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Hannibal: The Truth from a Liar (2 Disc Set) Review

Official Review

May 23rd, 2014 5:31pm
Reviewed by Fredrick Turner
Hannibal: The Truth From A Liar is a two DVD set from the award-winning magician, Chris Hannibal. I have to admit that until the set arrived, I had not heard of him. I was pleasantly surprised. Hannibal is a thinker and one who is constantly working and evolving his material. He believes that magic needs to be strong, engaging and about something. In his case, his magic is about him, his character and his life.

The disks begin with a 45 minute close-up/parlor show. What strikes you is how the show is structured. It has flow, texture and callbacks. Everything in it fits Hannibal and his character. It's apparent that Hannibal has done the work. You learn later that the act is under constant revision and refinement. There is a second version with a running commentary from Hannibal. Consider it a magic version of a director’s commentary.

Each disk has an explanation of three routines performed in the show. The explanations are well done with nothing left out on the whys of Hannibal’s choices. You get the how’s too but that's not the purpose of the set. It's all about the why’s of making choices based on you and your performance character. (We all have one - even if the character is just a version of ourselves.) The crediting is excellent and woven organically into the explanation. All of the effects are based on classics - coins and cylinder, cards across, card under glass, and bill in orange. While the methods are solid and often innovative, it's not the set’s intention.

The downside to the set has nothing to do with Hannibal. It's choices made by Producer Anthony Asimov. First, there is no Play All feature. The segments on the disk play individually. This is quite frustrating as some are very brief and explanations are broken up into two or three short pieces. Second, there are lot of duplication on the disks. Both disks have the same introductory interview, the same show, the same commentary version, the same credits and the same lengthy ad for other Asimov products. Additionally, the show is segmented and duplicated for each explanation. Its a lot of wasted space and feels like Asimov is padding it into two disks.

These production short-comings aside, Hannibal: The Truth From A Liar is a wonderful, in-depth study of one magician’s thinking about how he makes his magic fit him and creates an experience that is entertaining, theatrical and most importantly, magical.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Hannibal: The Truth from a Liar (2 Disc Set)

Author: Hannibal, Chris
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $39.99
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Manufacturer's Description:

Recognized by the International Brotherhood of Magicians with the People's Choice Award for Close-Up Magic, this 20-year veteran of street magic, comedy clubs and banquet-style performance has agreed to tip the methods to his trademark effects, including his epic prize-winning nine-phase "Pringles Act".

A self-professed Liar, he has much to teach about presenting magic through compelling storytelling, crafting strong material, and structuring a show that builds to a whopping finish. In "The Truth From A Liar," Hannibal presents original magic as well as classic effects (such as "Coin and Cylinder" and "Cards Across") with innovative twists that turn them into showstoppers.

Learn more than a trick, learn how this great mind in magic thinks by watching him perform his full show for an intimate studio audience, then discover his secrets behind creating and performing dynamic theatrical magic.

"HANNIBAL: The Truth From A Liar" is ISSUE #2 in the Black Rabbit Series, which features outstanding professional magicians from around the world who perform full shows for live audiences in a studio setting.

2-DVD Set Includes:

45 Minute Live Show

2 Hours of Detailed Instruction

Two Bonus Live PerformancesBonus 45 Minute Commentary with Hannibal

Slipcase that holds both DVDs

"Hannibal combines wonderful magical effects with masterful presentations and storytelling. Watching these DVDs will make your magic stronger." - Jon Allen

"When learning how I perform magic in restaurants a decade ago, I was offered Jim Sisti's The Magic Menu. Of all the routines I studied, nothing pulled me in like the work of Hannibal. I always wondered what routines like The Pringles Act looked like live. Here is an opportunity to see a TRUE master at work. This set should be in EVERY MAGICIAN'S library." - Eric Jones

"That was just delightful!"
- Max Maven

"The Pringles Act is pure genius."
- Anthony Asimov

"A perfect combination of mystery, comedy and emotion. Hannibal is one of magic's premier storytellers who will pull your heartstrings and surprise you with real mystery along the way. His take on 'The Bill in Lemon' is one of the best theatrical presentations for this effect you will ever see!"
- Scott Robinson

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