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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Review: Chop by Craig Petty (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ku7uk3
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Review: Chop by Craig Petty

Its been a while since I’ve reviewed a DVD, and since this Trick / DVD has been out for five months, and still no proper review, I would start on this. Craig has become one of the key players in magic with the ‘Wizard product review’ and so deserves to have his own products reviewed in kind. If you check my past reviews of Craig’s and David’s products, I haven’t always been kind, I’ve been honest. I strongly believe that for a good review to mean anything in this world, you have to be willing to give a bad review as well. It’s the only way for the readers to know that I’m telling the truth.

What you get:
A DVD that lasts approximately 90 minutes with DVD case and artwork, a gimmicked sharpie pen and a another gimmick.

The sharpie is well made and will last a life-time. The other gimmick will do its job, but eventually you will lose it (as it is small), so be prepared to by replacements from eBay. You can usually buy 10 of them for £1 so don’t worry about it, but it should be mentioned.


The Trick:
The routine is basically a chop-cup routine done with a borrowed £10 note, which vanishes at the end to be replaced by a lemon, which is then opened up to reveal the money.

What’s unique about it is that the cup is ungimmicked and can even be borrowed. Also, the routine itself is almost a one-ball routine. While two notes will be required to perform the full effect, for the bulk of the trick only one note is in play.


The Method:
The method for getting the note into the lemon is a stroke of genius and is well worth adopting for this and any other routine you might have, which includes burnt bill in apple or card to orange. This is the technique I will use for sure.

The good points:

1) There are four performances lasting a total of 27 minutes. I will admit that some of the lay people in the bar sequences were familiar to me… But I’ll let that pass. Just be careful you don’t become the next L&L audience of Britain!

2) Good clean crisp image. Technically this is superb. The volume is great, there is no interlacing or problems of the past. They have done a great job and everything is clean.

3) Using a signed, borrowed note helps the routine tremendously and shuts dead any annoying hecklers that shout out ‘you have two balls’, that normal chop-cup routines get. The fact that you actually only use one note throughout the routine is like throwing it back in their face at this point!

4) A pen routine is taught on the DVD. It’s mentioned as a bonus, but I don’t believe in ‘bonus effects’, if it’s on the DVD, then its part of the product and therefore the review. But thankfully, it is a great routine and a great piece to perform either before or instead of Chop – it’s that good.

5) The explanation set-up was great. You used a black table, black close-up matt, and plain white cup to make everything very easy to see and visual.

6) David’s ‘Get it off the sticks’ moments were flawless and very smooth. I can see he is somewhat of an expert on the camera and I was shocked to see that not only did he move the camera perfectly, where it was needed but it was almost always in focus as well. With good close-ups to go along with the profile and wide shots, there was enough camera movement to keep you interested while making sure the explanation was a clear as can be. Very good.

7) Craig’s teaching style is superb and he is very friendly. He comes across as eager for you to learn the effect and in the 59 minutes of explanation, almost nothing is left out. His language is clean, his accent soft and every word is pronounced perfectly. Quite often I have to rewind DVDs to understand what the presenter had just said – I never had to do that with Craig. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – he is one of the best teachers in the world today.


The Bad points:

1) They have ‘Mark’ sit with Craig during the explanation, and he was useless. Sorry Mark, but you were there to help Craig fill in with ideas and credits where needed. David who was working the camera chimed in numerous times with great suggestions and tips that helped tremendously, but that was suppose to be Mark’s job! I would have liked to have seen Mark on camera and David on the table instead. The fact that they are a great double-act aside, David had helpful things to say while Mark just sat there and twiddled his thumbs for the hour.

2) They shot the explanation in the shop, and while everything was clear and visual, I would have preferred it to be shot in the black studio, rather than in front of a wall of DVDs. I’ve mentioned this before that the confusion of the background draws your eyes towards it, and so makes it difficult to focus on Craig when you drawn towards counting the number of DVDs on the back wall, and saying ‘I have that one’. I understand you may be trying to ‘show-off’ your other releases, but to make it easier on the viewer, a plain background would be better.

3) No credit to ‘Al Wheatley’, the inventor of Chop Cup, or any of the magicians that inspired him to doing a bill in lemon like Carl Cloutier. He credits David Penn several times, but I don’t recall anybody else. I may have missed it, but I don’t think so. We stand on the shoulder of giants and all that…

4) Minor one here – but the menu was hard to read, with red withering text and no sub-menu for the chapters. But it was split up into phases for easy navigation – just choose a better font colour next time!

At the end of the DVD, I was very impressed. It was very thorough and I felt ready to actually perform this effect. Craig goes into so much detail that you feel ready to put it straight into your next act almost immediately.

However, a few questions did come to mind…

1. Does Craig discuss the problems with handing a spectator a bill covered in lemon juice back?
No. Maybe its just me that thinks this far ahead, but once they have their wet bill back, what do they do with it and does that effect potential repeat bookings – because you have soaked their money?

2. How easy is it to borrow someone’s ten-pound note?
Craig does talk about why he uses £10 notes, because he is more likely to get one. He says that in America, you can do the routine with a dollar which is very easy to get. But does not offer any solutions to the times when the spectators refuse to give him a note.

3. Would this replace the Chop Cup?
Now this is the tough one. If you already have a chop-cup routine that’s working for you, then I guess it won’t. But it is a better routine. Many of the problems with chop cup have been fixed and worked out. There is a great ending and it’s a very nice routine. I think however that we are all creatures of habits and if were already comfortable with the routine we already do, then it is unlikely you will replace it with this.


Conclusion:

This is a great, great release from Craig and WMS. Anybody with any interest in chop cup and one-cup routines should buy this immediately (or when they get it back in stock, as it keeps selling out). Its is a show-closer and nothing can follow it, and if your looking for a trick that gets the audience drawn in, mesmerized by the effect and surprises them so much that they think you’re a God, then this might be that trick.

I strongly recommend you purchase it and learn the effects, the pen routine, the chop routine and the bill in lemon. This is basically three tricks linked together into one great routine and that is superb. You will not be disappointed in your purchase, and it is a real contender for DVD of the year.
j100taylor
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Ummm - are you supposed to reveal the method in a review?
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ku7uk3
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Nothing is revealed. You would have to already own the DVD or know the effect to understand how a magnet is used. To the adverage lay person, you tell them magnet and there thinking the cardboard cutout fridge magnets that come free in magazines.
Besides, that not how the tricks work, and for that you will have to buy the DVD.
Mind_Magic
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Great review ku7uk3, thanks for share it.
I also would like to hear real performance experience with it.
Regards!
outsider-80
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A little too much was said about the gimmick in that review I think. It is a great effect and a well thought out routine. I will probably look for another ending than the lemon soaked finale though.
Yekrats
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Quote:
However, a few questions did come to mind…

1. Does Craig discuss the problems with handing a spectator a bill covered in lemon juice back?
No. Maybe its just me that thinks this far ahead, but once they have their wet bill back, what do they do with it and does that effect potential repeat bookings – because you have soaked their money?


I seem to remember that Craig said to hand over some napkins or help them wipe off the bill after the trick is done. Was that in the video? Am I remembering that right?

If worse comes to worse, you could offer them a fresh (un-lemoned) bill to replace it. But I don't think it would be a big deal to most folks.
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Darrin Cook
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Ku7uk3,

Thanks for the review. Well done.

Nothing was exposed in this review that I hadn't already gathered from other sources. Craig has said that he simply tells magicians how the trick is done when they ask.
123crampt
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Great review Ku7uk3, and I have to say the negatives you listed are very minor Lol, and Craig does talk about using napkins for the lemon soaked bill and also goes on to say that the bill being lemony could be seen as a positive as the average spectator is more likely to let you keep it:)

And yes, over all the other comments on Chop you didn't reveal anything anyone not living under a rock didn't already know (now I'm starting to sound like Justin Miller lol)

Magically
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mysterious_guy
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Great review. You say the sharpie will last a lifetime, but if it runs out of ink, can the gimmick be transferred to a new sharpie or will I have to buy a refill?

Simon
mahucharn
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I feel like Matthew Bich did a similar thing where he would reveal the method to one of his impression pads; however, in order to access the video (as he had planned it), people would have to do a Google search for Matthew Bich, which let him know that the person searching was likely a magician. I'll have to look into getting this when they're back in stock at Penguin. Also, thanks for the review.
jprace
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Is this similar to Steve Dusheck's Collapse-A-Pill Cup?
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Jamie Ferguson
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This is a great multi-use prop. I like Craig Petty's magic. Hope we'll be seeing even more from him.
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Devious
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I prefer to "vanish" the bill and then appear to push it up into the palm with the hand holding the alleged bill, versus letting it appear that the bill has dropped into the spectators palm from an otherwise empty cup.

Great review Steven! Thanks for taking the time to do so. I purchased this a bit back and took it out to play around again upon reading your review.
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asanghi
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Hi: can "Chop" be done with short sleeves?
dendrake
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Yes!!
theinternetguru
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I think the trick and the gimmick is brilliant, and the DVD was extremely well made. This was a terrific purchase. But as I was watching this, I kept thinking that this was really just a PK ring routine that got made a little more complicated than necessary by utilization of the gimmick. Thoughts about that? Or is the method more covert than it would be with a PK ring?
puggo
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Quote:
"Or is the method more covert than it would be with a PK ring?"


Yes; and motivated.

Charlie
MagicallyMe
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Can anyone recommend an ending sequence when no lemon is being used in the act?
puggo
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Quote:
On 2011-08-28 11:23, MagicallyMe wrote:
Can anyone recommend an ending sequence when no lemon is being used in the act?


There is a nice finish on the free WMS download utilising an idea seen on a Richard Sanders DVD (you'll have to watch the free download available at WMS)
How about to wallet, to sealed envelope, nest of boxes, the spec's pocket?

Charlie
Eric Fry
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I would think the solution to producing a sopping bill is to give the spectator a clean bill to take home.
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