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Criss Angel Mindfreak

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Wednesday 10:00 PM on A&E Premiered Jul 20, 2005 In Season

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Criss Angel Mindfreak Fan Reviews (112)

8.8
out of 10
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1,127 votes
  • As much as I enjoy watching magic and illusions, this show is not put together particularly well.

    6.4
    It's always at least somewhat enjoyable watching magicians and illusionist do their tricks. Some are very good at wowing me, leaving me with very few if any clues as to how their illusions are done. Others are not so successful and leave plenty of clues for those who pay attention and aren't completely won over from the beginning. Criss falls into that latter category. I'm still not sure whether Criss is just not very successful at planning and executing his illusions, or if he's managed to hire a crew of cameramen, editors and other assistants who fail to effectively put this show together. Maybe it's both.

    One trick has Criss turn over a glass of orange juice and out comes not juice but a bird. As Criss sets the glass on the table in front of him, you can see quite clearly that the glass is divided vertically down the center with the juice on one side and a void for the bird on the other.

    In another trick, Criss "levitates" a manhole cover just by putting his hand on top of it. In the beginning you can see and hear that it's real as he pries it off the manhole and drags it across the ground a bit. But then the camera cuts away, which is obviously suspicious, and returns to what looks to be the same manhole cover that Criss then proceeds to levitate. When he's done the camera again follows Criss several feet away from the scene, but in the background you can hear a real manhole cover being dropped. One can only assume that it was replacing the fake one used for the trick. And sure enough, when Criss and camera return to the manhole cover it is in a slightly different position from where he dropped it after the levitation.

    In still another illusion, Criss made his car disappear while he was driving it. Of course the car didn't really disappear, but it shouldn't have been so obvious that he simply drove it behind a wall in the middle of the road. There was something like a highway cone in the road, one every 8 feet or so down the middle of the road with ribbon tied from the top of one to the next and so on. And in places where that's all that was really there you could see the ribbon moving in the wind, but when that ribbon crossed the wall it was attached to the wall and so didn't move at all, making the wall stand out like a sore thumb. The whole scene had a very simple, bland background which made it that much easier to try to hide the wall. Well, that was the plan at least.

    It seems as though each time I tune in to an episode of Mindfreak, I am consistently disappointed to see these kinds of revealing failures. However, even failure has the redeeming value of providing a learning opportunity, and one of the draws of magic and illusion is trying to figure out how it's done. One reason I enjoy watching Penn & Teller do tricks is that they will follow it by showing you exactly how they did it. Criss Angel Mindfreak just happens to do that inadvertently and with more subtlety.
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