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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Criss Angel Mindfreak episodes: "Sawing" & "Water Walking" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Randwill
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If a trick RELIES on actors posing as assistants and spectators and RELIES on video tape assembled to simulate a real-time event, is it a "magic performance" as you define the term?
TrevorH
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Hey, here we go with another Criss Angel topic since the show just went off air 15 mins ago or so. Let us try and keep the bashing down in this topic, unlike the first episode topic where people went into jealous replies about how is was Criss and not them on TV; so they felt they had to rip him apart, but as said by a lot of people and also Criss said it, you are not the one making up the new ideas and methods with today's advancements so don't be so fast to judge or try and label it.

I saw it and have heard various ideas so far talking to friends and in a few other forums, and from what I saw the water walking looked good because Criss had great balance when he moved his feet from one invisible pole sticking up out of the pool to another very well without being shaky, a bit slow but he needed to be not to mess the illusion up since I think he had about the size a OK sign made with your fingers to work with. I like the way Criss has studies humanity and how he has learned to trick peoples minds useing other people and common traits to do it, and the fact he had people in the water all around him and even the person who seemed to swim directly under him will help sell the technique even more so for better ratings. Just a few thoughts, hope to hear what everyone else though post away!
kirkmax
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Doesn't the whole point of sawing in half include putting yourself back together.

DC had to be laughing at that performance.

It's pretty sad that I find myself tuning in to this show to laugh at how badly CA misrepresents what he does.

I also loved how the two camera views in the water walk screamed multiple methods. And it wouldn't bother me nearly as much if I didn't have to watch five people tell how he's doing this in front of "random" people in a public pool.

Magician of the year? Honestly.
PAN
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Is the necessity to do the camera edits and stooges to accomplish this kind of reaction from our special effects exposed population?

I love parts of the show, but when you see something amazing, then see an obvious use of camera tricks and/or stooges, it diminishes the awe of the better stuff.

For example, he put two tables together, had two or three people examine the table, borrows a towel, and then vanishes off of the table tops. Great, visual, wonderful. At least edit out the wiggle of the mirror when he jumps behind it.
Ryan Price
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I liked the shows. Im not gonna bash him for the little flaws in the show. I however will say that every time he said that a trick like this has never been performed (the sawing) before. I would scream out "what about Copperfeild"?.
Khopri
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I said this in the previous thread and I will say it again.

Given the opportunity to have a nationally televised show, wouldn't you use whatever means available to achieve the effect?

Consider the target audience. It isn't for the people standing around on the set. Its for the people watching from a very fixed perspective in front of their television sets.

There were a couple of illusions that I thought looked flawless. Of course, we can tear them all apart with a variety of excuses (it was dark, the shadows didn't match, stooges, etc) but for the layman at home, it was pretty *** impressive.

However, I would like to see Criss use less camera tricks to acheive the illusions, though. The torn and restored bill in the sawing in half episode was great, but the jump cut killed it.
Randwill
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I was reviewing it again. Do I understand him to say he saw Richardi do his Sawing-in-Half when he (Criss) was 14 years-old? Criss Angel must be older than he looks.

I also had to laugh at some of Angel's dialog about his own sawing illusion. Is it really a good idea to elaborate on how much work went into perfecting the construction of the aparatus? Wouldn't you want laypeople to believe that the table was just a table?

I also thought about David Copperfield watching the show, taking a sip of coffee just as the guy says something about "no other magician has ever done it this way before", then SPIT TAKE! Okay, okay, Copperfield lays on his stomach. That's different.
Alex Linian
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Copperfield's is better. It is a performance.
He builds a puzzle in front of you... and then he shows it to you. He even invites you to figure out the puzzle: "I Blur the line between reality and illusion"

That's what's wrong with the show.

And that's all I'll say about the subject.

Alex
NFox
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Quote:
On 2006-06-08 01:01, Randwill wrote:
I was reviewing it again. Do I understand him to say he saw Richardi do his Sawing-in-Half when he (Criss) was 14 years-old? Criss Angel must be older than he looks.
...
I also thought about David Copperfield watching the show, taking a sip of coffee just as the guy says something about "no other magician has ever done it this way before", then SPIT TAKE! Okay, okay, Copperfield lays on his stomach. That's different.


As I hear it, Criss was born December 19, 1967. He and his team don't seem to like that information being out in the open...so if someone finds fault with my posting it here, please have it removed. I don't want to step on toes. He would have been 14 in 1981, so draw your own conclusions about Richiardi.

His sawing illusion is completely different than Copperfield's Death Saw, but is is by no means new. Sigfried and Roy performed it (as did others). It was not created, nor is is original to Criss. I'm probably completely wrong on this but I think I remember hearing that it was designed by Ken Whitaker. Giving the "back story" on the illusion probably adds a personal touch for the lay audience, but for me I felt like screaming at my screen (I didn't Smile )

I Love what Criss is doing (Stylistically and for magic in general), but the only REAL complaint I have is two-fold: 1) His over-reliance on camera tricks for effects that could be accomplished without, and 2) Almost none of his illusions have any logical ending (I.E. He never restored himself, or his "volunteer," after he vanished from the tables, he just appears back on screen without any explanation as to where he just came from). To me though, those are problems that can be worked through easily.

Nick Fox
"Obscuring Reality"- Gone but not forgotten...

FoxIllusions.com
G.Gilbert
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I've never said anything negative about Criss.. I just can't. He is an amazing preformer. If he wasn't then I trust Lance Burton, Steve Banachek, etc. would NOT be supporting him... I'm a magician/hobbyist but when I watch Criss Angel, I don't even care how he achives the effect. I don't care if he uses camera tricks. I just don't. It's not a puzzle to me, I just enjoy it... Because I know what I saw... I saw Criss float from the top of one building to the top of another. It was on TV, but so what... I SAW it. It inspires me, and infleuences me to come up with my own effects BY ANY MEANS. All I have to say is please don't be mad because he is the one inspiring people like me, and you are not.

Also: As a magician, you have to work with what you have. People need to realize that Criss Angels style/preformance/etc works for him BECAUSE HE HAS HIS OWN TV SPECIAL. Don't hate him for it.
Joey Stalin
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Death Saw. That is one of the first things that I was thinking when they said that nobody has done it like this before. It is little things like that which make me feel aggravated. Just like him saying he doesn't do anything that cannot be done unless impromptu, then some jump cuts in the next scene. Another example is the immaturity of his levitation episode keeping in a line like "David Blaine should kiss this guys ass" or something along those lines. That just isn't professional.

I liked the torn and restored bill it would have been better if the one guys hands hadn't gone out of camera view. And all I could think during the effect with the mirror was "What? Does he think he is Cyril now?"

Really I do not see the point in taking stage effects and turning them into a pseudo-street magic.
-A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
-It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
-The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.

See you space cowboy...
kregg
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The Sawing episode was the first time that I actually sat down and watched an entire episode of magic on television. Other than the fact that they bleeped him twice for saying sh*t, the show wasn't too shabby.
The fence impaled was really cool, well presented by any means. Though I still prefer live over taped magic a million to one.
POOF!
jimhlou
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I think Criss does a pretty good job. The film editing does bother me a little, but I guess that's necessary in TV. The editing in the buzz saw is perfect - you would swear that you saw Criss from every angle - but you never see his torso area. It's either facing away from the camera or blocked by the blade itself. Watch it a couple of times in slow motion.

Regarding Trevor's comment about walking on water, I had to chuckle when the girl swims between the gimmicks, and then, instead of being amazed by what Criss is doing, she dips her head back in the water like "I did pretty good!"

I also agree with Pan on the outdoor table vanish - something just rubs me wrong about having everything examined, and then stopping the camera and inserting a mirror.

All in all though, an entertaining show.

That's my two cents.

Jim
Bill Nuvo
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NFox brings up a good point. Sawing and the Vanishes were missing the typical endings. I know I was waiting during the street vanish as was the crowd chanting "where's the girl! Bring her back!".

Although I enjoyed this season so far (with the exception of the motorcycle vanish and the park bench sawing), there does seem to be that lack of due process.
This is what makes Copperfield's Death Saw my favourite illusion. There is a conflict/problem (an escape) and the magician tries to solve that conflict (by escaping). Another conflict arises (doesn't escape and gets cut in half). Now problem to solve. Reverses time (solution) and restores everything.

The problem with most or our art is in spectators already having expectations of what we will do. We can use this to our advantage and provide a different path then is expected and that can make for a great performance.

As soon as you explain that you are going to saw someone/yourself in half, people already know what's going to happen. It's like giving away "who dunnit" in a mystery. Unless you can make the journey to that give away an interesting one, you will lose out.

So, Criss has present some illusions with just a problem and hasn't provided a solution.

But he also provided others with the solution too. Building to Building levitation, Burned alive, barrel escape...

I loved the walking on water. It looked really good. Really really good and I think it was present really well too.

Those stating about different methods in different shots for effects reminded me of something Walt Disney once said about Mary Poppins. The used differnt methods to make her fly in filming. The reason was to confuse the audience by disproving all known methods and therefore making it even more amazing.
Bosco J.
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I was struggling frantically to remember the exact date. Richiardi's image brought back some long forgotten memories of my own early introduction to the art of magic. Madison Square Garden, 1981. Boy...if Criss Angel was 14, then I must have only been an 11 year old pip-squeak. We might have been at the same show!

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.ht......67948260

After the grand sawing finale, Richiardi graciously invited all from the audience in the Garden on stage for a close up inspection. His assistant on the table with the giant saw deeply embedded through her bloody body. Motionless, "lifeless", never "revived" or restored. It was a profound ending. I recall asking for his autograph on stage and he'd replied "Ok...but it's going to be a little bloody..."

Some things just stick with you from childhood.


Bosco
lodidodi69
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Honestly I enjoyed the whole show. Every trick was good. Too bad Mindfake uses the stooges and ****. I think people have to try and distinguish what street magic is from the stage. What Mindfake does is really just stage magic. He doesn't do sreet magic at all, although it looks like it. This is because all of Mindfake's stuff only takes place at the Aladdin or that same stupid Park like in the first season. These are locations where the enviorment has already been tampered with and are controlled sets.
The only time I really remember an illusion on the streets of Las Vegas away from the Aladdin was where he made the girl dissappear with the audience all around a barracaded fence. This is exactly what happens in a stage show. A few spectators are called up to serve as witnesses for an entire audience. There's nothing wrong with that but that's just clearly a stage show. Not street magic. All his stuff is done in the Aladdin and that park, and that's it. It's liek a stage or something. I am amazed by the tricks, but even the building to building levitation, if you look carefully it does seem as if it were a closed set or like for a movie shoot or something. *** you Mindfake you r gooood!!!! But don't cheat. I would rather have seen McBride do the Card Manipulations as oppossed to Burton. BUt Burton did a good job as well.

PS. Mirror trick..with money...he only had $51 dollars....did an Elmsley count to make it look like $101...hehe jsut kidding
lodidodi69
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Also I think you might have heard wrong Randwill. Angel said Richiardi's "daughter" was 14 years old when he did that sawing in half trick on her, not him. But that's ok we still have to try and hate him cuz so many people like him. But I really can't hate the guy he's just trying to make it in life, and there is no way I can hate another magician, it's in our code to help each other out.
TwistedMindMajik
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Here's an idea, if you don't like what Criss does, STOP WATCHING HIS SHOW!! I watch EVERY show he has, and I enjoy EVERYONE of them. Here's how, I don't try to figure out his methoods, I watch his show and he entertains me! That is what matters! Sure I can figure out most of his methoods, but who cares! He is a great entertainer!

It dosen't matter how good you think you are if you are not entertaining to your audiance.

No stop all the whinning, either watch the show and enjoy it for what it is...ENTERTAINMENT, or turn the channel and watch something else!
...did you see that?
Magic Spank
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Criss didn't say Richiardi's daughter was 14, he said he was. At least that's what I heard.

Of course the story is for show.

Criss Angel is over 40, he couldn't have been born in 1967.

Just a thought... It is possible that Criss Angel sucks, and it's not a mass jealousy issue.

It is also possible that David Blaine sucks and those who bash him are 100% right. Being the best doesn't have to mean you are any good at all. Just better than anyone else out there.

Also, Critics don't have to be better than the performer they are criticizing. And that doesn't make their criticism any less legitimate.


Rob
Magic Spank
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Just a quick correction...

Criss Angel isn't over 40.


He's just over.

HO HO!


Rob

PS. I actually did enjoy watching the special last night, even if it's just for giggles.

I enjoyed magic on TV much more when they didn't cut away. That made it more exciting and it was actually a challenge then to see if you could figure it out. This just isn't as fun.
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