Draven Reviews: Cards ‘N Logics

approved Title: Cards ‘N Logics
Artist: Nicolas Pierri
Retail Price: NOT OUT YET!
Learning Difficulty: Moderate
Length of DVD:  Aprox. 40 Minutes
Notes: This is a preview review of an upcoming trick!

Cards ‘N Logics comes from the working repertoire of magician Nicolas Pierri.  I’ve never heard of Nicolas before but after reviewing this material I’m interested to see where he goes from here.  The young man has quite a lot of talent and an eye for creative detail.

Cards ‘N Logics is a multi-phase complete card routine that could be preformed either in a formal setting, as part of a show, or in intimate impromptu close up.  The advertisements suggests that you don’t need roughing fluid, or have angle issues to worry about, which admittedly after watching the performance portion I wonder why these would even be items of concern in the first place?  I suppose this was included as sort of a way to make this sound more impressive.  I don’t know.  At any rate yes this is correct.  Angles are not a problem and you will not need roughing fluid for any of this.

The effect is called Cards ‘N Logic because the performance is structured like a bit of a sucker gag.  The magician prompts the spectator to answer simple questions based on observation that always turn out to be inaccurate because the magician has done a bit of sneaky business beforehand; ala Three Card Monte, Cups and Balls, Hopping Halves, Chop Cup, etc.  The performer corrects the spectator in their observations being logical, but not magical before revealing the changes that take place.

The routine opens with a psychological force that couldn’t be any more obvious even if you printed the answer on a baseball bat and beat the spectator over the head with it.  Nicolas teaches two different ways to do this force.  Saying his preferred method is better than his original one is like saying you prefer to be beaten with a wooden baseball bat instead of a metal one.  Fortunately the psychological force is really just a moot point.  In theory you could work with four of any kind of card the spectator mentions, you’d just prefer the force because it’s frankly less work.

So you start with a four of a kind assembly.  Now the way Nicolas does it is pretty casual and very open.  The deck is shuffled and ribbon spread face up on the table, a card is named (via psychological force), and he just picks up the deck, squares it, and then turns four of a kind over from the top of the deck.  There will be those who will love how incredibly casual this is.  I mean the spectator just shuffled the deck and somehow managed to shuffle four of a kind to the top of the deck before they even named them.  When you think about it it’s a pretty stunning revelation, but sadly the punch this should carry just seems to fall flat when he just flips the four top cards over revealing the four of a kind.  I really didn’t like this approach at all.  There are hundreds of ways to assemble four of a kind, so why not do this a little more magically than just turning over the top four cards?  I feel like a magical opportunity was missed here.

In the next phase of this routine we see selected cards magically turn over in the magicians hands as he just moves the cards from the top of the stack to the bottom ala Twisting the Aces.  It doesn’t seem to matter how many cards the magician has that are face up when he starts, they all end face down.  It defies logic that he should have this kind of control over these cards.

In the third phase of the routine the performer has three of his spectators’ select a single card each, holding back the spade for himself.  The performer shields his eyes to prevent accidently seeing the selections being made.  The performer returns all three cards to the stack, and turns them over showing his/her card (the spade) showing on the bottom.  The performer explains that rubbing the spade somehow makes it magical, and then magically causes their spade to turn into each of the other cards one at a time.

In the final phase of the routine the performer puts a single card on the table showing the spectator which card it is, and another matching in color is placed next to it face down.  The performer asks the spectator to identify which of the two cards on the table was the card shown to them.  They are of course wrong, it’s the other card.  The magician does this again only this time the two on the table switch places with the two in the performer’s hands while the spectator’s finger is still on them.

There is nothing new magic wise in Cards ‘N Logic.  It’s a psychological force into four of a kind assembly, with a variation of Twisting the Aces, and a splash of a four card transposition thrown in for good measure.  All of the different phases seen have been in existence before, and the sleights used to perform all of these miracles are all well known in the magic community.  What Cards ‘N Logic succeeds at is not providing a piece of card magic, though it does do that, but instead it does a better job at giving the viewer a prime example of how you can take fundamental sleights, classic routines, and blend them together into a single performance that can be quite enjoyable to watch.

Cards ‘N Logic suffers from some questionable scripting, which admittedly many magic tricks these days do, in so much as it relies on playfully challenging the spectators concept of reality and using sneaky business to ensure they have the wrong answers.  This of course is done in a tongue and cheek kind of way so it’s still fun and no one really feels like an idiot they are being made out to be.  Personally I’d throw out the entire logic of magic premise and just write a new script to suit my own personality.  But it is a fun routine from start to finish, and it is loaded with lots of magical moments that your audiences will marvel at.

The tutorial on the video is a little over a half hour long, and is crammed full of sleights.  Routine wise this is going to be quite heavy on the magical monkey business compared to some other card effects out there.  I think that is mostly because this is an amalgamation of multiple other card plots structured together into a single routine.  Fortunately I don’t think any of the sleights used are going to be too difficult for a beginner let alone someone who has been doing card magic for a while.  The video is in spoken Spanish with English subtitles.

I liked Cards ‘N Logic.  I thought it was a fun way to look back at some classic effects and figure out how to put a personal spin on them.  There is a lot to be gained from watching this video.  For the magicians who have been around card magic for a while you may enjoy seeing how Nicolas blends together classical effects to make something that is uniquely his own, while newer students of magic will find a treasure trove of essential utility moves.  There’s a little something for everyone in this product.  Nicolas has some creative ideas, and I do expect to see more from him in the future.  If you haven’t already, take a look at Cards ‘N Logics.  I think you’re going to like it.

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: 7
I enjoyed the routine from front to back.  I think there are some obvious areas for improvement such as the four of a kind assembly, but I’m sure those will come on an individual level.

Teaching Quality: 6
I think the tutorial was well taught.  There’s a lot to learn here.  Great video for newer students of card magic.  There is a lot going on here.

Video & Sound Quality: 8
The sound and video wasn’t the best.  Certainly wasn’t studio HD quality.

Overall Quality: 7
Not a bad find.  It’s worth checking out especially if you are newer to card magic.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog!

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About William Draven

William Draven is a professional magician and sideshow performer living in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter at WilliamDraven or on facebook at www.facebook.com/thewilliamdraven
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