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Chuck Fayne Live! (VHS) Review

February 15th, 2003 5:12pm
Reviewed by CaptainRhinestones
There is a brief moment at the beginning of CHUCK FAYNE LIVE! where Mike Maxwell, sporting what appears to be a red velvet shirt, having just introduced Chuck Fayne, strolls offstage and says to him, "Hey man I almost said here's F*** Chayne." It's not supposed to be heard, but obviously the sound tech fell asleep and failed to mute Mike's, well, mic.

I've got nothing against Chuck Fayne, Mike Maxwell, or red velvet (hell, it's my favorite cake). But just because you've released a video called CHUCK FAYNE LIVE! doesn't give you the excuse to be careless with words or action. Unfortunately, there are many errors like this. In fact a few minutes in to this anyone with half a brain cell can tell this was thrown together.

Let's start with the advertising. On the back of the DVD box under the title, we see "MAGIC CASTLE - Parlour Magician of the Year - TWICE!" and "MAGIC CASTLE - Lecturer of the Year!" So obviously with those credentials we expect not only an entertaining SHOW, but a thought-provoking lecture as well, right? The box also tells us Mr. Fayne is someone who can do good magic and make us laugh. We see words like "hilarious" and "showstopper" and "showpiece".

First of all, Chuck Fayne seems pretty professional. He's got a great look, a disc jockey voice, and a lot of confidence. I'm sure, from what I've heard, he is a competent performer. I just didn't see any of it on this DVD. Oh, we get "hilarious" alright. Like when Chuck, several times, forgets where props are. A real knee-slapper. Heck, you'll pee your pants as Chuck trades sexual innuendo with the woman seated to his left, as her 9 year-old son, seated to Chuck's right, looks on in horror and confusion. And you'll cough up a lung when Chuck yells at the camerawoman "How much time is left?" and "Can we get those lights turned down?" Funny stuff my man. Keep up the good work.

So, you're asking, what about the magic? Yea, what about it? I'm not sure I can really answer that. Because not only does Mr. Fayne NOT DO A SHOW, he leaves those pesky explanations to the lecture notes, which he keeps reminding his convention audience to buy if they need the little details. That's fine Chuck, but I'm sitting in my freakin' living room! I kind of need those extras NOW! It's as if he's afraid to perform the effects. He basically gives us magic shop demonstrations. These simply CAN'T be the way he does them in the real world.

And let's not forget what the ad says about Mr. Fayne's famous "The Card on the Seat". It says "A true showpiece of magic! A signed card ends up where they least expect it - they're sitting on it! Utterly hilarious and magical! More than worth the price of the tape!" You wouldn't believe it if I told you that Chuck doesn't show you how to load the card under the spectator's rump would you? Well, brothers and sisters, it's true. That's right. The most crucial move of the trick that's "more than worth the price of the tape" ISN'T EVEN EXPLAINED!!!!! Hello, am I missing something? Oh yea, 30 bucks.

The only items that keep this DVD from getting a half-star are "E-Z Oil & Water ala Fayne" and "MacFayne's Aces." In between those two pretty good card effects, we get lots of "I know what's best because I'm Chuck Fayne" stories. These would probably strike a chord if it were coming from someone with a real good reputation and a lecture to back it up (Carney, Steinmeyer, Burger) but here it falls flat.

Technically, this DVD looks like it was shot by an amatuer. Since there could not have possibly been any pre-shoot planning, we get very few close-ups. Mr. Fayne simply talks and talks until there isn't any time on the tape. In fact he pauses toward the end to ask how much time is left. A woman yells "three minutes!" Mr. Fayne pulls a servante from his trousers and begins to explain how it works...three minutes..... three minutes....three minutes. That's the "bonus" you get. I rest my case.

Buy this DVD only if you want to know how to not make one. Or better still, save the 30 bucks and send it to Mr. Fayne in Australia for a set of those fancy lecture notes. That must be where the real secrets are.
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Product info for Chuck Fayne Live! (VHS)

Author: Fayne, Chuck
Publisher: A-1 Multimedia
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $29.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

There are people who can do good magic. There are people who can make you laugh. But there are very few performers who can make you laugh out loud while doing good magic.

Chuck Fayne is one such performer. Contained on this exclusive 78-minute video tape are the routines that Chuck has used to earn a worldwide reputation. Each routine is highly magical and presented in Chuck's own hilarious style.

Highlighting this video is Chuck's sidesplitting, extremely magical, Card on the Seat. You've got to see it to believe it-strong magic and great comedy entertainment that you'll want to immediately add to your own repertoire.

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