Criss Angel shows us a new way of magic. He shows that doing magic, is not only making some good tricks on TV. He's kicking ass! Watch this mind master doing his magic all around the world.... See full summary »

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 Himself (94 episodes, 2005-2010)
Andrew Gerard Henderson ...
 Himself (46 episodes, 2006-2007)
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Criss Angel shows us a new way of magic. He shows that doing magic, is not only making some good tricks on TV. He's kicking ass! Watch this mind master doing his magic all around the world... and try to discover the secrets within his mind. Written by danlima

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20 July 2005 (USA)  »

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The Five Lives of Criss Angel Mindfreak  »

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The good and the bad...Criss Angel could do better
13 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a fan of magic my whole life, and as a close up magician myself, I love the art of magic in all it's forms...except when it utilizes camera tricks and stooges (stand ins, paid audience members who are in on the trick). First, the good: Criss Angel has accomplished something amazing with his career. He has become extremely successful and a house hold name by using the art of magic. That is admirable to any magician. He is a master of mentalism and close up tricks. He is personable and connects great with his fans. And he has single handedly brought magic back to main stream entertainment.

The bad: Although I respect him and admire his hard work, I am disappointed in many of his TV illusions. I find myself asking "Why Criss? Why use a stooge when you could have easily done another variation of the trick with an actual audience member?!" Or "Why use a camera trick? couldn't you have done something more convincing and less flashy?"

Sure Mindfreak is fun to watch, and inspires "how'd he do that?" conversations, but to a magician or a skeptic his tricks are nothing but clever camera tricks / angels, and cheap over-actors placed amongst his rabid fan base. His half an hour shows have about 4 or 5 tricks at most, and the rest of the time is interviews and one liners about how amazing Criss is, or how dangerous his next stunt will be and how "it's never been done before." Having been to several of his live tapings, and waiting HOURS past his schedule appearance time to actually see him...I can say from a first hand experience that he uses a lot of cuts, re-edits, redos, and stand ins. Then, for an hour or so after the trick has been filmed, the camera crew has the audience "pretend" that they are watching the trick again and tapes their reactions. Imagine the camera crew saying "OK, now you've just seen him disappear...when I point cheer as loud as you can...now pretend like Criss just reappeared...now act surprised."

I don't like the fact that Criss Angel relies so much on camera tricks and actors. I don't like the hype and merchandising. I hate how in every show, his "Big" trick at the end is usually a let down (because his use of camera tricks is so apparent). If Criss stuck to close up tricks, street performances, and mentalism, he'd be unstoppable. But instead, I believe that he is losing more respect by trying to do bigger and bigger tricks, which in reality use the same technology as a Hollywood film.

Please Criss, stop using actors and camera tricks and stick to the art of magic without relying so much on your cameras to do the convincing.


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