Review: Move Zero (Vol 3) by John Bannon and Big Blind Media

Reviewer: John Teo

This is the third volume of the “Move Zero” series of DVD by John Bannon.  By now you will understand that “Move Zero” means there are zero “sleight-of-hand” moves involved in all the effects.  It is also commonly known as “self-working”.  The methods are therefore based on subtleties than sleight-of-hand.  This also means that presentation is important to “sell” the effects to the spectators.

With regards to presentation, pay careful attention to the psychology of what John Bannon says or does with the playing cards.  What he says or does actually lift these self-working card tricks several notches up in their deceptiveness and credibility such that it becomes impossible to back-track and discover their (mostly) mathematical principles.

There is a section called “trick-bag” where John explains the principles he used.  The principles at work in this DVD are:

  • Automatic placement
  • Prophesy move
  • Parity principle
  • Vertical addition
  • Overkill
  • Einstein tautology

John gives credits for each of the effects in the DVD.  This section offers an interesting insight into who first discovered or used these principles, and how these evolved through time.

There is another interesting segment in the DVD, which is like the most desired questions to ask about John Bannon and his magic.  John answers to each of these questions:

  • How do you practice self-working card tricks?
  • Can I really trust my audience to follow my instructions?
  • Is there a difference in performing for magicians and a real audience?
  • In what circumstances is a self-working version of a trick better than a sleight-filled one?
  • When you are devising a routine, how do you prioritize your objectives?
  • Do you have a favourite hidden gem from your back catalogue?
  • When you talked about “removing wonder and presentation from magic” what did you mean?
  • What 5 tricks are you likely to perform?

You receive a well-produced DVD that contains 9 “move zero” card effects.  It has an easy-to-navigate menu that allows you to quickly get to any important segment in the DVD.

Each of the 9 effects is shown live before John gives the explanation.  The 9 effects are:

  • 32nd Sense – a spectator chooses a card by randomly cutting a small packet of cards.  The performer has predicted the chosen card by using currency notes inside an envelope, with a comedy outcome.  The spectator deals cards to the total amount of the money and her chosen card is found there.
  • Mouse Trap – this is a nice variation of the above effect.  A pair of black Queens is inserted into the deck.  When the deck is re-shuffled, her chosen card is found sandwiched between the 2 black Queens.
  • Candy Crush – a business card is randomly inserted into a deck and the 2 cards, one on each side of the business card form a random third card with the value shown of one card and the suit shown by the other card.  The deck is then spelt to the identity of this card and that card is found at the end of the spelling.
  • Poker Pairodox – each of the 8 pairs of cards from a packet of 16 high value cards is shown to consist of different cards.  A card is freely removed.  Without any move, all the 8 pairs of cards are magically shown to match perfectly – ie a red Queen with a red Queen, etc.
  • Origami Poker – a packet of 12 high cards is mixed by shuffling and then turning over some cards face-up and some face-down.  They are then laid in the form of a 3 x 4 matrix on the table.  A spectator decides which row or which column to “fold” over until it becomes a single packet.  When spread, a Royal Flush makes its appearance.
  • Origami Prediction – a variation of the above effect but a 4 x 4 matrix is used instead of a 3 x 4 matrix.  The number and types of cards that are finally turned over are predicted in advance.
  • Big Bad Add – 2 hands of cards each are dealt to 2 spectators.  Each uses their number cards to form 4 random 2-digit numbers.  Their total is predicted in a comical way by using currency notes inside an envelope.
  • Cross Purposes – 2 spectators each cut to a small packet of cards.  The number of cards in one packet is used to choose a random card.  The number of cards in the other packet is used to locate the exact position of this card in the deck.
  • Box Of Doom – a spectator randomly deals a small packet of cards on the table.  This number of cards dealt as well as the identity of the card dealt to are both predicted in a novel way by another packet of cards from a different deck contained inside a prediction box (the Box of Doom).

The concise description of each of the 9 tricks does not do justice to their effects on the spectators.  They merely give you an idea of what the tricks are in the DVD.  You have to watch the live performances in the DVD to appreciate how well each of them played out to the audience.  

You not only get 9 superb self-working card tricks in the DVD, you get to learn a lot from John’s presentations.  The variations John put on some of these effects show you how you too can come out with your own tricks using the principles taught in the DVD.  

Please support intellectual property. Only buy original. Available from all reputable Murphy’s Magic dealers.

10 Stars (10 / 10)

Move Zero (Vol 3) by John Bannon and Big Blind Media

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