April 6th, 2010 3:19pm
|What's better than listening to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and watching Bill Malone. I say unto you . . . Nothing . . . Unless the Bill Malone being watched is the Malone Meets Marlo series. Does it get any better than that. I say unto you Nay; it does not.
This is disk number four of a six disk set. Let me give a brief review of the whole set which will be found on each review for each disk. Then I'll speak specifically to this disk. First, as mentioned above, it's always a pleasure to watch Bill Malone perform. Add to that the material, and you've got a recipe that any card-loving magician would sacrifice his first-born cat for. This set's purpose, according to Malone, is to "Bring Marlo's Material Back to Life." With that comes the bitter/sweet realization that this revival may produce some hacks who won't read the books, but it will also get more people reading the books. Malone spends a bit of time talking about all of the books and original resources for the effects he chose for this series. He re-sparked my interest in Marlo's work, and has inspired me to order one of the few books that I don't own from Marlo, Marlo In Spades.
Malone does an excellent job of teaching these effects and giving proper credit. In the explanation section, as was typical of Mr. Marlo, Malone gave multiple explanations, variations and bonus handling and effects that weren't shown in the performance segments. The only criticism I have for this set is that many of the presentations are of the "Put and Take (I'll put this here, and I'll take that over there)" variety, which drives me crazy. However, you still get a generous portion of Malone's crazy style which tempers the Put-and-Take-ness of the presentations. Also, in Malone's defense, he did say, at the beginning of each disk, that he only gave "basic presentations" with the intent to have us create our own. With that as the background, let's look at disk four:
With each effect, I'll give it a rating on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 is best; 1 is worst) and a little bit of commentary:
Leipzig Would Have Loved This! (4/5):
This is a great effect using the old "Switch or Deal" Rouse. The downside is that you have to carry around an extra packet of 26 cards, and there's a discrepancy move that I have a hard time believing will fly for a real audience. However, I'm willing to be wrong about that. I'm still considering using this effect if I can come up with a way around the discrepancy. I really like the impact. Basically, the spectator shuffles a packet of cards. Yet the order of the "randomly shuffled" packet matches that of the other packet. It's very powerful.
Three-Packet Triumph (3/5):
I've got mixed feelings brothers and sisters. This is super visual and pretty and looks real, but you have to have a table. I can't remember the last time I was able to perform with a table. If you are a performer with such luxuries as tables and close up pads, then you'll want to check this out for sure.
Logic Faced Triumph (4/5):
This is nice because you don't need a table, and it's a magician fooler. However, it's a bit more technically demanding, but probably worth it.
Spade Shuffle (3/5):
Malone rushed through this, but it's a deceptive looking display even though the shuffle is a bit fidgety. Also, it requires a table which most people don't have when performing. One thing about watching Mr. Malone that is a bit frustrating is that sometimes he just rambles and talks a mile a minute. He needs to take a breath once in a while and slow down. This particular routine he was annoying in spades (pardon the fully intended pun). I love Bill Malone, but man . . . when he rambles on and on, it can be pretty darn annoying. After this disk, I had to take a break from watching him, so I won't be reviewing disks 5 and 6 for a few more days.
Face-Up Aces (4/5):
This is one of the few unpublished Marlo effects. It's pretty visual. It's a simple effect where the aces suddenly appear face up on the deck. It needs some motivation, but is pretty to watch.
The Unexpected Prediction (5/5):
I LOVE this one. This is Marlo's take on Vernon's The Trick That Can't be explained. It's handled a bit differently and nowhere does Malone mention Vernon's effect, so I'm not sure who the chicken is and who the egg is, but either way, there's enough extra stuff here that even hard students of the Vernon effect will find something here. Particularly the ending. I love the twist at the end, and Malone pulled it off perfectly. I really believed he screwed up. It was a beautiful moment.
Mutliple Bluff Rise (4/5):
This is a nice and relatively easy card rise that looks like the card is rising from the center of the deck. It mimics a Krenzel move where the card really does rise out of the center - That Krenzel guy is crazy! There's also a beautiful color change added to this as well. The card rises, then in a blink, it's a different card . . . Beautiful!
The Ace of Spades Trick (4/5):
This is basically the old routine where you keep on forcing the same card on the spectator. However, for some reason, the impact on the audience was much more powerful than I would have ever expected. Considering the fact that during the explanation, Malone admitted that he messed up a couple of times during the performance, I'm even more blown away. During the explanation, he showed what it was supposed to look like. Believe me; this will nail just about anybody you show it to. It takes some seriously sensitive fingers, but it's within' reach.
Follow the Leader/Buffaloed (5/5):
This is basically a self-working effect that take some presentational skills and a little bit of guts, but man it looks freakin' impossible. Very pretty, and super, super clever.
School For Gamblers (3/5):
This is a cheat expose style routine. It's a show off piece, but requires some serious work. You need a table for a bunch of table shuffles, and you have to be able to do some heavy duty false dealing. He also rambled a lot . . . again . . . which is starting to drive me a bit crazy! As always, however, there were a ton of great card control tips. I've said this before, but in case you ignored me last time, when Malone handles a deck of cards you really feel like and believe that he is truly mixing up the deck all the while, he has more control over the cards than Demeter has over fertility. That's a lot boys and girls.
Quick Cull Miracle (2/5):
Decent effect, but way way way too fidgety.
As I mentioned, after this disk, I had to take a break from Bill Malone . . . he was getting on my nerves with his is pause-less palavering. Also a strange weirdness at the end of this volume was a "Thanks for watching this series" type of message that wasn't found on the first three volumes. It gave the impression that this was the last disk. However there are 2 more. Kind of weird.
If I were to rate this volume strictly on the presentations, I'd give it a 3.7 (the average of each effect's rating) out of 5. However, if you include the history, the stories, the bonus ideas, alternate handling along with the privilege of seeing old Marlo material come to life, and you subtract out the frequently frustrating flummery, I would rate it at about least a 4.0 out of 5.
I might give it a 4.5 if it were priced a little better. I think this could have easily been a 4 disk set rather than a 6 disk set without cutting any material.
Product info for Malone Meets Marlo #4
Author: Bill MalonePublisher: L&L PublishingAverage Rating: (1)Retail Price: $34.95
Welcome to the wonderful card magic of Ed Marlo!
Ed Marlo, the genius of construction, and the incomparable Bill Malone, the brilliant performer, come together in this landmark anthology, as Bill performs and explains some of Marlo's finest contributions to card magic, compiled by Bill from Ed's writings and their personal sessions!
Join Bill as he guides you step by step through what will undoubtedly become the greatest and best collection of Marlo material...ever. "I'm very excited about this project and I'm sure Ed would have been as well!"- Muriel MarloContentsLeipzig Would Have Loved This! -
Your cards, which start in numerical order, magically rearrange into the order of the spectator's shuffled cards! A great trick rarely performed these days!Three-Packet Triumph -
The cards are mixed face up and face down only to right themselves with the selected card now being the only one reversed! A variation worth learning!Logical Faced Triumph -
Same as above, and this one will fool laymen and magicians alike!The Spade Shuffle (Marlo's Triumph) -
A Triumph using real shuffles!Face-up Aces -
Aces inserted face down into the deck magically appear face-up on top! An unpublished Marlo routine shared with only a few of Marlo's closest friends!The Unexpected Prediction -
The magician proves he knew ahead of time which card would be chosen from a shuffled deck! A real miracle with Marlo's comedy ending!Multiple Bluff Rise -
Four Aces rise from the deck one at a time with the last one changing mid-air! You will love how magical this looks!The Ace of Spades Trick -
Over and over, no matter which card is selected, it is always the Ace of Spades! An entertaining routine by Bill compiled from some of the many versions by Marlo!Follow the Leader / Buffaloed -
Bill's take on this fun-to-perform card trick! Cards follow their leader over and over again!!School for Gamblers -
Bill's combination of Marlo ideas presented as a "how to cheat at cards" class.Quick Cull Miracle -
The magician finds four of a kind from a shuffled deck, anytime, anywhere!