorous way under impossible circumstances. The spectators shuffle and the performer never sees any cards until the revelation!

The principle behind it is old and simple, yet it is deceptive. And the ending comes faster than you expect, so this would be a good opener that packs quite a punch. Overall, this is easy to perform with a good payoff. I would rate it 8/10.


IMPOSSIBLE CONTROL 2 – Another jaw-dropping card discovery as the performer finds a selected card returned to a random position in the deck at the position named by the spectator himself!

Building on the same principle as the first one, this takes it a step further. This one requires you to be able to think on your feet in a sort of "Trick that can't be explained" kind of way. For that reason, I will probably not attempt it. But, for the brave, this one is even more impossible than the first one. Due to the harder nature of it, I would rate it 7/10.


MEMORIZED DECK – A two-deck stunner that will absolutely convince your audience that you can memorize a complete deck of cards in seconds in order to locate a selected card. You’ll also learn some great lessons on how to add humor and build suspense in an effect.

Like the previous effect, this one requires you to think on your feet in a similar manner. It does appear that the performer memorizes the position of every card because the initial force is very deceptive. It is well thought out and has lots of moments of humor. But, I would be nervous to perform it as taught for the same reason as above. For that reason, I would rate it 7/10. For a seasoned performer used to an "every time is different" kind of performance, this could be closer to 9/10.


QUIT SMOKING – A very funny and unexpected effect as the performer produces a long stream of soap bubbles from the end of a cigarette in addition to a twenty-dollar bill. At the end, the cigarette vanishes completely!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one! It has some very funny moments and it doesn't get much more startling than seeing bubbles blowing out the end of a borrowed cigarette! Very creative. I would never have thought to try this. It does require you to be seated, but walkaround guys could probably work out an alternative. Overall, very creative with little preparation. Interstingly enough, it got a standing ovation in the performance. 9/10.


IMPOSSIBLE CARDS TRANSPOSITION – You’ll be rubbing your eyes as you watch the backs of two selected cards change colors and are subsequently found in an opposite-colored deck that was in plain sight.

The beginning of the effect was a little shaky (just due to his performance), but the transposition was as fast and unexpected as the ad states. This is the first example of needing something extra as Shakey mentioned above. But, I think it would be worth it. Overall, it's easy to perform as taught and the visual nature of the effect can't be beaten. 9/10


THE CARDS EXPERT – An amazing demonstration of card dexterity and control. The performer cuts to the four Aces and the four Kings. He then cuts to only red black cards and then to only black cards. He then cuts to alternating red and black cards. For the impossible finish, after a thorough shuffle, the colors completely separate.

This is a cutting demonstration that seems progressively more difficult. The plot itself is interesting and it does convince others of great skill. I think most magicians could figure out what is needed, but the presentation of it and the various subtleties Henry provides really sell this effect. For those that enjoy "pretty" finishes, the cards are laid out in a very aesthetic pattern at the end. Nice effect I would give 9/10.


CHINESE ECONOMY – A wildly visual routine as large Chinese coins vanish, reappear and multiply with absolutely no cover.

This one is baffling and surprising! It is heavily gaffed, but his subtleties on this gaff would be helpful in other similar effects. Again, magicians may be able to figure it out, but all the surprises along the way make it enjoyable for everyone. I'm not a big coin person, but I'm going to try to get the coins needed to perform this as it seems to play well to a lay audience. This was my favorite effect on the DVD. 10/10


FOUR FOREVER – A stand-up version of Chinese Economy, ideal for walk-around situations with a climax that features the magic happening right in the spectator’s hands.

This uses the same gaffs from the previous effect and continues on the same theme. Chinese Economy was intended for the table, but this version is for stand up. Think 6 card repeat for coins. It's nice to be able to perform without a table and it finishes in the spectator's hands, but it loses all the surprises that made the previous version so fun. It's a good effect, but next to Chinese Economy, it doesn't hold up (in my opinion). 7/10


MATCHING COUPLES – The performer removes the picture cards from the deck and, after they are shown to be mismatched, they magically rearrange themselves by value and suit. For the unbelievable ending, the deck is continually shuffled by the spectator yet the rest of the deck manages to rearrange itself into matching pairs.

Even though the effect is impossible to imagine how it can happen, you're not surprised that it does happen. For that reason, I wasn't as impressed with the Matching couples effect. I can't really explain what should be done differently, but it seemed the audience expected the ending and therefore wasn't that surprised by it. I would like to hear other's thoughts on this. OVerall, the effect was performed well and the conditions seem impossible. It uses an interesting principle that got me thinking about how it could be used in other effects. But, something seemed missing. Due to its impossible nature, I would give it an 8/10. I will try to perform it myself to see if my impressions change. But, that is my initial reaction.


How about the DVD? Well, overall, it is the same L&L quality that you expect. The only minor complaint I have is that the mix of Henry's microphone could have been better. It seemed high pitch and slightly abrasive. Otherwise, camera angles were good. I like having the overhead camera angle during parts of the explanation. That makes it very easy to see what is going on. The only other beef: since L&L started doing widescreen shoots, why not make it anamorphic widescreen? Again, a minor complaint. Overall, the DVD quality is 9/10.

Well, since this was my first DVD of Henry, I must say that I was impressed. He has that hyperactive performance style but he understands theater. He knows when to pause and build up an effect. He knows when to be quiet and when to be excited. His performance was entertaining. I like his thinking process. He may take an old principle and twist it slightly. He utilized a principle with cards that I don't see done very often. And his thoughts on that got me thinking. His subtleties around his gaffs also impressed me. He did everything he could to make gaffs seems real so there is no suspicion that ordinary objects aren't being used. And overall, only 3 effects required funny gaffs and 2 of those effects use the same gaffs. So, overall, most of the effects are practical with what a magician would have around the house.

I look forward to getting Volume 2 now. I'll try to post a review of it when finished.

Hope you enjoy!
Barry
Barry Daugherty
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Quote:
On 2007-09-11 06:24, joseph wrote:
You will still need to purchase 10 Exact Cuts, since it would be very difficult to make...


I just watched Volume 2 and I'll have to disagree. He described how to accomplish the effect and I had everything in the house to be able to make the effect. Honestly, in about 5 minutes, I could have the effect set up ready to perform. Perhaps he shares a different method on this DVD. Very amazing. I will definitely try this out.

Just wanted to let others know in case your comments scared them away.

Thanks,
Barry
cgscpa
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I prefer books but do purchase the occasional DVD. Since I have not seen Henry Evans perform or purchased one of his products before, I thought I would give this a shot. Here are my general thoughts rather than an in depth review:

I watched the performance portion first and found it quite enjoyable. He has a personable and charming performance personality.

That said this DVD is not for everybody. I liked the first three effects (involving cards) and Impossible Control 1 and 2 are good opening effects. Memorized Deck was my favorite.

What I did not like, as others have mentioned above and in other threads, is the need to purchase additional items to perform the effects. Impossible Cards Transportation, while visual eye candy and my favorite effect to watch, would not be easy to make by the average person. Mr. Evans does not go into much detail in constructing the gimmicks however he does sell them separately. Chinese Economy would cost you about $200 additional to purchase the necessary coins. In my opinion these types of effects should be “bonus” items or performance only pieces so you know up front that you will need to purchase more than the DVD.
in flames
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I loved this set. Does anyone know where I can buy the card for "IMPOSSIBLE CARDS TRANSPOSITION"?

Thanks!
MagicSanta
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I've not seen the DVDs but I've seen Henry work and he is absolutely amazing in his technical abilities. I was far less impressed with is presentations, which may be because of his attempt to do so in English. His card handling is hard to beat though.
korttihai_82
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Most magicians tend to ignore Henry Evans material cos its mostly so gimmicked. However I really suggest you all to try to get around that and just watch the effects themselves. Most of em are killer effects that would slay any lay or even magician audience and they don't see a thing! Why? Cos the gimmicks do most of the work for you.

If you ignore the methods for the time being, then you must admit that Henry Evans "cardtricks" look so much more magical than most top heavy hitters cardtricks or any finger flinging material out there just because its so simple and clean. As Evans himself said on his first serie, its all about the effect. Not the method.

As Karell Fox used to say: "KISS = Keep is simple stupid"

Even if you don't use any of his tricks I still believe that you should study his work and see how cardtricks can be made magical and simple, yet very very powerfull.

J-M
Barry Daugherty
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Thanks J-M! That was so well said. I loved watching this series just to see his creativity. His methods introduced me to some new thinking that not only was interesting but inspiring. When I watch creative magicians it inspires me to improve my own magic. When I think up a new effect, I no longer see limitations, but I continue to think until I can make it happen. In some cases, it may require a lot of gaffs. But, I don't care. The effect is powerful.

I think my audience deserves the best magic that I can offer. I don't care what I have to do to present it. I feel they deserve that. Too many magicians get uptight over method. Let it go. Be creative. See what can happen.

Thanks again for that post. I agree 100%.

Cheers,
Barry
korttihai_82
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I have to add that I have now seen this second set of his and I didn't find it as good as the first set he made. It still has some gems but I wont go into much details cos I rpetty much agree with the review above.

I have to say that I have had a chance to see Henry Evans live and most of his effects and presentations played much much better in live situations. Even if you know the mechanics, it was still breathtaking to watch the visualness of the effects. And also, don't be mistaken by the fact that even if he uses gimmicks he cant do some heavy sleight of hand. If you get a chance to see him live just give him a shuffled deck and get ready to be fryed Smile

J-M
R.S.
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I just viewed volume 1 of this set, and I must say that the other reviewers were right on! The magic is fun to watch and the quality of the DVD is very good. It is true that almost all of these tricks require some degree of preparation, whether it be deck arrangement or by the use of gaffs. 'The Memorized Deck' is the only trick that can be performed impromptu using a regular, shuffled deck. The good thing is that none of these effects require knuckle-busting sleights. Of course, the downside to that is that you'll have to invest in a little bit of preparation. If you're willing to do that, then you'll have some material that audiences will really enjoy. As far as Henry himself, his style may not appeal to everybody, and his accent takes a little getting used to as another reviewer stated, but he does know how to keep an audience entertained. I think that magicians of all levels should glean something from either the presentations or the methods themselves.

Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
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