In the Cards
While lay-people will enjoy this one, I think that this is mostly a magician-fooler that will be best performed for magicians who can follow the specific directions and shuffle correctly. You’ll need a table for this one and the spectator does have to deal through most of the deck. While this sounds as if it could be tedious, the anticipation of each card in the named suite is enough to maintain interest. And hearing a magician explain that he doesn’t actually understand how this one works doesn’t exactly instill a lot of confidence.
With Binary, a spectator finds his or her selected card using an unknown prediction card from another deck. The prediction is then revealed to bear the same value as the selection and to predict its numerical position in the deck. This one only requires a fundamental card sleight that most magicians already know. This is a good one for the lay public.
Rather out of place on this DVD, Off with his Head offers a gambling expose that apparently demonstrates cheating techniques with cards. You seemingly showcase skills at second and bottom deals (but you’re not actually performing these difficult sleights). At the end, you deal a royal flush. While the title refers to the “Alice in Wonderland” theme of the DVD, I have no idea what this has to do with the effect.
Moves and More
Wardrobe Change is a color change that occurs as you briefly cover the cards with your T-shirt (you’re pulling the bottom hem of the T-shirt that you’re wearing to momentarily cover the cards). I’ll pass on this one. And I’m sure that a good “Cardini Change” can accomplish the same thing and you can perform a spectacular change with far less cover - the best sleight of hand artists only need to wave their hand over the deck. De Val himself tells you not to take this one too seriously.
“Paint the Roses Red” is being touted as the first magic instructional DVD available in Blu-Ray (it’s also available in old-fashioned DVD). But one could have used a two-camera shoot in its performance segments. As it stands, the single-camera shoot has to zoom in and out and swing around to capture the action. So what’s the point with the high-definition Blu-Ray? While the promo video shows De Val performing for general audiences, the performances on the disc are for a fellow magician so you can’t gauge responses from real audiences.
The DVD also features discussions and other resources that offer insights into performing magic. There’s some good advice here, but overall, I find the DVD to be a rather mixed bag.