Thursday, January 8, 2015

Illusionism: prepare to amaze

Illusionism: prepare to amaze
45 minutes / 2011
Rating: 7/10

Harris III is a Christian illusionist who thinks half the fun in doing magic is being up front that he’s tricking us – he’s an honest trickster. And he’s also a generous one: in this DVD he gives away the secret behind five of his illusions.
  • Two card tricks
  • A gravity-defying bit that has a ring travel up an elastic band
  • A mind reading display
  • And one where dollar bills mysteriously flip themselves over
Each one is simple enough for a ten-year-old to perform but mystifying enough to trick a close-watching 40-something year old (who isn’t above making use of the rewind and slow motion features on his DVD player).

So first we get to see the trick, and then he goes through how to do it step by step, including tips on getting your patter right – the way a magician talks is as important as what he does with his hands. To perform them, all that’s needed are a few common enough items: a deck of cards, a few dollar bills, a box of crayons, and an elastic band. Oh, and a bottle of rubber glue. Then it’s all about practice – lots of practice!

This could make a fun gift for any outgoing child who likes to perform, or maybe a kid who likes to think through and figure out puzzles. You can find it at Harrisiii.com.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Blue

Documentary
2014 / 58 minutes
Rating: 8/10

Blue is about an alternative – a Christian alternative – to the Green movement. Whereas the secular environmental movement too often sees man as a problem for the Earth, the Blue movement would start with the biblical understanding that Man is the pinnacle of God’s creation, and has been entrusted with the stewardship of the Earth. While the Green movement wants us to just leave things alone, the Blue movement knows that God has told us to take an active role in protecting and developing the Earth.

The strength of the film is King’s unabashedly one-sided, presentation: 100% of the film is spent talking to like-minded Christians, politicians and scientists, including some pretty big names like E. Calvin Beisner, Lord Christopher Monckton and Vishal Mangal Wadi (if you aren’t familiar with these names, please google them – they all have a lot of worthwhile things to say about the environment and the Green movement). And because this is the side we hear so little about from the mainstream media, this film can serve as a good counter-balance.

But the weakness of the film is this same one-sided presentation. I doubt that someone watching this who was already sympathetic to the Green movement would watch this any change their mind. I think it would be more likely that they would think King’s uninterrupted bashing of the Green movement must be unfair, and couldn’t possibly be a fair representation of them. Now the environmental movement is actually as bad as King portrays but because he never lets the Greens speak for themselves, it is understandable that a skeptical listener wouldn’t just take King’s word for it.

The presentation is good, and as documentaries go, it is quite entertaining. That’s another way of saying, if you like documentaries, you’ll like this one, but if you don’t like documentaries, this one isn’t likely to make you change your mind. Overall I’d say it is a great one for Christians, to help us better understand the difference between biblical stewardship and the environmentalist approach, but it probably isn’t a good one to give to your environmentalist friends.

You can buy it at Amazon.com by clicking here. Or you can, at least for now, watch the whole movie for free online. Check it out below.

BLUE (Blue Beats Green) Full Movie HD from JD King on Vimeo.