Archive for the ‘Apocalypse Reviews’ Category

Apocalypse Vol.1 No.11

Effects:

Force Able (Dai Vernon)
This is a “riffle force-esque” type force. So, it looks like you riffle up the deck with your fingertips, stop, and then lift the packet up to show the spectator’s card to them. This won’t always work in situations where a riffle force is suggested, however, it will work in times where you only need to force one card. It can also be used as a glimpse and then you can go right into the force, which is actually how it is taught originally. That method of glimpsing and preparing can look a little suspicious if not done under misdirection, so personally I like doing a slip cut to get to the required position. It will not take you long to figure out your own way of getting to position after reading it. Angles are a little more sensitive then a normal riffle force, but in this force, you do not have to hold a break and you actually do pick up the cards exactly where they said “Stop.” I think this is a good force to use along with the riffle force to throw people off, as far as methods go. Plus it’s Dai Vernon.

Mental Symmetry (Looy Simonoff)
In effect, a woman and a man, preferably that are involved in a relationship, are invited to help in an experiment to see how connected they really are. The woman then thinks of a card from a fan and the man is able to tell her the card. Then the procedure is reversed as the man thinks of a card and the woman is able to tell him the card he is thinking of! Yes, that’s what really happens. Now, when you read the method you’ll probably be a little disappointed, but you must remember the unbelievable impact of such an effect! Plus it has a nice premise (Two lovers or people being connected in a supernatural way). The conditions will not always be right for this one, but when you are able to do it, it’s a killer.

The Absolute Touch (Pavel)
A piece of paper, or dollar bill, is tossed into the audience and somebody places a coin of each denomination into it. They crumple up the dollar and bring the coin package on stage. They magician shows an empty cloth that he sys will shield the coins from his eyes while he tries to feel the dates on each one. The package is placed inside, and the magician reaches his empty hand inside. One-by-one, the magician reaches in and says, “I believe this is the _______ and I think the date is_______” The coin is pulled out and the date is verified. When all the coins are exhausted, everything can be examined. For some reason, possibly for personal reasons, this one settles really well with me. I feel like I could perform this with absolute confidence and just have a lot of fun with it. Something about the trick seems so pure and clean to me.

Ultimate Ace Assembly (Buddy Anckner)
Four red aces are shown and then twelve blue indifferent cards are also shown. The aces are laid out in the traditional ace assembly layout, and then three indifferent cards are added to each ace. The aces vanish from each packet individually and each time an ace vanishes it is shown to have appeared in the leader ace packet. I personally like revealing all of the aces to have travelled at one time, instead of showing one more ace each time. The routine is a fooler and the idea of using different colored backs is very appealing, but I’m not convinced enough to completely switch over to this version.

Remembrance of Cards Past (Phil Goldstein)
A card is selected and signed on the face by a spectator. The card is placed in the middle, and it subsequently comes to the top. It is placed in the middle again, and this time the card rises out of the deck (sort of). You tell the spectator that they will always remember what card they picked because it has your, the magician’s, signature on the back and it has changed back-color. This just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. There are much better color changing back routines out there. And the rising card action looks very unnatural, because you’re hand holding the cards is turned upside-down and the back of hand is towards the audience. It doesn’t seem very magical, and a two-phase ACR is just not very substantial.

Marked Transpo (Bob King)
A penny and a quarter are both marked with a Sharpie so that they can be identified at all times. The penny is placed under one hand, and the quarter under another. A few seconds later they change places instantly! Everything can be examined. This is a simple effect that I think could be very effective. It’s virtually impromptu, but you do need to be seated at a table.

One Hand Flourish Cut (Ken Krenzel)
This kind’ve looks like a charlier cut onto the table, but not exactly. It’s hard to describe it, but the cut is very easy to do. I was able to do it immediately. Not only is this cut somewhat flourishy, it is also completely false! I’m always looking for more false cuts and shuffles, and this makes a nice addition. You should probably only use this cut one or two times during your show, because if you keep performing this cut it might start looking a bit suspicious. Used moderately, it’s a nice cut to know.

Columns:

Out To Lunch
Starting chain reactions with your table magic, and answering the question; “How long should I spend at each table?”

Unlabelled Columns
An addition/clarification is made for Brother John Hamman’s card effect, Two Shuffles Harry.

Tidings
Reviews of Jon Racherbaumer’s book Arch Triumphs, the Ross Bertram book, a couple convention reviews, a new Frank Garcia book, and the announcement of Richard Kaufman’s new card magic book.

Closing:
Wow it’s been such a long time since I completed my last Apocalypse review! I’m still going to continue writing these reviews, but they will not be on a weekly basis. School has picked up, snow has fallen, and time seems to be going faster and faster! Maybe I’ll start the weekly schedule up again in the summer, I guess we’ll figure that out when we get there.  (UPDATE: Evidently, that didn’t happen)

And just a reminder, the main reason I do these reviews is because I feel that there is such great material in Apocalypse that needs to be shared and this is my way of letting you know why you should buy Apocalypse. Of course I don’t get any money from sales, but I just feel good knowing that I have possibly helped somebody find the really good magic. How about instead of buying the latest $30 dvd that came out, you save that money and later buy a volume of Apocalypse. Trust me, you’ll get WAY more out of these books than all the dvd’s that are out there.

As always, if you have any questions about the material in this issue of Apocalypse please feel free to ask.

Buy Apocalypse for everything in this review, as well as TONS (like 500) other effects.

Apocalypse Vol.1 No.10

Effects:

Mystery of the Gold Pins (Slydini)
Two pins link and unlink several times. I hope you don’t turn away from this effect just because of the cheesy title, because you have to realize the following-this piece was submitted by Slydini himself. Slydini was a legend in magic and this was a routine that he did to great response. There are other variations of this effect that are available, but I think you should at least take a look at Slydini’s routine. You may not particularly like certain moves in the routine, so just come up with your own moves with the simple, do-it-yourself gaff. With an easy clean-up at the end, everything can be examined, which is great. Sure you most likely won’t perform this “on the streets” but it is a nice formal close-up piece. Oh, it should also be mentioned that the write-up for this effect is explained so clearly among five pages of instructions and illustrations.

The Summer Change (Russell Barnhart)
A card is displayed on the face of the deck. Both of your hands are shown undeniably empty, then with just a wave of the right hand, the card changes. I really, really like this color change! I’m not sure whether I like this change or The Winter Change from last issue better. I think I’ll probably use the Winter Change more, but I like the overall look of this change better. It seems even more “open-handed.” Angles are pretty good if you block things correctly.

Utility 4 Insta-Change (Harry Lorayne)
This is a utility move that enables to exchange four cards for four other cards in an instant action. You can also: exchange almost any number number of cards, perform a visual change of a card, use it in a sandwich effect, use it in a color changing deck routine, use it as an add-on, and those are just the things that Harry suggested! This is a versatile move that you should learn and some day you will find that it fits perfectly in a routine. It’s a super easy move that I was able to get down the first few times I tried it. The main thing you will have to practice is your attitude and your motivation for the move; when you actually learn the move you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Tannen’s One-Hand Okito Box Sequence (Tannen brothers)
A coin is placed into the box, and it is shaken so the audience can hear it. then you flip open the lid of the box and the coin has vanished. Now, I know, I know; you don’t want another okito box effect. It may seem that there has been a large amount of okito box routines in the first few issues of Apocalypse, but don’t let that scare you away from buying the book. After a few more issues, there are very little to zero more routines of this type. But nevertheless, this is a good little vanish of a coin that looks quite clean. Also, there is a nice convincer that is used in this effect that I think could be incorporated into any other part of your okito box routine.

No Sleeve Sleeve (John Bentz)
This is a coin change that looks a lot like that old sleeving change where you brush your hand over the coin (sleeving it) and then it changes (leave a new coin there). The only thing is that it doesn’t use a sleeve, as the title implies. However, it’s a very difficult move that, in my opinion, isn’t worth the practice time. Sure it may look good, but I think it’s more impressive to fellow magicians than spectators. Harry actually describes it as “something to practice.” Both Harry and Richard say they can’t do the move well and/or at all, which speaks of it’s difficulty. It requires a certain knack to “get it,” and again, I just don’t think it’s worth your time.

Columns:

Editorial
Harry talks about seeing the act of Dominique. Then he goes into the evolution of his linking cards effects, and how other people were claiming to have invented his effect.

Unlabeled Columns
Harry tells a pretty cool riddle about birthdays that I like very much.

Closing:
This issue didn’t have a whole lot of full routines simply because of the large amount of space that was used to explain Slydini’s effect fully. I personally didn’t mind that too much because I was able to learn one great card utility move that I’ll be able to use forever, and also a card change that looks breathtaking. All in all, I was happy with the contents of this issue.

Let me stress something again; the first routine, The Mystery of the Gold Pins was created by Slydini! Even if you do not perform that routine, I think you will be happy to have a little piece of history. In addition, Slydini was a master who certainly knew what he was doing, so you can’t go wrong by studying his routines.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going go eat Christmas cookies, read some more of my new books that I just received, and join my family in cultural, square dances around the Christmas tree dressed in old Disney costumes.  For those of you that are a bit slow, that last bit was a joke. But seriously, I hope you had a very “magical” Christmas! (I had to throw in that last cheesy magic reference)

Apocalypse Vol.1 No.9

Effects:

Silver Quick (Derek Dingle)
You display four coins on your left palm, your other empty hand is over your spectator’s outstretched hand. In an instant, the spectator feels a coin travel across to their hand. Now you only have three coins in your right hand. This happens three more times until all of the coins have traveled across. This is an alright routine, but it seems repetitive to me, because the actions are about the exact same for every coin that goes across. Also, I’ve never liked routines where the magician holds their hand over the spectator’s so that a coin can appear “in their hand.” This just isn’t my cup o’ tea. If you do want to perform it, however, you will need a standard coin gimmick.

Sirius (Andre Robert)
A card is selected and shuffled back into the deck. Then the spectator and you eliminate cards until only one remains; of course it is the selected card. This is only one of the endings that can be applied to this effect. Essentially, you can use it as any card location type effect. It seems like a good effect, but it utilizes a faro shuffle and something that I don’t like very much. I can’t do a faro shuffle consistently, so this effect is, for the most part, unusable for me. If you are able to do a faro shuffle, then I think you should take a good look at this.

Break Up (Les Shore)
A silver dollar is displayed on your left fingertips. The right hand shakes the left, and the half dollar visibly and audibly splits into two half dollars. I liked this effect because of the visual nature and the open handling employed. It’s very quick, but like many of the shorter coin routines in Apocalypse, it could be incorporated into a larger routine. The moves are pretty easy, I got it down after trying it just a few times. This effect is similar in effect to Sol Stone’s effect, A Bird In the Hand, but the method seems much better in this version. Play around with both and see which one you like better.

Flippant (Looy Simonoff)
This is an interesting, utility color change. Perhaps you have seen Oz Pearlman perform this in a demo video. Basically, you flick your wrist and the top card changes visibly. You can also do this as a delayed change; when the spectators don’t actually see when the card change. I actually like doing the change this way, rather than visually. Either way you do it, it requires a bit of a knack to master it. I’ve been working on it for a while, and I still am not able to do it consistently. When practicing it, make sure not to do it many times in a row because it will become much harder to do the move after doing it so many times. Just set the cards down, do a few hand exercises to make your hands feel fresh, and then practice some more. Also, Harry gives some good suggestions to get the most out of this change.

The Winter Change (John Cornelius)
This is another card change that looks completely different from Flippant. A lot of you are most likely familiar with the mechanics of this change but you may have not known where it originated; right here in Apocalypse baby! To the audience it looks as though you are holding the face-up deck in dealer’s grip in your left hand, and then your open, fingers-spread, empty right hand waves over the deck, causing the face card to change to a completely different card. This is quite possibly my favorite color change that I find myself doing most often. It is well-worth your time to learn it.

Columns:

Editorial
This is simply a message to the readers thanking them for their support and asking them to contribute their effects. It’s not much use now, obviously.

Guest Tidings (Frank Garcia)
This is a hilarious story about a “magic” act that portrayed the act of Jesus being nailed to the cross, for real! This is a must-read!

Closing:
Ah, yes. Christmas time is here (UPDATE: It was when I wrote this), and everybody is in a cheery mood. I’m in a particularly happy mood, because I’m getting the third Apocalypse book! Finally I will be able to say that I have all of Apocalypse. I’m getting a warm feeling as I type this right now!

Buy Apocalypse for everything in this review, as well as TONS (like 500) other effects.

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