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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Retro Magic: my review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

emyers99
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Inner circle
Columbus, Ohio
4164 Posts

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My lovely fiancee had just returned from seeing Phantom of the Opera after a night on the town to find that the mailman had delivered some new magic goodies to my door step. Retro Magic was one of the items. It's amazing that despite the fact that I have literally 60+ magic videos and dvds that I've amassed over the past 21 years, I still get excited when a new one arrives. I'm also lucky that I have a fiancee that loves magic because I can show her the performance sections of the dvd and get a real world reaction. Sometimes I disregard a trick because it doesn't fool me and this is a bad thing. That is why I like getting her reaction so I know what a real paying customer would think. That said, I'll go through all of the effects and for each, I will give my rating and my fiancee's rating so you can make an informed decision about this dvd. At the end, I will give my conclusions. (Preview of my conclusion: If you have to choose between this dvd or seeing Phantom of the Opera, I would definately see Phantom.)

Matchbook Time Machine: Magician shows a matchbook with 9 matches. He tears one out and proceeds to strip the match head off the match. Both sides are shown. With a waive, the match head returns. This match is lit, blown out and then vanished. Spectator opens match book and now there are 9 matches again but one is burnt. Magician takes matchbook and waives over it. When opened it is now a full matchbook with 20 matches. Nothing really new here. Just the old burnt and restored match trick with the minor addition of the match head portion. I'm sure this will play well for a lay audience but don't be expecting anything new here. My rating: 6; Fiancee rating: 5

Static Coins: Best trick on dvd by far. Magician shows a clear class and two coins. The silver coin is placed in the glass followed by a copper coin. The glass is swirled and the copper coin eventually ends up under the silver coin. The copper coin then seems to shrink until it completely melts through the bottom of the glass falling into the magicians hand. Everything can be examined. Ends clean. This is very easy and super visual. Probably the only thing from the dvd I will actually use. My rating 10; fiancee rating: 9. You will need to buy a prop if you don't already own one. Cost approx. $30.

Ciggie Penetration: Magician uses a spectator's shirt. Magician pushes some of the material into his fist and then pushes a lit cigarrette through the material. My fiancee liked this a lot. Nothing super new here. The production of the lit cigarette from under the shirt is nice (you will need to buy a prop but I'm sure it's fairly cheap.) My problem with this is that you basically have to stick your hand under someone's shirt. This is definately an invasion of personal space and as a lawyer, I shy away from this type of contact. My rating: 5; Fiancee rating: 7.5

Ghost Coin: Magician places copper coin in hand and closes hand into fist. Other hand reaches over and takes copper coin and places it into pocket. Fist is opened and copper coin has returned. This is repeated. Finally, copper coin changes instantly to silver coin which is handed out for examination. This is Alex's version of hopping halves and it will require you to spend about $50 if you don't already have the necessary props. Nothing major here. My fiancee figured out the first phase immediately but liked the ending. I'm sure the routine will play fairly well. My rating: 5.5; Fiancee rating: 7.

Tornado Coins: Magician places silk on table and throws 5 half dollars down. Coins are placed in a stack in magicians hand and instantly vanished only to reappear under the silk. Stack is picked up and thrown into other hand where the half dollars change instantly into quarters. Again, you will need to buy two special props for this if you don't already have them. Total cost approx. $40. This routine looked pretty good. My rating: 6; Fiancee rating: 4.

Hydrostatic cups: This was by far the worst routine on the tape. Very very impractical and totally unconvincing. My fiancee laughed out loud. Magician pours water from one styrofoam cup to another and then places the cups mouth to mouth. A big cloth is brought out and waived over the cups. The empty cup is taken away and the cup with water is levitated. In the end, the water disappears. As I said very impractical. The big cloth just looks stupid and while the cup does float, it is clear that it is empty. You will need to buy a prop for this as well. Approx. $30-$50. The method will make you laugh. Stay away from this one. My rating: 1; Fiancee rating: 2

Currency Shift. I have no idea how this made it onto the dvd. Nothing but a dealer show here. Pen thru bill followed by a bill switch to a mismade bill. Nothing original at all. You will need to buy two props if you don't already have them (pen and mismade bill). That said, the routine does look good and will play well but you don't need to buy the dvd to learn it. Originality rating: 0 As for how it will play, my rating: 7; fiancee rating: 8.

Jumping Jumbos: Again, you will need to buy a fairly expensive prop for this. Basically, magician vanishes a coin three times and produces it from his elbow, knee and from under his arm. At the end, magician waives his hand and coin changes to a jumbo coin which is then split. First part of routine is just basic sleights. The jumbo coins add slightly but can be done with sleight of hand instead of purchasing an expensive gimmick. Kids will like this routine but again, you don't need to buy the dvd to learn this one. My rating: 4; Fiancee rating: 5.

Buttercoin: Alex demonstrates his Buttercoin which is a very nice coin that allows for a very clean vanish of a coin and a nice bitten coin sequence. He demos a mini misers dream routine with the coin which includes the super clean vanish and the bitten coin sequence. Again though, you will need to buy the Buttercoin. My rating: 8; fiancee rating: 8.

Mirror move: magician borrows a quarter and then rubs it between his thumbs until if visibly streches. The mirror move is Alex's move to show a streched coin as a normal coin several times before streching it. The move looks very nice and I can see Blaine doing this one. You will need to buy a streched coin. My rating: 8; fiancee rating: 7.5.

Bonus routine: Magician lets spectator shuffle deck and then proceeds to produce the four aces. This is just a basic four ace production. Nothing new here. Just combines a bunch of normal sleights. My rating: 4; Fiancee rating: 5

Quickies: Alex demos a bunch of effects he sells in the shop including Vox Box, Color Changing Lighter, Cut and Restored Rope, and Hover Card. Nothing new here at all. Just basic handlings of dealer items. After seeing this section, my fiancee blurted out, "Heck if this guy can put out a dvd, you could definately put out a dvd."

Drop Bag: The dvd also contains a slide show that shows you how to make a drop bag which is basically a servante that hangs below the table. Alex uses this in several routines.

Bottom line: I was very disappointed in this dvd. Even the bikini girls didn't do anthing to change my mind. Alex explains everythin well and the sound and lighting are perfect, but other than that, there is not much to brag about. Static coins and possibly the Mirror move will be used by most everyone but that does not justify charging $40 for a dvd which is basically nothing but a glorified dealer show. For every routine on the dvd with the exception of 3 items, you will need to purchase one or two props that will cost between $30 and $50. To me, this is just wrong, especially considering that there is very little originality to any of the routines. The quickies section is just ridiculous. He tips the methods to several marketed effects and that's about it. No original handlings.

I can see Mike Close's review of this dvd now. I hope this review helps you make an informed decision about this dvd.
ClouDsss
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Inner circle
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Great review. its betta then the previous thread where people jus post that they hate it or love it and then argue amongst themselves and get offensive.

as stated in the other thread on this dvd, it was only average to me and I dint really appreciate the fact that I was charged higher for the dvd by my local store due to the face that its a 2 dvd set.

the bikini girls were not really required other than to hype up the dvd. it would be better if he performed in front of the girls at a pub rather than in the setting shown in the dvd. I was kinda confused when he make the clothes disappear LOL. was it really necessary?

IMO he really only needed 1 dvd instead of the 2 to hold his explanations and etc.

thanks again emyers99 for this wonderful review

cheerios
Think outside the box, cos people are all thinking inside now!! - ClouDsss
emyers99
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Inner circle
Columbus, Ohio
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I definately agree. There was no need for 2 dvds. All material could have very easily fit on one dvd. Just more marketing hype I suppose. Glad you liked the review. I actually had to type it twice because my power went out just as I was getting ready to submit it the first time.
Turk
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Inner circle
Portland, OR
3545 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-01-23 23:40, emyers99 wrote:

***

I actually had to type it twice because my power went out just as I was getting ready to submit it the first time.


Emyers99,

Thanks for the excellent review. That took a long time and was well thought-out.

As to your loss of data, I've "been there; done that". (grin) After having similar things happen to me, I have taken to doing either or both of the following precautionary things when I am typing a long review:

1. Constantly I'm "highlighting the existing text" (Ctrl-A), then "cutting" it (Ctrl-C) and then "pasting" it into a temporary Word document (Ctrl-V) and then saving the Word document as "Magic_temp" or some other file name which is easily found and whcih can be easily deleted later on, or,

2. I do a "highlight text" (Ctrl-A) and then a "cut" (Ctrl-C) of the text just before I upload it to a site like The Magic Café. And then, if things go wrong (like I inadvertantly go to another page and lose my typed text upon my return to the page I was working on), I merely do a "paste" (Ctrl-V) in the area where I had been typing--AND--the text is restored/replaced on the page.

I find these precautions especially useful when filling out tech support complaint form and then inadvertantly hitting the wrong key, going to the wrong page and, upon retunr to the previous page, discovering that all of my long note has been wiped out. GRRR!!

Anyway, hope this tip helps in the future.

Mike
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
emyers99
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Inner circle
Columbus, Ohio
4164 Posts

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Thanks for the tips Mike. I will definately do that in the future. It was definately a depressing moment.
calexa
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Germany
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Hi, thanks for the review. What is the sense of a DVD with magic effects, when you need to buy a lot of props to perform the tricks shown on the DVD????

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
emyers99
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Inner circle
Columbus, Ohio
4164 Posts

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That was my main gripe. It didn't hit me until I watched the dvd a third time. Then I realized nearly every trick requires at least one prop. I'm not saying that I'm against buying props (heck most of us probably have many of the props used) but I have to put my foot down when it's just one dealer add after another. The quickies section is the worst. Watching that section, you know the true motivation behind putting out this dvd. Nothing new in the way of presentations is given. Just an add for stuff he sells in the shop. I really hope Mike Close reviews this.
stevenamills
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Veteran user
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Did anyone else find the navigation on DVD #2 virtually impossible. I could never get back to the menu after an explanation.

I also concur that this is merely a dealer demo with insufficient warning before purchase.

Later.....
Steve
emyers99
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Inner circle
Columbus, Ohio
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Yes, I had the same problem with the menu.

regarding the material, I do have to say the static coins is quite striking and will no doubt get killer reactions.
Mr_Nutkins
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59 Posts

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I bought this and wished I hadn't! A complete and utter waste of time and money.

I'm sorry to sound harsh but this is probably the worst DVD I have ever bought.
And I include "Riverdance Live" which I bought for my mum's birthday!
Tel
emyers99
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Inner circle
Columbus, Ohio
4164 Posts

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At least Riverdance has good music and pyro. Even the bikinis couldn't save this dvd. That says a lot.
ewizardmagic
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Regular user
Ohio
117 Posts

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I recieved this and didn't like it at all. I'd rate it 2 out of 5.

Jason
"Never argue with an idiot...those who are watching may not be able to tell the difference..."

"skusslechea"
-psalms 35


Jason

http://www.ewizardmagic.com
Zombie Magic
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Inner circle
I went out for a beer and now have
8737 Posts

Profile of Zombie Magic
Almost ordered it today. Glad I read the reviews. THANK YOU!
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