Artist: Tommy Wonder
Producers: Leo Smetsers
Retail Price: $25.00 USD
Learning Difficulty: Medium
Length of DVD: About 9 minutes
Tommy Wonder, bless his soul, was one of the more prolific magical artists in the latter half of this past century. His books he authored are still considered to be some of the top literary works in the craft by many of magic’s most esteemed performers. The ability to learn from him is a rare treat, and thus this very special DVD with Tommy teaching his famous two cup routine to a student (Leo Smetsers) is a very special opportunity indeed.
This DVD is subtitled into English but even then you have no problems following what Tommy is doing, with comprehension, even though the spoken language is different than English. Unless you speak Dutch, then by all means disregard this paragraph.
The DVD isn’t a studio produced film. I get the impression that this was a privately recorded session that was later released to the magic community with permissions granted from Tommy’s family. Therefore a lot of the extra finesse, features, and attention to details when it comes to camera work and editing aren’t present in this video. It’s very raw, and it’s very amateurishly shot. And with that being said it brings me to the largest complaint I have with this product… the price.
You are paying full price for a DVD release for a product that has less than ten minutes of collective film, next to no editing, amateurish videography, and English subtitles. $25 dollars for a two and half minute routine plus six and half minute explanation is a bit steep. Sure you get the legend himself teaching his own Two Cup Routine, but given that DVD’s now days are pushing multiple hours with loads of extra bonus features, etc, leaves you feeling a little empty handed for your investment when it comes to this product.
Undoubtedly this product will be quickly snatched up by fans and collectors of Tommy’s work, and right fully so. Tommy’s Two Cup Routine is a masterful approach to the cups and balls with plenty of comedic moments, misdirection, and pure displays of skill. Any student looking to further their collection and understanding of the Cups and Balls should certainly look into this DVD, but if this is your first experience with material covering the Cups and Balls you may find better service with other videos. There’s a lot on the subject this video doesn’t teach. But for what it is, an opportunity to learn Tommy’s Two Cup Routine, from Tommy himself, this is a rare and valuable find.
When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.
Product Quality: 4
I really feel the price is too much for what little you get with this video.
Teaching Quality: 10
It’s Tommy Wonder. You’re learning the Two Cup Routine from Tommy frick’n Wonder.
Video & Sound Quality: 5
The sound and video isn’t the best. Let’s just say this wasn’t a studio produced film.
Overall Quality: 7
I’m passing this video with high marks on grounds that you’re learning from the master directly himself. This was never intended to be a marketed product; it was a private lesson that was released to the fraternity by the good will of Tommy’s family and the graciousness of Leo Smetsers. And you have to take that into consideration. For what it is, this is a remarkable opportunity to learn from the master himself. A rare find, and a treasured one at that.
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