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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Magic Magazine Reviews Spelmann DVD (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bennettjc
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I haven't read Close's review in its entirety but he basically says the DVDs are not worthwhile.
scott b.
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Ummmmmm, I'm sure if we want to know the whole review we will get the dvds. Plus, I never go with one mans view on something when buying it. If they look good (and they do) I would considering buying them. Plus its Michael Close who is a well known magician, and compare that to working Mentalists like Larry Becker and Banachek who said these are worthwhile I would reasonably consider buying the dvds.
Thanks! Scott B.

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Murfmind
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I find Mike Close to be pretty accurate with his reviews and his reviews of these videos wasn't pretty. I would like to hear from someone who has bought these and what they think. Murf

Just an added comment, Mike Close gives high regard to Becker, Osterlind, Banachek and Max Maven so I think he knows a good mentalist when he sees one. Murf
scott b.
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Quote:
On 2004-12-27 18:45, Murfmind wrote:
I find Mike Close to be pretty accurate with his reviews and his reviews of these videos wasn't pretty. I would like to hear from someone who has bought these and what they think. Murf


Well the main point I try to make about it is that yes, I agree that Michael Close tends to be accurate about his reviews (though I think I would want a full blown mentalist to review items like this) but its only 1 mans opinion. Just because he doesn't like it or give it high reguards, doesn't mean that you wont. Different strokes for Different folks.
Thanks! Scott B.

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Dave1216
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You should look at a reviewer and base your decisions on how well his opinions match your own. For example, Michael Close and I tend to like the same products.....threfore, I put more weight on his reviews.

But that is just my personal opinion. As they say..."To each his own"
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Ken Dyne
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I love Michael Close material also and often agree with his views, however he did slate Building Blocks and I got a quite a bit from it, as well as Spellman's DVDs which I also liked a great deal and got a lot of useful stuff from.

I would go with "each to their own" and say you must check them out for yourself as I truly think you would get something out of them. I know that a fe wof my more recent ideas have come from springboarding off Spellman's DVD set.

Only my opinion though,

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Dark Thought 13
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I haven't read the review in full either but must agree with Kennedy on this one, Luke Jermey was ripped to pieces by Close yet his work has some valied use. I don't think kids magic should be reviewed by card magicians, or illusions reviewed by mentalists. I for one really didn't care for the Pot Hole effect but that is because I'd never do it, for Close it is a reputation maker.
My personal experience of the Spellman DVDs is if you are not a professional performer with the ability to perform in stand up situations then the dvds are not for you, except maybe disc 4, if however you do perform in these settings the dvds are more valueable then ETMMM or Mind Mysteries at least to me they are as the routines I have taken on play much bigger for the audience as a whole. ETMMM are great dvds but again I would only use two or three effects from them the same as I would from the Spellmans.

Just my opinion having purchased all of the above DVDs..
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Bennettjc
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Dark Thought 13:
For what it is worth...Swiss (a card magician) gave a glowing review to David Kaye's book on children's magic. If you have a chance to read the review you might appreciate the value of a reviewer reviewing something slightly out of their usual realm of performance.

Also..some of the best reviewers (Roger Ebert etc) are not practioners of the art they professionally review.

Respeck!
Bennett
christopher carter
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Quote:
On 2004-12-28 10:11, Bennettjc wrote:

Also..some of the best reviewers (Roger Ebert etc) are not practioners of the art they professionally review.

Respeck!
Bennett



A very good point. However, in general I have been disappointed in Mike Close's reviews of mentalism materials. For example, he gave a negative review of Peek Performances, which is on my list of ten best mentalism books ever written. His review of Luke's Building Blocks was a mixed bag. Some of it hit the mark, some of it was way off.

My feeling is that Close doesn't have a very good insight into what sort of things a mentalist can play, or how to pull off suggestion based effects. His perspective seems to me to be that of a magician, which would make his review valuable to the many magicians starting to take up mentalism, but wouldn't do much to encourage them to view the craft from a fresh perspective.

It's very important for readers to understand that there is simply no such thing as an unbiased or perfect reviewer. We need to weigh their opinions against our own and not treat a review as a definitive statement about a product.

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oxygen
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I really liked Marc Spelmann DVD set and I really think that everyone could get something from them.
If the effects don't suit you like they are perform on the dvds, I'm pretty sure you'll get at least some food for your own creativity.
I got really inspired by many of Marc's ideas.
landmark
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Close's review was pretty brutal. But he clearly stated his reasons for his opinion, backing it up with examples from the DVDs. I think that is the most useful and ethical kind of reviewer, even if you don't agree with him.

Also, in the same set of reviews he gives a very favorable review of Bob Cassidy's latest compilation. In fact, he even uses some of Cassidy's words to explain his dislike of the Spelmann material. I haven't seen the DVDs, but if Close's description of the plots are accurate, some of the plots sure seem indirect.

But if people found inspiration there, I suppose that's a good thing. Expensive though.


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christopher carter
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Quote:
On 2004-12-28 10:59, landmark wrote:
I think that is the most useful and ethical kind of reviewer, even if you don't agree with him.



Quite right. I'm interested in reading it.

--Chris
MentaThought
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Quote:
On 2004-12-28 10:40, christopher carter wrote:

A very good point. However, in general I have been disappointed in Mike Close's reviews of mentalism materials.



I've not seen the Spelmann DVD's yet (very much looking forward to doing so, though) and for all I know Close makes some legitimate criticisms of the set.
However, I would like to point out that, if I recall correctly (by all means, correct me if I'm mistaken), Close gave a rave review to Killer Red Caps, an effect which must be one of the most notorious in recent memory.
Again, "to each his own" seems to be the operative principle.
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Murfmind
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Thanks all for the input. Murf
Gianni
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I read the review and have the DVDs.

Close's reviews are the first thing I turn to in Magic. I look forward to them. I also have his CD of 7 years or so of his reviews, and I really enjoy that.

Having said how much I enjoy Close's reviews, I think he was off-base and far too negative in his review of the Spelmann DVDs. I enjoyed the DVDs, and thought they were very worthwhile. I think valid criticisms could address the price, the number of CDS, etc., but overall, I think these are thumbs up CDs. How they managed to get such a brutal review is beyond me.

I had the feeling with this review that had Spelmann been a known performer, the review would have been less invective. I had the feeling that due to Spelmann's age, his distance, and his relative obscurity Mike Close went for the throat. I have seen MANY reviews of products that I thought were mundane (even trash) but put out by more revered magicians, and the reviews were gentle even when the product was panned. I have rarely seen Mike Close be so forceful in stating his dislike for a product. And this product does not deserve such a punishing review. It is, overall, a solid product.

And I'm sorry MentaThought beat me to it, but I still reel from Mike Close's review of Killer Red Caps. It was an over the top, "I'm sorry the world is able to get this item" review for an utter piece of garbage.

Bottom line: I suppose every reviewer has their moments when they take to the extremes. I think this is one of those moments for Michael Close.

Gianni
Stefan Behrens
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Hi Gianni,

Great review, I have the Spellman DVD´s too, and I think they are worth the money.
Maybe Michael Close has a "bad day".

Stefan Behrens
Bennettjc
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Gianni:
Nice post and an interesting theory.

Has Close ever given a really harsh review to a product by a well-known active performer? If my recall is correct he once was really critical of a Karrell Fox vid but Fox had passed away by the time the review was written.

Cheers
scott b.
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Quote:
On 2004-12-29 08:43, Bennettjc wrote:
Has Close ever given a really harsh review to a product by a well-known active performer? If my recall is correct he once was really critical of a Karrell Fox vid but Fox had passed away by the time the review was written.

Cheers


From what I understand he gave Luke Jermay (I believe) a pretty harsh review.
Thanks! Scott B.

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Matt Andrews
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OK, I haven't read Michael Close's review, but I have Marc Spelmann's DVDs as well as Michael Closes Ultimate Workers DVDs.

For me, one of the major "problems" of Marc DVDs is the audience participation. Because of the way it was filmed, you hardly see or hear the audience respond to the effects (in contrary to Richard Osterlind's DVDs, where the audience is there to see all the time).

Another "problem" of Marc DVDs is cultural. And I guess most of the UK mentalists here on the café will confirm that a English audience is less expansive than an American one. (maybe if they had one or two drinks beforehand Smile )

And due to the two above mentioned points, I felt that the routines "felt" long and I wanted sometimes to say "get on with it". But retrospectively, if the audience was reacting more and I saw its reaction more, then the routine would have been alright. Marc has already written here on the café that when he performs live, his rhythm is faster paced.

So on the performance value, I agree that it doesn't reach Richard Osterlind's DVD, but mostly due to the audience. Now on the presented effects and what I can learn from them, I am very happy I bought these DVDs (his staple gun routine and chair prediction are really great and the day I'll perform on a stage or parlor, I will use these routines in my show).

Would I recommend these DVDs ? For a new mentalist who wants to perform parlor or stage, certainly, because of the variety and the different methods used.

At the beginning of my post, I mentioned I have Michael Close's DVDs and as much as I like Michael for the efforts that he puts in order to create a "worker", his performance style is definitely not my cup of tea and I don't think it would fit a British audience.

Matt
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Bennettjc
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Scott B:
True but I'm curious if he's ever been really harsh with a real big name, perhaps outside of mentalism. Has he ever really blasted an Ammar for example. I will definately be checking the few back issues I have.
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