Olympic Reviews

Olympic Reviews

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Automata 3 - Gary Jones and Dave Forrest - Review

What is it?

New Self Working Miracles - zero card tricks!  Something boasting about zero card tricks and ‘not a sleight in sight’ isn’t my usual type of purchase and self working isn’t usually one of my criteria for choosing effects.
A multi-trick DVD full of small little bits, looks to be aimed at a magician… I should hate this on the face of it.

Did I hate it?…

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Will To Read - Steve Dela - Review (Alakazam - Peter Nardi)

What is it?
I purchased a review copy of this, some people thought it was like a pre-order but really it was just a pre-purchase.  ‘Sign up here and you can buy it’, there was no delay in it being sent to me.
There were some simple rules around this pre-purchase/review copy deal, I can’t understand why people would go against this, though maybe a few extra views/likes/comments will help them sleep at night.
When I first started reviewing i thought people might send things to be reviewed, but they haven’t.  Maybe i’m too honest.  So I’m still buying all of these things!

Anyway… this is a ‘free will’ type routine, with the mechanics of a book test built in to the same props (lots of scope here for influence/prediction/other reveals).

Lets see how it rates!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Dream Prediction Elite - Paul Romhany Review

What is it?
This is Paul Romhany’s close up (or just smaller scale) version of Dream Prediction Lite.  Don’t let the naming convention get you, the Lite version is the stage one, the Elite is close up.

It’s the usual confabulation performance of a dream - you first place an envelope down with a prediction clearly visible in the window section.  The participant selects a destination, an amount of money and a travelling companion.  You write these down in a notepad, which is shown around.  The selling point of this effect is that you open the envelope and the piece of paper seen through the window falls out on to your hand, and the participant opens it and reads it.  I’m really not sure why we don’t have more variations of performance in these, it always seems to be a dream, but this is a good one.

Oh, and you perform this entirely solo, and it’s instant reset.

More discussion below…

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Dan Harlan - All Seeing Eye Review

What is it?This is Dan’s “go to method for reading secret thoughts”… thoughts that are written down of course… I write down all my thoughts.

In fairness, the trailer explains everything so I can’t complain there.
Here we have Dan Harlan’s turn at releasing a short and cheap Penguin download.  There have been a host of people releasing this sort of thing over the past while, some are good, some are bad, very few have been great.  Let’s see where this one ranks!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

B’Voque - Mark Elsdon Review

What is it?
You and the participant have a conversation where they describe the contents of an envelope and you then open it to show they are correct.  The effect is a card reveal really, Four Card Brainwave with some nice touches that make it slightly more practical for me.

Let's see how this rates!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Popsicle Sticks - Morgan Strebler PDF Review

In the interests of clarity, Morgan sent me a copy of this to review.

What is it?
A simple yet deceptive psychological force effect.  It’s not as blatant as some others and fits nicely in a little imagination thing allowing for some presentational changes.

At first i thought, i can’t mention popsicle sticks in my shows but it might be a fun routine but it makes perfect sense (though as pointed out by Peter Turner in the PDF, not everyone calls them popsicles).

You get two similar versions, one from Morgan and one from Peter.  It’s difficult to describe in words without giving clues to the secret but i’ll do my best.

You take an imaginary journey (which includes popsicle sticks) resulting in the spectator making selections to arrive at a free outcome, which you have predicted/can say out loud etc.  Wouldn't be amiss in a Psychological Subtleties book.

Read on...

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Balls - Stefan Olschewski - Review

Quick review today, yesterday's was a bit more intense!  I bought this a long time ago, thought i'd share some thoughts.

What is it?
Copied straight from the PDF:

Basically it is a no-budget version of the famous Master Prediction System, that everybody loves but only the pros are able to afford. It has basically the same limitations as all end-of- show predictions that deal with really free choices: You need an off-stage assistant to fill in the appropriate details and then sneak the paper into the box which has been in full view the entire time.

 This is a reasonably large claim!  Why would I spend thousands if this does the job adequately?  Surely there must be some compromise?

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Four Told and Four Told 2 Smart Device Edition by Devin Knight - Review

What is it?
Four Told is a way to reveal the ESP Symbol thought of by 4 spectators (can be 4 different symbols, or all the same), where they do not write anything down, or speak.  The Smart Device Edition is a way to do the same thing essentially, though with updated symbols and different methods.  That's a pretty large thing to claim.  Does it deliver?  Which should you buy?

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Colin McLeod - Penguin LIVE Lecture - Review

What is it?
This is a four hour (4 HOUR) lecture by Scottish Mentalist Colin McLeod, for those who don't know, these are broadcast live and then you get a nice download the next day.  An excellent service, for some other views on this, check out my review of Looch Penguin Live lecture.

I had the fortunate ability to watch the majority of this lecture Live (on the internet of course as opposed to in person) which was nice.  How did it go?

Monday, 20 May 2013

Mephisto's Journey - Docc Hilford - Review

What is it?
Docc Hilford presents an updated version of Mephisto's Journey - you get an eBook, a Doccinar, a teleseminar (still to come), and a voucher for the bonus effect.

The effect reads exactly as described on the ad page, a very long ad page.  My quick version, 

You borrow a deck of cards, an envelope and some pieces of paper.  The participant (who seemingly must always be a female) writes down a thought of card and you pop this in the envelope.  You mark another piece of paper and say you will write something on this later (This is shown to be blank at one point).  The deck of cards are sealed into the envelope with the pieces of card (genuinely sealed).

This is taken away by the participant to be hidden somewhere (a different room ideally) and the scene is set, the room is darkened and you may begin!  In the darkness you can light a candle or similar and produce an envelope.  (This is where you initiate bilocation). The envelope is opened and a deck of cards removed (their deck of cards and the more distinctive the back design the better).  You open their folded piece of paper and read the card they selected, you locate the card in the deck and give it to the participant (it really is their card).  You proceed to write on the marked paper and place everything back and close the envelope.

The participant returns to locate the original envelope and brings it back to the performance area, you do not need to touch it again before they open it, removing the deck (minus their card) and the pieces of card with your hidden message which instructs them to locate a further little something...

(Well I meant it to be the quick version...)

My first thought was, 'well it says borrowed deck but i'll just use my own, it's too risky to borrow a deck, it wont work', well it will work, borrow the deck! How does this rate?

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Richard Osterlind Mind Mysteries Volume 1 - Review

What is it?
A DVD called 'The Act'.  This is filmed in front of the infamous L&L audience and contains some great material.  It has a number of effects and explanations, all of a very high quality.
Nearly every piece of this could be released as a stand alone effect, and in my relatively short time in this field, this has to be some of the best value around.

Paul Nardini - The Ghost - Review

What is it?
A lot has been said about what this is.  In my view the majority of the issues on this product come down to two things:

1. For people it doesn't work straight out of the box
2. Some people think this is something other than what it is

This is a pad that enables you to duplicate a design in real time.  The participant writes on a piece of card which is subsequently placed in an envelope (if you wish) and kept by the spectator.  You need to touch the card briefly, but this should not be a focus, anyone watching this should forget this ever happens.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Oasis Book Test - Clint Barron - Review

What is it?
A book test!  You get a book and a DVD.  It claims to be a book test you can pick up after a few months and get stuck in again.  Let's see how we get on!

In My Mind DVD - Luca Volpe - Review

What is it?
A DVD of 5 effects by Luca Volpe.  The DVD contains performance footage of each effect (one is a walkthrough really) of Luca demonstrating to a lady on a boat (Luca is also on the boat).

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

GT Speedreader Marked Deck - Review

What is it?
I feel like I am breaking rules by saying this, but it's on the packet.  This is a marked deck on Bicycle 809 Mandolin Backs.  In an effort include quick reviews on smaller, utility items not often reviewed, I hope this fits...

Looch - Penguin Live Lecture - Review

What is it?
A 2 hours 30 mins lecture by Looch, with performances, discussions, questions etc.
It contains a number of routines and all are explained very well.  For those not familiar with the format, you pay for what was a live event and you can download the full lecture and watch/stream whenever you want.  The general quality of the lectures is great! Let's look in a bit more detail.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Blank Night - John Archer - Review

What is it? 
This is a stand alone release of John Archer's routine 'Blank Night', it's called blank night because 'there is nothing to see', though blank is not the first thing i thought of when i saw his printed envelopes.  This is called 'The "Blank Night" complete package', and having both the PDF and the version on John's DVD I was buying this to see how my homemade envelopes would shape up against the provided ones.

If you don't know what this routine is, watch it on youtube for a demonstration by John performed on Penn & Teller's Fool Us, a great performance.  Watch that and come back for more...

Monday, 13 May 2013

Bachelor Pad - Docc Hilford - eBook Review

What is it? 
I'm not exposing anything by saying this is an imp device, in a post-it pad (it says so on Docc's site!) which you make yourself.  You can't really use it 'real-time' but that's about the only limitation.  Let's see what else this is about.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Once Removed - Stephen Shaw and Michael Murray - Review

What is it? 

A spectator thinks of a card and looks through the deck to find it (without removing the choice or writing it down), you mention that cards have mates and there is one for their card in the deck - they look through to find it.  You proceed to reveal their cards.  (With a little more work you can reveal which they thought of first and second).

It uses some very clever and simple ideas (not the kind of simple that you will have already thought of, and has a very satisfying method).

Friday, 10 May 2013

Booked - Steve Valentine Review

What is it? 
A book test - it uses something to mark a page, like a bookmark, business card, playing card - a word is selected (no peeking!) and can be revealed however you would like (or predicted) - the book test appears to be impromptu and can be performed with a book straight off the shelf

You also get a number of very decent routines to get you started, though if you like this you probably have your own ideas where to use it.