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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. Ľ Ľ Draven Reviews: Opening Doors by Henry Evans (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

William Draven
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Los Angeles, CA
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Profile of William Draven
Title: Opening Doors
Artist: Henry Evans
Producers: Vernet
Retail Price: $110
Learning Difficulty: Expert Level.
Length of DVD(s): 5+ hours
Notes: Spanish with English Dub Over

ē Instructional DVDs
ē Disk 1: Full Performances
ē Disk 2: Techniques Theory & More
ē Disk 3: Further Secret

The Trick That Cannot Be Explained, or Jazz Magic, has been for years one of the most daunting pieces of magic for a card magician to learn to perform. Jazz Magic requires the performer to think, count, and react on their feet alongside the spectator as the card miracle is performed. This isnít just a simple trick, itís a system, theory, and almost philosophy that can take the serious student of card magic years to learn and longer to master. Henry Evanís is one of the worldís best card workers (having won FISM in 2000) and a master of performing Dai Vernonís masterpiece ďJazz MagicĒ in his latest three DVD release ďOpening DoorsĒ he unlocks the world of potential that Jazz Magic offers the performer making learning this daunting piece of magic a little easier to manage.

Iím not going to lie. I hate The Trick That Cannot Be Explained. Iíve tried to learn it now about a half dozen times, and each time something has always come up that has kept me away from putting the time in required to learn it or has just distracted me long enough that I end up moving onto something else. The material is dry. Originally published in Dai Vernonís ďMore Inner Secrets of Card MagicĒ the trick read like stereo instructions. For something so complex, so powerful only a few pages of vague, at best, explanation. I just couldnít process it. Iíve seen masters perform it, and it always hits with such amazing force but trying to work your way through the labyrinthine mindset in performance time required to make this magical is almost a feat unto itself. When I got Opening Doors by Henry Evans I thought to myself ďNow hereís my chance to finally beat the beast and take my spot on the couch next to a select few other magicians who perform this little miracle.Ē After watching all three disks, I feel that it may just be possible to do that.

The three disk set comes in one neat little package. The first disk focuses solely on full real time performances, of which you get to see quite a few. You get to see two in studio performances, a performance done at the Magic Castle, and yet another done in all Spanish with no voice over. The final section of the disc reviews the first performance in more detail with attention to what is going on behind the scenes. The second disk is where we get into the meat of explaining how to perform The Trick That Cannot Be Explained. Disc two covers everything from theory, to technique, and tricks that can be done as well as their explanations. The third disk goes even further into the subject with Henry talking about improvisation. He provides some good points to practice to get used to the idea of improving the performance as you go. He talks about the magic of words, covers some dice control, and demonstrates that anyone can learn to perform Jazz Magic. He finishes the disk off with an interview with Pablo Kunsetzoff which I found to be very interesting. All in all there is over five hours of video to get through. Honestly this is one of the best taught single effect DVDís Iíve ever seen. It is very well put together, and the information taught in this is solid gold.

The only problem with this DVD set that I have, and itís almost a shame to say this, is the language barrier that needs to get crossed in order to learn the material. English is not the DVDís primary language setting thus the entire DVD set, all five hours of it, is in Spanish with an English dub over. This may just be a personal preference, but I prefer to watch my foreign movies with subtitles and natural dialog as opposed to being dubbed over into English. In Opening Doors the speaker often hurries along to keep pace with Henryís jokes and performance nuances. The pacing of the dub, and the fact that a single narrator speaks for anyone talking in the video makes the dialog feel disjointed and distracting in places. Itís like trying to read a novel with no punctuation. I guess a more accurate description would be like trying to watch the original Star Wars trilogy in Spanish with an English dub over for the sake of comprehension with a test in film class on the subject due the next day, and only one guy doing all the characters voices. Things would just run together after the first few minutes. I have no doubt those who speak Spanish will find the Spanish only play option to be perfectly fine, but the English dub often was just poorly voice directed. This is a problem because the material being taught isnít easy! This is one of the hardest tricks in card magic to master and a natural flowing dialog in English would have helped the teaching process along just that much better.
Overall if youíre going to tackle the monster effort of learning Jazz Magic then youíll want this learning aid in your library at your disposal. Donít let my opinion of the dub dissuade you from this purchase because Iím still very happy I have this in my library. Jazz Magic is one of the most versatile pieces of magic that can change and challenge your presentation. Itís no wonder why only a select few working pros employ this powerful routine, and with Opening Doors you are armed with all the material you need to master that effect. You just have to get past the voice over if you don't speak Spanish, and at $110 dollar investment that may not be something some magicians are willing to do.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8
Great DVD set for learning one of, as far as Iím concerned, hardest tricks in card magic. The price is a bit steep, at a $110 dollars, but considering youíre getting three DVDís and the material covered on those DVDs is invaluable, I think itís a fair price. Steep, but fair.

Teaching Quality: 2
I hated the dub aspect of this product. Subtitles would have almost been preferable. I hate to see the quality of an otherwise solid product made by someone as talented as Henry Evans get demolished by an avoidable technical issue such as poor voice directing.

Video & Sound Quality: 9
I liked the menu selections with the different doors you opened to get to the different parts of the disk. Very themed. Good audio and video.

Overall Quality: 4
The dub of this DVD really did hurt the final score quite a bit especially when combined with the sales price of this product. The material is good, donít get me wrong, but the dub is distracting and distracted is not something you want to be while trying to learn this monster of an effect. I think to the point that making any useful attempt to study a hard trick like Jazz Magic more trouble than itís worth. The dub and the price was enough to bring this down to an impassable score of only 4 out of 10. This is a product failure.
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Profile of Chops
Wow, thanks for the indepth review. Very informative.

Steven Leung
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Indeed, an English subtitle of this DVD set will definitely make it a much better DVD set.
Most memorable moment - with Maestro Juan Tamariz & Consuelo Lorgia in FISM Busan 2018.

"Being fooled by a trick doesn't always mean they are having a good time" - Homer Liwag
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Profile of stefano59
This dvd is on my list to Blackpool.
Thanks very very much for the review. Well done.
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Profile of jbadman
Absolutely agree with this. Potentially a fantastic DVD set and Henry Evans has so much to share - but the voiceover on this is nothing short of shocking. They have the same guy, with his same voice, representing two people having a conversation with one another! It's ridiculous (and not in a good, David Williamson way, either). To save a few dollars in the production of this, they've really spoilt what could have been a gem of a release. They've let both Henry Evans and us down, I'm afraid. - check out our new DVD now!
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Profile of korttihai_82
Have to agree... This could be fantastic project but routine like "trick that cannot be explained" is something that relies mainly on other things as sleights and therefore it is extremely important that learner understands what is being said in the DVD. In this case sadly this is not the case Smile

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Profile of Vlad_77
I'm a big fan of Henry Evans but, I think I would pass on this one. Instead, get the work on Vernon's classic by reading Eric Mead's Tangled Web. Smile
Jamie Ferguson
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This is a fantastic DVD set. It contains many new concepts and approaches for jazz card magic. Henry was reluctant to put this material out at first because it's his best and most powerful magic. However, for reasons best known to him he decided to release it.

In a way I'm glad the DVDs are receiving a lukewarm reception because of the language thing. It means that truly mind blowing methods and miracles will remain with the few who can be bothered to stick with it, not exactly a chore though!

If you liked Ian Rowland's Thetalia then imagine having dozens more tools to make you look like card god. That's what you're effectively buying into here.
When the chips are down, the duvet is uncomfortable.
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Profile of faro
Product Quality: 7
Teaching Quality: 4
Video & Sound Quality: 8
Overall Quality: 5
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Profile of ehands
Are there any plans to reissue Mr. Evan's "Opening Doors" with better voice over? The poor dubbing seems to be the only complaint with this otherwise highly praised and unique DVD set.
"Oh look, we have created enchantment." Blanche DuBois
Steven Leung
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found the Magic Rainbow after
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On May 19, 2017, ehands wrote:
Are there any plans to reissue Mr. Evan's "Opening Doors" with better voice over? The poor dubbing seems to be the only complaint with this otherwise highly praised and unique DVD set.

Like all other being said and my comment a few years ago, the voice cover simply made most of us, especially non-native English Speakers actually unable to learn anything from this DVD.
Most memorable moment - with Maestro Juan Tamariz & Consuelo Lorgia in FISM Busan 2018.

"Being fooled by a trick doesn't always mean they are having a good time" - Homer Liwag
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