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Review of Joined

Official Review

July 24th, 2014 2:36am
Rating:
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
With so many T&R cards out on the market, you might find magicians asking themselves, "Do we really need another one?" My answer is, "Why not?"

Years ago the very first T&R card I ever learned is still the only one I use and perform to this day. It is called "The Reformation" by Guy Hollingworth from his book called "Drawing Room Deceptions". Later I got some extra ideas from the JC Wagner "One Tear at a Time" version that I added to it.

I have seen a lot of other versions of this plot out there but none of them really appealed as much as The Reformation and made me want to actually use that method. This DVD has done exactly that.

The method behind this version is very clever and is quite easy to do. It does require some set up, but you can do both an unsigned and a signed version, both of which are doable and with proper handling, will look clean. Watch the trailer. What you see is exactly what it looks like - no hiding anything, no extra pieces, that is until you do the fourth quarter. The ad copy is truthful for the most part and the things you see in the trailer can be done exactly the same way, and again they really do look that clean. I just want to clarify that technically, the ad copy can be 100% accurate if you apply it to one of the handlings and until you get to the fourth restoration, there really are no extra pieces and no sticky stuff.

The preparation is not hard to do and you can either set up a bunch of them ahead of time and be ready to go until you run out, or you can make them up one at a time if you are not going to perform this effect often. Once you get the hang of it, the preparation only takes a couple minutes. The claim of being "instant reset" is a half truth - on one hand it is half-instant reset if you do the unsigned version and do not give the restored card away. On the other hand, having to prepare a stack of cards for subsequent performances does not make it a truly "instant reset". No part of the signed version is instant reset. Now, there is nothing wrong with not being an instant reset - the ad copy simply should not have claimed such a thing.

The DVD is very well produced with pretty good video quality. There are no verbal instructions and everything is taught with via text and visual instruction. They use both freeze-framing and diagrams to show you exactly what to do. Everything is clearly explained for both the unsigned and signed handlings. For each handling, you are shown the necessary preparation, the set up and the performance procedure, including how to clean up.

The menu is simple and while broken down into multiple sections, the explanations are not broken down into chapters. Each explanation section can be found by hitting the 'rewind' or 'fast-forward/search' buttons as they are time stamped. If you click on the Explanations tab in the menu, it will play straight through the entire explanation for both versions.

There are some live performances as well as other performances of the effect on the DVD, which was nice to see. Another thing that I would like to point out was the accuracy of the English text - usually when foreign companies put out non-verbal instruction DVDs with subtitles (especially with English subtitles), the grammar, spelling and word usage are horrible. Here, it comes across very clearly with great grammar and spelling which tells me that either someone working on the DVD knows English quite well or they had a professional translator. Either way - nicely done.

The two handlings here can be done surrounded for the most part, you just have to watch your angles at one specific part near the end. Other than that, they are quite clean and can be done in just about every type of venue or situation you can think of. For some magicians out there, there may be some drawbacks with this method, such as the restoration of the last piece. The restoration of the first three are very open and clean, but the last piece is not and will require some thinking to make it work. That is where the ad copy is a little off with the "no extra pieces" part. I think most will find this method suitable.

For a great method in the T&R card plot that can be done both signed and unsigned, with great production and excellent teaching and even though it is a "one-trick" pony, I think the price of $29.95 is fair enough. I have certainly seen worse one-trick DVDs with much worse quality go for higher prices.

If you want another T&R card method to add to your collection or would like to learn one, this is a great DVD. Beginners and advanced magicians alike will be happy with this method. If you like what you see in the trailer, this is for you!

Very highly recommended!

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