First a random fact. I love the graphics on the main menu! I don’t want to spoil it for your first viewing – but it is a clever look view Mr Bannon in glorious duplicity! Very cool! But what’s this disk all about?
Essentially it is a disk of packet tricks that all make use of a John Bannon display which we first saw in the Bullet Party disks. This display (and the Elmsley Count) are explained first, and then we get on to the tricks…
This is a fabulous blend of several plots which are all strong to start with. The spectators chosen Ace is the only one reversed in a packet of blank cards – so far so B’wave – but then the chosen ace has a different back, then all the other aces appear also with different backs – and you end clean! All the cards you need to perform this are supplied and there’s a bit of history from Liam before the explanation in conversation with Cameron Franics. The (minimum) effort required is out of all proportion to the impact of the effect. This one’s a real worker.
Another confession – I misread the graphics on the title of this and thought it said ‘Montinator Slo’! John and Liam provide different handlings of this effect which was originally based on a Jack Parker idea. A ‘find the lady’ routine with cards boldly marked on their backs where everything changes at the end! The idea of a marked find the lady is a brilliant plot device – and as with all of these routines you end beautifully clean.
Bannon mixed with Francis – and a chop cup routine that’s trying to be a packet trick – two potent combinations! This is a really nice variation on the monte effect with an engaging premise – of practising your misdirection. An ‘odd’ card repeatedly jumps back to the packet and then everything changes at the end. Loads of magic and (like all of these effects) ends clean. Fantastic. If I have a criticism, it is that there are a lot of cards in the initial packet.
Short Attention Spin
An observation test with a lot of magic happening with hardly any moves. The double climax is very strong and you are so far ahead of them you can just sit back and enjoy it. A great little trick.
Then we come to the ‘bonus effects’. I’ve often wondered what makes a bonus effect a bonus. On this disk I think they are ‘extras’ in the sense that they don’t use the same kind of moves as the rest of the effects on the disk. There are two of them:
Box of Doom
Starts off with an old effect I have a fondness for, but then goes and stretches it into whole new places with extra climaxes galore. This is classic Bannon and the presentation really makes this into a new trick. There’s a fair bit of counting so it won’t suit all situations, but in the right place a killer.
A four ace assembly with audience participation (after John Gustaferro’s Assembly Line) and a killer second phase (based on a Mike Powers routine) where the backs of the aces change colour. I think this is vastly superior to any of the ace assemblies I’ve seen recently and much more engaging for your spectators. A worthy bonus!
Throughout the disk there are various interviews with Bannon and Montier. I always find these sections fascinating. Early on we hear Bannon on packet tricks – a defence of the genre. If you’ve bought the DVD you probably don’t need convincing, but he makes a plausible case with four arguments for doing packet tricks. In other sections you get some interesting insights into these two great magical minds – don’t you dare just watch the tricks!
One of the impressive things about the disk is the way in which several routines built around the same basic moves look so different given the clever presentational premises. I still wouldn’t perform them all in the same set – but it does speak of the strength of the individual effects. These are not just routines for the sake of using a new move.
It is also worth highlighting that B’rainiac, Short Attention Spin and Montinator 5.0 all appeared in the excellent little booklet Triabolical – which I must confess I own but had not had a proper look at in amongst all the other books that seem to migrate towards my magic library.
This is a great little disk for any packet-trick lover. Why not treat yourself for Christmas?