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Ultimate Wild Card Review

Official Review

June 11th, 2015 4:41pm
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
There have been many variations and different handlings of this plot over the years, some good, some not-so-good, others very practical and yet again, others not so much.

This one fits, in my opinion, right into the category of the great versions.

First of all, the production quality is great - the sound, the lighting, the microphone volume, the video quality, all very good.

When you start the disc up, you are first asked to select whether you want to watch the disc in French or in English. I watched it the first time through in French and as you might expect, there were no problems. Then I decided to watch the English side, which is normally dubbed on DVDs like this (and it was) and boy, was I surprised! Normally dubbing work is really crappy because you cannot hear anything as they leave the volume of the background microphone all the way up, or higher than the volume of the dubbing voice. In this case, it was done perfectly - you could not hear Jean-Pierre at all, only the dubbing (which in this case was done by Stephan Jardonet). This was a delight and English speakers will have no problems hearing and understanding what is being said.

The menu, once you are past the language selection, is laid out the same way for both languages. It is very easy to navigate, you have the option to 'Play All' or to select each individual phase of the routine and watch them one-by-one if you want.

Jean-Pierre Vallarino has long had a reputation as not only a fantastic performer, but also as an excellent teacher - a reputation well-deserved. He teaches everything very well, explains every detail and leaves nothing to be desired. Where they would be helpful, he gives plenty of hints and tips along the way. All the necessary moves are taught in detail, so you do not have to go chasing down various references although, admittedly, that can be fun at times!

This particular handling lends itself well to parlour and stage work with projection screens as well as close-up and strolling if you have the table space for it, which it does not really require a lot of. It also lends itself to a scripted presentation or to being performed to music, as is demonstrated in the ad trailer and in the performance on the DVD.

The cards that come with the DVD are great quality and are printed by the USPCC on Bicycle stock with Rider Backs. They should last a long time with proper care and should you ever need to replace them, Wild Card sets are usually available from most dealers. If you cannot find them and you know how to split cards, you can always make your own too. Just sayin...

Personally, I have been using this handling for a while and the only other version that I use is the Darwin Ortiz handling. In my case, I use the Vallarino handling for non-scripted presentations and the Ortiz handling gets used more in the strolling and close-up settings.

If you have never done Wild Card and do not know where to start, this is as good a place as any, if for any reason but the thorough job of teaching that you get with it. If you are a collector of Wild Card handlings (is there such a group of people?!), you will likely enjoy watching this too and you will surely see some nice changes that you can use in your own work.

Excellent video and audio quality, unbeatable and superb teaching and probably one of the best dubbed videos I have ever watched add up to...

5 stars...

VERY HIGHLY Recommended!

Suggestions from the Reviewer

I would suggest you look up the Tommy Wonder version on his 'Visions of Wonder' DVD set by L&L publishing, as well as the Darwin Ortiz version of this effect on his A1 Multimedia DVD set, 'Darwin Ortiz At the Card Table'. Both versions are excellent and you can see how well this plot lends itself to various presentations.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Ultimate Wild Card

Author: Vallarino, JP
Publisher: Arteco Productions
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $24.68
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Manufacturer's Description:

Even if the basic effect remains the same, Jean-Pierre has revisited one of the most classic small pack of cards effect: The Wild Card, aka in French: Ultimate Cartes Folles...
This can easily become one of your classic effects to perform...

Effect: One by One, 8 identical cards transform into another 8 cards

"Ultimate Wild Card is one of my most advanced routines. I like to perform it on TV, because it is very visual, and can be performed while talking or on a musical background." Jean-Pierre Vallarino

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