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DVD Review: Uncovered by John Luka

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DVD Review: Uncovered by John Luka
John Luka's outstanding book, "Uncovered (Secrets of the Serious Magician)," offered a strong collection of card and close-up magic for experienced and commercially-oriented magicians.

When I reviewed the book, I was very impressed with its visual and high impact routines. On this DVD, Luka teaches several key effects from the book.

Best of the Book

In my review of the book, I identified what I thought were the best effects and am happy to see many of them fhere on this DVD. The only trick that I liked that is missing is Luka's "Ambitious Card." But even without the effect, this DVD offers a great collection of killer tricks.

After seeing them again here, I'm inspired to work some of these up for my walkaround sets. None of the effects are knuckle busters and they only require fundamental card sleights.

Triumph

Licked At Last is an amazing and convincing "in the hands triumph" that is based on a Mike Powers routine from his book, Power Plays (click here to read our review). In traditional "triumph" fashion, a selected card is mixed into a deck that is shuffled half face-up and the other half face-down.

You right the deck, all of the cards face in the same direction with the exception of the chosen card. Luka also throws in a couple of intermediate phases where the cards change directions. I like this one because it eliminates the typical "triumph" moves and appears more natural.

Wow Revisited is Luka's take on "The Biddle Trick" that is often performed by magicians. You can't quite find a selected card that’s been lost in the deck, but narrow it down to four. After deducing the spectator's card, it is found to have vanished from the four card pack and is now found face-up in the deck that’s been resting on the table. I've performed a variation of this effect for some time and it's powerful.

Michigan "Shuffle"

Michigan Monte is an excellent no gaff version of classic "Sidewalk Shuffle." In classic "Shuffle," you show three blank cards and a single ace and ask spectators to find the ace, but they’re always wrong. At the end, the spectators find that you are holding three aces and only one blank card.

This routine is usually performed with gaffed cards, but Luka offers an amazing version that leaves you clean at the end-you can hand out the cards for examination. And this routine can be performed with regular-sized or jumbo cards.

A strong variation, actually it's an enhancement, of the three ball trick, Chromo Balls offers a routine where balls transpose and change colors. Another great and visual card trick, The Airplane Card is Lukas take on Vernon's "Homing Card" where a card continually finds its way to your pants pocket.

Card to Wallet

As the name implies, The Card to Wallet offers a signed card that ends up in your wallet, and the routine is dressed with a cool card transposition. Of note, the effect requires no palming, but does use a special wallet that you'll have to purchase.

A routine that I didn't discuss in my review of the book is Luka's Flipper Coin Routine. This is a visual production and vanish of three coins that is executed in a manner that resembles a "3 Fly" routine. Unlike a standard "3 Fly," this one relies on a gimmick that's in the title.

Another one that didn't catch my eye during my initial read of Luka's book is Back to the 19th Century, a four card assembly that requires no gaffs or extra cards. After seeing this one on video, I can now see the power of the routine.

I probably passed on this one because it requires a table and I rarely have a surface to work on in my strolling sets.

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