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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » White Star by Jim Critchlow (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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silverking
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This is the type of review most here have been waiting for.
I look forward to reading your thoughts on both of them Ezzet!
goldeneye007
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Yes!! Me too! I can't wait to hear about that! Thanks Ezzet!
Ben
DrTodd
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I would like to add my own views on this product.

The blurb is 100% accurate.

No gimmicks.
Beautifully produced pictures with full biographical details on the back.
Great and all-improved method
Everything is completely examinable

You get 28 cards and 21-page booklet with the original routine and 4 additional routines.

Jim has pondered and cogitated for many years and come up with a wonderfully ingenious method for this effect. But beyond the method (which is both straightforward and devious), you get a great set of collector-style photos and a true story in which to couch your effect.

Yes,it is an OOTW plot,but in my view a better method and better premise than From Hell. You can use any two objects and dress this up as much as like. I could see this is a classic example of a Chelman-esque 'Hauntique' with assocoiated props one would have found on the Titanic.

I had a private event on Tuesday night with some after dinner entertainment and I used White Star as my closer. I did about 25 minutes of material that gradually got more implausible and then performed White Star.

I used an English penny from 1899 and a gold and ruby ring from 1910 as 'markers' for my participants, I used a couple that had been going out for over a year and made a lot of that fact to explain that this particular demonstration would be most successful with a couple.

I chose the man for the 'died' and the woman for the 'survived'. The beauty of this routine is that for most of it they have no real idea what is going on and are intrigued with the props and the premise. The guests were fascinated with the pictures and at times chipped in facts and details about the Titanic, so it really did become a group effort. The final sets of revelations can be done in a really nice slow fashion as you show each photograph and how they have been amazingly separated. You can finish by picking up the pace a bit to increase the sense of impossibility of the feat.

You then are left with a table full of totally examinable props. Lovely!

Superb product and well worth the expenditure.
Robert M
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Excellent review. Thanks.

Robert
Dominic Reyes
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Got to a gig too early so wrote his
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Interesting review/experience with White Star here with a VERY GOOD presentation idea:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=15
silverking
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I ordered, sounds too good not to have and use.

After reading the few reviews here, I see this as being perhaps usable in situations where "From Hell" might be too graphic....like when kids are around, or dinner has just been served.

I'm looking forward to getting a hold of "White Star".
DrTodd
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Yes, it is less gruesome than From Hell and comes with multiple methods, each of which can be applied to From Hell anyway, so it is good to have!
Dr Spektor
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Well, between Dr. Todd and Abraxus (see Penny forum) - I sent in my moolah today! The evidence is mounting this is a must have for a mizarrist!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
EricDraven
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Yep...just placed my order...
Believe me...nothing is trivial...
Eddie Garland
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Quote:
On 2008-06-27 13:44, silverking wrote:
After reading the few reviews here, I see this as being perhaps usable in situations where "From Hell" might be too graphic....like when kids are around, or dinner has just been served.


Yep, that sold me SilverKing... as much I like "From Hell" the darn kids seem to be around so often at dinner parties lately.

Now lets retreat into a cloud of smoke where we will congratulate each other on being masters of the universe.
IAIN
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Sorry if this sounds snappy or terse, its not meant to be - but really, the price is immaterial in some ways...maybe if you're just going to perform for friends and family - then have a think about needing it...

but if you're performing (and I only do after dinner small close up gigs) - then it's going to more than pay for itself after the one gig I'd hope! and then any repeat gigs (i got another 2 from the 8 people I performed it for this week)...

I know what you mean about splashing out on stuff, I'd rather laugh at how rubbish something is after I bought it, then buy just plain old mediocrity and just feel empty inside! at least when you buy absolute rubbish you can have a giggle over it...
I've asked to be banned
silverking
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It doesn't sound snappy or terse at all. As a matter of fact I think you're pretty much dead on. But let me offer up just a few thoughts on why I asked so many questions up front.

Price is but one thing I consider when I purchase an effect. Sadly, the current state of marketing in our field has rendered me (and presumably a few others) totally jaded when it comes to purchasing "new and improved" effects:

1) "The Marketing Blurb" - I never believe what I read simply because I've been let down 100% of the time on any given effect I've removed from my mail box and opened. Not 100% let down, just let down 100% of the time.

2) "Unsolicited reviews from the creators best friends" - The nature of the internet is that one can release an effect, and before any normal person has even had a chance to take delivery of it there are half a dozen reviews from the creators best pals declaring how "brilliant" the effect is. (of course mentioning they're associated with the effects creator is overlooked).
These reviews are always a part of the equation, but they're not reviews I take seriously when I consider an effect.

3) Price - The pricing in general in magic and mentalisim makes no sense, and often fails to clearly indicate the value of an effect or method.
Often I take delivery of an effect which I feel was worth 3 or 4 times what I paid for it, and just as often I take delivery of an effect which is worth nothing.

I find that the amount of money changing hands is no indication of how "good" something is. In the case of White Star, I feel the need to explore exactly WHY it's twice as much as "Split Reality".
Is it because "Split Reality" is underpriced, or is it because "White Star" is overpriced?

"Split Reality" is (IMHO) brilliantly conceived, and playing the photos at 8X10 makes it suitable for most any stand up situation. I've also printed them in a smaller size for close up.
"Split Reality" provides unbelievable value. "White Star" is double the price (more with shipping and the inevitable extra $50.00 or $60.00 spent on ebay picking up add-ons.

Why?

Laminated cards professionally printed in the number provided don't amount to more than $10.00 OEM. What is the cause of the price being double?

In the end we find out from the distributor that it's both quality props AND method you're essentially paying for........That they are applying a sizable cost to the method and passing that on to the end user I can understand, and it was a piece of important information that didn't come out until a bit of pressure was applied in the form of a few forward questions directed at the distributor.

In the end I found out enough about the effect to determine that (for me) the "cost to benefit" fell within a range that made a purchase worthwhile. I'm already another $65.00 in the hole on ebay on extra props for "White Star", so this one is currently around $125.00 total.

Price matters, and research is free...........but I totally understand your point abraxus. For full time professional workers, (which I'm not) different measures are put to an effect.

(it was actually your post that was the final bit of convincing for me to buy Smile )
Markymark
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Good points Silverking.'Splitting the difference' can be done with photos and is in the May 2005 edition of 'Genii' cost? $5.00.
''In memory of a once fluid man,crammed and distorted by the classical mess'' -Bruce Lee
Tony Iacoviello
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Quote:
On 2008-06-29 09:56, abraxus wrote:
Sorry if this sounds snappy or terse, its not meant to be - but really, the price is immaterial in some ways...maybe if you're just going to perform for friends and family - then have a think about needing it...
...



Abraxus

If the reason for purchasing an item is for the purpose of adding a new routine, agreed.

BUT, if the purpose is to look and see if there are any new ideas or concepts that differ from what you already do, curiosity, then cost/benefit becomes a serious consideration. And basing a decision on this does not lessen one's stature as a performer.

I do agree that the presentation angle on this is interesting, but I am not impartial (based on my own published and unpublished work on this theme).

Tony
goldeneye007
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Nice posts gentlemen!

Indeed it depends on why you purchase an item. I already perform OOTW (not that much these days however, seperating reds and blacks sounds a bit stupid to me... anyway...) and could easily use old photographs to perform it with another plot...

I'm eager to read a review comparing White Star and Split Reality!
Ben
Titanas
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Just placed my order,
Can't wait.
Product Developer @ Murphys Magic Supplies
Ezzet
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Ok here it goes. Be gentle with me since this is my first review ever.

Effect - White star
Ranking 1-5

Diffuculty 1 for the main method
Quality of props ( photographs) 4
Written instructions 5

Well first of all White star does exactly what the add says. Which we all know all adds don't. The only issue I have with the add is the line where it says the performer takes out photographs from his wallet. Well unless you are a woman with a big purse I cant really see that to be realistic. The thickness of all the 28 photographs is just slighly thinner than a pack of playing cards. So I cant really se anyone walking around with that in their wallet.

Diffuculty - 1

There are many different methods included on how you can accomplish the effect, and the main one is really easy as it should be with an effect like this that relies heavely on story and presentation. To be honost I don't know that many OOTW methods - just a few - but I have never seen this one before. I have yet to try it but it looks great. However I don't think anyone should buy this effect because of the main method. One of the reasons is because the handling only makes sense with photographs.

Quality of props - 4

Well what can I say. Really nice thicker glossy card stock. The photos looks really authentic and the stories to each photo is fascinating to read. You can see that a lot of work has been put into these. The only thing that makes me not give it a 5 is that eventually they will wear out, although not in the near future. I will scan my photographs so I don't have to buy new ones once they wear out. If you laminate the photos they will last you a long long time.

Written instructions - 5

This is really well written instructions. Compared to many other effects ive bought, especially packet tricks these really stand out. Not only do you get the main method with different handlings. Easy ones and more diffucult ones. You also get three different OOTW versions called beyond this world. Since I don't know to many OOTW versions it was a really nice suprise to get Jims three versions of his Beyond this world. Im sure I will put at least on of them to use.


To conclude I will say that I'm really happy that ive bought this effect and it will go straight into my close up act. Although my exceptations regarding the main method was higher there is no such thing as the holy grail. Since I'm only a hobbyist sure the price is not cheap, but to me it was worth it. For me it was the story and the photographs you paid for. Not the method that some have pointed out. If you don't like this story and have no need for these photographs and you have OOTW methods you already like and can adapt to photographs then this is not for you. I know a lot of people want to know the difference between this and split reality. Without revealing to much I will say I'm glad I got both. The same method Split reality use is covered in White Star also, and is probably the version I will use for White Star. However for parlour or stage I will use Split reality. Split reality has the best and most natural presentation ive seen.

Well that's it if someone wants to know more please feel free to ask. Since this is my first review it would be nice with some feedback. Since english is not my native language I hope you'll understand anyway.

Ezzet
goldeneye007
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Hi Ezzet !

Thank you for your nice review! It really goes deep into what we all want to know and gives us a good idea of what you get.


Just a few questions though: I thought Dominic said the photographs were laminated (or maybe I misunderstood)… You seem to say they’re not… So? Are they?

Just for confirmation: the blurb says that the magician never touches the cards (no switches, no packet changes). How true is that?

Finally, did I understand right that if I can perform White Star, I will also be able to perform Split Reality? But the contrary is not true apparently...?


I do like the story, but I already have other OOTW versions, that’s why I’d like to know if it’s really worth it for me… If the answers are exposing too much, don’t answer them or PM me!

Thanks again!

Ben
Ben
goldeneye007
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Just a further thing: you said that your "expectations regarding the main method were higher". Could you tell us why?

Cheers!
Ben
Ezzet
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I will try to answer your questions the best I can. First to me the photos are not laminated as I would call it. If they are its a very thin layer. Not like for example Dice man by Any Nyman.

For the method its true that there are no switches or packet changes. However the magician have to touch the photos in all versions. Ive read the add and it doesn't say anywhere that the magician never touches the cards. However now that ive read the add again it might be a little misleading because the main version they speak of the spectators cant mix the photographs. But later in the features it says the spectators can mix the photgraph, which is true but then its not the same method as it is describes in the add. So like I said earlier its not the Holy grail and the add is after all a little misleading if you read the features and think all of that can be accomplished by the main method.

If you have split reality you could perform White star but not using the main method White star uses, which in my opinon is neither better or worse. If you have White Star you could also perform Split reality since the method Split reality uses is covered in White Star. But of course you wouldnt know which one unless you have Split reality.

Like I said earlier I love them both. But for Titanic you pay for the Cards and the story, and for split reality you pay for the wonderful and in depth presentation and I would say a little also for the method bacause I had never seen that method before and I like it alot. Since I bought split reality first that's where I learned Split realitys method first, even though that method is covered in White star its not the main method.

Well hope this helps a little more even though its hard to explain everything in print.

Ezzet
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