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FOX produced this TV documentary about acclaimed "street magician" David
Blaine's latest stunt: encasing himself in a huge block of ice for 72
consecutive hours with only water for nourishment. Does the trick look
impressive? Absolutely. Was Blaine REALLY 'frozen in time'? Not likely,
although he did a great job fooling the masses.
The few intercut scenes of David performing his amazing magic tricks on the streets of urban North America are much more exciting than the whole freezing bit. You'll be entertained, but you won't have that feeling of baffling disbelief that "David Blaine: Magic Man" and "David Blaine: Street Magic" leave you with. Still, if you're a fan of Blaine and his one-of-a-kind style (as I must admit I am), this is a worthwhile viewing.
David Blaine not only decides to enter his "self-imposed torture"
chamber, but invites thousands to witness his feat in person and
millions to view it on television. We follow David through his
discussions with doctors, preparation and training and ultimately, his
placement in the block of ice. (The image of Blaine exhaling visible
puffs of breath from behind the ice has remained with me the longest.)
The man undertakes life-threatening conditions and harsh criticism to experience something none of us would ever dream of. And he shares with us one reason for doing so - it's what makes him feel most alive. (David provides the narrative throughout; an addition I found very useful.)
Included here are segments of Blaine's famous "street magic", which are entertaining and utterly amazing. From card tricks to resurrection of a lifeless bird and more, the reactions of his audience are disbelief and delight. Again and again Blaine astonishes his viewers in person and at home.
I was fascinated by this T.V. special and found his comments immensely thought-provoking. David Blaine is not your everyday magician. He is a man who is driven to excel at whatever he attempts.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was the first time I saw the almost fearless magician/stunt man in action, and it really was a gripping programme. He basically incarcerated/in-cased himself in a block of ice and tried to stay there for 72 hours. He did not move that much in the ice cube, and people watching him were obviously getting worried about how long he could survive the cold, and in not very good clothing. When the final moments came, he was getting a bit impatient, and when he came out he was rushed straight to hospital with frostbite/hypothermia. It was quite disturbing seeing his condition afterwards, but he was okay. I can't wait to see his next stunt, but I also wonder why he wants to do these things. Very good!
As a professional close-up magician, I find Blaine an interesting character:
he came virtually out of nowhere (to magicians and the lay public) to become
pretty much a household name.
I admired his cajones -- and some of his technical skills using very old and well-known magical effects in attempting to turn them into what his promos called "street magic."
Make no mistake... this cat's no "street magician."
Street magicians get PAID for their tricks, and not much -- they pass a hat -- generally they're fairly broke. Dave just walks up on (supposedly) unsuspecting folks, blows them away then slips into the sunset... or back to his room at the Four Seasons.
But Blaine does a few legitimately cool magic effects, primarily with cards, although most of the "actual" effects he performs -- those which one of us can actually perform for a "regular" audience -- have been developed, or made famous, by actual working professional magicians.
Yup -- sorta like Copperfield. Blaine's not an innovator, or even a particularly effective performer. Check out the list of "magic advisors" at the end of his specials. And those are only the ones who are STILL ALIVE!
This "Frozen in Time" special is particularly foul -- at least four of the effects are accomplished via "stooges" (paid spectators) or total camera trickery. And we won't go into the finale.
Copperfield would be proud.
Nonetheless, I have his signed and numbered poster for this stunt framed and matted in my living room.
Yeah, I'm the whore ;)
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