Magic reviews by Larry Brodahl

These following reviews were submitted to Vanishing Inc. by Larry Brodahl:

Mind Blasters magic download (ebook)

First, let me state that I'm not a mentalist, nor a performer of mental magic. I do some close up and mainly parlor/banquet shows.

And yet, I found 3 items that I can use. Not in the way the author probably intended, but that's a good thing.

My favorite books are those that present tricks that I can springboard off of, whether it's by using the plot line, the methodology, or whatever.

This book fits in this category.

Even the material I will never use will be filed away in the ol' grey matter and might be exhumed one day.

Good book.

England Up Close magic download (ebook)

I judge books by either the number of tricks that I will ACTUALLY do, or by the number of ideas it sets off in my brain. In both cases, this books does very well.

With only 1 very quick perrusal of this ebook under the belt, I have 4 items that I'm going to be thrilled to do. 2 of them have already been tested on the spouse and both fooled her. (And we know how hard that is to do).

1 of the items used a simple well-known sleight, and the other used a simple gimmick. I already knew the sleight, and the gimmick took all of 5 minutes to make, so this book is already marked for re-reading and re-reading.

And as far as setting off ideas in my brain goes, so far I've slapped my forehead about 10 times and said, "D'oh - why didn't I think of that?". Some clever people in this book.

The layout of the book is excellent, and has a simple usable way of jumping directly to the trick or author that you like, or quickly bouncing back to the index.

The only real complaint I have is that a couple of the links in the book that point to demos of some of the tricks are expired and don't work.

All in all, for the money, this is a very nice book with some very usable material.

Plus Wallet (Large) trick

Unbelievably well thought out and produced item. I've started using it for a Confabulation type routine, and it's absolutely perfect.

Reveal trick

Delightful idea. SHOULD be a full size clipboard. And MY envelope was folded along on side, which renders it unusable.

Vapr trick

Boy, this one is out of the ballpark! A fantastic device. Rechargable, yet holds a charge for a long----long-----long time!

The actual amount of smoke you get is amazing. I had one of the previous "smoke" gimmicks, and after about 10 firings, an anemic trickle was all you would get. Not with this baby. Thick, "sticky" smoke. Just perfect.

I use this for parlor and stage more than closeup, and the amount of smoke is perfectly visible.

Perhaps the most important thing though is that the tubing does NOT contain any wiring. My previous gimmick did, and so I was afraid to wear it during long drives from gig to gig. This beast? No problem.

There is no downside to this device that I can see.

Encyclopedia of Impromptu Card Forces book

Very nice book. Well written with some really good forces that I'd never heard of, and some devilish variations on ones thta I did know.

Well worth the price, even if all you do is worry other magicians.

Cootie Catcher magic download (video)

Not too impressed with this, which is surprising, considering how VanishingInc is normally so reliable.

First, the descriptions of one of the "tricks" is misleading. It's not actually a LIE DETECTOR, which was what I was hoping it would be, since I have a routine already based on this for closeup and I would be able to SUPER-SIZE it and do on stage. But - no. Only detects if the final statement is a lie or not.

Secondly the download didn't have chapters or even a PDF explaining that at "such-and-such" a time, the FORTUNE TELLER information would be found. This meant a lot of searching.

Third, there's a really, really cute idea that is a BONUS routine. EXCEPT the explanation of how to build it is horrible. Mr. Michaels basically starts to explain it and then just wimps out by saying things like, "You'll figure it out", and "It's just some arts and crafts".

Perhaps if he hadn't wasted a LOT of time explaining (multiple times) how to f*rce a card, he would have had the time and energy to explain it.

And, quite frankly I could NOT find any magnets that would work, so knowing where he got his would have been really helpful.

Martin Lewis Live Lecture live lecture

An amazing lecture. I prefer parlor type material, so he really hit a home run on that. But even better, he had some tips and hints that were really, really useful, especially for the D.I.Y. type magicians.

I'm even embarrassed to admit that I learned a new force....that I should have known already. The fact that the move works in close up and parlor/small stage is a bonus.

Really fun, really well done lecture.

Knitting Ninja DVD

Sorry, but I disagree that this is a good item. For $10 less, it would be ok. But not for this price.

No DVD? An online video. That I can't download? Ugh!

The routine/script....not so good, in my opinion. So, I don't understand the reviewers on Genii, etc. that said, "Wait til you see the routine with the sock".

And that's mainly what I was buying. The script/routine. And I don't mind spending money on a good routine.

I bought the Seabrooke Cigarette in Coat 30 years ago for $30, and it was a wonderful purchase.

This is just.....disappointing.

I will do the plot...with my own script...and a different method, since there's at least 3 easy ways to do this.

And I'll downgrade MagicEstate on my Purchase From list.

Impossible Envelope DVD

It's ok. Very reminiscent of a Shufton trick. It has for me one very painful theatrical flaw. You have to turn the envelope sideways to the audience for a few moments, at a below the chest level.

This means, without a stage, the envelope basically disappears for a few moments.

Now, this moment is somewhat justified, and there is a spectator on stage, but this does mean that you MUST have a spectator on stage.

So, it may not fit EVERY routine.

The camo aspect however is very clever.

The Empty Multiple Out Envelope magic download (video)

It does exactly what it says it will. It is as easy to make as he says. It looks as good as he says. And I had a I emailed him. Got back an answer that solved my problem.

This is a heckuva product. Well worth the money.

The Yarn trick

Even though I've rated this PRETTY GOOD, it actually isn't - at least for me. The video doesn't show, but there are some moves....that I feel aren't very good...that MUST be done. The routine is also somewhat fixed. ie: you will be doing a Bill Sw*tch, with some "extra" handling.

Is it going to be possible to come up with other handlings? Sure. Is that what I was hoping to have to do? No.

However - if you like the exact flow you see in the video, you'll probably like this.

And in fairness, there's a couple of bonus ideas on the video that are really interesting. Just not with a bill.

Fisher's Dream trick

It's ok. If you watch the video, your handling must EXACTLY conform to what is shown. And to me that's where it loses some points. The handling isn't exactly very visible to a larger audience.

The idea is clever however, the props are well made, so if the handling is ok with you, you'll like it.

I'll stay with the old version.

Scripting Magic - Volume 2 book

Good book. Even if you disagree with every point made in the book, you'll still have a lot to argue about with your magic friends. Although, there's not a ton of things to argue about, in my opinion.

Fun and educational.