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Extreme Close-Up DVD Review

Official Review

August 25th, 2006 10:44pm
Reviewed by David Parr
Extreme Close-up is a DVD reissue of a 1998 VHS video, with several added features, the first of which is David Acer’s apology for his ’90s hair.

The video comprises an eclectic collection of routines, sleights and moves, some of which come from Mr. Acer’s early published work. The material is clever and plentiful, covering everything from cards to coins, from purse frames to paper currency. My favorites include a nifty-looking ace production; a handling much better than the standard one for producing an object from a purse frame; and a routine in which someone’s thoughts are read by the image of Honest Abe on a five dollar bill. (That last effect includes instructions for making a utility device that has many more applications in addition to the one explained on this video.) Also notable, and new on this DVD, is an improved version of “Around the World in Eighty Dollars,” a bill-switch routine to which Max Maven has contributed a direct and disarming forcing method.

Between instructional segments, viewers are treated to clips from Mr. Acer’s numerous television appearances. The clips are, as always, engagingly eccentric. The best one involves David’s attempt to draw a composite sketch of a suspected criminal, based on an eyewitness description. I shouldn’t have been drinking a beverage while watching that.

I have only one complaint about this video. For much of the time, the camera is in a stationary close-up shot at about table level, which means that Mr. Acer’s upper body is out of frame. He addresses his viewers as if nothing is odd, but we can’t see his face. This is obviously meant to be a sight-gag related to the video’s title. (Get it?) But in spite of Mr. Acer’s resonant voice, the joke made it difficult for me to connect with him as my instructor and guide in the video world. (Restaurant magicians who stand while performing for an audience that is seated, take note: This is what the audience is experiencing for much of the performance.)

While I think that Mr. Acer’s video On Screen and Other Mysteries and his book Random Acts of Magic serve as better introductions to his oeuvre, there is plenty of useful and appealing magic on this blast from David Acer’s past.

Oh, and one more thing: David, we forgave your hair hours ago. Tell it to unlock the door and come out.
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Product info for Extreme Close-Up DVD

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

Join one of magic's most unique personalities for 110 minutes of wildly expansive yet deeply intimate close-up mayhem! Four aces erupt from a face-down deck in a sudden, explosive display! A borrowed finger ring links to the arm of a borrowed pair of glasses! Three quarters penetrate a regular deck that's resting on the mouth of a drinking glass! A bottle cap is tossed into the air, then suddenly skewered on the end of the magician's forefinger! A stickman drawn on the back of an indifferent card multiplies and appears on the backs of all four cards in a packet, then vanishes from all the cards but one--naturally, it's the selection! A borrowed bill changes not once, but twice into currency from any two countries chosen by a spectator. And the list goes on and on!

13 mind-blowing, eye-popping routines straight from David's professional repertoire!

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PLUS 14 sleights & utilities, including Richard Sanders' PLOP!, David's THE TRINARY CUT, Haruhito Hirata's MASTER MOVE, and more, AS WELL AS 3 DVD BONUS CLIPS OF DAVID PERFORMING MATERIAL FROM THIS COLLECTION ON TV!

NOTE: This DVD was originally released on video in 1998 which now includes 4 Bonus Clips on the DVD version

Running Time Approximately 1hr 50min

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