As a reviewer, I know that what I write may be quoted by people who wish to use the Genii brand to lend credibility to their products. However, this particular instance is disappointingly disingenuous in that the selective quotes were used to misrepresent my actual evaluation of the product. My level of enthusiasm for the product wasnt merely exaggerated in the advertisement; it was actually reversed.
I have never met Mr. Geer in person and he may in fact be a great guy to know. However, I did want to clarify that my quotes, while technically excerpted accurately, were presented in a somewhat misleading form.
Caveat emptor... and let the reviewer beware as well. The "spoonful of sugar" approach I usually employ obviously has its risks. Lesson learned.
Joe M. Turner
The ad states:
My actual review follows. The sections quoted in the advertisement are italicized; the omitted qualifiers appear in bold."The effects themselves cover a lot of ground, Quarter in Plastic is a good effect. Mr. Geer's sponge ball routine is colorful, it seems to have been built to include every known finale for a sponge ball routine." "These ideas may spark your imagination and generate a strong response in a show."
Brian Geer is a fulltime professional based in Rochester, New York. His first DVD is a collection of his variations on many classic close-up magic themes, and the results are mixed.
The action takes place in a small room at a resort in New York. Four spectators are seated around the table at which Mr. Geer stands while performing, It appears to be a two-camera shoot, with a wide shot on the whole group and another camera providing close-ups as needed.
The effects themselves cover a lot of ground. Quarter in Plastic is a penetration effect in which a borrowed quarter penetrates the cellophane around a card case several times. A good effect, although the routine seemed a bit long. Color Changing Deck is a slight variation of a Paul Harris idea. Back In Time is a routine that combines several effects a selected card is torn into quarters and in the course of attempting to restore it, three of the pieces are burned in a small tube and then disappear. Now the deck is found to be resealed, and when it is opened the cards are back in order, and the torn card is found restored in its proper position in the deck, except for the piece held by the spectator. In my view, the impact of the admittedly strong discovery at the end was diluted by the multiple effects and the length of the routine.
Mr. Geers sponge ball routine requires so many props that it is not well-suited for repeated use in most walk-around settings. It is colorful and opens with a flash of fire, but it seems to have been built to include every known finale to a sponge ball routine: producing the numerous small sponges, producing a giant sponge ball, producing a jumbo coin, and finally producing a watch which was stolen earlier under cover of a scarf.
Chips Are Down and Silk In Potato are two versions of the unique object to impossible location premise. In the first routine, a bill with a corner torn for later identification vanishes in a flash of fire to reappear in a sealed bag of chips. In the latter routine, a small silk is marked and vanished into a rolled-up playing card; it is subsequently found inside a potato which is peeled on the table. The explanation for the silk to potato routine didnt play completely through on either of my DVD players but the method is clear enough.
Sharpest Razorblade is a prop-heavy signed card discovery that is reminiscent of John Bannons Texas Chainsaw Massacre Card Trick (which itself is based on work by Richard Himber, Scotty York and others). A signed card is the only card not shredded by a razor blade while shaken inside a felt bag hanging from a stick. This is followed up with Razorblade Prediction, which combines a card discovery with the razorblades from mouth effect, using an initial unsuccessful prediction as the motivation to eat the razorblades. The bonus section routines include an in-the-hands triumph, a walk-around egg bag routine with a final production of a glass of water, an application for the Raven, a goldfish production, and Paul Harris cup and ball effect Uncanny.
With a couple of exceptions, most of the routines here are combinations or variations of well-explored ideas. If you are looking for novel material for strolling, theres not much to find here. If you have opportunities to do more formal close-up or stand-up shows, some of these ideas may spark your imagination and generate a strong response in a show. In my view, however, too many of the routines as presented are long and involved personal combinations of multiple, unrelated, and unoriginal effects. I was intrigued by a few of the ideas, but overall I am not convinced that most magicians will get their moneys worth from this DVD.