A Review of "C4: CapCuts" (Craziest Card Contortions ever Created)

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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 01:04 AM

Cap Casino has been on this forum as well as other forums regarding flourishes as magic and such. Anyways, I bought a copy of his DVD and this is my opinion on everything.

I love flourishes. I've been there since the beginning of this neo-wave of flourish gurus of which Brian Tudor (of Show Off fame) was the catalyst. Dan & Dave Buck have also contributed to the wave with a video and some lecture notes. Lee Asher should also be credited for creating some visual eye-candy. The Superhandz and Jerry Cestowski have contributed a butt load with their CD-roms and the Encyclopedia of Card Flourishes. Troy Hoosier had some flourishes in his book as well. Which now brings us to Cap Casino, and his "C4: CapCuts" DVD.

Cap seems to handle a deck of cards very well. He also seems to have a strong passion for flourishes on his posts and threads on various magic boards and forums.

If I was a cynic who hated flourishes, I would describe this tape as a waste of time. But as a cynic who loves and appreciates flourishes, this is post-graduate course on Sybil work. Chris Kenner's "Five Faces of Sybil" would be high school, Brian Tudor's "What the Hell Happened to Sybil?" would be college, and then there is this DVD. Just because it's a post-graduate course on Sybil, does not make it a better video/DVD.

My first disappointment was when I opened the package and all I got was a DVD in a CD case. I don't want to be picky, but if you go through all the trouble to format it onto DVD, why wouldn't you put it into a standard DVD case (BTW, there is a picture of the DVD in a DVD case on www.expertmagic.com). I have my Bill Malone DVD's, Ripped & Restored DVD, Harry Lorayne DVD, CKY DVD's, Hollywood DVD's, and they all have the standard DVD case, and so the "C4: CapCuts" DVD doesn't fit right because it's in a regular CD case. And the thing is, it didn't come with a CD cover either. You're average local rock band will put some kind of CD cover on their CD cases be it just makes it more authentic and credible and looks nice.

Another disappointment was that on his website: http://www.capcasino.com/learn.php he talks about how his video will teach people better because of different camera angles and more thorough explanations. And that they also filmed some stuff:

"in the beautiful countryside of Washington D.C. -the Capitol of America. No drab, lifeless footage done in some dude's basement. Here you'll be practicing you're flourishes in style!"

That is a verbatim passage from the website. I checked 3 times, and I found no video footage in Washington DC, and it seemed like it was filmed in front of a "green" or "blue" screen which they could then add a different background. So it might as well have been some dude's basement.

But let's mention some positive things about it. It does have better production qualities than Brian Tudor's "Show Off" tapes and Dan & Dave's "Pasteboard Animations". And it is an hour long, compared to "Show Off 1 & 2" (30 minutes each) and "Pasteboard Animations" (22 minutes). And unless I'm mistaken, it is the first DVD to be strictly for cuts and displays.

So let's discuss the cuts & displays. Some of them were pretty cool and some are pretty lame.

"B.R.S." (a.k.a. Blind Rotational Sybil) is a nice variation on the original 5 Faces of Sybil.

"Five Faces of Sybil Continuation" is another nice extention of the original 5 Faces of Sybil.

The "Hexagon" and "Octagon" were pretty good. I don't think that they'd fit into a magic act, but it's one of those flourishes you do when you're hanging out with your magic buddies. The "Octagon" cut has a revelation of a card, but the revelation is pretty weak because you put one card in the mouth and nostril region, and then you go into the cut. And then you flip over the one card in the mouth and nostril region and you can do some handling. It's a nice idea, but it's a weak revelation because the revealed card is put openly in the mouth and nostril region.

"Line Cut Deluxe" & the "CapCut" are both very impressive. One is horizontal and the other is vertical. More on this later.

The "Porcupine", the "Bridge Cut" and the "Line" are just pretty dumb. The "Porcupine" is kind of big and neat, but the clean up is terrible. The "Bridge Cut" would fall under the same category as the "Hexagon" and "Octagon" cut, something that I may do when I'm hanging with some magic buddies. But I put it in the dumb category because he teaches an alternate method then the one he uses in the performance BEFORE he teaches the method he uses in the performance. I hope that makes sense.

He performs the bridge cut, and when he explains it, it's a different handling than the one in the performance, which struck me as odd. After he teaches this alternate version, he teaches the handling he uses in the performance. He should have taught them in reverse.

Now, I will elaborate more on the "CapCut" aka the Ultimate cut. It is a very impressive display cut, if you go to www.expertmagic.com, you can see pictures of this cut with Lee Asher and Simon Lovell. He goes into it smoothly and does it quickly. However, like the "Porcupine", the clean up is kind of terrible, and that's an understatement. The "CapCut" has similiar qualities to the "Leno Cut" by the Buck twins, but I think the "Leno Cut" (despite being a bit smaller) is far superior because the clean up is better than the "CapCut."

Another gripe I have with the "CapCut" is that you can't just learn the "CapCut." Cap says that the explanations on his tape are thorough, but the explanation for the "Cap Cut" is less than a minute long. In order to be able to do the "CapCut", you have to go through and learn the other cuts taught on the tape because they have different techniques which are used in the "CapCut."

Cap also has a nice little flourish which gets half the pack in dealer's grip into each hand. Unless I missed it, he never explains how to do it. He does it once, and so I had to watch it a few times in order to learn it.

All in all, it's not a bad DVD. There's some good stuff and some bad stuff. I would only recommend this if you have already gone through "Show Off 1 or 2" and "Pasteboard Animations" and can only learn through videos.
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