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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Howard Hamburg Sessions DVD - A review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of magicphill
Received this yesterday so I thought I'd give it a little review

First of all I have to say brilliant service from the Magic Apple. I live in the UK and only ordered this at the end of last week but was surprised to see it turn up yesterday.

The DVD is well shot in High definition with easy to navigate menu and presented as an informal session with other magicians. Unlike some other DVD's with over the top audience members it was refreshing to just see fellow magicians watching in awe as they are fried. I have tried to review each trick by explaining the effect and the difficulty to performing the effect using the scale 1/5 self working and 5/5 advanced sleight of hand.

Hidden Prediction - For those who do not already own Howard's D Notes this is a great little effect which if desired can happen completely in the spectators hands. The magician searches his pockets for a deck of cards bringing out a collection of items as he does so keys,mobile phone,coins. He asks the spectator to count 20 cards from the deck and allows them to cut and riffle shuffle as desired before dealing into 4 piles. The spectator is requested to pick any pile which is a genuine free choice and asked to count the values of the cards selected. Surprisingly the total value just so happens to equal the amount of spare change the magician placed on the table at the start.

The trick relies on a well known mathematical principle and there is a set up involved but the magician never needs to handle the cards and makes this so clean. Howard even add's an additional coin trick which can be used as an intro to the effect. Overall this is a trick you will use 1/5

Clipped - Again another effect that some will already be familiar with if they own the D notes. The effect starts with a simple ambitious card routine with the top card of the deck before the magician asks the spectator to freely select a card which can be signed. The magician makes the card even more noticeable by placing a paperclip on it before losing it in the centre of the deck. The magician once again shows his card at the top of the deck but quick as a flash the spectators card rises to the top with the paperclip still attached. The spectators card is then given to them to hold in the palm of the hands and the magician claims to have made his own card turn face down. He spreads through the deck searching for his card before announcing its face down in your hands where upon the spectator finds the cards have switched places.

Unlike some transposition effects this is not technically demanding and just utilises some basic moves. The kicker at the end lifts what would otherwise be a standard ambitious card routine and to the spectator the card with the paperclip never leaves their sight. Again a worker that can be done on the fly with a borrowed shuffled deck. 2/5

Ace 2,3,4 - Rather than describe the effect check out the video below

When I first watched this I was fried and thought there must either be gaffs or it would involve tricky sleight of hand but alas neither. I managed to be able to do this within 10 minutes of seeing the explanation although you would obviously need to practice more to get it perfected. The trick uses basic moves that anyone should be able to master quickly and would certainly perform this on a regular basis 2/5

Rising Card - A spectators card mysteriously rises from the middle of the deck whilst in the card box. Sounds a pretty standard affair however both the deck and box are normal and can be examined straight after the effect.

You will smile at the simplicity of this trick and the added subtleties which convince the spectator the card is really lost in the centre of the deck when it's under your complete control. Infact the only move used is a double undercut 2/5

Magic Con Revelation - Whilst the magician's back is turned a spectator removes a group of cards from a ribbon spread deck and counts them to himself. The spectator counts down in the deck and remembers the card that falls at this secret number before shuffling and cutting the cards as many times as they want. The magician then takes the deck back and upon cutting reveals the suit of the card then cuts to another to reveal the value.

This is essentially a very simple trick that involves no set up and can be done with a borrowed shuffled deck. On first thoughts you think the method is completely see through but with the correct patter and time delay at the appropriate moment this will fry laymen and magicians 1/5

Mystery Card - Two face up kings with a mystery card beween them are placed on the table. The spectator is told there will be a similarity between their freely chosen card and the mystery card. The spectator selects a card which is lost in the deck. The spectator removes the mystery card from the table and when they turn the card over it is found to be their card. It can even be signed.

This is the only trick on the DVD that involves real sleight of hand however with practice I would think anyone with intermediate card skills and a bit of practice should be able to do. There are some nice subtleties which help sell the illusion. 4/5

19 - The cards are shuffled by the specatator who then cuts them into two roughly equal packets and counts the card in either half. The spectator is asked to add the 2 digits to get a new number and remember the card that falls at that number and assemble the deck. The magician cuts the deck and the card cut to is spelled out one card for each letter. Surpringsly the last card is the spectators card.

This is I suspect a very old mathematical effect but I have not come across it before. It will surprise you when you first understand the method and definately has the ability to fool other magicians. Despite this it is probably the only trick on the DVD that I probably wouldn't perform only due to its seemingly obvious mathematical nature. I tend to dislike any tricks where you have to get the spectator to arrive at a number then add the digits together. On the plus side tho it is completely self working and can be done with a borrowed deck 1/5

Mystical 13 - This is a performance only trick as it sells seperately however check out the video below for an idea of what it's like

In addition to the above effects there is a nice interlude where Howard tells the story of how his lecture notes came to be called the D notes remembering how Dai Vernon his mentor used to mispronounce his name. If you buy the special edition you will also get an additional DVD with two more tricks which if are as good as the ones already included here your in for a treat.
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Profile of magicphill
In my haste to post a review I actually forgot another trick on the standard edition DVD

Wavy Brain - This is Howard's take on the brainwave trick where a spectator freely selects a card from a packet on the table and it is found to be the only card with a different back. There are some nice subtleties here which sell the trick. It doesn't use any gaffs and only one move which if you don't know already it's very easy to do 1/5
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Profile of TCG438
Nice review Phill, thank you.
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Inner circle
Olympia, WA
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Profile of Blindside785
Hidden Prediction and Clipped are my favorites.
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Profile of oscarf
I think Mystery Card is my favorite. I have floored some friends who are all too used to my kind of stuff. I learned something from Howard's meticulous presentation, as though to say, "let's review closely, so there's no confusion" - that approach works with this trick and effortlessly focuses the spectators on all the wrong things, throughly taking the heat off of the action. I love this one!
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Profile of Agaton
Howard is a kind soul. He even signed a copy for me since I requested for's not even the special edition.

Aside from the effects printed on his previous notes, I like the 19th card and Magic Con Revelation...something I can fool magic buddies and spectators with. It's very clean adn very impromptu.

Ace-2-3-4 is something I'm obsessed with but haven't tested the angles for the Veeser count.

Thanks for a wondeful DVD with effects that are workable and easy to do. I recommend it!
Magic Midnight
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Profile of Magic Midnight
Just picked up this DVD. It has some nice effects. My favorite right now is Clipped. The setting of the DVD is nice since it was filmed with some of Howard's friends. I am fairly new to magic and some of the methods used required some research on my part.

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Profile of boinko
Just received this. Holy smokes -- this is good stuff. Fantastic stuff.

Hidden Prediction is my favorite. I also went ahead bought Howard's 'Mystical 13'. Very nice. Great DVD, great tricks.
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Inner circle
Atlanta by way of Detroit
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Profile of motown
I really enjoyed this DVD, I just wish the music had been lower during the explanations.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
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Profile of magician102
Howard is a close and dear friend, and I've been fortunate to spend many hours with him. I can't recommend this DVD enough. It's chock-full of stories and powerful magic that will destroy laymen.

Thanks for the complete review.
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Profile of donny
I liked the "magic history" stories, but as the hobbyist, on the work/payoff material ratio, I found these effects as more "cerebral stunners" than visual "awesome"...more college intellectual than teenage fun. I was disappointed. I won't use anything.
It's not their senses that mislead, it's their assumptions.
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