June 1st, 2010 12:18pm
|This is disk number five 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" 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 five:
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:
Color Changing Deck (4/5) - This is a great trick and very magical looking. Malone, as is par for him, had some very funny opening lines. I don't like, however, his presentation as much as others I've seen do this effect. He has a couple of moments of an illogical premise about magicians cheating by having you pick a card face up, then in an effort to "not cheat" he has a card picked face up . . . a bit weird. Also, there was a lot of babble before begining the magical portion of the effect. However, once you get to the magic, it's beautiful to watch.
Rise Rise Rise (4/5) - This is a visual and clever idea. It should not be a separate trick, however. It should be, in my opinion, part of a trick. Also, he taught a different control in the explanation. I would have liked to have learned the control he used in the performance. You might remember, if you read my disk four review, that I was getting a little burned out on listening to Malone. As much as I love him, there were some mind-numbing moments. This dvd, however - particularly this explanation - he seemed to have mellowed out. I think he was just exhausted from filming 6 DVDs.
Tosheroon (5/5) - This is an amazing effect to watch, and it fooled me - always a bonus. it was performed without an audience. The illusion is killer. This effect is not Marlo's, however the major move used to create the effect is Marlo's. Again, in the explanation, Malone has Mellowed out. It was much more pleasant to watch and listen to.
The Perfect Stop Trick (4.5/5) - Again with the awesome funny opening gag/line. This is a great effect and seems very free feeling and very fair. The only reason I busted it .5 stars is because there were a couple of choices he gave to his spectator's in the performance that he would only be able to give once. For example, when dealing a queen on to the table, he asks the spectator if he wants to count the queen as a 12 or a 10. That's fine once, but it another queen comes up in the counting procedure, you can't offer that choice, but you may run the risk that the spectator will want to have the choice. I felt Malone should have covered that possibility.
Topsey Turvey Aces (4/5) . . . and more funny patter ideas from Master Malone and his Jedi-like comedic timing. You'll learn some cool shuffles that are very convincing. Lost one point for requiring a table.
Lucky Seven (Follow Up Aces) - (4/5) - Great effect for sure. I was slightly annoyed, however with his presentation . . . A LOT of "I'm gonna do this; Then I'll do that; Then next, watch me do this."
Hit the Aces (4/5)- Not much to say here . . . quick, magical and visual
Almost Like Trick Cards (4/5) - This was performed with no audience. I often wonder on some of these that he chose not to use an audience . . . is there a reason? Would it not be as deceptive close up? It's probably no big deal, but it slightly makes me wonder. This effect is super clever and creates a very solid illusion that you've seen the faces of all of the card used in the assembly.
The Observation Test (3/5) - This one is clever, but it's a A bit contrived and convoluted, but still a pretty decent trick.
Needed a Title (3/5) - This one was a little busy , but still pretty decent. You get a lot of mileage out of the "showing of the cards as all Ace of Spades."
Of Course I Can Deal A Good Poker Hand! (2/5) - This is a really long poker routine that requires you to be able to do a real bottom deal and isn't all that interesting. I think there are plenty of better poker routines out there.
If I were to rate this volume strictly on the presentations, I'd give it a 3.78 (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, I would rate it at least a 4 out of 5.
I might give it a 4.5 or better 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 #5
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 MarloContentsColor-Changing Deck -
A humorous explanation of how magicians cheat at card tricks ends with the whole deck changing color! This is as great a version as you will ever see!Rise Rise Rise -
The magician just waves his hand over the deck, and the selected card visually appears on top of the deck!Tosheroon -
A visual card change under impossible conditions! You have to see this to believe it!The Perfect Stop Trick -
An impossible revelation of a chosen card lost in the deck! A routine anyone can do!Topsy-Turvy Aces -
Cards are hopelessly mixed face up and face down while the four Aces are produced. Magically, everything rights itself at the end! A Marlo classic!Lucky Seven / Follow up Aces -
Marlo loved Western movies, and he would have loved this combination of his ideas!Hit the Aces! -
The Aces are lost throughout the deck. The magician slaps the deck, and all four Aces magically reverse and are found together, face up in the center!
Almost Like Trick Cards -
A knockout Ace assembly!The Observation Test -
Just when you thought you were following everything, it all gets turned upside down! Bill brings this old classic back to life!Needed a Title -
A whirlwind of effects from The Unexpected Card Book!Of Course I Can Deal a Good Poker Hand! -
A gambling routine that guarantees you will look like an expert!