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DVD Review: David Copperfield: Illusion

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DVD Review: David Copperfield: Illusion

In our art of magic, David Copperfield rules. No other magician is as well known to the lay public, has been around as long, presents stronger illusions or touches the hearts of spectators better than Copperfield. His DVD, David Copperfield: Illusion, presents highlights from his long television career. And it’s a must see for magic and Copperfield fans.

The DVD is pretty much a dressed-up version of his “15 Years of Magic” special that aired on CBS some years ago. As such, the DVD serves Copperfield’s biggest illusions and some select effects. For those who already have a copy of the “15 Years of Magic” special, there’s some additional footage from a TV show that aired after the special.

Because this is a highlight reel, you don’t get to see each illusion as it originally aired. Most are edited in some way, usually to shorten them, and many appear with different music.

Copperfield, of course, has performed some astounding feats, and it’s fun to watch many of them here. The show includes the disappearance of the Orient Express, the amazing Flying (in my opinion one of the best illusions and presentation ever), the disappearance of the Statue of Liberty, the vanishing of the airplane and more. I would prefer to see the presentations in their entirety, just as they aired, but this is the next best thing. Copperfield shows a sense of humor when he comments on his seventies-era fashions and haircut.

The DVD offers commentary by David Copperfield. While magicians would just about kill for commentary that explains Copperfield’s approach to magic and staging and insights into the illusions, what you get here are comments on the stage design, where the illusions were filmed and his remembrances about performing the segments (what else could he do?). For Copperfield fans, there’s some fun information to be gleaned here. But don’t expect any insights into magic and especially secrets.

Showing more humor, the DVD includes the hilarious "Clone-on O'Brien" spoof, a segment that satires Copperfield and ran on O’Brien’s show. There are also trailers and facts about Copperfield.

If you already have access to Copperfield’s original shows, there’s nothing on this DVD that you don’t have. But if you want to watch the best of Copperfield, his Illusions DVD is a good bet.

David Copperfield: Illusion can be purchased on Copperfield’s site, as well as on Amazon.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

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