The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Utopia Review Part 1/4 (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magician102
View Profile
New user
55 Posts

Profile of magician102
I'm going to admit straight off the bat that I'm slightly biased. Not only do I love Dani's style/energy/handling, I've been looking forward to this DVD set for months. That being said, I was not expecting to stay up till 4 in the morning watching Utopia.

The first thing I noticed when opening the package was the beautiful production quality from the team at Studio 33. The pictures are glossy, the box looks great and I am proud to have it on my shelf. Inside the box, the 4 dvd case is fantastic, with a content listing in front of where you'd find each disc. A layer further in the unboxing, you notice the wallpaper behind the discs are Spades, Diamonds, Clubs and Hearts. In addition, each disc has a suit represented on the front.

Upon first inserting Disc 1 - 100% DaOrtiz - we see a beatiful, simple screen to choose a language. It's design is comprable to an apple product and screams cleanliness/elegance.

Jumping straight into the performance option, we get to see Dani perform live to a real audience, a feature I truly love and hope to see on more magic DVDs in the future. However, having seen him perform live, I for one am astounded that the audience isn't laughing out loud... Halfway into watching the performance section I realize that it is perhaps a muting effect on audience laughter or an audio feed from the high quality lapel mic we see Dani wearing. While it adds to our ability to understand/follow what's going on, I think for a video of a live performance, a louder audience reaction would have been slightly more appealing.

On disc 1 we see the following tricks with performances and explanations:

Numerical Match:
Also known as 10's and 7's... Dani's take on the first trick out of Hofsinzer's Card Conjuring

I Don't Remember:
Dani's entertaining "card in box" trick, combined with a "crazy sequence" where the spectator is just seeing magic the whole time, and can't follow what's going on.

Mathmagic:
A "self working" mathematical trick that Dani explains while he performs, ultimatley ending up in spectators laughing, having a good time and being completely mystified.

Mini Oil and Water:
Dani's handling of a 2 red/2 black card oil and water

Why Aces?:
Dani's answer to the age old, why do magicians do all 4 of a kind tricks with aces... it could be any card

Horizontal Open Triumph:
Phenomenal - the same effect we've seen him perform live, @EMC as well as @ the magic castle, however on the table.

The One:
A FASDIU David Williamson's Torn and Restored Transpo on crack.
No duplicates, and 4 spectator's choosing/thinking of cards.

Triple Intuition;
A really interesting effect, with three spectators choosing cards, and essentially finding their own cards by following their "intuition."

While many of these have appeared in some form or another on Que Raro, Fat Brothers, etc... I find the extra teaching tips, invaluable. Dani includes not just tips, but also various ideas for presentations throughout. The teaching is well shot, lit and Dani's personality comes through perfectly.

Interview 1/4 - The interview truly had me feeling like I was just having a conversation with Dani and Luis, and I really enjoyed the stories told. Hats off to Dani's mother. And from now on, we call Dani "conejito."

Blooper 1 - Cute, funny, not really necessary - and no bloopers of Dani recovering from missing a force or fumbling a trick, which is what I would have really liked to see - some in action recovery.

Credits - Are a quick rundown of those involved in the filming process... Kudos to all involved, the production quality is phenomenal. The first disc had me up late, and I can't wait to get all the way through disc 2.

Review of Utopia Part 2 tomorrow... but for now, I know just from watching the first DVD that I've got my money's worth. Great work Dani, Luis and the rest of the team at Studio 33. Thanks again for bringing this delightful DVD set to magic Smile
magician102
View Profile
New user
55 Posts

Profile of magician102
I should mention - for those asking - the performances are recorded in Spanish and subtitled, albeit rather oddly... I don't notice because I speak Spanish. However, the explanations are recorded in English.
bugjack
View Profile
Inner circle
New York, New York
1614 Posts

Profile of bugjack
By any chance, is Mathmagic the trick he did at this year's EMC?
magician102
View Profile
New user
55 Posts

Profile of magician102
@bugjack: yes, this is the same trick.
bugjack
View Profile
Inner circle
New York, New York
1614 Posts

Profile of bugjack
Great, thanks. And thanks for the great review. Looking forward to the other three parts.
riju1985
View Profile
New user
66 Posts

Profile of riju1985
Thank You for the review
Looking forward to read about the other reviews
Dani is simply great
Specially his way of explaining the use of body and attitude in magic
Thanks again
:)
magician102
View Profile
New user
55 Posts

Profile of magician102
Riju - I couldn't agree more. Dani is spectacular... watching him perform live truly opened doors in my way of thinking last year, and I love his explanations for attitude/body language.
dan84
View Profile
Loyal user
251 Posts

Profile of dan84
I have preordered this, didn't think it was out until november??
helder
View Profile
Special user
Portugal
974 Posts

Profile of helder
Great review. Thanks
My version of Eddie fetcher "Be Honest What's it?" it's available
Email: heldermagico@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/heldermagico
magician102
View Profile
New user
55 Posts

Profile of magician102
@dan84 - released on penguin in october exclusively... 11/11/11 is when it comes out

@helder - you're welcome. it was my pleaseure.
brehaut
View Profile
Inner circle
kentucky
2529 Posts

Profile of brehaut
Mine has been delivered by Penguin Magic
MovieMan
View Profile
Special user
569 Posts

Profile of MovieMan
I know I am bumping up a thread that is a few weeks old...

But I just saw the first part of DVD 1 (the performance) and had to get online to say this is incredible stuff. I really like Dani's performance style (although I know it doesn't suit everyone), and he is so funny, charming and likeable, all while doing some incredible magic (an actual, real-live performance, as has been noted), that it makes from some truly great stuff.

The tricks are very good. I really love Mathmagic, which is perhaps one of the easiest of the bunch, and really allows the performer to have lots of fun along with the audience. I have to admit I was pretty much fooled the first time I saw it, too. And then there's Mini Oil and Water, The One, Triple Intuition, and the utterly amazing and visual Horizontal Open Triumph, among others. Phew! Highly, highly recommended.

Off to watch some more...
Robert P.
View Profile
Special user
Kansas
534 Posts

Profile of Robert P.
I just purchased Dani's Reloaded DVDs so I wanted to go back and watch the Utopia DVDs as well. I love Dani. Not only his magic but his personality as well. He, Tommy Wonder, Bill Malone...there are only a few performers where I truly love watching how they interact with the audience. I will try to share some in depth thoughts that I have of this set, not all at once, but hopefully they might help someone in the future when deciding to purchase the set. Or just if they want more details on certain tricks.

Let's start with the first trick of disc 1 - Numerical Match

I've included a link to the youtube performance, though there are not English subtitles, I will give you a summary:

Dani breaks out a deck of card and takes off packets of the top flipping them over, asking the spectator to stop. He next asks the spectator to name a number...one, two, three or four. Spectator says "three". "Nah, let's use 'four', this is my game" (but because of Dani's style, it plays very nicely). Four cards are placed face down in a small packet on the table. Dani then starts to deal cards face down in another pile and asks another spectator to tell him to stop at anytime, ("why?, why not?, he doesn't care"), she says 'stop' and he counts 10 cards in that pile noting he could have kept going but stopped at the exact moment she told him. 10 cards. That small packet of four cards is turned over to show all 10's!

Dani turns back over the four 10's and repeats the trick, this time asking the first spectator to stop him quickly as he takes cards away from the 10 card pile. The spectator stops him so quickly that he only has a chance to take three cards. 7 cards are left. Dani turns over those four face down 10's...wait, what were 10's before are now four 7's instead!!

This is great. The kicker ending, where the 10's change into the 7's, when they were apparently left alone the whole time, is a truly magical moment. But what I take away more from this is Dani's lesson in audience management, timing, misdirection, there is so much going on yet Dani makes it looks effortless. These teaching moments are so valuable. [Protip: He also discusses these things in depth in his first Penguin Live lecture, if you haven't bought it yet make sure to get it as it is an excellent value!]

I give the trick an 8/10 - Great! (My scale is 1 being trash to 5 being average to 10 being a masterpiece)

I Don't Remember

Dani has a card selected and signed and claims the problem with this trick is that he can never remember how to do it. He can't recall if the card is lost and then supposed to show up on the table, in the bottom, top, middle of the the deck...any place you can think of. And while he is firing away naming these different locations as he is "trying to remember", the card is magically showing up at each place as it is mentioned. For lack of a better description, I will say it is like Ambitious Card on steroids. Yeah, the card is not coming back to the top, but it comes to every spot Dani names after being lost. The finale is with Dani dumping out the signed card from the card box.

What I like about this one is that it is obvious that Dani has a tremendous amount of skill, but because of his personality his presentation does not come off as "look what I can do!". It is instead a funny comedy routine where the audience is along for the ride while Dani tries to 'remember' how to do the trick...all this while amazing things are happening right in front of everyone's eyes. [Protip: This trick is also found at the beginning of Dani's second Penguin Live lecture, about 8 minutes in]

Rating 9/10 - Excellent!

Mathmagic

Dani explains that this next one is a Do As I Do based on mathematics, but as long as everyone (there are four people following along) mimics his actions exactly, the trick will work. It starts off simple enough but as the trick goes on things get complicated with Dani's instructions taking everyone on a chaotic journey. Hilarity ensues. But here's the thing. It still manages to work out in the end. It's at this time that I'm reaching down to pick up my jaw off the ground. Smile

Here's the other thing. This isn't hard to do. Maybe if I wasn't enjoying myself so much watching how everyone was trying to keep up I would have figured it out. But I didn't. This is sooo good. But the strength of this one relies so much on your presentation and Dani excels in this area. I love it, I love it, I love it. Such a fun trick. Not only does Dani manage to get everyone to put their finger in their mouth but he also takes someone else's finger and places it in his mouth. All the way inside. I said 'wow' (and 'ewww') [Protip: Wash your hands]

Rating 10/10 - Masterpiece!! (I know it seems like I am handing out high scores as freely as a hobo handing out strip joint flyers on a Vegas Strip, but these are truly excellent pieces. If something is bad, I will say it. I don't have magician friends who are releasing tricks and I get a review copy to provide a quote for his youtube trailer)

I will watch some more and provide more comments. (or not Smile )
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Utopia Review Part 1/4 (1 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.26 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL