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Fundamentalism Review

June 22nd, 2009 11:18am
Reviewed by Brian Reaves
As long as you can keep in mind you're not seeing Max Maven in action here, you'll probably enjoy the simple effects available here. Some of the mentalism offered here is straightforward and plays well to a small group or even two individuals. The "ESP with Playing Cards" routine plays well for a layman audience, but it won't fool anyone with even a beginner's experience in magic until you get to the sandwich effect at the end. That pays off well, I'll admit.

"Flip Flop" is so complicated it almost confuses the spectator in the video. The "Hoy Book Test" and "Pick-A-Date" are old routines that are probably on several other videos out there (Ross Johnson's "Simply Psychic" has a better version of the book test that involves describing entire paragraphs rather than a single word, and the video costs half the price). To be fair, David's method does allow a certain impromptu handling if you're at a party and you know someone is going to ask you to do some magic for them.

"Grey Elephants in Denmark" really blew the audience 1995 when Max Maven did it on "World's Greatest Magic". Unfortunately, since then it's been so over-used you can't even consider trying it any more. My 13 year old son came home from school trying to pull it on me because his friends had taught it to him. You might fool a few folks with it, but it's a risk.

"Jumbo 8 Card Brainwave" is probably one of the best effects on the video. It can be adapted for regular Poker size cards if you don't want to play it big for stage. His handling is good on it and for the effect it doesn't take much practice (one move is all you have to learn). He also does a couple of routines using ESP cards that you might consider. It should be mentioned that they can be adapted for use with regular playing cards if you tweak them a little. That would allow you to throw in a little mentalism in the middle of your card routine if you wanted to.

So all totaled we have one killer routine, two fairly good ones, two that can be tweaked to be useful, and four that probably shouldn't have been used. If you're just getting into mentalism, you might consider this, but if you have any experience with it you can skip it.
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Product info for Fundamentalism

Author: David Eldridge
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $29.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Fundamentalism, the complete mentalism show of David Eldridge all on one DVD. All the classics are here, including some you've probably never heard about. The props fit nicely in your pockets and the routines can be performed just about anywhere.

* DAVID'S ESP ROUTINE - A self-working three-phase routine using an ESP deck. David has used this effect for years and you'll love the "hands-off" feel of it.
* DAVID'S ESP TRICK - This is a great example of "Apparent Spectator Control," wherein the spectator believes that she is controlling everything when, in fact, she controls nothing.
* FLIP FLOP - A spectator holds a packet of 5 ESP cards and makes free decisions as to which cards are flipped over. At the end of all this flipping and flopping, you show that you've predicted the outcome in advance!
* ESP WITH PLAYING CARDS - This is a three-phase routine using a borrowed deck of playing cards. There is a lie detector test and then a called-out revelation, and David caps it all off with a terrific sandwich effect.
* HOY BOOK TEST - This is mentalism at its strongest! Far and away David's favorite book test, and you'll see why -- anytime, anywhere, from any book!
* PICK-A-DATE - Easy to do and a wonderful effect. Two random quarters, two spectators, and one amazing moment of magic!
* JUMBO 8 CARD BRAINWAVE - A stage-size version of a close-up classic!
* THE ENDLESS CHAIN GAME - While this isn't really mentalism, it is included here because it is so much fun to perform!
* THE GREY ELEPHANT IN DENMARK - An old classic that David has used to great success. You'll use this in close-up, on stage, even on the radio!

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