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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » The Essential John Carey ( Disc 2 ) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Inner circle
3339 Posts

Profile of warren
As I'm a big fan of John Cary's work I thought I would put up a review of his latest DVD release with Alakazam magic.

I'm posting the review as I've just watched one of the discs, why start with disc 2 you maybe's simple there was an effect I was interested in on this particular disc so that's the one I watched first but I will review disc the first disc later once I've watched it.

The cons

The packaging itself whilst nice is just a thin cardboard box rather than the standard DVD case which I personally much prefer.

Whilst there are some great effects on the DVD I was very disappointed to see a lot of repeat material on this disc that had been released before.

Also a while back on one of the Alakazam live sessions we were all told that Johns effect Night At The Casino was going to be included with this set which wasn't the case sadly.

No real world performances.

The Pros

There is some nice stuff on the DVD even if some of it has been released before so if your not familiar with these effects your in for a treat Smile

The teaching is very well done and shows everything that you need to perform the effect.

The filming as you would expect from Alakazam is also very well done regards both sound and visuals.

Most of the effects taught require either none or very little set up, can be done at any time and can be done with a borrowed deck.

Now for the effects themselves

Homage to Rioboo - This is basically a simple spectators card to a number in the deck, this for me personally was perhaps the weakest effect on the DVD and not something that I could see myself doing however it did show a nice card control for those rare occasions when you have table space other than that it wasn't for me so I'll give this effect 4/10

Princess In My Pocket - Another very simple and easy to do effect where by a card is selected in a very fair manner then a small packet of cards is basically put in the pocket and the magician takes all of the cards out eliminating them until the spectators card is the last remaining card.

I didn't care to much for the procedure but it is very hands off and simple to do as long as you explain carefully what is required by the spectator however I personally think the effect taught a little later called Little Vernon is much better and found the two effect to be similar so I would give this one 5/10

Stealth - This is an excellent quick 4 ace assembly which also includes a nice 4 ace production, JC has put this out before but I really like this effect and it's something that I actually use from time to time. It's quick and to the point magic that can be done with a borrowed deck that looks fair, packs a nice punch and is simple to do, as obviously with this type of effect a table is required I'll give this effect 8/10

Isolation - Once again this is something that JC has already shared with the magic community but it is excellent, basically a spectator slides a card forward from out of a tabled spread deck and the performer isolates the card with 2 indifferent cards. The spectator then names a number from say between 10 and 20 and the performer counts down to this card from a different deck of cards, needless to say the two cards match.
JC is a big fan of the mystery card type effect and this is another great practical version, it's probably better suited to a parlour type situation or for informal performances than say table hopping but once again this is a lovely effect very simple and very direct I like this a lot. It requires two decks and a table so for that reason I'll give this 8/10

Little Vernon - A great little effect based on Vernon's Out Of Sight Out Of Mind. the spectator deals 3 piles of 3 cards from a shuffled deck, looks at a card from any of the 3 piles and then mixes the pile so that neither the performer or the spectator know the cards position. The cards then get added to the other piles and then the performer places this packet of cards onto the spectators hand and removes cards one at a time until stopping on the spectators card.

Once again simple in method but in my opinion very strong especially if you build it up and present it well, as before a table is required for some of the mixing procedure so I'll give this 8/10

Think Again - My favourite on the disc and it did fool me haha. A prediction is removed from a matchbox and put on the table and a deck of cards is given to the spectator who then deals a number of cards down onto the table whilst shuffling the cards between deals. The cards are then divided into two piles with the top card of one indicating the value of a card and the top card of the other pile representing the suit, the cards are then once again shuffled by the spectator before being given back to the magician who then spreads the cards face down on the table.
The spectator then pushes forward any card face down that he thinks could be the chosen card, the deck is then spread face up revealing that the chosen card is actually missing....could it be ? it turns out not to be the selection so the magician asks the spectator to read the prediction which says LOOK IN THE MATCHBOX, upon opening the matchbox there inside folded up is indeed the selected card.

Excellent routine which I'll definitely add to my repertoire and as usual very simple in method I could have kicked myself when I saw the method haha, with a little change to the handling this could be done with minimal use of the table top space, it would be easy enough to reset and I almost scored it top marks but not quite so it gets 9/10

Ambitious Interchange - Another one that has been given to the magic community before, this is a sort of ambitious card combined with cards transposing with cards previously pocketed routine.
This is a great little routine that can easily be done without a table and is strong enough to use at a paid engagement, my biggest dilemma is that it is very similar to JC's excellent routine S.W.I Interchange which I really like. Both are simple to do, pack a punch and can be done without a table and worthy of 8.5/10

Hooked On You - A gimmick free simple hanging coins routine that once again JC has shared with us before, this is simple to do and doesn't require a table so as someone who enjoys coin work you would think I would like this, however it lacks a punch for me and there are much better routines out there than another version of hanging coins. That said it's certainly no worse than other hanging coin routines its just that the plot doesn't excite me so it's not something I would be looking to add to my coin repertoire so I'll give it 5/10

Bullets On The Table - A variation of a John G 4 ace production which could obviously be done with any 4 of a kind. If your looking to add a 4 ace production then this is as good as most but as I'm stuck in my ways and already have my go to ace productions so this is more of another tool for my tool box, with that said I'll give this 7/10

Multiple Bluff Control - Basically a control for multiple cards. this does exactly what it says on the tin and is something that could be a useful utility for a multiple selections routine and has a lot of potential so I'll give this 8/10

Overall a great DVD if your not already familiar with JC's work and for us that are familiar then you may want still want to ad it to your collection for a couple of the routines that might be new to you. Personally I'm hoping there is more that I can use on disc 1 as I'm more used to getting lots of value off Mr Carey so I was surprised to see so much material that had previously been released being put out again and surprised that Night At The Casino wasn't included as JC did say it would be included on the DVD set.....overall 8/10
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Inner circle
2008 Posts

Profile of puggo

Great review, with an honest take on the material.
I'm a big fan of JC as some of his material has found its way into my regular 'A list' over the years (e.g. Gemini Detector, Mystery card), but with just so much material, for me there's bound to be a large chunk which either does not appeal or already has better (to me) versions.

I tend to look for material that is mainly in the hands rather than table based and I don't like procedure heavy effects, dealing tricks or effects that rely on a (possibly drunk) spec following complex instructions.

I'll watch out for your review of disc 1 before considering taking the plunge as I have a lot of JC's work and apart from 'Think Again', I'm not tempted so far..

With that said, the beauty of this set is that there will be many to who this material is either new, or has strong appeal.
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Inner circle
3339 Posts

Profile of warren
I'm in agreement JC puts out a quite a bit of stuff the man is a machine however this particular set is not his best and by that I mean there is a hell of a lot of material that he has released before and some other stuff that lacked either a punch or was very procedural which as you say could easily be messed up by a spectator and when you combine that with a lot of it requiring table space I did feel a bit disappointed which is unusual with JC's work.

Having said that Think again is great and very commercial, if your anything like me you will easily come up with other ways to have a card selected and vanish from the pack in a clean manner and I think it would be quite easy to only require a table for setting down the match box and prediction if you wanted to. With that being said I suppose it could even be performed without a table however if you give the match box to someone it would tip that something is going to happen with it where as if you put it on the table in a casual manner it would fly by.
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