September Genii: Online DVD Review Xtra

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/06/07 11:51 AM

Only one review had to be cut from my September column due to space considerations, so here it is. As was the case back in May, this is not a discussion thread; its for reading only. So enjoy reading it (unless, of course, you are Patrick McCullagh)!


Punishment
Patrick McCullagh (Pat-Trick)...$30


What we have here is a perfectly titled DVD. Okay, its not that bad, but I couldnt pass up the low hanging fruit. Unfortunately, the joke isnt too far off the mark.

Patrick McCullagh is an Australian magician who apparently won an award for one of the effects presented on this DVD and thatas seems to be the belief of several people these daysqualifies him to release a DVD. (Im not sure that winning an award for a trick is that big a deal. After all, it could just mean that your trick sucked the least among all those that competed.) Along with this one original, award winning trick, what Mr. McCullagh shares are personalized versions of classic plots. And there are only four other items shared (and one of those is referred to as a bonus.) In most cases, the changes and additions Mr. McCullagh has made dont really advance the plots to a degree where publishing them in this format is warranted. I think they may have been nice additions to a magazines magic section, but theres not 30 bucks worth of magic here.

Card Watch is a novel ending for Paul Harris Whack the Pack (credited) where the thought of card appears folded under the spectators watch. Another folded card effect (Mr. McCullagh certainly enjoys the Mercury Card Fold) is Sweet Dreams of You. This is Darwin Ortizs Dream Card plot which was originally published in 1988 in At the Table (though not credited) with a Jay Sankey idea (credited) tossed into the mix. Apparently, though he used Mr. Ortizs patter story, McCullagh is unaware that the original Dream Cardwhile not foldedwas indeed opposite in color of the deck in play; the addition he claims in this effect.

Wild Frame is his award winning trick and is described as a knuckle buster. It is that. Its also one of those tricks that magicians will like but is questionable in the real world. Based on David Roths Wild Coin plot, he first produces three copper coins from a large purse frame. One at a time they are dropped back through the frame and they change to silver. Via the same process they are changed back into copper and then they disappear back into the frame. The construction is questionable: Theres a lot of right-to-left-and-back-again going on. I will say that the effects are clearer than my description of them. I believe there is room for improvement on this piece, though it will take some thinking. But what good magic doesnt take thinking?

The best of the lot is his single cup and balls routine using ball bearings. Its a good, well constructed routine, but theres nothing really groundbreaking in it that would make it good enough to be called worth the price of admission.

2 Wrongs Dont Make a Right, the bonus effect, is nothing more than a clever wordplay version of Color Monte. Bonus is the wrong word here: Filler is the correct word. Unfortunately, this production needs more content before any filler can be added.

The production quality is quite good. The explanations are well done and easy to follow. The performance segments are shot out among the general public and are the best part of the video. I honestly wish there was more of him performing. Pat-Trick is certainly an engaging and very entertaining fellow. The magic he performs is good, solid work, based on some good solid classics. I wouldnt say no to him should he be working at a restaurant I happened to be patronizing. I just wouldnt buy his DVD.

● Punishment ● Patrick McCullagh ● 60 mins., DVD only ● Available from your favorite magic dealer. ● Dealers should contact Murphys Magic Supplies, Inc. on the web at www.murphysmagicsupplies.com or by phone at (800) 853-7403 ● $30
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Dustin Stinett
 
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