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Topic: Past Midnight - Full Review
Message: Posted by: Y2John (Dec 18, 2007 01:55PM)
Benjamin Earl and Alakazam Magic present to us a 3 DVD set featring some of Ben Earls takes on commercial card magic, some of his Gambling style techniques and effects, and his work on psychological card material.

This set was something I was very much looking forward to, and I know that there were/are others who were also highly anticipating it's release... so was it worth the wait... is it actually any good... and what exactly is gonna happen once midnight passes???


Product: Past Midnight

Performer/creator: Benjamin Earl

Company: Alakazam Magic

Available: http://www.alakazam.co.uk

Format: 3 DVD set

Price: £49.99, approx $100


Im gonna split the review up into 3 sections... one for each DVD, with a fourth section at the end for everything overall.

Before we get into everything, let me just say that I don't really like going over difficlty as, well, it's different for each individual and no matter how demanding, if the performer is dedicated enough they can learn anything.
I have still tried to go over difficlty... but I was really unsure throughout.


The DVD's:

Before getting onto each individual DVD etc, I'd like to give my opinion on the quality of the DVD's themselves.
This set has fantastic picture and sound quality, with nice easy to navigate menus, and a clean overall look and feel.
I am happy to say that these are all great quality and so good job with the production of these.


DVD 1, Commercial Card Magic:

As this first DVD is, for the most part, Bens takes on classic plots, I won't be explaining what happens in the routine as I'm sure you already know what happens in collectors etc.

Collectors 1-

An in the hands collectors.

My thoughts-

I have never really liked this style of effect, and there have been so many versions that... well... they just don't feel fresh.
Bens version surprised me by having a handling that is nice and to the point, it's probably the first time ive liked a collectors routine.

Can be done with a borrowed deck.

Difficulty wise it's about medium... though it's hard to say as everyone is at differing levels, but this does require some work.
Of course if your card handling is great then you'll have no problems picking this up.

Overall... I wasn't expecting to like this as I don't really like collectors... but Bens handling and ending has won me over and I admit that this is a great effect.
If you like collectors then you'll love this.


Collectors 2-

A second version of collectors, but this time one that ses a surface... though it can still be done in the hands.

My thoughts-

I didn't like this as mch as the first collectors, but once again I thought that Ben had come up with a nice handling.
Infact the handling for this version is extremely clever... it really is, and it's nice to see this.

Can be done with a borrowed deck.

Difficlty... well I'd say this one will require more work than the first, and so is a step up in difficlty... though for some it will be easy, it will really depend on you.

Overall... another collectors that impressed me... that's 2 on the same DVD lol.
I don't hink I'd use them still as I'm just not into collectors, but this really is very clever and a great effect.
I imagine that there will be a lot of performers who will use this and collectors 1.


Open Triumph-

As the title suggests... this is a trimph style effect.

My thoughts-

Now this is a fantastic Triumph effect, by far my most favourite Triumph routine by far... this uses any named card, and has a great ending.
A very well thought out handling.

This is completely imprompt and so can be done with a borrowed deck.

Difficulty... it's probably at about medium...ish lol, it's not too hard but because it uses a freely named card it will take some work to get down.

Overall... I wasn't expecting to like this as there are already so many Triumph routines, but Ben has really come up with a fantastic handling using a freely named card, and it has a nice ending.
Also the fact that it's completely impromptu, using borrowed shuffled cards.
Excellent.


Ace Assembly-

Yep... an ace assembly...

My thoughts-

There are so many ace assembly's, and here is another one... but Ben has once again has a great handling.
It really is a good ace assembly, infact it's excellent.

It can be done with a borrowed deck etc... as long as the deck has the four Aces still intact.

Difficlty... a nice and simple handling that is direct and to the point.

Overall... a great ace assembly, and you'll learn something else that makes 4 for 4 even more deceptive.
Another fantastic handling on a classic plot in card magic.


Shades of Hofsinzer-

An effect based on Hofsinzers Aces.

My thoughts-

Im sure by now you'll not be surprised to hear this, but once again Ben has come up with a great handling.

A very small set-up is required which can be done infront of the specs.

Difficulty... pretty easy... I guess.

Overall this is another really good effect... not sure what else to say, I mean Ben continually comes up with fantastic handlings.


Prophecy Shift-

A freely selected card gets placed into the deck, the 2 cards next to the selection and the selection are removed... lets say the selection was a King and it was placed in with 6 and a 8 either side of it... now a coincidence is gonna happen... you cut at about where they did, it's a King, the King now vanishes and appears in the deck... you remove it and the cards either side of it, the 2 cards are a 6 and an 8.

My thoughts-

Well this is another solid effect.

There is a set-up, and some will be able to set-up infront of the specs... but this may not be too easy.

Difficulty... this is definitely among the harder routines to learn so be prepeared to practise... saying that there will be many who will not have many problems, but it's still among the hardest of this set.

Overall a nice solid effect that I'm sure many will enjoy and use.
I doubt I'll be using this myself, but it's a good effect.


Soft Spread Production-

A card is peeked... now as you spread through the deck, one at a time the mates of there peeked card just seem to morph in the deck, turning face-up.
You then reveal that the card they saw never was really in the deck to begin with.

My thoughts-

How ive described this really does not do it justice... it is a great effect, and has a really smooth and soft feel to it.

There is a set-up which can't be done in front of the specs... well it probably could but wouldn't look right, so I'd say no.

Difficulty wise it's fairly simple and it's more getting everything smooth and flowing that will take up most of the practise time.

Overall this is another fantastic addition to this set, it's a really solid effect.
Great.


Stroke Change-

Ben Earls colour change.

My thoughts-

An amazingly visual colour change where the card seems to change with a stroke of your finger.
All the little subtleties make this into a truly astonishing change.

As it's a colour change, it can be done whenever a deck is in play.

Difficulty... not sure, the mechanics are not hard, but making everything flow will take a lot of practise, getting all the little things together smoothly to create a magical change.


Pop Over Move-

A move where you cut the deck and a cardd just pops out into view.

My thought-

A nice little move that will allow you to cause a card to just pop out of the deck.
Could be used for all sorts from revealing selections... to finding the Aces etc etc.

Can be done anytime you have a deck.

Difficulty... very easy to get the workings down, then it's just a matter of getting it 100% of the time while looking natural... though the natural part isn't hard as the move has a natural feel to it.

Overall a great little move and one I'll be using for sure. It's always nice to have various ways of accomplishing things like this, and this is a good one.


Loose Double Lift-

A double lift technique.

My thoughts-

Cool... a very natural looking turn over of a double, doesn't look like you could be using a double.

Can be done whenever you have a deck.

Difficlty... I think this is actally pretty difficult, it will take a lot of practise to get good at... now that still doesn't mean it's hard as the workings are not, but you'll need to get a feel for it and just practise practise practise.

Overall... well it's a double that looks like there is no way that's what it is... completely fair and open, probably the most natural looking turn over ive seen.
Excellent.


Streamlined Control-

A card control... single or mltiple.

My thoughts-

A great control that is so deceptive. It literally looks like your just spreading through the deck, and they can peek cards from all different parts of the deck... all the cards are now on top of the deck.
No funny looking moves or anything.
Also a variation is taught which is also great.

Can be done whenever you have a deck.

Difficulty... not sure, the workings are pretty easy, but as with a lot of Bens material, getting it smooth and flowing is key.

Overall... excellent control that I will be utilising for sure. It really is great and just won't be seen... so deceptive.
Fantastic.


Side Faro False Shuffle-

An in the hands false dise faro.

My thoughts-

Yea, a nice false shuffle that is done in the hands... deceptive.

Can be done whenever a deck is in play.

Difficulty wise this can be pretty challenging to get down, for me anyway.
If you can faro well then you'll get this in no time, if your faro isn't too good you'll need to practise a lot.

Overall this is a great false shuffle that I can see a lot of performers sing as it's a very deceptive and fair looking false shuffle.
Always good to know other ways of doing false shuffles etc, and this is a really good one.


Chrisbuckgreenhoff and Sybil show-

A flourish that can be used to reveal a four of a kind.

My thoughts-

Well I am not keen on flourishy type manouvers, and so have not given this any time as of yet... but it looks cool.

Can be set-up infront of the specs.

Difficulty... no idea lol, for me probably very as I have not put any real time into flourishes like this... but those who are into this type of thing will very likely pick this up pretty quick.
Im really not sure though.

Overall... a nice looking flourish to find a four of a kind... looks goo but doesn't appeal to me.
Im sure there'll be a lot of others who love this though.


Kolyvargin-

A flase shuffle kinda flourish.

My thoughts-

Wow this is a great flourish to make it look like your mixing the cards... though I am not a fan of flourishy stuff, this looks great and is something that I just had to learn... I will be using this.

Can be done whenever a deck is in play.

Difficulty... not sure, it's about medium I guess... for me anyway. It's getting it smooth that will take the practise, the mechanics themselves are nice and simple.

Overall a really deceptive and good false mix flourish.
Excellent.


Aston-

A false cut flourish that retains the order of the pack.

My thoughts-

Not for me at all as I don't really like this kinda thing, but it looks great.

Can be done whenever a deck is in play.

Difficulty... no idea as I have given none of my time to this.

Overall... not for me bt a great looking little flourish nonetheless.


Full Suit Production-

Produce every single card in a suit... in numerical order.

My thoughts-

This is a great production sequence as you seemingly manage to find every card in a suit and deal them out... all in numerical order.
A great rotine.

This requires quite a big set-up, and you won't be doing this one infront of the specs.

Difficulty... pretty difficult to get down I guess, har to say as it will really depend onhow much you wanna perform this.
If a lot and you really practise you'll have it down without too much trouble.

Overall a great routine, and a fantastic show of card handling.
Great.


DVD 2, Gambling:

Psychological Table Shuffle-

A false table shuffle.

My thoughts-

An excellent false table shuffle that is very deceptive, and yet it absolutely flys.
This is not one to be used whilst the spectators are burning your hands, but for when your conversing with the participants it's ideal.

Seeing as it's a false shuffle, it can be done with any deck, at anytime and for the most part anywhere... I say for the most part because you will need a surface to take advantage of the shuffle.

Difficulty... easy mechanics, but will require a smoothness and flow that only practise will bring.

Overall this is a great false shuffle... I know I'll be using it, and I think many others will also.


Broken Thompson Cut-

A multiple false cut.

My thoughts-

Oh my... this is what I call a deceptive multiple false cut, seriously it looks so fair.
I was so happy to see this and learn it as it has to be the best multiple false cut ive ever seen.
Very well thought out.

Seeing as this is a mltiple false cut, it can be done whenever there is a deck in play.

Difficlty... well it's not difficult, and once you have the basic workings down you'll find that it feels so natural.

Overall this is my favourite false cut... period. I really love it that much, it's just so deceptive and fair looking, and you can change it up as you go along whilst it still retains it's naturalness.
Excellent.


Middle Spin Cut-

A card is spun out from somewhere within the pack.

My thoughts-

Well first, so you understand more what this move actually looks like, you momentarily lift at a point in the deck and shoot out a card... say an Ace.
This is a nice little move that looks very good, and isn't knuckle busting to pull off.

Don't know what to say about set-up as like similar things, all that's required is for you to get the card you want to use in the correct position in the deck.

Difficulty... easy, and I'm sure mostly everyone will be able to pick this up in no time at all... I have to say mostly as, well, maybe someones reading who has no fingers... you never know.
But if you do have fingers then you'll get this down no probs.

Overall... a nice little move that does what it sets out to do very well, and it's easier to accomplish than some other moves which are similar, which for me makes it better.
This will be my version of choice for this style of move.


Blind Cut Technique-

A false table cut.

My thoughts-

An old false cut but one that is very good... infact it's great, and with Bens subtleties it really is the best false cut ive ever seen (single cut).
Even when you know exactly how it's done and have learnt Bens subtleties... when you watch him perform it it still looks like an actual cut lol, fantastic.

Can be done whenever a deck is in play... need surface though.

The mechanics are not hard at all, infact it's very simple and easy.
The practise will be to get it smooth and get your speed up.

Overall... well on the DVD Ben says how he thinks this is the best false cut there is, and I can see why he thinks this as it really is a fantastic one.
Great.


4D Discovery-

Erm... not sure how to explain... it's a way to cut the deck mltiple times and come to a card of your choice.

My thoughts-

It's hard to explain exactly what this is without tipping it's workings, but let me just say that this is so deceptive and fair looking, it's like you just cut down to the card to reveal.

As it's a subtlety/move it can be done once the card is in the required position... which no one will have trouble doing if they have even the most basic of card knowledge.

Difficlty... extremely easy, and yet extremely fooling.

Overall... very good and something that I, and I feel a lot of others, will be using.


Pluckley-

Sort of a psychic game of poker... kinda lol.
Basically the participant thinks of a card, and the performer will attempt to deal himself there card... lets say they chose the 7 of spades... the performer ends up dealing himself the 4 of spades, the 5 of spades, the 6 of spades, and the eight of spades... the performer removes a card that he placed into his pocket before the effect even began, and it's the spectators selection, the 7 of spades.
If I have not described it well enough, it is one of the performances in the demo vids... so go look at the trailer to DVD 2.
Oh forgot to mention... the spec also gets to name the number of hands to be dealt.


My thoughts-

A very nice routine, excellent.

There is a set-up for this and one that can't be done infront of the specs.

Difficulty... well it's about medium I guess, not really sure as it's not too difficult, but it's not quite as easy as some of the others so I'll say between easy and medium... depends on each individual.

Overall... a very good routine that, when set, is great.


Sow by the Lug-

A sort of 'get the spec to cheat without them knowing it' kinda routine lol.
It's got qite a bit to it, but basically you lead the spec along a series of shffles etc, and at the end they have dealt themselves the four Aces (or any other four of a kind).

My thoughts-

Well to be honest I am not too keen on this routine myself, but this is not because of the effects being bad as it's not... it's just not something I see myself performing.

There is a set-up and it's pretty simple and so I imagine that most will be able to set-up infront of the specs.

Difficlty... well it's not difficlt at all, and as long as the spec follows your directions everything will be fine and dandy.

Overall this is a pretty decent effect/rotine, but just not something that really grabbed me.
Not bad by any means... just not for me.


Riverboat Harmony-

A Black Jack, Poker, and Bridge demonstration all in one... lol.
The performer does all the above with a freely chosen suit, and as a kicker, you manage to deal Ace to King in Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades... which if you wish can be blindly sorted into the correct order.

My thoughts-

Ok... this is what you call a gambling demonstration lol, I mean not just poker, but black jack and bridge also.
A great routine, though I myself will probably not make the unnamed suits be in the correct order as it may be a bit anti-climatic.

There is a set-up involved, and it cannot be done infront of the specs.

Difficulty... very simple and easy, which is good.

Overall... a great routine.
You also get taught some extra things which are also very good.


House Rules-

A card tracking/card control effect where a card is peeked and thoroughly lost in the deck and you then find it... followed by 2 cards being peeked and the deck once again going through multiple shuffles and cuts, only for the performer to cut to and reveal the 2 peeked at cards.

My thoughts-

I really like this one, and have been having a lot of fun with it.
It really looks good and seems impossible, and as the spec will find out, keeping track of the cards is just insanely difficult... yet the performer shows that they have mastered this technique.

This can be done without any set-up.

Difficulty... well it's mediumish I guess, though most of this is getting everything smooth and flowing.
I really don't know lol.

Overall a fantastic routine.
Great.


Bottom Deal-

Bens handling for the bottom deal... with an effect put to it.
Four aces are lost in the deck, you then deal some hands and end up dealing yourself the 4 Aces.

My thoghts-

Well to be honest I am not good at bottom dealing at all... and when I say bad, I really mean teriible lol.
Bens handling for the bottom deal is pretty nice, and looks very natural, though I can't take advantage of this because I am not at the stage where I could utilise this.
If you are already at home with the bottom deal then this will be something you'll like as it looks more natural.

As this is a technique, it can be used anytime there is a deck.

Difficulty... well for me it's hard as ive always had trouble with the bottom deal, and have yet to get it down.

Overall... if I could perform the bottom deal then this would definitely be my version of choice as it looks a lot more natural... though have not been able to experience it's deceptiveness for myself as of yet.


Grey Shuffle-

An in the hands false riffle shuffle.

My thoughts-

Well this false shuffle is just insane, I mean it looks just like your actually shuffling... very deceptive and one of the greatest false shuffles ive ever come across... this'll be something I'll be using forever more.

Can be done anytime there is a deck in play.

Difficulty... I'd say it's pretty hard to get down, and it's something that will take a lot of practise... though it's way worth the effort.

Overall... an amazing false shuffle that is just beautiful.
You will use this.


Erdnase Productions-

A series of productions using the Erdnase one hand cut.

My thoughts-

A nice selection of productions.

Get the card into the required position and your set.

Difficulty... well I guess it depends on if you can already do the Erdnase move... if not then it will take quite a lot of practise... if you can already do the cut then you'll have no problems with executing these productions.

Overall a nice set of productions that can be utilised when using the Erdnase one hand cut.
Nice.


One Hand Shifts-

A selection of one hand shifts to be utilised however you'd like.

My thoughts-

These are very good and are very valueble to know.

Can be done whenever a deck is in play.

Difficulty wise I'd say that these are pretty hard to get down smoothly, though some are easier than others.
Within the reach of all who are willing to practise.

Overall a nice set of one hand shifts, these are very good and things that many will want to utilise.


Discrepency Switch-

A way to seemingly switch a packet of cards with another... though not really.

My thoughts-

I really like little moves like this, and it's something that will be getting used for sure.
It is very bold, and very simpleto execute.

Can be done when ever a deck is in play.

Difficulty... not at all difficult, just bold.

Overall... I really like this false switch, it's deceptive, and easy to execute.
Very nice.


Palming Techniques-

Bens way of palming cards with one hand.

My thoughts-

I really like Bens way of getting the card into palm. It's used to get cards on the bottom of the deck into palm, or into cop.
Can also be used to get cards from within the deck into palm/cop... and can be done with the deck raised.

Can be utilised when ever a deck is being used.

Difficulty... I really am not sure, especially with this as everyone has different sized hands, different finger lengths etc etc.
It's not easy when you first start, but you'll get it with practise.

Overall... A great way of palming/copping.
Ben covers various ways of using this move.
Excellent.


DVD 3, Psychological:

Ramjollock-

A card is peeked at in the deck, then the deck is cut and shuffled, then cut and shuffled, and cut again if you so wish...
All this happens out of the performers hands, and with the performer turned away.
After this the participant finds there card and can move it to any place they wish in the deck...
For the first time the performer takes back the deck and spreads through, you are able to tell the spectator the card they are thinking of.

My thoughts-

Ok, this is the first effect you come across in this DVD, and what a start it is. Basically if how ive described the effect interests you... well that's exactly a how clean and fair it is.

This is not a completely impromptu effect, there is a little set-up, but it's not that much... not everyone will be able to set-up infront of the specs, but it's not impossible so can be done.

Difficulty wise this is not hard at all... infact it's easily within the grasp of all as far as the mechanics are concerned.
What could cause difficulty for some will be participant control and selection.
I say participant selection because not everyone you come across will be able to take part in this effect... I'd say it's more for other performers than laypeople, though you will come across laymen who you can perform this for.

Overall this effect is a good one and I think I'll be saving this for the times when I come across another performer.
A nice start to the thrid DVD.


Pseudo Brainwave-

A card the spectator has locked in there mind reverses itself in the deck while in there hands.

My thoughts-

Wow this is good, I mean it's really good...
I love the moment the participants see there card they have in mind reversed, it's such a great piece.
The rotining and way the deck is handled is so well thoght through, I mean it's truly like the card just seems to appear reversed in the middle of the deck, and this is after they have already been spreading through and handling the the cards.
Infact most of the effect takes place entirely in the specs hands.

This is a completely imprompt effect, so you can borrow a deck and perform this.

Difficulty wise, well it's kinda hard to say... many will have no problems what so ever, while others it may take quite a bit of work to get this down.
I find it hard saying about the difficulty as it will be different to everyone, but I'd say easy/medium.

Overall I love this effect, it seems so fair and free, and it happens basically all in there own hands.
A great piece.


Mental Voyage-

A fantastic subtlety that can be used in other effects, and with a routine/effect given to it where the spectator spreads through the deck and locks a card in mind, they then place there card anywhere in the deck (this all happens with the performer facing away)... the deck is not needed anymore and it gets pocketed by the performer.
Now the not only tells them the card they have in mind... but also reveals a card they were gonna pick but moved on.

My thoughts-

A really fantastic subtlety and with a fantastic effect given to show it off. This has the feel of real mindreading, more so than usual, and has the potential to really amaze.
It's not 100% sure fire, but then if it doesn't hit there is no worry what so ever as you still reveal there card they have in mind.

This can't be done with a borrowed deck as a set-up is needed which can't be done infront of the spec... but many of you will be able to utilise this subtlety.

Difficulty... well it's not difficult to perform at all, but it will require practice and actual performance time to get really good at.

Overall this is another great piece, it's very clever, and has the feel of true mindreading... excellent.


Thought of Card in Pocket-

The performer looks through the deck, removes a card, and places this card in his/her pocket...
The participant is asked to think of any card...
The card the participant is thinking of is the card the performer has in his/her pocket.

My thoughts-

YES!!! WOOHOO!!!
I love this so much, a fantastic piece without a doubt.
I have been eager to learn of this since first hearing of it when the 'Past Midnight' set was first announced, and now I know it I just can't get enough of it.
The routine is so well thought out, and so simple to execute, and doesn't come across at all like a card trick... but as the real thing.

There is no set-up or anything of the like, so this can be done with a borrowed deck of cards.

Difficulty... well let's just say that it's easily within the reach of all who wish to perform this.

Overall... one of my favourites from the set, and just a really well put together effect that is simple, to the point, and totally practical for real world performance.
Don't go expecting some revoltionary new technique or sleight as if you do you'll be disappointed... what your getting is a real world practical worker that has been worked on and honed to perfection.
Brilliant.


Peek Techniques-

Ben shares his work on some peek techniques... the look away glimpse, look away glimpse 2, and look away glimpse 3.

My thoughts-

3 different handlings and each one usable in the real world.
Im sure you'll find that one of the 3 techniques will be of use to you.
I myself will very likely use them all, though number 3 is the one ive already been putting to use.

Well as these are techniques they can be used with any deck, anywhere, and at anytime.

Difficulty... really can't say, it will be different for each individual.
You'll definitely be able to find one of these to suit you.

Overall I enjoyed this section as I always love to learn new techniques and sbtleties etc.
Now these peeks have been seen before, well 1 and 2 have, but it's the little things that Ben has added and thought about that really make these worthwhile... with Bens work on these the peeks have been made more deceptive.


SAS Force-

A very deceptive and clean card force/glimpse... in one.

My thoughts-

A very decent card force that looks, well, like nothing funny could be happening.
It's as clean as you taking a deck, holding it up and riffling through till they say stop... you already know the card at this point lol.
There is no need to handle the deck in anyway after to glimpse the card... you can just riffle through the rest of cards (or not... up to you) and name the card.

No set-up or anything as it's not an effect but a technique... so any deck etc.

Difficlty... well it's pretty easy really, everything happens in such a short space of time and it's all so natural and flowing that it sorta feels natural pretty quickly.

Overall a very nice force and one I'm sure many will take advantage of... I will be for sure.


Intuitive Poker-

Poker of the mind... you reveal a thought of card in a poker hand.

My thoughts-

I really like this routine... a lot.
Poker presentations always play well, especially with how many enjoy playing/watching it, and this takes the poker theme and twists it into something... mental.

There is a tiny set-up needed for this, but it can easily be done infront of the spectators with no worry.

Difficulty wise this is very easy to perform when it comes to the mechanics, but like most mentalism, it's the presentation/performance that is gonna sell this, not the card handling.

Overall a really good routine and another great piece of material from Ben Earl... so far everything has been great, and this doesn't change the pattern.


Intitive Poker II-

An alternate handling for Intuitive Poker.

My thoughts-

Well this is another way of performing Intuitive Poker, but the difference is that this is completely impromptu... and starts with the spec handling the deck, I'm saying this so you know that they can literally remove a deck and without you touching it you can go into performing this.

No set-up what so ever, so if there's a deck you can perform this.

Difficulty... well it's not too difficult, but one thing it is for sure is bold.

Overall... this is a great alternative to Intuitive Poker, and is actually Ben Earls version of choice.
I think it's a great alternative.


Mental Swap-

A thought of card transposition... that's right, a card that the spec has in mind, actually swaps places with a card the performer has in mind.

My thoughts-

A nice solid effect, and a bit different to the usual thought of card as in this one the card the performer has in mind and in his pocket, swaps with the thought of card the spec has in mind and in his/her hands.

There is no set-up involved, so you can be handed a deck and perform this.

Difficulty... well it's pretty easy to get this one down, and though it's simple it is very deceptive and fair.
Definitely within the reach of all.

Overall I like the idea of this one, it's clever and easy to accomplish, and looks so clean.
If you like the sound of a thoughtof card transpo then I'm sure you'll love this.


Playing the Odds (bonus effect on DVD)-

A poker themed routine where not only do you reveal there thought of card, but they deal themselves a Royal Flush.

My thoughts-

This is a very nice routine, and is completely hands off on the performers part throughout.
From 5 hands of poker the spec can think of any card, then they deal 5 hands again... you get them to put there hands over there pile... now not only can you tell them exactly where there card is, but they have dealt themselves a great poker hand.

There is a tiny set-up, but it can be done infront of the spectators.

Difficulty... well it happens with them handling the deck throughout, so not very hard lol.
Will take practise to get your part perfect, but handling wise it's easy.

Overall I love this routine as it's something that happens without you having a part in the card handling, and you still get there thought of card and they themselves deal a Royal Flush... so it's got mindreading, poker, and they themselves do the handling.
Great.


A quick Q&A with myself... yes, I talk to myself.

Q- Yowza... so is everything really as good as your saying, I mean surely it can't all be good... a bit caught up in the hype are we?

A- No... not caught up in the hype at all, the material really is as good as ive been saying.
If I were to say any different I'd be lieing.

Q- Any thing I'll need, like Gaffs or gimmicks?

A- No, none at all.

Q- But how advanced will I need to be in my card handling to be able to fully take advantage of the material?

A- This is suitable for all skill levels, and everything is achievable by all who are willing to learn.

Q- Hey... who's that over there!!

A- Where? (turns to see)

SMACK!!! POW!!! BANG!!! BOOSH!!!

Q- Ha ha thanks a lot... see ya!! (runs of with Johns 'Past Midnight' set)

A- ................ (Lays on floor unconscious... wakes up and realises whats happened, then falls into a state of depression)

Q- Oh... thanks for the bonus booklet!!!! I hear only 100 of these were available... cheers!!!!!! (shouts from a distance)

A-............ (can't handle the emotions and falls into a coma)

NEXT DAY- John wakes up to find it was all a nightmare, his 'Past Midnight' set nestled safely on his side... he lets out a 'WHOOP' and has a nice cp of tea.

Erm... maybe I should stop there... ;)


Material Overall:

As you can see from what ive written, I love the material contained within this set... and in all honesty there is not a single piece of filler.
Everysingle effect is well thought through and fantastic... seriously.
On top of that, Ben covers alternate additions, sleights, and added subtleties throughout.
I don't think I have ever seen a set which offers so much fantastic material, even the effects I wouldn't use are still of such a high caliber.
I was expecting to not like much from the first DVD... oh was I wrong, it's brilliant... and then the 2nd and 3rd DVD's material, well, is just phenominal.
Completely full of practical, workable, powerful real world material.


Teaching Overall:

Benjamin Earl is really good at explaining and showing the material and everything that goes into them.
He's clear and covers all points fully.
Nothing is rushed through, nothing is left out, everythig is very well done.
I enjoyed his teaching style and found everything to be enjoyable to watch.


A quick something in regards to difficulty:

Though ive said a lot of the material is pretty easy, that's just the mechanics... the real work on many of the pieces is the presentation and subtleties.
The way you perform them and how they flow.


Overall:

An absolutely amazing set that is completely full of insanely good material.
Sometimes it's rare to find a couple of good pieces on a DVD, sometimes maybe nothing at all... everything in this set is fantastic, even the effects you wouldn't perform you'll be able to appreciate just how good they are.
I truly can't praise this enough, it's just so good.

Buy this... buy this now... you won't regret it.

Totally recommended.


Thanks to Ben Earl for sharing his material, and thanks to Ben and Alakazam for putting this project together and bringing it to us.


Roll on 'Skin'!!!
Message: Posted by: deputy (Dec 18, 2007 02:19PM)
Great review John Thanks
Message: Posted by: Daren (Dec 18, 2007 02:19PM)
Ditto to what john has said above, I have this set also, and am blowing people away with ramjollock, pluckley, thought of card from pocket, shades of hofzinser etc, buy this set now!
Message: Posted by: boinko (Dec 18, 2007 03:18PM)
I take it this is available only in the UK?

I see no mention of it on Alakazam's US site.

Will US retailers carry this?
Message: Posted by: deputy (Dec 18, 2007 03:48PM)
Alakazam ships to the US or I think I saw it on Hocus Pocus
Message: Posted by: Y2John (Dec 18, 2007 03:59PM)
It's on hocus pocus
Message: Posted by: nikyas (Dec 18, 2007 06:13PM)
Great review! thanks!
Message: Posted by: bonesly (Dec 18, 2007 07:23PM)
I disagree with some of the things you said in your review. Firstly, I would like to say that Past midnight is definately a great dvd set, and definately well worth the price. However, this dvd is definately not for begginers of card magic, definately not, there are only a few pieces that beginners may be able to perform, but the majority of the work is for medium to advanced workers.


The first sleight is enough to put anyone off card magic completely. Imagine being introduced to card magic, and then seeing that as your first test, wow! Also Ben assumes a lot of card knowledge when going over most of the explanations., For example with the first effect, it would have been nice if Ben could have explained what culling of cards is. I mean I know what it is, you may know, but a beginner to card magic would have no clue, culling is not even explained in expert card technique by Hugard and Braue ( which was my very first card book. I am saying all of this because it is a bit misleading to tell everyone that there is no difficulty, because I feel this dvd is just not for beginners.

One of the effects one that I was most impressed with was mental voyage. However, it is just a dressed up version of Richard Osterlind's Breakthough control(Test condition card trick, obviously it is not the same stack, but Ben has only added one,but still important, subtelty. Now in terms of explaining mental voyage, if you are a beginner to card magic forget it, you probably won't have a clue about what he is talking about.But don't worry most experienced card workers, amateur/advanced, will have no problem with this set.

Not to keep rambling on but this is not for beginners. Also, if you are an experienced card worker, just remember you are not paying for Ben's originality, only, the slight variations in his handlings.
I have met Ben before, and his skill level is excellent, and the dvd's are testimony to that. 90% of you, will not be dissapointed, the rest will be impressed but a bit lost
Message: Posted by: magicstudent (Dec 19, 2007 02:59AM)
It is already available at http://www.themagicwarehouse.com for $90

Jeff
Message: Posted by: whitefish (Dec 19, 2007 04:31AM)
Thanks for the in depth review!

I think I'm going to get it, sounds good value.
Message: Posted by: Y2John (Dec 19, 2007 06:52AM)
Cheers, it is such a great set.

bonesly... I believe that a lot of the materials mechanics are pretty simple, though yeah, there are some that use culling or maybe a pass, but nothing too demanding... infact the pass is used like 2-3 times in the whole set.
And though he doesn't explain culling, I'd imagine that most know how to cull, or at least have basic knowledge of it.
An absolute beginner will not be able to just dive right in and paick up all the material, but there are also quite a few pieces they still could use, plus it gives them something to work towards.
The psychological and gamboling DVD's has a lot of material that everyone from beginners to experienced can learn and use.

I doubt a complete beginner would pic this up though.

I still think that if you like the sound of this set... pick it up, I truly believe it to be as good as what I'm saying.
Message: Posted by: dylan magic (Dec 19, 2007 08:20AM)
Best review ive ever seen on the Café y2john, nice.
again the old saying that .."if everybody could do it, it would be easy" ..springs to mind..i enjoy having something to work towards and if everything on the discs was easy, then I doubt many perfomers would want to use the effects. ben lectured for us and afetr having seen him personally, his own skill is fantastic but the effects are within the grasp of most willing to put jus ta little time in here and there.
past midknight is possibly the best material to surface in a long time.
Message: Posted by: MOJave (Dec 21, 2007 07:12AM)
While y2johns review was extremely indepth and awesome I am surpirised ther ehasnt been much in the way of posts regarding Past Midnight..... I am waiting for mine in the post all the way in OZ so cant comment on it yet, but the hype surrounding this was huge and the effects look superb..... this thread hast even gotten past one page yet..... now that truly is astounding ;) I thought there would be a lot more discussion regarding Past midnight.... just my .02

Chirstopher
Message: Posted by: Chris Jenkins (Dec 21, 2007 09:26AM)
Christopher,
I suspect it is because people are struggling to drag themselves away from it. There is just SO much material to absorb. As soon as I get the Grey Shuffle sorted I will relax a bit more!!!

Chris
Message: Posted by: psychicturtle (Dec 21, 2007 05:06PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-21 10:26, Chris Jenkins wrote:
Christopher,
I suspect it is because people are struggling to drag themselves away from it. There is just SO much material to absorb. As soon as I get the Grey Shuffle sorted I will relax a bit more!!!

Chris
[/quote]
That's exactly it. I'm off to practice some more...
Message: Posted by: Doctor REvil (Dec 22, 2007 05:51AM)
Guys,
how does the "Grey shuffle" compare to the Ron Wholl shuffle on the new Malone dvd's....?



David
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Dec 22, 2007 07:35AM)
The grey shuffle looks very similiar to the real green shuffle.
Message: Posted by: nikyas (Dec 22, 2007 09:33AM)
I've got mine today. My initial thought is WOW!

more to follow...
Message: Posted by: Doctor REvil (Dec 22, 2007 11:46AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-22 08:35, Bobby Forbes wrote:
The grey shuffle looks very similiar to the real green shuffle.
[/quote]

I do hope its better than that........I know some here will disagree re-Real Green Shuffle, but IMHO the Ron Wholl & the Karl Heinstien shuffle is far better.....

Have to wait and see what the Grey shuffle is like.....


David.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Dec 22, 2007 09:13PM)
Just check out the demo..it's exactly like the real green shuffle but only bridging one of the packets instead of both. I've been doing this for quite a while. You have to admit, it looks great in the demo. And yes, I like it way more than the heinstein shuffle, and it's angle proof.
Message: Posted by: Doctor REvil (Dec 23, 2007 03:32AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-22 22:13, Bobby Forbes wrote:
Just check out the demo..it's exactly like the real green shuffle but only bridging one of the packets instead of both. I've been doing this for quite a while. You have to admit, it looks great in the demo. And yes, I like it way more than the heinstein shuffle, and it's angle proof.
[/quote]


Ok Bobby, take you word for it, have to say though, Ben makes it look far better than Lennart did on his dvd's, I'll hae to chase these in the New Year.....


Merry Xmas,


David.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Dec 23, 2007 07:06AM)
"Ok Bobby, take you word for it, have to say though, Ben makes it look far better than Lennart did on his dvd's, I'll have to chase these in the New Year....."






I absolutely agree with that. Not sure if it's because of Lennarts "sloppy" style or what, but Benjamin Earl does perform it 10X better than lennart IMO

Happy Holidays :xmas:
Message: Posted by: joshlondon17 (Dec 23, 2007 04:25PM)
This is just what I've been looking for, some great card magic DVDs!

Thanks John for a great review!

Josh London
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Dec 23, 2007 07:40PM)
Yes, thank you so much John for your thorough review!!! Wow! It's nice to see people who take the time to help others!! Really thank you, I'll probably order this tomorrow. The demo of Ramjollock is really incredible!! I think I have a solution, but it indeed requires a lot of spectator management or you have to select someone who is willing to try an "experiment" and who will not try to mess things up...

Merry Christmas to all anyway !!
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Dec 24, 2007 04:16AM)
After Christmas when my busy schedule is down I will try and give my full thoughts, but the shuffles are making an interesting topic. Years ago now I tried to learn the Heinstein shuffle. I could do the mechanics fine, but getting it to look good was the harder part, getting it in time and looking natural wasn't the easy part. Then I re-discovered the Ron Wholl by complete accident only to be told a few hours later it was waaaay old, always the way in Magic! So ever since I have never really tried a false in the hands riffle shuffle with waterfall...i have dabbled with the Anderson/Hollingworth shuffle, but never got it perfect, and I will only use something if I can do it perfectly, well, seemingly perfectly. So I then created my own shuffle, which is similar to the Wholl and Heinstein shuffle, and it looked good to be honest. Only needed to shuffle once, didn't look awkward, looked natural, and looked and sounded like a riffle shuffle and waterfall should...then I saw the Grey shuffle...back in January...I was with Ben sessioning for around 12 hours...and right at the end he spread the deck and it was in brand new deck order...after EVERY trick he had performed, he was slowly getting it into brand new deck order, and false shuffling to add to it...so I had to get these DVDs to learn the work on it. Now, I have tried the Green shuffle before sometime ago now, and it just didn't fit me, or look that great. However, since getting these DVDs, I now no longer do any false shuffle but this! The Grey shuffle is in my opinion the BEST in the hands false riffle shuffle with waterfall!! Now, some will disagree, as what works for me might not work for them, but Bens ideas and touches to the shuffle really make it what it is, and make it easy and very fooling. I literally burn my hands in the mirror, and STILL can't see it, and I know what I am doing and when it is happening to look out for it! It's that good!!!
Message: Posted by: Doctor REvil (Dec 24, 2007 04:57AM)
So your sayng that this is not the Green shuffle, but done better then.......?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Dec 24, 2007 05:34AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-24 05:57, Doctor REvil wrote:
So your sayng that this is not the Green shuffle, but done better then.......?
[/quote]

Exactly, there are several distinct differences between the green shuffle and the grey shuffle. Yes the Grey shuffle was influenced by the Green shuffle, but the Grey shuffle is easier and more deceptive
Message: Posted by: Chris Jenkins (Dec 24, 2007 06:12AM)
I remember that session last year Chris - I think I had left about 10 minutes before Ben came over to the group and I was hacked off the next morning when you told me about it!

Not finding the Grey Shuffle that easy but haven't put in enough hours yet I guess! You can maybe take me through it, assuming you (and maybe Ben?!) will be at The Session Convention again this year?!
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Dec 24, 2007 06:43AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-24 07:12, Chris Jenkins wrote:
I remember that session last year Chris - I think I had left about 10 minutes before Ben came over to the group and I was hacked off the next morning when you told me about it!

Not finding the Grey Shuffle that easy but haven't put in enough hours yet I guess! You can maybe take me through it, assuming you (and maybe Ben?!) will be at The Session Convention again this year?!
[/quote]

Yea I'll be there, once you go to a Session convention, you can't not go again!!! I'm hoping Ben will be there, as I would rather he showed you as obvioulsy it is his, but if not, I will help all I can...
Message: Posted by: deputy (Dec 25, 2007 08:48PM)
I was wondering why there was not more of a buzz about this release. I finally got this the day before XMas. I understand why people are not writing more now, why? Well there is so much stuff on these dvds. I perform Mentalism and the third disk on this set is great. So far I see two effects I will add to a walk around enviorment. I have yet to see the first two disks. I will post a better review maybe over the weekend. These are a great set for the card worker. A lot of mentalist will not use cards but I mix it in with my act and there are some true gems in here. Bravo Mr. Earl and Mr Nardi ..................Ryan
Message: Posted by: Robert M (Dec 29, 2007 11:23AM)
I think a lot of people are still waiting to get it. Mine didn't arrive until yesterday due to the Christmas rush.

Robert
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Jan 1, 2008 12:47PM)
Though I am still yet to write a review on this (I will soon), the thought of card in pocket is just amazing. I performed it to a Magician friend the other day, and well, what I am going to explain next is not a word of a lie, this 100% happened, and I don't think will ever happen again, but must atleast say :)

I asked him to think of a card, and then asked him to change his mind, as the first card he was thinking of was too easy...he smiled and said he had changed his mind. I ran through the deck, faces towards me and took a card and placed it into my pocket. The 7 of Hearts, it just hit me whilst running through the deck. I asked him to name his card...seven of Diamonds. I smiled and spread through the deck, asking him if he could remember his first card he thought of...he could. I asked if it was a red card, it was, a heart, it was, a low heart, it was, I took one card out, and turned it over, 2 of Hearts...he laughed and swore at me...then I asked if he remembered I placed a card in my pocket...i got him to take it out, 7 of Hearts, he laughed again, so close he said, and asked how I managed to get so close, and get the first card, I smiled and gave him the deck and said, find the 7 of Diamonds, he ran through the deck and couldn't find it...i turned around with bare hands and reached into my back pocket...i pulled out one card...the 7 of Diamonds...he swore at me again and walked away from me (Only to come back 1 minute later asking for me to teach it him. I said '£50 it's yours, as well as some other awesome material :)'

This worked exactly as Ben says it will on the DVD, except I got INCREDIBLY lucky as the 2 and 7 were next to each other. Shows how weird and wonderful a deck of cards can really be sometimes.
Message: Posted by: NicholasD (Jan 2, 2008 04:46PM)
Where has Benjamin Earl been keeping himself? I was very impressed with his card handling. Strong effects performed expertly.
Message: Posted by: whitefish (Jan 2, 2008 05:36PM)
I too have been having some luck with the thought if card. I didn't think this was much of an effect until I tried it. It does floor people. It surprised me, alot.
Message: Posted by: Daren (Jan 3, 2008 12:39PM)
From the explanation on the dvd, I was under the impression that you ask the spec to think of a card and then you produce from your pocket, but from what I have read above, do you ask them to think of a card and then change their mind abd ask them to think of a different one, is this the way to go?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Jan 3, 2008 02:03PM)
No no no, sorry, that is the way I present it, I perform it differently from Ben.
Message: Posted by: Nick Wait (Jan 4, 2008 05:39AM)
Just so everyone can appreciate how effective Ben's grey shuffle:

At my resteraunt job, I do a ambitious card routine where at the end all the cards are left in order at the end. Using false shuffles, cuts and shuffles to achieve this etc. Now I started off by performing the grey shuffle, and as often happens, someone got overly excited by the riffle and bridge shuffle ;p They asked to see it again, AND I DID. I performed the grey shuffle with my hands getting absoloutley burned by spectators, and they did not suspect a thing.
Message: Posted by: in flames (Jan 4, 2008 07:56AM)
For those who have the set, which disc did you enjoy most?
Message: Posted by: Nick Wait (Jan 4, 2008 10:22AM)
You can only buy this as a set so a bit of a weird question ;p I personally love formal card magic, so the moves and ideas on disc 1+2 were really great. But opportunities for such magic are restricted on a comercial level. I love it all! Some of the ideas on disc 3 are quite beautiful, there are a good 2 or 3 strong pieces that can be easily worked into most performance venues. Difficult to choose. To watch/perform for self indulgent purposes -Volume 1.
Volume 2 has host of sleights, cuts and flourishes that I reckon will be seen in the next few comp acts.
And for useability/foolability- volume 3.
Message: Posted by: Daren (Jan 5, 2008 02:30AM)
I have clumped together 3-4 effects of ben's for a mind blowing 5 mins with a deck of cards

this is my routine
shades hofzinser
open triumph
full suit production
followed by the whole deck in order
Message: Posted by: baou1986 (Jan 5, 2008 08:26AM)
I love this DVD,it is the best DVD in 2007 I have seen
Message: Posted by: frankw (Jan 5, 2008 04:38PM)
The only thing I can say is, "Benjamin Earl is brilliant" !
Message: Posted by: johnra (Jan 7, 2008 09:51PM)
This set is on Penguin magic for $75 US.
Message: Posted by: entity (Jan 14, 2008 05:51PM)
I received the Past Midnight set just before Christmas, but have just today really had a chance to have a look. I've watched just disk 3, the Psychological Card Magic disk, as that is my main area of interest.

Everything about this product is first class, from the packaging of the Disks, the graphics, the quality of the video, and last but by no means least, to the quality of the material and the performer himself.

I'd agree with some here that the material is not for beginners. It does require at least intermediate level knowledge and ability. I would go so far as to say that the more proficient you are with cards, the more you will get out of Ben's material.

I was especially tickled by his "Look-Away peeks", and although my eyesight makes this difficult for me, I think that it is a wonderful subtlety and a fine addition to the think-of-a-card lore.

All of the effects and ideas are strong, clean and mystifying, and all are extremely well explained.

Well done, Mr. Earl.

- entity
Message: Posted by: hnegash (Jan 15, 2008 12:32PM)
In disc 2 (gambling) Ben talks about an anti gravity one handed shift. I think he said that it's Justin Highmes? Does anyone have any further info on this (where has it seen print, am I spelling Justin's last name correctly)? Any bit of info you can offer would be great. Thanks.

Henok
Message: Posted by: joseph (Jan 19, 2008 07:38AM)
I don't have the dvds, but maybe he said [url=http://www.elmwoodmagic.com/full/Magic-Tricks-Magic-Books-Magic-DVDs-9395-Action-Justin-Hanes__2130.htm]Justin Hanes[/url] ..
Message: Posted by: Yves Tourigny (Jan 19, 2008 10:50AM)
I am quite sure he is speaking of Justin Higham, a british fellow who does awesome card magic and is a technician of the highest order. He has a web site, just google his name and he published many of his effects and methods in some of Roger Crostwaithe books like Roger's Thesaurus.

Yves
Message: Posted by: sychou (Jan 21, 2008 06:16AM)
Very nice DVD. He performed for live and normal audience. You can see the reaction from the real world. There is no hype dream. The card at any number routine is highly recommended.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Jan 21, 2008 09:25AM)
Live audience? Card at any number? You sure your talking about Ben Earl's dvd's?
Message: Posted by: Y2John (Jan 21, 2008 09:39AM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-21 07:16, sychou wrote:
Very nice DVD. He performed for live and normal audience. You can see the reaction from the real world. There is no hype dream. The card at any number routine is highly recommended.
[/quote]

There is no acaan in 'Past Midnight', and live audiences other than 1 on 1 with members involved with this project/alakazam etc.
Message: Posted by: magicwill (Jan 22, 2008 12:42PM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-15 13:32, hnegash wrote:
In disc 2 (gambling) Ben talks about an anti gravity one handed shift. I think he said that it's Justin Highmes? Does anyone have any further info on this (where has it seen print, am I spelling Justin's last name correctly)? Any bit of info you can offer would be great. Thanks.

Henok
[/quote]
The shift is is Justin Higham's but it is not in print anywhere yet. Will be well worth looking up as and when it does get released though

Will
Message: Posted by: NicholasD (Jan 22, 2008 01:20PM)
This DVD set convinced me to learn the One Handed Erdnase Shift and The Anti-Gravity Shift. Now that's finger exercise!
Message: Posted by: Paul (Jan 22, 2008 01:36PM)
Thanks for the reviews and comments, I might have to invest in these at some point. Does the named card triumph differ much from the Jerry Sadowitz one from years back?

Paul.
Message: Posted by: Markymark (Jan 22, 2008 02:43PM)
Sorry I don't know it but there is credit given to Jerry Sadowitz on the Triumph so I think they are the same or very close.
They are a great set of dvd's.Most of the stuff is harder then hell!
Message: Posted by: darkdean (Jan 29, 2008 05:38AM)
I am so surprised that there is not 10 pages of reviews on this set.

I have only watched the third DVD as this is what most interests me and why I bought it and I have watched it 6 times which is a first for me.

The material on the third mental disc is wonderful its easy to do and if you put the work in you will have some of the strongest mentalism with a deck of cards.

Very good stuff.

Dean
Message: Posted by: cosmicsecret (Jan 29, 2008 07:20AM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-22 14:20, NicholasD wrote:
This DVD set convinced me to learn the One Handed Erdnase Shift and The Anti-Gravity Shift. Now that's finger exercise!
[/quote]
You will get used to the move,after 3 days of practice it wasnt that hard anymore.Its just getting tricky to do this shift if you got less then 20cards in the top pack of the deck.
Message: Posted by: CyrusTX (Jan 29, 2008 09:57PM)
I think these are solid DVDs. Fresh routines. Many new things that I need to work on!

I think they are well worth the price!
Message: Posted by: Xtasy0 (Jan 29, 2008 10:05PM)
I agree about the third disk, by far it's my favorite and I love thought of card to pocket and the two card transpo. there are some gems on volume 2 as well sow by the lug is great.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Jan 30, 2008 10:49AM)
Yep!! Very nice set! I'd just like to make a little comment concerning the "Thought of Card to Pocket" and everyone saying it's such a brilliant and extraordinary routine... Well... It IS a nice routine but is it REALLY NEW?? I've been performing this for years now... I'm sorry I don't have any credit right now in mind but it can't be a new idea... Anyone knows something about this???

Btw, Ben's routine is fine, but I'd like to share the way I used to perform it, which, to me, makes more sense: so you ask a member of the audience to name a card, say they call for the 4 of Spades. You take the deck and instead of saying, like Ben does, something like "Are you sure? You don't want the 8 of clubs...", which doesn't really make sense... Hey!! They asked for the the 4 of Spades!!! Listen up a bit... ;)..., you say you will remove all the fours. You do what you have to do (first part only...)... And pull out the other 3 fours (clubs, diamonds and hearts) and show the rest of the deck, proving there is no 4 of spades!!! "Strange isn't it", do you say... You now proceed to the second part and pull out the 4 of Spades out of your pocket...

The method is really the same, but here it makes sense:
1) you can look at the deck because you look for the four cards
2) you don't say anything strange by naming another card
3) you SHOW that it's really NOT in the deck...

Maybe this will help...
Message: Posted by: Paul (Jan 30, 2008 12:13PM)
If they name a card it's not really a thought of card is it? :0 But I know we can present it that way, years back I used to do a thought of card to wallet. Last time that got a mention anywhere was on the Mentalist's Asylum several years ago.

I used a wallet which had a notepad. On the pad top sheet was a prediction, "You will name the one card removed from the deck."

You look for the card named, then allow them to look with you to see it is not there, then remember you wrote something earlier. Wallet removed, prediction show, and finally you point out the card removed from the deck is in the wallet and remove it from the zippered compartment.

But back to the DVD content...

Paul.
Message: Posted by: Y2John (Jan 30, 2008 12:23PM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 11:49, goldeneye007 wrote:
Yep!! Very nice set! I'd just like to make a little comment concerning the "Thought of Card to Pocket" and everyone saying it's such a brilliant and extraordinary routine... Well... It IS a nice routine but is it REALLY NEW?? I've been performing this for years now... I'm sorry I don't have any credit right now in mind but it can't be a new idea... Anyone knows something about this???

Btw, Ben's routine is fine, but I'd like to share the way I used to perform it, which, to me, makes more sense: so you ask a member of the audience to name a card, say they call for the 4 of Spades. You take the deck and instead of saying, like Ben does, something like "Are you sure? You don't want the 8 of clubs...", which doesn't really make sense... Hey!! They asked for the the 4 of Spades!!! Listen up a bit... ;)..., you say you will remove all the fours. You do what you have to do (first part only...)... And pull out the other 3 fours (clubs, diamonds and hearts) and show the rest of the deck, proving there is no 4 of spades!!! "Strange isn't it", do you say... You now proceed to the second part and pull out the 4 of Spades out of your pocket...

The method is really the same, but here it makes sense:
1) you can look at the deck because you look for the four cards
2) you don't say anything strange by naming another card
3) you SHOW that it's really NOT in the deck...

Maybe this will help...
[/quote]

I don't agree with you,I think Ben Earls way of presenting it is great, and comes across as more genuine and less a magic trick.
The naming of the other card is to see what they were thinking of before that one etc, it shows that you are genuinely interested in what they thought of.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Jan 30, 2008 01:08PM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 13:23, Y2John wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 11:49, goldeneye007 wrote:
Yep!! Very nice set! I'd just like to make a little comment concerning the "Thought of Card to Pocket" and everyone saying it's such a brilliant and extraordinary routine... Well... It IS a nice routine but is it REALLY NEW?? I've been performing this for years now... I'm sorry I don't have any credit right now in mind but it can't be a new idea... Anyone knows something about this???

Btw, Ben's routine is fine, but I'd like to share the way I used to perform it, which, to me, makes more sense: so you ask a member of the audience to name a card, say they call for the 4 of Spades. You take the deck and instead of saying, like Ben does, something like "Are you sure? You don't want the 8 of clubs...", which doesn't really make sense... Hey!! They asked for the the 4 of Spades!!! Listen up a bit... ;)..., you say you will remove all the fours. You do what you have to do (first part only...)... And pull out the other 3 fours (clubs, diamonds and hearts) and show the rest of the deck, proving there is no 4 of spades!!! "Strange isn't it", do you say... You now proceed to the second part and pull out the 4 of Spades out of your pocket...

The method is really the same, but here it makes sense:
1) you can look at the deck because you look for the four cards
2) you don't say anything strange by naming another card
3) you SHOW that it's really NOT in the deck...

Maybe this will help...
[/quote]

I don't agree with you,I think Ben Earls way of presenting it is great, and comes across as more genuine and less a magic trick.
The naming of the other card is to see what they were thinking of before that one etc, it shows that you are genuinely interested in what they thought of.
[/quote]

He doesn't say 'Are you sure'...he says 'You didn't happen to have another card in your mind before that did you? A red card perhaps?'...which is perfectly logical, as I have hit several times with asking this, and managed to name the card they thought of before, and have the card they were thinking of in my pocket
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jan 30, 2008 03:24PM)
I'm watching these right now and I just want to say that the people who made it should be congratulated for putting out the expense to get good equipment and taking the time to do it right. It is an amazingly well done DVD from a production standpoint. The content so far is top flight also.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Jan 30, 2008 08:18PM)
Hi MagicSanta,

Glad that you appreciated the work and effort that went into shooting and editing the Past Midnight project. For your interest filming took place from the beginning of last February and ran through until November, so it was a huge project (totaling nearly 600GB of raw footage).

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: double_lift (Jan 31, 2008 03:27AM)
One of the DVD sets that I've enjoyed most lately. Pretty nice layout and amazing material inside. It's too bad that there are people like Benjamin Earl unknown to most of us, except their closest friends, that have so much to offer to the magic comunity.

Fortunately, he's decided to put all these gems on DVD...
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Jan 31, 2008 05:22AM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 14:08, Christopher Williams wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 13:23, Y2John wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 11:49, goldeneye007 wrote:
Yep!! Very nice set! I'd just like to make a little comment concerning the "Thought of Card to Pocket" and everyone saying it's such a brilliant and extraordinary routine... Well... It IS a nice routine but is it REALLY NEW?? I've been performing this for years now... I'm sorry I don't have any credit right now in mind but it can't be a new idea... Anyone knows something about this???

Btw, Ben's routine is fine, but I'd like to share the way I used to perform it, which, to me, makes more sense: so you ask a member of the audience to name a card, say they call for the 4 of Spades. You take the deck and instead of saying, like Ben does, something like "Are you sure? You don't want the 8 of clubs...", which doesn't really make sense... Hey!! They asked for the the 4 of Spades!!! Listen up a bit... ;)..., you say you will remove all the fours. You do what you have to do (first part only...)... And pull out the other 3 fours (clubs, diamonds and hearts) and show the rest of the deck, proving there is no 4 of spades!!! "Strange isn't it", do you say... You now proceed to the second part and pull out the 4 of Spades out of your pocket...

The method is really the same, but here it makes sense:
1) you can look at the deck because you look for the four cards
2) you don't say anything strange by naming another card
3) you SHOW that it's really NOT in the deck...

Maybe this will help...
[/quote]

I don't agree with you,I think Ben Earls way of presenting it is great, and comes across as more genuine and less a magic trick.
The naming of the other card is to see what they were thinking of before that one etc, it shows that you are genuinely interested in what they thought of.
[/quote]

He doesn't say 'Are you sure'...he says 'You didn't happen to have another card in your mind before that did you? A red card perhaps?'...which is perfectly logical, as I have hit several times with asking this, and managed to name the card they thought of before, and have the card they were thinking of in my pocket
[/quote]

Hello again!

First of all, I really want yo assure you that I respect your opinions AND Ben's presentation. Yes, he does say "You didn't happen to... etc...", BUT, I still feel it's somehow weird to say this. As I already said, they already name a card, why name another one??? Of course, if it happend that they first thought of a first one and then changed their mind for another one, yes, it does seem to be a miracle... But I don't think it's natural to proceed this way.

One of the great advantages of Ben's routine is that it's quick and straight to the point, you don't have to go through the procedure of going throught the deck and remove the three other cards. BUT, on the other hand, their is a greater chance of getting burnt with Ben's presentation, because everyone will probably look at your hands! While if you clearly show, without any suspicious move, that the card is not in the deck anymore, well... it's not in the deck!! So the audience will feel relaxed: for them the routine is nearly over, when in fact it just beginns... But again, Ben's version may seem more a mentalist type of thing and not just a card trick...

Please don't think I'm fighting for my presentation just because it's the way I always used to do it... I've already changed my mind quit often for better ideas. AND I don't say my way of presenting this is better, I just say it has a few advantages, Ben's version has other...

Anyway... At the beginning I was jut wondering if this routine was new... I already hear some of you say: "Of course it's new!! It's Ben's way of presenting it!!"... ;) Well... In that case, yes, maybe it's a little new...

Ben's set is really great, of very good quality. It's just a pity there aren't more DVD releases at that standard...

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Doctor REvil (Jan 31, 2008 11:01AM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 11:49, goldeneye007 wrote:
Yep!! Very nice set! I'd just like to make a little comment concerning the "Thought of Card to Pocket" and everyone saying it's such a brilliant and extraordinary routine... Well... It IS a nice routine but is it REALLY NEW?? I've been performing this for years now... I'm sorry I don't have any credit right now in mind but it can't be a new idea... Anyone knows something about this???

[/quote]

Maybe........check out "Self Control" by Leroy in Hugards Encyclopaedia of Card Tricks.......apart form the presentation, the handling is very close, and the effect pretty much the same......
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Jan 31, 2008 11:15AM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-31 06:22, goldeneye007 wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 14:08, Christopher Williams wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 13:23, Y2John wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 11:49, goldeneye007 wrote:
Yep!! Very nice set! I'd just like to make a little comment concerning the "Thought of Card to Pocket" and everyone saying it's such a brilliant and extraordinary routine... Well... It IS a nice routine but is it REALLY NEW?? I've been performing this for years now... I'm sorry I don't have any credit right now in mind but it can't be a new idea... Anyone knows something about this???

Btw, Ben's routine is fine, but I'd like to share the way I used to perform it, which, to me, makes more sense: so you ask a member of the audience to name a card, say they call for the 4 of Spades. You take the deck and instead of saying, like Ben does, something like "Are you sure? You don't want the 8 of clubs...", which doesn't really make sense... Hey!! They asked for the the 4 of Spades!!! Listen up a bit... ;)..., you say you will remove all the fours. You do what you have to do (first part only...)... And pull out the other 3 fours (clubs, diamonds and hearts) and show the rest of the deck, proving there is no 4 of spades!!! "Strange isn't it", do you say... You now proceed to the second part and pull out the 4 of Spades out of your pocket...

The method is really the same, but here it makes sense:
1) you can look at the deck because you look for the four cards
2) you don't say anything strange by naming another card
3) you SHOW that it's really NOT in the deck...

Maybe this will help...
[/quote]

I don't agree with you,I think Ben Earls way of presenting it is great, and comes across as more genuine and less a magic trick.
The naming of the other card is to see what they were thinking of before that one etc, it shows that you are genuinely interested in what they thought of.
[/quote]

He doesn't say 'Are you sure'...he says 'You didn't happen to have another card in your mind before that did you? A red card perhaps?'...which is perfectly logical, as I have hit several times with asking this, and managed to name the card they thought of before, and have the card they were thinking of in my pocket
[/quote]

Hello again!

First of all, I really want yo assure you that I respect your opinions AND Ben's presentation. Yes, he does say "You didn't happen to... etc...", BUT, I still feel it's somehow weird to say this. As I already said, they already name a card, why name another one??? Of course, if it happend that they first thought of a first one and then changed their mind for another one, yes, it does seem to be a miracle... But I don't think it's natural to proceed this way.

One of the great advantages of Ben's routine is that it's quick and straight to the point, you don't have to go through the procedure of going throught the deck and remove the three other cards. BUT, on the other hand, their is a greater chance of getting burnt with Ben's presentation, because everyone will probably look at your hands! While if you clearly show, without any suspicious move, that the card is not in the deck anymore, well... it's not in the deck!! So the audience will feel relaxed: for them the routine is nearly over, when in fact it just beginns... But again, Ben's version may seem more a mentalist type of thing and not just a card trick...

Please don't think I'm fighting for my presentation just because it's the way I always used to do it... I've already changed my mind quit often for better ideas. AND I don't say my way of presenting this is better, I just say it has a few advantages, Ben's version has other...

Anyway... At the beginning I was jut wondering if this routine was new... I already hear some of you say: "Of course it's new!! It's Ben's way of presenting it!!"... ;) Well... In that case, yes, maybe it's a little new...

Ben's set is really great, of very good quality. It's just a pity there aren't more DVD releases at that standard...

Cheers!
[/quote]

You say tomato, I say tomato...wait...that doesn't work in writing...lol... no, it is nothing new. I said to people when I learned this that I had been doing it for years, and I have been, however, Ben has some great handlings and tips on this, and has structured it better that I used to, and since learning his, I have been inspired to improve my own, which I have done, and I think EVERYONE will personalise it as they should. But I cannot take away that Bens ideas for this really are clever, and not something I have seen before. As it is one of those effects where Magicians think 'Well that's obvious'...but it is his touches etc that take it away from being obvious, and make it worth it being on the DVD
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 1, 2008 04:50AM)
Thank you Paul for mentioning your routine, I just noticed! Nice idea!! And thanks Doctor REvil for your indications concerning earlier publication of the effect!!!

Yes, Ben's handling might be new (I mean compared to what has been published). Yes, further tips and ideas are very useful to magicians who want to improve their handling, and yes, the "touch" you can bring to a routine can turn a "trick" into a miracle.

However, for the various reasons I already stated, and AGAIN, I've nothing against Ben's routine or Ben himself or the DVD set which is really great, I just was not that sensible to the improvements he might have made on this particular routine: to mee, it MAY look like you try to win a little time by naming back a different card than the specatator. But, AGAIN, it's only my opinion...

And I'm happy with the fact this routine is on the DVD, where it sure has its place. When you feel something is weird, it makes you think why this very something feels strange, and that alone is important when you want to improve.
Message: Posted by: Doctor REvil (Feb 1, 2008 09:49AM)
Credit should also go to Ben Harris for the Collectors via the Double Deal from his small booklet One AM the Sequal, sometime in the late 80's, maybe early 90's not sure off-hand......Benjamin's idea to split the double is what makes this handling a fantastic improvement......
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 1, 2008 11:11AM)
Yes, true!! Thanks for the precision!
Message: Posted by: Blindside785 (Feb 1, 2008 11:58PM)
Just put in my order, I'm excited.
Message: Posted by: Quentin (Feb 2, 2008 07:49AM)
Last night, visiting a friend, he said, "I think you'll like this," and put on the third DVD of the series.

Besides the production values, I was impressed with the location, which I believe is Peter Nardi's new mansion bought with the profits from previous DVDs. I just hope he sells enough of this new set to buy some furniture, as the place looks rather empty with just two chairs.

AS for the material, it was a joy to watch Ben perform so much quality material. Many DVDs have one or two good items with a load of padding. This is a rare gem amongst a plethora of humdrum "more of the same".

Every effect was direct, simple and commercial.

Pseudo Brainwave especially appealed to my sense of humour, as part of the misdirection is to be boring, something that 95% of card magicians will have no trouble with.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 2, 2008 02:11PM)
YES!!! I also was very impressed with the mansion where the DVD was shot!!! I didn't know it belonged to Peter Nardi!!! What a lucky guy!!!
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Feb 2, 2008 03:19PM)
Hi Quentin,

Despite his obvious success, Peter has managed not let things go to his head. He always keeps that common touch as he waves goodbye to us all from the wheels of his brand new Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, heading back to the mansion after a hard days work.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: Philippe (Feb 4, 2008 02:41AM)
Past Midnight is terrific but is any body having the same problem as me with Ramjollock. After the second shuffle I occasionaly find the Queen and King out of place, usually with the Ace in between them. Would appreciate a pm or normal reply PLEASE. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Feb 4, 2008 07:19AM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-30 13:13, Paul wrote:
If they name a card it's not really a thought of card is it? :0 But I know we can present it that way, years back I used to do a thought of card to wallet. Last time that got a mention anywhere was on the Mentalist's Asylum several years ago.

I used a wallet which had a notepad. On the pad top sheet was a prediction, "You will name the one card removed from the deck."

You look for the card named, then allow them to look with you to see it is not there, then remember you wrote something earlier. Wallet removed, prediction show, and finally you point out the card removed from the deck is in the wallet and remove it from the zippered compartment.

But back to the DVD content...

Paul.
[/quote]

That is quite clever and very kind of you to share.
Message: Posted by: Blindside785 (Feb 4, 2008 08:27AM)
I have a feeling I'm going to love this set. I've been looking for great card material for a while.
Message: Posted by: Philippe (Feb 4, 2008 09:46AM)
Any problem with Ramjollock?
Message: Posted by: Andy the cardician (Feb 5, 2008 05:04PM)
Gee . . . after all that praise I had no choice than to pull out my Cred Card and order . . . .

And . . . am I glad that I did it.


My impression . . .

Top notch production.
Great handling skills.
The presentation was rather dry, more casual. It felt more like a magician shows other magicians a trick, which works fine for me as well.
Contents range from nice to great.
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Feb 5, 2008 07:29PM)
I had a Magician at a tattoo shop out here floor me with an effect from this set. Now I want it. It was a pick a card effect. I shuffle I pick it he finds it. simple.....
Message: Posted by: Blindside785 (Feb 7, 2008 07:20PM)
Just got the set in the mail!! Looks top quality just from the case, except that the 3rd disks was not on the holder of the disk (you know that middle thing on every disk case). It was loose.

Too bad I cannot view it this time! Family is around, I have to wait until tonight...ahhh! I'm so excited.
Message: Posted by: Xtasy0 (Feb 7, 2008 08:26PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-04 10:46, Philippe wrote:
Any problem with Ramjollock?
[/quote]

I use it, it works.
Message: Posted by: swtrocks (Feb 7, 2008 09:26PM)
Just an idea. Ramjollock can actually allow 3 shuffles quite safely if you use your head a little...and theoretically more than that, but I wouldn't go there.
Message: Posted by: paulyjr (Feb 8, 2008 04:18PM)
This dvd is full of fantastic psychological and structuring ideas as well as great technical magic. A lot of thought is contained within. Also Ben knows his material and where it comes from.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 9, 2008 10:02AM)
Yes, Ramjollock does work! And yes, you could do a few more shuffles. But my main problem is that most of my friends over here in France do not know how to riffle shuffle... But for magicians it's awesome (and for people who can riffle shuffle...)!
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Feb 9, 2008 10:10AM)
If they can't riffle shuffle, get them to cut the deck in half, then if you ribbon spread each packet, so they are parallel to each other, like train tracks, then they can push them into each other, it gives the same results
Message: Posted by: Wanderer2 (Feb 9, 2008 10:43AM)
Is it somehow possible for me to buy the third disc, and not the whole set? The psychological work is what I'm mainly interested in.
Message: Posted by: Blindside785 (Feb 9, 2008 11:01AM)
Nope.

This was my only Birthday present I got and I love it.
Anyway the whole set is brilliant. I got it a couple days ago and performed ramjallock method mixed in with card to pocket and then performed sow by the lug as a test to see how it plays out in performance..very nice stuff in this set. Vol 2 is one of my favorites even though I'm into mentalism.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 10, 2008 12:07PM)
Thanks for the advice Christopher! However, this way you have to have a table...
But good idea!
Message: Posted by: Blindside785 (Feb 10, 2008 01:57PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-09 11:10, Christopher Williams wrote:
If they can't riffle shuffle, get them to cut the deck in half, then if you ribbon spread each packet, so they are parallel to each other, like train tracks, then they can push them into each other, it gives the same results
[/quote]This is a good idea, I had to do this to a couple of my test audiences It all worked out in the end.
Message: Posted by: Blindside785 (Feb 10, 2008 02:59PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-10 13:07, goldeneye007 wrote:
Thanks for the advice Christopher! However, this way you have to have a table...
But good idea!
[/quote] No you don't, you could just give it a riffle shuffle without the bridge, hand it to them. Have them push it together.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 11, 2008 03:40AM)
Yes, of course... My concern with this approach is that in this case you have to have the deck in your hand and NO MATTER how clean you do the shuffle, people will be a little more suspicious, even unconsciously...

Beleive me, I know what I'm talking about: if you do the trick and NEVER have the deck in your hands before the final revelation (actually I've come up to a method which doesn't even require you to touch the deck AT ALL...), the audience will really be AMAZED. Try it: do the same trick both ways and you'll see. That's always what people (mostly friends) told me : if I touch the deck, for them I did SOMETHING (even if it's not the case, again, no matter how clean it is), they don't know what, but they think I did.

It could be summed up this way: if you touch the deck you're a magician, or, "worse" (in this particular case), a sleight-of-hand artist, if not, you're a mentalist... I already hear some of you fell offended: it's just an image...

But I admit it's a good alternative.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 11, 2008 03:43AM)
Just a precision: I've nothing against sleight-of-hand, and my friends magician even think that I use too much sleight-of-hand techniques. It's just that some tricks are more the sleight-of-hand type, some others not. But at the end, it has to look magical. In Ramjollock, I think it should look like a mentalism type of effect, that's all...

Hope I didn't offend too many of you...
Message: Posted by: jennings (Feb 27, 2008 11:56AM)
I was lucky to meet Ben in the Ruskin Hotel in Blackpool last Sunday evening at the conclusion of the annual magic convention. (It was about 3.30am !) He performed 'Thought Of Card To Pocket' and 'Playing The Odds' as well as demonstrating some of his false shuffles. Having seen just a few of the effects he performs I bought the set from him. His stuff really is exceptional and I would recommend it to anyone.
Message: Posted by: antonio123 (Feb 28, 2008 09:43AM)
Great set

I perform today the first time Thought of Card in Pocket for my brother, the only thing that he said after the trick was this is not funny :)
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Feb 29, 2008 07:40AM)
Right... :) It really gets on some people's nerves. I experienced that also...
Message: Posted by: Gerry Hennessey (Mar 1, 2008 11:50PM)
A very skilful performer. Great talent and thinking.


Hennessey
Message: Posted by: Verifythisnow (Mar 8, 2008 03:09AM)
Just had an awesome idea but it has probably already been thought of haha.

The actions in pseudo brainwave provide a perfect cover for using a named card with a memorized deck instead of having the spectator look at / take a card.
Message: Posted by: Verifythisnow (Mar 20, 2008 11:26PM)
Just wondering if anyone can comment on the bonus manuscript that was included for the first pre-orders. I (regretfuly) waited for a review before purchasing so just wondering what I missed out on :(
Message: Posted by: J Hanes (Mar 24, 2008 03:28AM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-19 08:38, joseph wrote:
I don't have the dvds, but maybe he said [url=http://www.elmwoodmagic.com/full/Magic-Tricks-Magic-Books-Magic-DVDs-9395-Action-Justin-Hanes__2130.htm]Justin Hanes[/url] ..
[/quote]

as far as anti-gravity one handed shift's, the one in question is not from me
Message: Posted by: Review King (Apr 1, 2008 01:30AM)
What can I say that hasn't already been said. Benjamin Earl is quite a card man. There are some elegant handlings on this set. The filming is quite beautiful. It makes you want to light a fire, sit an easy chair with a glass of brandy and just watch in amazement.
Message: Posted by: erlandish (Apr 1, 2008 02:42AM)
That has got to be one of the weirdest endorsements I've ever read.

Really? BRANDY??

I suppose it's better than tequila.
Message: Posted by: teejay (Apr 1, 2008 12:49PM)
Hi Chris and Dr R
Ron Wholl shuffle?
Who?
What?
When?
Please
:)
Message: Posted by: Review King (Apr 1, 2008 12:59PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-01 03:42, erlandish wrote:
That has got to be one of the weirdest endorsements I've ever read.

Really? BRANDY??

I suppose it's better than tequila.
[/quote]

You're from Montreal. Must be the water there. Try the water in Toronto and the post will become clear.
Message: Posted by: Gerry Hennessey (Apr 1, 2008 08:30PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-01 13:59, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-01 03:42, erlandish wrote:
That has got to be one of the weirdest endorsements I've ever read.

Really? BRANDY??

I suppose it's better than tequila.
[/quote]

You're from Montreal. Must be the water there. Try the water in Toronto and the post will become clear.
[/quote]

Christopher,

The water in Vancouver is fine. You are right on the money regarding these dvd's. Quite a card man indeed.


Hennessey
Message: Posted by: balic2003 (Apr 2, 2008 06:32AM)
@ teejay

Ravelli's Waterfall Shuffle - Ron Wohl's brilliant false shuffle from the late 1960s!

from Bill Malone "Here I Go Again Volume 2"
Message: Posted by: erlandish (Apr 3, 2008 02:26PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-01 13:59, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-01 03:42, erlandish wrote:
That has got to be one of the weirdest endorsements I've ever read.

Really? BRANDY??

I suppose it's better than tequila.
[/quote]

You're from Montreal. Must be the water there. Try the water in Toronto and the post will become clear.
[/quote]

I'm sure it's an excellent DVD series regardless of what city one's in. I just can't figure out from your description, with the fire and the brandy and everything, whether or not you're getting ready to watch the set or try to make love to it.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Apr 3, 2008 02:57PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-03 15:26, erlandish wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-01 13:59, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-01 03:42, erlandish wrote:
That has got to be one of the weirdest endorsements I've ever read.

Really? BRANDY??

I suppose it's better than tequila.
[/quote]

You're from Montreal. Must be the water there. Try the water in Toronto and the post will become clear.
[/quote]

I'm sure it's an excellent DVD series regardless of what city one's in. I just can't figure out from your description, with the fire and the brandy and everything, whether or not you're getting ready to watch the set or try to make love to it.
[/quote]

oh, ok. I forgot, you're the guy that over analyzed the Eugene Burger dvd to death.

Is this better:

Makes you want to turn on the lights, watch the dvd with a bag of potato chips and a diet coke.

Better?

:rotf:
Message: Posted by: teejay (Apr 6, 2008 09:37AM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-02 17:46, NicholasD wrote:
Where has Benjamin Earl been keeping himself? I was very impressed with his card handling. Strong effects performed expertly.
[/quote]

In 7 Deceptions, Luke Jermay mentions a friend called Ben Earle (sic) who is an expert
COIN magician! If this is the same BE perhaps he has some world shattering COIN MENTALISM up his sleeve
Yikes! The mind boggles.
Can anybody comment?
:)
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 6, 2008 10:53AM)
Hi teejay,

As the guy that shot and edited the Past Midnight Project for Alakazam, all I can say is that those DVD's are just the tip of the iceberg. Here is a link to another thread that will give you more...
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=237777&forum=218&start=30

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: matt.magicman (Apr 6, 2008 01:15PM)
Hi russ,
so when can we see more from ben?
do you know the release dates?
looking forward to your extractor dvd mate!
cheers
matt
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 6, 2008 02:40PM)
Hi Matt,

I really don't know, but there are things in the pipeline. Peter is better at answering those questions. The Extractor DVD is finished, but I only shot and edited it, the project belongs to Peter who produced the whole thing!

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: teejay (Apr 6, 2008 06:51PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-02 07:32, balic2003 wrote:
@ teejay
Ravelli's Waterfall Shuffle - Ron Wohl's brilliant false shuffle from the late 1960s!
from Bill Malone "Here I Go Again Volume 2"
[/quote]

Got that one. Will have an other look at it. Thanks for that.
:)
Message: Posted by: teejay (Apr 6, 2008 07:03PM)
[quote]
On 2008-02-09 11:10, Christopher Williams wrote:
If they can't riffle shuffle, get them to cut the deck in half, then if you ribbon spread each packet, so they are parallel to each other, like train tracks, then they can push them into each other, it gives the same results
[/quote]


Great idea. Now you can do it for laypeople. It's not completely all done 'in their hands' but it must read stronger than riffling yourself?
Any other ideas. I'd love to do this for laypeople
:)
Message: Posted by: Magicsquared (Apr 7, 2008 03:58PM)
If you want a standing pseudo-riffle shuffle that's done (in part) by the spectator, give them half the deck and you keep the other half. Both of you hold your halves in a biddle style grip and push the ends into each other.

It's not pretty, in fact it's somewhat clumsy looking, but I think that's a plus -- and it works just fine.
Message: Posted by: dmoses (May 30, 2008 06:27PM)
I had a chance to see ben perform some of the stuff off this DVD live.
And it's even more amazing in person. Effortless. And his false riffle shuffle was simply unbelievable.
I love this DVD, I perform Ramjollit all the time. A pleasure to perform... but most of the other stuff is going to take a loooooooong time to get down.

Highly recommended for immediate to advanced card guys.
Message: Posted by: Amiable (May 30, 2008 07:05PM)
I concur with the sentiments that Ben Earl is one helluva cardman, and the [i]Grey Shuffle[/i] is one helluva shuffle in his hands. On that note, I've been watching the segment over-and-over, but the cards just doesn't unweave cleanly in my hands while bridged - and it becomes a very real-looking shuffle because it ended up being one :(

If anyone have hints or tips for how this could be done (or where I could find hints/tips for this), please PM me!
Message: Posted by: Tyler (Jun 2, 2008 01:38PM)
Having the same problem Amiable. Love the DVDs and was very pleased with my purchase but I guess I need to keep working on my card work....as usual!

Mike
Message: Posted by: Amiable (Jun 2, 2008 07:52PM)
[i]Tyler[/i]: I've made some head-way over the last few days. Unweaving by rotation around thumbs, like an opposite-sense-Zarrow, works better than pulling (which is what I was doing). Doesn't mean I can do it well still, but I've learnt to accept that progress is always incremental :)
Message: Posted by: Marc Spelmann (Jun 2, 2008 08:26PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-30 20:05, Amiable wrote:
I concur with the sentiments that Ben Earl is one helluva cardman, and the [i]Grey Shuffle[/i] is one helluva shuffle in his hands. On that note, I've been watching the segment over-and-over, but the cards just doesn't unweave cleanly in my hands while bridged - and it becomes a very real-looking shuffle because it ended up being one :(

If anyone have hints or tips for how this could be done (or where I could find hints/tips for this), please PM me!
[/quote]

On my original DVD set I perform a false shuffle (Independently created) that is after chatting with Ben almost identical to the Grey Shuffle. I learnt mine via my interpretation of what I thought Lennart Green was doing back in the early 1990's which is exactly the same as with Ben.

The only tip I can offer is that you have to keep doing it again and again, I know that doesn't help loads but it's the truth. When I developed my shuffle the cards went all over the place, so I practiced day in day out over a chair where I could easily pick them up (which I had to do often).

It also helps if the cards you are using are soft, ie they have been broken in a bit, this helps with not cramping the hands up.

You can see my shuffle on my original 4 DVD set The Chapters of Marc Spelmann (Glimpse performance only)
I don;t teach it but it is virtually the same as Ben's creation.

You can also see me do it here on my updated release 'Glimpse 20/20' which is all about my peak card case.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH9aV3PXE1E

I actually do the shuffle twice..

Good thoughts

MS
Message: Posted by: Amiable (Jun 2, 2008 11:43PM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-02 21:26, Marc Spelmann wrote:

On my original DVD set I perform a false shuffle (Independently created) that is after chatting with Ben almost identical to the Grey Shuffle. I learnt mine via my interpretation of what I thought Lennart Green was doing back in the early 1990's which is exactly the same as with Ben.

The only tip I can offer is that you have to keep doing it again and again, I know that doesn't help loads but it's the truth. When I developed my shuffle the cards went all over the place, so I practiced day in day out over a chair where I could easily pick them up (which I had to do often).

It also helps if the cards you are using are soft, ie they have been broken in a bit, this helps with not cramping the hands up.

You can see my shuffle on my original 4 DVD set The Chapters of Marc Spelmann (Glimpse performance only)
I don;t teach it but it is virtually the same as Ben's creation.

You can also see me do it here on my updated release 'Glimpse 20/20' which is all about my peak card case.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH9aV3PXE1E

I actually do the shuffle twice..

Good thoughts

MS
[/quote]

Thanks Marc for the reply. I've learnt that you need a surface to catch the splattering cards long ago, and it's comforting to know I'm not the only one :P Man, after the one-handed faro I haven't had to drop the cards so frequently.

Tyler - I've PM'ed you abit more about some of what I (re-)discovered - it's verging on exposure otherwise.

Sorry everyone else for bringing this off topic!
Message: Posted by: Tyler (Jun 3, 2008 01:20PM)
I got your pm. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Andi Peters (Aug 2, 2008 03:11AM)
On his website Jerry Sadowitz gives Ben a good kicking for stealing his name a card triumph idea. Naughty, naughty, very naughty.
Message: Posted by: dafin77 (Aug 2, 2008 03:58PM)
I am loving this dvd set. One question though: I don't seem to have a navigation menu on Disk 1. On 2 and 3, I do. Is my disk defective? Eveything else about it seems fine.
Message: Posted by: Griff (Feb 20, 2009 11:21PM)
Hey all I got disc 2 (gambling and table magic) a week or so ago. I really do love this dvd. I just wanted to say that I tried the effect called "Sow the Lug" tonight as a lead in to a favorite poker deal and it worked GREAT. The original reviewer didn't like it much, but I now love it. The "magic" happens "at their hand" and totally fools (including my family...and they see a lot of stuff)! Just curious as to whether anyone else uses this. It actually leads in perfectly with my favorite Hold Em deal...and that gets me excited...
Griff
Message: Posted by: studentoflife (Mar 31, 2009 03:15AM)
Just curious... which effect from this set gave your audience the strongest reaction? :)
Message: Posted by: Korhan (Mar 31, 2009 04:53AM)
I got this set couple months ago and it is the best card magic set I got for last couple of years. So much good material and it's well tought.

I will also get Skin, Benjamin Earl is my one of top performers/teachers now..
Message: Posted by: Chris Jones (Mar 31, 2009 07:29AM)
Yep there is a tonne of great stuff on past Midnight. I recently got Ben's new magazine http://www.gambitmagazine.com/ which features all new material he has come up with, Its worth checking out if you are a fan, I thoroughly enjoyed issue 1.
Message: Posted by: Barry Donovan (Sep 21, 2009 05:11PM)
Got this today

watched the effects on disk 1 and half of disk 2 and my god its good
in fact its to good, cant wait to start learning it!
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Nov 21, 2009 07:52PM)
I heard this was out of print. any word on that?
Message: Posted by: Noel (Nov 21, 2009 08:06PM)
No it's not, Ben has them.
Message: Posted by: Caleb Wiles (Feb 8, 2011 07:35PM)
Benjamin Earl is a sleight-of-hand beast. I really enjoyed this DVD set. If you're interested, I just posted a video review of it on my blog: http://www.calebwilesmagic.com/?p=1242

Caleb

By the way, the video review format is new for me. Let me know if you have any comments on how I could make them better. PM or email me at caleb@calebwiles.com
Message: Posted by: Vishal Amlani (Sep 19, 2012 02:23AM)
Thank you for your wonderful review :) really helped
Message: Posted by: Russell Davidson (Sep 19, 2012 07:36AM)
Anyone want to buy my copy? I didn't like any of it.
Message: Posted by: kotrozo (Oct 12, 2012 11:12PM)
I recently purchased this and I love it so far, but... is it just my imagination or does he NOT explain how to do the 4D Discovery on disk 2. Easy enough to figure out (s*** **t), especially after watching him re-stack the cards during the performance, but, I would think would not necessary be obvious to a newer student of card magic. I'm assuming this was an oversight in the editing but has anyone else noticed this (or am *I* missing something?!?).

great dvd set though, absolutely fantastic from what I've seen so far.