Draven Reviews: Sizzle by John Bannon


Title: Sizzle

Artist: John Bannon

Producers: Big Blind Media

Retail Price: $27.00 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy to Medium


  • Instructional DVD
  • Cards


  • Play All
  • Performance
  • Explanation
  • Bonus
  • Trailers

First there was Alex Elmsly’s Dazzle, a very visual but very hard to perform packet trick that used gaff cards that were difficult to come by. But then came Bannon and the entire thing got redesigned into the masterpiece six phase packet trick that it is today. John’s stripped out the difficult moves, cut down on the hard to find gaffs, and included everything you need to get up and running with it. John Bannon’s Sizzle just maybe the last packet trick you ever buy.

So enough with the marketing rhetoric and let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this trick. Basically in presentation you’re going to show six Jokers and an Ace of Spades. The Jokers are all going to start off with the same colored backs, but soon enough their backs are all going to change color when they come into contact with the Ace of Spades, but it doesn’t stop there. Each time they change color with contact to the Ace of Spades, all the Jokers turn that color. When they are touched to the Ace again the faces all turn into a royal flush in spades. Frankly as fun and amazing as the color changes are and of course the shocking twisted ending the motivation for doing this trick is little more than magical mischief. You’re doing something because you can and filling in the dead space with lame and often weak excuses to justify your moves. Great trick visually, horrible trick when it comes to plot and storytelling.

Included in the trick are all the cards you need to perform this effect. The Elmsly count is going to be the hardest sleight of hand move that you’ll be required to know, and if you don’t know it already then it’s taught fairly well on the DVD. All in all this is a fun visual packet trick to do, and your spectators are going to see some dazzling color changes and an impossible twist ending, but the reality is none of it is really motivated or flows together very well. It’s great for strolling magicians, or close up performers, or even street workers. It fits into your wallet pretty easily, and it’s a strong go to piece if you’re ever in the mood for mindless magic. However if you require your tricks to have more meaning you may find yourself in need of rewriting the presentation to have a bit more substance to it than what it comes packaged with.

Overall this trick seems to me to be something that card enthusiasts will go nuts over. It’s easy enough to learn that even newer magicians should be able to get a lot of work out of it, but it wasn’t a perfect fit for me on a personal level. I just don’t like crappy presentations that use cheap excuses like “The Ace is a trouble shooter card” as if the different colored backs presented any real trouble within the confines of the presentation. At this point the effect would be better performed silent than having you spew this magical bile all over the place. Get rid of the crappy script and you’ve got a visually pleasing, easy to reset, pocket sized miracle on your hands.

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

Good price, good illusion, piss poor scripting.

Teaching Quality: 8

Easy and quick to learn. The Elmsly Count being the hardest thing you’ll need to know.

Video & Sound Quality: 9

Great sound and video.

Overall Quality: 8

Ultimately this is unmotivated visual magic for card magicians. If you can find a way to work around the script issue, Or if you don’t care about having good scripts to begin with then this is going to be something you’ll probably love.

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 where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

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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