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Solomon's Mind on DVD Review

December 19th, 2002 1:46am
Reviewed by CaptainRhinestones
Most magic videos completely suck. It's just a fact. When magicians finally caught up with the rest of civilization and released their material on DVD, it didn't help. They were just sucking DIGITALLY. The big problem was most of these videos were made by close-up magicians who weren't used to working for television under bright lights. Their snappy patter which sounded so impromptu in that loud restaurant now sounded canned. To make matters worse, most of the audience members who sat beside the magician weren't real people at all, they were friends, or magicians, or assistants, or magic book publisher employees. They were terrible audiences. DVDs may have helped the buyer move around better, but it wasn't helping the performer NOT SUCK!!!

When a book called "Solomon's Mind" came out in 1999 I was already well aware of the caliber of material it would contain, yet I had never seen David Solomon perform. Eugene Burger on the other hand, had completely fried me with an effect called "Cutting Ten" from David's book long before it was released. Eugene further teased me by not revealing the method for several months, explaining that I would have to wait until the book came out. Eugene can be a real son-of-a-bitch about revealing secrets, but at least he does it out of love.

When it finally arrived in the mail, I was not disappointed. It contained some wonderful card magic with fairly fresh plots, as well as some great stories about Ed Marlo and Chicago's "Inner Circle". It was one of those books that you could immediately sense had not be hastily thrown together. There was every detail, every nuance, every "Ed Marlo shit his pants and in the shit was my vanished, signed card" story.

I was very excited when I found out David had put a lot of this material on DVD. I wasn't getting my hopes up though because if you read the first part of this rant, you know most magic videos suck. "Solomon's Mind on DVD" does NOT suck. It contains great card magic, the best being "Business Card Prediction", an impossible-looking card prediction that will allow you to give away your business card. Important note here: make sure your business cards DON"T SUCK. Do not let a printer decide what your image will be. Spend the extra coin and have an illustrator make something unique for YOU. The other effect, "Mexican Poker" will leave the boys at the weekly card game looking for a new place to play as they will finally realize you are a god.

The first two thirds of the DVD are great. David breezed through the effects with his laid-back style. He appears to have two REAL people next to him, who appear to be REALLY flabbergasted most of the time. They're great. The setting is an empty restaurant. Technically everything is executed well. The lighting and sound are perfect. The simple shots catch most of the action. Unfortunately the last third of the tape David seems to stumble through a few of the effects. I don't know if it's because he doesn't perform these regularly or what, but it's very noticable. At one point he literally stops in the middle of an effect for several seconds trying to remember the order of moves. This should have, and could have been re-shot. Also, during the explanations David NEVER looks at the camera as if he's talking to YOU. This may seem like a minor point, but I want to feel as though I'm getting a private lesson right in my home. Even the worst porn movies are aware of this common trick. I was in shock. This DVD would have easily received 4 stars from me if it weren't for the horrible third act which reminded me of the many bad magic demonstrations I've seen at magic shops. Overall however, this DVD makes most other magic DVDs look like drunk homemade porn with no money shot.

Product info for Solomon's Mind on DVD

Author: David Solomon
Publisher: Pro Print
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $35.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

David Solomon is known and respected as a magician's magician. For almost two decades, David was privileged to be part of Chicago's "Inner Circle" of card magic that surrounded the legendary figure Edward Marlo, and included such repected names as Simon Aronson, Steve Draun, and Bill Malone. David's card magic is not just aimed toward magicians, nor is it knuckle-busting. To the contrary, David's effects and methods are based on imaginative combinations of sleights, gaffs, subtleties, and carefully crafted procedures that produce new plots and surprises in an efficient manner. This is David's first professional DVD, featuring ten of his favorite effects from his book SOLOMON'S MIND, which received rave reviews, and three new routines that have not been published. This DVD is 90 minutes of magic and explanations. See David perform his hand-selected effects at the table for laymen, and you'll see the reactions, fun and fooling magic that results.

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