I recently sat down and watched the new John Bannon videos. I like John, his magic and his teaching methodology. To those that might not have seen John perform, you may be disappointed in his magical persona. He makes something like $500 per hour as a lawyer and this is his hobby (and I’m rather sure his passion). He would never make it as a professional performer and I am sure he would be the first to agree. To those that have his earlier productions none of this is a surprise or disappointment.
Like many advanced card men he seems enamored with location type tricks. Larry Jennings also suffered from this malady. To me, these type of tricks are puzzles and have nothing to do with magic. I’m sure others will be as intrigued as John with the mathematical machinations of these type of tricks. To me, they are just plain dull. Fortunately, for those like me don’t care for this type of trick their way on this two disc set to justify the purchase.
I don’t know if there is a perfect type of audience for a magic DVD. I think we’ve all grown rather tired of the overly effusive audiences as used by L&L and I know I’ve grown damned tired of the street idiots used in so many “cutting edge” DVDs that are being produced hourly. John presents a lot of his effects to a strikingly sexy young lady named Sammie. Anytime the trick or explanation got dull, you could be amused by deciding how long that seriously stressed button would be able to keep her blouse closed. It made it through the session, but I don’t see how. (Quite obviously, the camera men were equally intrigued)
John presented the rest of his magic to several escapees from the Geek Squad wearing sunglasses, dirty white shirts and black ties. Yawn! Please bring back Sammie.
If you are a fan John Bannon you will certainly want to purchase these two DVDs. While there is nothing earth shattering or revolutionary, the tricks are reasonably entertaining and John’s explanations give some insight into his substantial intellect and the histories and evolution of the effects. John’s best work is still in his packet tricks such as Twisted Sisters.
His best trick, in my opinion, continues to be Play It Straight Triumph. This is included as the last trick on the set, but has been renamed The Bannon Triumph. I can’t blame him for wanting to associate his name with one of the true modern classics.
I guess it’s fair to say that this set reflects John and the current state of his magic very fairly. Production is OK and the camera work excellent. Attempts at being cutting edge only serve to distract, however.