True Review

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by Morgan B, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. #1 Morgan B, Mar 22, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2009
    Sinful did a great job letting us know the effects, and what comes in the box – I want to review the strength and usefulness of the effects – from my perspective.

    Disc 1

    Twilight Angels

    “An angel disappears from one side of a card, and appears beside the other” Seeing this effect reprised reminded me that I have overlooked this gem for years. I remember a friend telling me he did this for a lady, and she said, “You shouldn’t do this effect, if you don’t want to instantly sleep with the girl you do it for” – it can be a very romantic and/or powerful effect. I love the ideas they offer, instead of using a mirror – like a shiny Zippo, far more natural a prop. The only downside – you only get 4 of the gimmicks you need. They say signing it is an option, but with an effect this powerful, you SHOULD WANT to give it away as a keep sake. All in all – the first effect was a great kick off to the set. 9/10

    BackLash 2

    This is an interesting effect – I am not sure if I like it yet, as I am unsure how to present it. In short, a spec signs the front and back of a card – this card goes in your pocket – it appears to come back to the deck when they see their signed card reversed in the pack – but then they are shown that is impossible, as their card is in your pocket. The kicker – the card in your pocket – one signature then changes to your own. Honestly, this effect is constructed well – I just think that it is one of those effects where I will struggle to come up with a reason for any of it happening. Again, I haven’t spent much time thinking on it, as I just watched the first video last night – but I can see this effect playing well. I just hate doing magic that happens because I can do it – rather than a reason to do it. Regardless, a great regular deck effect that will have you wasting a few cards each time you do it – but it has STRONG potential in the right hands. 7.5/10...if I can think of a presentation, perhaps more.

    New Leaf

    A torn leaf restores...yep...but you have to be outside to do it...then get the person to walk away from where you did the effect so they don’t find the “gimmick” – in short, this effect is well constructed, but still a bit impractical to be used more than once in your life. I am not going to rate this one, I can see it playing large for Big Foot, if you were stranded in the woods with no clothes and he asked to see something.

    Cheng’s Change

    Did you see the effect in shade where someone flicks 5 random cards and it changes to a royal flush? Gimmicked out the yahoo – Cheng’s Change – same thing, but no gimmicks. You end dirty, but he gives you ways to end clean – I like it better than the gimmick version, but have found it a bit knacky so far. I can’t see myself using this for any reason, but it would look great if you were put on the spot and needed something on video or for a TV clip. Looks as good as the gimmicked version, just don’t know if I would ever use it in a working situation. So, this ranking is based on that – not how good it looks, cause it looks like a 10, but – 6/10

    The Big Tiny

    Another effect I am unsure of – A spec writes their name on the side of the deck – the cards are mixed and placed into four piles – at the end – audience picks a pile, and it is revealed their random pile has their name written on it, in do the three others. Honestly, I don’t find this effect impressive enough to waste a deck every time – however, PH gives a tip in his Phootenotes that may be stronger. Where they write the name on the side, legitimately shuffle, then you call out cards until the deck is reassembled in another order – and then display their name on the side in a one phased Unshuffled, but shuffled...if that makes sense??? NO? Well, how much sense does it make to ruin a deck with someone’s name on it for this kind of effect? 7.5/10

    Easter Eggs

    Butchered Bunny Bill

    A simplified version of the Bunny Bill. If you do it, or wanted to – this is much easier than the original.

    Jeff’s Jump

    A very cool flourish that you have seen on the trailers, where the card jumps to the pack when being dealt – it looks like camera isn’t.

    Son of Cellophane Surprise

    A lit smoke is push through the cellophane plastic. The hole is seen easily, but the magician then restores it. A neat bar idea – if you have smokes...can light one...and the spectators don’t overly examine things at the end. Again – not my thing, a bit impractical for most settings, but well constructed. 6/10

    In conclusion – I found Disc 1 of TA to have a lot of “neat” ideas on it. All the magic was constructed very well. However, I found much of it impractical to working magic, and geared towards creating that one moment, which is in line with PH style. I do see potential in Twilight Angles, BackLash 2 and The Big Tiny...and playing with Jeff’s Jump is fun to say the least. Cheng’s Change looks sick in his hands, and I am sure we will see it on every Youtube vids in the near future. The Interviews on this disc were great, it was cool to hear Blaine talk about his connection to PH’s work. Although I didn’t find any off the press workers gems on disc 1, I am very happy with the quality of magic on disc 1.

    If you don’t own this, hope this helps you understand what you get for you buck...if you do, love to hear more about your thoughts on disc 1.

    Look for disc 2 review within the week!

  2. Awww... You are ruining the surprise of the DVD's! :( I purposely didn't describe them for a reason! Oh well, your decision. ;) I'll comment on what I thought of what you thought. Ha.

    1. Twilight Angels

    Oh yeah I love it... I have yet to perform it, but I can't wait. I want to get more gaffs though. The only thing I dislike is that the gaffs are expensive. Almost $10 for 10 gaffs. Wow. Pretty expensive. I don't think that workers will want to do this one unless they don't mind spending a dollar per performance. This is one I'll use on rare occasions or for friends. It is a very powerful effect and I am in love with it.

    2. Backlash 2

    I think its great. A friend of mine thinks its his favorite effect out of all 9 discs. While I disagree with him on that, I do think its cool and I have performed it several times. Dig it.

    3. New Leaf

    I go camping a lot so this is one for me. :)

    4. Cheng's Change

    Is it awesome? Oh booya. Is it usefull? I'm sure it is, but I don't have much of a use for it yet. Maybe for a 4 or 5 card ambitious card type routine or something? It'll come in handy someday, but as you said... I don't have much of a use for it yet and for something that I don't have much of a use for, I am not spending much time on it. I do like it though!

    5. Big Tiny

    MORGICIAN! ARE YOU INSANE?! BIG TINY IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE EFFECTS FROM THE ENTIRE SET! My mouth dropped when I saw the performance. Every performance I used Big Tiny in ended with HUGE reactions. I love this effect! If its not your style, that's one thing... but this effect is CRAZY!

    Just my thoughts. :)

  3. after seeing big tiny, performed by Sinful on webcam. all I can say is: PERFECT effect when you want to say goodbye to a deck.

  4. The actual effects are given out elsewhere, I think it's hard for kids to want to spend 400 bucks...but harder if they don't know the value. This was my reason.

    1. I would spend the 10 bucks for 10 cards, if I had a reason to perform the effect - this could be like Anniversary Waltz, I wouldn't do it in a set, but I would keep a few on me to do for a special table. Perhaps a girls sweet sixteen, or an anniversary itself.

    2. Love to hear how you approach/or your friend approaches BackLash 2, it is a cool effect - but I think the method is a bit see through - moreover, I don't see how the plot is logical. I worry they may ask to "see the deck", as you end dirty...but no big deal. Best effect - that is pretty high expectations...or low, if your friend thinks it is the best, I may not want to watch the rest of the videos.

    3. Awesome, good luck working on your effect with leaves...moving on.

    4. I like it - but it is a toy - remember, (not that I ever stated this, but almost did) I am looking at this as an investment, not just 400 dollars for some cool stuff to play with.

    5. Big Tiny can go wrong - if someone asks you to put the same card in one pile or just on two piles in the top half, and then to even it out the two piles in the lower half. Also, I do see how it is neat - again, have to think of a presentation to have that make sense. I DO like PH's idea in Phootenotes, but I would rather do Unshuffled than this...and I can repeat Unshuffled - this effect destroys your entire pack - not that I care, I got about 400 of them right now, but I can do better stuff to ruin an entire deck than that.

    Like I said - so far - cool stuff - for people that want to have a bunch of toys to play with - the first disc offers really neat stuff - but not much of it is transferrable to a working situation...and the rest of it will need some work to motivate.

    PS - Sinful, please change the name of this thread back - I really can't stand when you guys do that. I am watching Disc 2 this week, and will put it back on this thread to conserve thread clutter.

    SO - See you soon for Disc 2 review - thanks for adding your 2 cents.
  5. Excellent review. I really really want to buy this. I'm saving as much money as I can these days. So far I have around......40 dollars:eek:. Well great review and I'm looking forward to disc 2 review.
  6. I feel like such an idiot but what exactly is this DVD?
  7. true astonishments - Paul Harris
  8. Disc 1. ;)

    [Character Count]
  9. Watch the preview and buy it here. If you are not familiar with Paul Harris and his work, you are missing out. Check out his Art of Astonishment books.

  10. Gotcha. I feel stupid. True Astonishments. A bit pricey but Paul Harris is a great magician. I will look into this. Thanks.
  11. The Big Tiny is a great effect. You can actually do it four times per deck and in fact I recommend doing the deck switch in the open because all the chicken scratch looking markings build interest in the effect.

    I love twilight angles.
    Just don't perform it for magicians...
    I recommend letting the spectator inspect the NORMAL two in the deck and then doing a switch throughout the routine.

    It makes for a good idea, maybe do a simple card in hand and then proceed with twilight angles. Switch it out with a top change or something...
  12. I will try to use a bit of a softer approach on this one, as I would rather get you thinking, than make you mad or hurt your feelings.

    So here I go - asking some probing questions:

    Do you think it hurts the personal feel of having the person's name written on the side of the deck...then later, using the same deck on the other side. Does it lose a bit of the personal touch...also, does it look a bit tacky? The "chicken scratches" DO create interest, but I am not sure it is the type of interest you want.

    As for Twilight Angel - sounds like you are running without being chased here - when you do Anniversary Waltz - do you let the audience check the front and back of every card in the deck? I don't think it is necessary to have them check the 2 of hearts out - I think the random top card is enough - and the switched used is very good. I strongly recommend doing it the way it is taught.
  13. In regards to Twilight Angels, I agree with Morgician 100%. The way it's presented in the DVD already puts into the spectator's mind that all the backs are normal. If you let them look at the 2 specifically, then it'll lead to more suspicion.
  14. #14 Toby, Mar 24, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2009
    I was going to make a review myself, a detailed review. But I guess I will just comment about effects here. We have a thread of "TA pro's and cons", we have ultimate thread about "Easter Eggs", so maybe this thread can be ultimate thread about "TA effects".

    1. Twilight Angels: This trick is really really visual and beautiful. It is meant for intimate settings, and to be performed for one or two people. You can use anything for a "Angel catcher" (as I like to call it :) ), as long as it has a reflection. It would be best if you can give away your angel card as a souvenir, but you only get 4 gimmicks so I wouldn't recommend that. 10$ for 10 gimmicks is an OK price, IF you live in USA. I don't so I will not give away my gimmicks as a souvenir...
    One more thing. I have this friend to whom I show all of my tricks, he is like a test dummy for my magic, so he basically has a good eye for magic, but when I showed him Twilight Angels he was stunned. He says that it is his favorite trick by far... His recently best trick (before Twilight Angels) was Out of this World, so you can see how powerful Twilight Angels really is.

    2. Backlash 2: Morgician says that he just doesn't know how to present this trick, and other guy from this forums said that it has way to many climaxes.
    I agree with both of these statements. Bro presented it like a hypnosis, but in a more friendly lightly way. I think that if you can really sell a story about hypnosis and that you can do it, and be more serious about it, than this effect has great potential. First you hypnotize your spectator that she sees her card back in the deck, even though she saw it go into your pocket a second ago. Than you seemingly un-hypnotize her, so now she sees just a random card in the deck that is turned face down. Than you hypnotize her again to make her see your signature on the back, instead of hers...
    Something along those lines, I think it can work.

    3. New Leaf: Beautiful beautiful beautiful effect. But not so practical. First of all you need to be in a forest or in a park; second, you need some alone time for preparation, or you can prepare it earlier; and third, you need to be walking, or sitting on some kind of a cliff or above big bush of leaves, in order to do this effect properly. Again, intimate setting, one or two people, when the time is right. But beautiful effect nontheless...

    4. Cheng's Change: Just like Morgician said, "it looks like a 10, but – 6/10"
    Really knacky effect. I practiced it all day long, and didn't even get to do it "kind of right" (maybe it's just me, but for that period of time i managed to do a clipshift and Cheng's Riser, kind of right)... It is a really quick effect, and I don't think that presentation can make it any longer, without risk of being boring. The presentation that comes to my mind is about a guy who was a family guy, but he had big debts and was about to play one hand of poker to win or loose it all (house, money, job, etc...). And he got this crappy hand with just one pair. But he was also a religious man, a believer, and he thought that if he believes in something really hard, that it will happen. And just like that, his crappy poker hand turned into a royal flush, and he lived happily ever after... ("happily ever after" part is a joke :) ).
    Or you can just simply do a "Watch, I have one pair... look look watch look...".
    So yeah, difficult effect, you can maybe put it into a gambling routine, specially if you do a "Gambler vs Magician" kind of presentation, which is my favorite btw.

    5. The Big Tiny:
    I can describe this effect in one word, CUTE. Spectator writes her name on the side of the deck, in big bold letters, and than after shuffling the deck and dividing it into 4 piles, she gets a deck with 4 tiny versions of her name... awwwww, cute... :D
    The fact that you have to ruin a whole deck for one performance (I do not recommend using one deck for 4 performances) bothered me when I first saw this effect, specially because I live in a country where there are no Poker sized decks, and I would have to ruin one of my 5 bicycle decks lol. But, after you perform Big Tiny, you are left with 26 performances of "Stapled Warp" or "Riped and Fryed" (because each of these needs 2 cards to be ruined). Or you can put one card from Bit Tiny into the deck, and perform any other effect where you need one card to be signed...
    So, do you ruin the whole deck after Big Tiny? yes. Can you use those cards for something else afterwards? yes. ;)

    I won't give a comment on easter eggs, Morgician said enough.

    Cant wait for 2nd DVD review.
  15. Great thoughts Toby - everyone hope you enjoy Disc 2 review.
  16. Disc 2 Review

    Disc 2


    This effect is a nice spin off of Leap of Faith (Las Vegas Leaper plot) – with a neat kicker that recalls an opening joke. However, I am not sure how “fool proof” the method is, even though PH talks about this in his Phootenotes. I never saw Leap of Faith as “daring”, but I do see this effect as taking more risks. It would appear it would take a significant amount of audience control (read – verbal manipulation) to ensure all the key points go well – I am not sure if many magicians have the ability to do this, without it looking like manipulation – it takes a comfort level with the audience and the effect. Because of the kicker, this effect takes another twist – I am not sure I like this add on. If pulled off, it would kill, but so does the original. I am not sure if this method is an improvement on the original, as the counting sequences look fishy, to the point I feel it sort of now dismisses the magic of the cards across, just to get to the kicker. I want to like it...and will try of now, I am a bit unconvinced – so let’s just say if it does work 9/10...if it causes the issues I am concerned with...well, just another fun thing to try on friends.


    Tubular appears to fall under the category – neat stuff we do, because we can do it. A signature leaves one bill, to end up on another...or is it one bill merges into another and they are both signed - the effect isn’t very clear without a great amount of verbal direction for the spectator. My belief is that the plot should stand on its own, but your words add to it – not that your words are the only way the effect is clear. It strength is in the relatively direct way in which the effect happens, and its weakness being that the plot is not as direct as the method. If I can think of a logical reason for what happens to happen, to make it easier on my audience – this effect will be good – 7/10

    Cheng’s Riser

    Let me say this first – for those of you that don’t know Cheng’s magic – the guy’s magic is sick. The Riser is clever – a visual rise to the “top” – I do have a few issues with it. It is pretty angle INefficient – and may work best head on – when you do get the chance to do it – it looks beautiful, especially in Cheng’s hands. When he teaches the more “advanced version, I am not sure it is better, I have never seen a dup brought in to make your magic more difficult and you end up dirty. The first version he shows you – although not as visual an ending, may be more useful, as it allows the card to be signed and can be done on the spot. The more visual ending, may be best left for Youtube hopefully, not at all. 7.5/10


    This is a well constructed effect, which is really just a prolonged transposition – but the convincer is really strong and the reason all the “other business” occurs is very well motivated. I am not sure I will use it, but it is a decent effect. The two things I didn’t like was allowing a friend to try and “hide a card in their hand” as I feel they may actually stumble upon an actual method...but maybe this is me being paranoid. Secondly, the adjustment needed for the display causes a fumble, even on the vid, and the display itself are a bit unnatural, but with practice and proper motivation, this could be taken care of. Great effect, if the blackjack thing is your style – good effect 8/10

    Growing Card

    Looks amazing – if you could build a routine around it – again – needs motivation. 7/10

    Easter Eggs

    Bizarre Twist - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation
    I reminder of why PH is not a performer – if you like this, check out John G’s Bizarre Sequel. I think that it makes a better phase of a routine, than a standalone effect. You also get to see Paul do “Instant Replay” – a very cool flourish that I am glad is making its way back into the limelight.

    Immaculate Breakthrough - Paul Harris Performance and Explanation

    Very cool principle – looks great.

    Conjunction – Rhadha Thombre Explanation

    Garbage. I would have rather watch someone solve a crossword puzzle. It was like learning how to put a tennis ball in a bottle - neat, but a waste of an Easter Egg. Moving on.

    Chuck Martinez Interview

    At first, I thought this was a butt kissing interview talking about PH and CM’s hay days – but one line that PH says in it saved the day. He says, “I asked Eugene (Burger) what people are looking for in a magician?” His response was great – perhaps one of the best parts on the DVD’s so far.

    Alright, so that is disc 2 – it has some interesting ideas on it. If LVL$ works, I could see myself using it – as I can see how it would play large. Tubular needs attention, but it has potential to be a worker as well. Cheng’s Riser could be something I keep in my belt for the right situation, SS2 is neat, but not my thing...and the rest...nice toys, but I don’t see them being workers. Outside of the cool line in the Martinez interview, I found the Easter eggs disappointing on this video.

    This video is a close second to being equally as good as the first. So far, many neat ideas - not many useful workers - but they never claimed it was for workers. I have enjoyed the eye candy and look forward to disc 3.

    That post should come sometime before the weekend. Cheers.
  17. im guessing you have already watched them all through, are you happy with the dvds though? will you actually use some of them?

    you make it sound like your abit dissapointed, are you?
  18. Thanx Morgician, really means a lot...

    On to Disc 2:

    1. LVL$: Yeah, this effect is little touchy and risky... I would first show a spectator some other trick in which she needs to follow my instructions, and if she proves to be good at it, than I would show her LVL$. There are two key points in this effect that you really need to sell, so that it will look genuine and spontaneous.
    First, you really need to sell the "fact" that in Las Vegas, they really count cards that awkwardly because it prevents cheating; and second thing you need to really sell is that you can leap absolutely anything from your hand to their pocket.. but you just happen to do it with money because you just happen to have some on you. So, in my head, it would go like this "Hey, let me show you something interesting that I saw in Las Vegas last summer (or in my case, on television :) ). Let me teach you how they count cards. Hold your hand like this.... yeah, weird, I know......[rest of the effect]....... And I figured out that I can do that with almost anything. Lets take these 5 bills for example..."
    To sum up: Good effect, needs audience management and a little imagination, and you need to be completely relaxed and spontaneous.

    2. Tubular: One bill with your name and other bill with their name, and they fuse into one bill with both names, in spectator hands. Really strong effect in my opinion. Easy to do, and it is direct. As Morgician said, it kinda needs a logical reason for that to happen, but if you are approaching a girl, you can present this effect in a romantic way, that in her hands both of your names came together, or something like that. I didn't work on it enough to give you a better presentation, but I really think it is a good effect.

    3. Cheng's Riser: Cheng is the man :). Really really visual and beautiful card rise (you can see it on the trailer). A bit easier than "Cheng's Change", but still not easy. You really need to be confident with the angles before you attempt to perform it. The advanced version is more of a stand alone effect than a ambitious card ending, because of the setup. And as a stand alone effect, it will look beautiful, but lacks motivation for it, other than "Look what I can do". The first version is less visual, but more practical as ambitious card ending, and the card can be signed. And I would NEVER perform Riser for more than two persons. I would even consider about the second person...
    Now for those who own TA: what do you think about using Chris Kenners "Shifty" to end the rise? (I won't say more, due to exposure).

    4. Seductive Switch 2: A face up version of "Seductive Switch". This is "simple" card transpo with a lot of presentation. It is one of those "Look what I can do" effects, but it doesn't send the vibe that you are better than your audience. It is more of a friendly "look what I can do", if that made any sense?
    Anyways, there is a little bit of fiddling with the cards, but if you structure your presentation well, and actually speak during the fiddling , than you have nothing to worry about. Because it is Black Jack oriented, I would incorporate this effect into "Super fast/magical gambler" presentation, along with Cheng's Change... Oh, and one important thing, you will have to destroy one card each time you do this effect...

    5. Growing Card: Really interesting idea, and nice little visual effect. Like Morgician said, it really needs motivation. It is basically this: 3 spectators chooses a card (one each) and than you make one of those cards grow visually. You are running the risk of others spectators saying "Wow, nice... but what about our cards? What are you gonna do with them? Why did we even took a card?" Again, with some really spooky/ghost/energy/karma presentation, you can make it work. But otherwise, it is just for friends...

    Oh, and Morgician, as you go through the DVD's, you will find that further you go, better the effects ;)
  19. Hi Blahblah - I haven't watched them - I am doing the reviews as I go through you are getting my untainted reaction. I wouldn't say I am disappointed so far, because the magic is fun - but right now, I haven't found anything worth using in my professional work. A few maybes - but nothing has said - THIS ONE GOES IN THE REPITOIRE!!

    Toby - another good review. I look forward to your take on disc 3 - thanks for waiting for me to post, before you do - as I would hate to have my untainted view spoiled...haha - we should call this thread TA SPOILER!

    Doug - feel free to make that change. Oh, and I never thanked you for changing it back, so thanks.
  20. So is it worth the 300 dollars?

Share This Page

{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results