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Bill Malone On the Loose DVD Library, Volumes 1-4 Review

Official Review

September 24th, 2004 4:49pm
Rating:
Reviewed by Bryce Kuhlman
I had seen very little of Bill Malone's work prior to these DVDs. Now I can see why he's become so popular in the magic world.

I'm posting my review of these DVDs as a set, instead of individually. Overall, the DVDs seem well-produced. The material is interesting and varies in theme and complexity. I'm convinced almost any magician at any skill level could find one or two useful things on these DVDs.

With that said, here are some specific comments.

Volume 1
Three-card Monte can be played many ways. Some rely purely on skill and focus on the gambling aspects. With Michael Skinner's "Ultimate Three Card Monte" (sold separately), you get a truly magical effect with very little effort.

This volume also contains Bill's famous "Sam the Bellhop" routine. Even if you don't learn the routine, his thoughts on the effect are worth hearing. "I Don't Even Have a Pocket" is one of my personal favorites -- a wonderfully strange ending to an ambitious card routine. "I Should Have Done It Myself" has a nice build to a surprising ending. Again, even if you don't do the routine, there are lessons to be learned.

One of my two criticisms of these DVDs comes on this tape. During one of his moments of "wisdom", Bill suggests that magicians should use whatever funny lines they like in their routines. I would agree with this for Bill. A major part of his character is based on these silly lines. However, I feel it's irresponsible for someone of his stature to be suggesting that this is OK for everyone. How about this, instead: everyone should figure out what's right for their own character and personality?

Volume 2
If you want to do the "Bill in Lemon", it would be worth your time and money to check out Bill's version. Likewise, if you want to have an audience member cut the aces, check out "Cut 'em High and Tie". Finally, I was delighted to see an old Marlo classic presented with a plot in "Think Touch Turn"!

Volume 3
My favorite version of "Mental Photography" has always been by Al Goshman. I'm sure this is because he was the first person I ever saw perform the effect. Regardless, Bill's version is worth checking out.

Like the others in this series, you'll find a nice bunch of "standard" routines that have been infused with Bill's presentational points.

My second criticism of these videos was evident in this and the following volumes. There were some "unfortunate" camera shots that should have been replaced with another camera. I missed quite a few important shots because the camera was focused on the wrong area.
Volume 4
My favorites on this volume were "Radical Aces", a four ace production from a shuffled deck, and "Skinner's Matches", a complete impromptu match routine using moves you probably already know.

The one surprise on this video was the "Two Card Impossible Location". This is a fooler! Did I mention that it's easy, too?

Conclusion
If you're looking for some new close-up material, read the contents of these DVDs. If you find something interesting, you can rest assured that it'll probably be worth learning.

Product info for Bill Malone On the Loose DVD Library, Volumes 1-4

Author: Bill Malone
Publisher: L&L Publishing
Average Rating:  (4)
Retail Price: $120.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

At last—the wait is over! L&L Publishing is proud to present Bill Malone—and he’s on the loose!

For the last 25 years, Bill has made his living performingmagic and along the way, he’s made numerous appearances on national television (including NBC’s “World’s Greatest Magic” and “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”) in addition to performing for high profile clients that, if listed, would read like a “Who’s Who” of corporate America.

In the “On The Loose” series, you’ll see why Bill is one of the most entertaining and successful magicians of our time—and you’ll learn some powerful, commercial magic at the same time. Besides tricks, you’ll be privy to inside information from a guy who really knows the business side of magic—tips that will help to bring your own performances to life and make your business as an entertainer more successful.

With Bill Malone, it’s all about presentation, style and timing, so sit back and enjoy your front row seats for one of the funniest magicians on the planet. You’re entering the Malone Zone—and Bill is on the loose!


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