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function (9) by Calen Morelli Detailed Review You are now viewing the function (9) by Calen Morelli Detailed Review thread.
  1. #1 December 30th, 2010

    Default function (9) by Calen Morelli Detailed Review

    [I]What it says:

    "Function 9 is a collection of nine effects from the mind of Calen Morelli. These 2 discs contain effects that are practical and hard hitting using everything from playing cards to rubber bands to chewing gum. Each effect is taught in detail covering over 3 hours on the 2 dvds."


    Unlike a lot of reviewers, I refuse to be sucked into the style of giving high scores even in a lousy DVD, I feel honesty and constructive criticism is the way to go. With that said, here is my review and opinion of all 9 tricks in the DVD by Calen Morelli.


    GENERAL RATINGS:

    Quality: 9/10


    Most magic videos nowadays have great quality. This one had a good setting in Studio 35 and relatively great camera work. The only flaw is that the lighting blinded the view of the objects in his hands. Insignificant, nevertheless.

    Teaching: 9/10


    Calen is very detailed in explaining his tricks. If memory serves me right, he spent 40 minutes teaching Loaded 1 and 2.

    Performances: 8/10

    Every trick has a street performance which is great in helping people learn how to present the effects, which is followed by a studio performance. I was highly satisfied by the real-life performances which helped but in all honesty, Calen looked slightly nervous at times and rushed through some of the tricks, especially the demo performance of Transport which gave me and my magic buddy a laugh.


    TRICKS:

    • VGH(a+b)

    (a) A selected card visually jumps from the deck to your hands, ending in between the spectators hands!
    (b) An in hands and extremely visual version of Paul Harris' grasshopper effect.


    Rating: 7/10

    Very visually appealing with a nice ending in the spectators' hands, this impromptu trick was good but I found it too complicated with this cards' across routine having way too many card jumps, hence no specific magical moments. The card jumps endless times from one packet to another. Seeing the performance is proof that spectators found it difficult to follow and react to the umpteen card jumps. I would prefer to cut down on the number of times the card jumps.

    PEN IN BOTTLE

    A pen visually jumps inside a full bottle of water.


    Rating: 8/10

    I thought it would be heavily involved with gimmicks which put me off instantly. But after seeing the explanation, I was impressed with how easy the gimmick was made. In fact, the trick is really easy and uses and concept which is common in Coin in Bottle routines but applied to a pen instead. Great effect, one I would definitely consider adding to my repertoire.

    TRANSPORT

    You hold a cell phone and the spectator holds a cell phone. A rubber band is wrapped around the cell phone in your hand. The band visually vanishes from the phone in your hands and reappears on the phone they have been holding the entire time!
    (bonus)
    A borrowed ring instantly links onto a few rubber bands worn on your wrist then it melts off just as impossibly.


    Rating: 9/10

    The best trick of the DVD. Gimmick is really easy to make and the visual disappearance of the rubber band is great and impromptu. There is an impromptu teaching too on papercraneproductions.com for all the purists like me, but I think the gimmick is just as good but does not allow you to end clean. With audience management, this trick is great. The only downfall is the audience management itself, where if at the start you cannot draw attention away from the phone you place in their hands, the tricks is instantly ruined. An easy way I have found to remove this risk is to ask the spectator to cover the phone between both hands. Good job Calen.

    • SUSPENDED

    You hang one band on another. Then in an instant half of the supporting band vanishes for just a moment leaving the band hanging in the air! Pure visual goodness!


    Rating: 7/10

    I might be biased on this one, but I don't like this particular gimmick although the visual aspect to it is great. I guess gimmick lovers would like this one, but its just not my cup of tea.

    LOADED (1.0)

    If you perform card under box, you will love this powerful routine!


    Rating: 7/10

    Card to foot routine where a card jumps to under your foot, then the whole deck vanishes and appears under your foot again. Nice trick, although not entirely different from the Card to Pocket sequence. This trick, however, is good for street performances. Misdirection is a key factor though. Without appropriate timing this effect fails miserably, just like Transport.

    LOADED (2.0)

    A card to hat with a kicker ending that will blow your audience away!


    Rating: 8/10

    The same plot as its first version, just that this time the card travels to your hat, then the rest of the deck. I like his sunglasses appearance, really cool. This trick is perfect for cap wearers like me and I will certainly perform this. Visual and entertaining, but a note is that both versions of Loaded, personally, have no WOW elements that stun audiences. It's more of a "That's impressive" or "Good trick" sort of reaction, which is why I cannot give the trick higher than it already is. The spectators' reactions confirmed my theory.


    • FRICTION

    An insanely visual rubber band thru bill routine! Impromptu and easy to learn.


    Rating: 8.5/10

    Visual and impromptu, what more can you want? Great illusion, good angles. No spectator involvement but that doesn't take anything away from this effect. I will perform this one.

    • SUGAR FREE

    A piece of gum visually jumps from the pack to your mouth, instantly!


    Rating: 6/10

    Not too sure about the gimmick and method, as nothing is examinable straightaway unless you swap the gum pack immediately. And I think this is the type of trick that spectators want to check out. Didn't like this one. The 6 points come from Calen's creativity, the quick reset and the visual aspect of the trick.

    • TRANSIT

    An ordinary rubber band is wrapped around your finger and visually jumps from finger to finger. Calen is back with two new handling on this super visual effect.


    Rating: 6.5/10


    One we are all familiar with at theory11. Band through fingers. Cheeky "gimmick" and visual penetration but looks unnatural as the finger with the rubber band must have the two other fingers clipping it. The part where the band travels to the thumb also does not make sense, other than for cleanup. It is not really a magical moment for me.

    Overall Rating: 7/10

    Good attempt by Calen, and I probably will add two or three tricks in function(9) to my repertoire. Mr. Morelli is one to look out for in the future for sure.

  2. #2 December 30th, 2010

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    Hey man, great review. There have been a few reviews, but none of them were that great, so thanks! ONe question I have is do you recommend getting this? Is it worth the price of the DVD?

  3. #3 December 30th, 2010

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    Thank you for a great review. I was waiting on one of these before I make my decision.

  4. #4 December 30th, 2010
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    Cardmaster211
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    I bought this set yesterday, and because of you I am excited even more to recieve it in the mail!
    - Jaryn

  5. #5 December 30th, 2010

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    Great review man, have to got to check out the Impromptu version of transport yet? The download is free to those who own the dvd.
    http://www.papercranemagic.com/transportimpromptu.htm

    Calen

  6. #6 December 30th, 2010

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    Nice to see a good review of this.

    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.
    -- Somerset Maugham
  7. #7 December 30th, 2010

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calen.Morelli. View Post
    Great review man, have to got to check out the Impromptu version of transport yet? The download is free to those who own the dvd.
    http://www.papercranemagic.com/transportimpromptu.htm

    Calen
    Thanks Calen,

    Yea I have, and it is great. I prefer that to the original routine especially since I have a thing against gimmicks. That impormptu version helped me decide it was the best trick of the DVD

  8. #8 December 30th, 2010

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNinjew View Post
    Hey man, great review. There have been a few reviews, but none of them were that great, so thanks! ONe question I have is do you recommend getting this? Is it worth the price of the DVD?
    Thanks!

    Well, whether you want to buy this really depends on you as a performer. Firstly, misdirection and showmanship is of PARAMOUNT importance in about half the tricks. Also, if you like tricks that are impromptu or have small homemade gimmicks, you will like it. However, if intermediate sleight-of-hand is not your forte, then this is not one for you. Personally, DVDs which have tricks that I add to my repertoire are quite few, so I do not regret buying this.

    Just one more thing, for DVDs which feature multiple tricks, you will never add more than four or five into your repertoire because not all suits you.

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