Saturday, March 4, 2017

Penn and Teller - Off the Deep End DVD

I've mentioned before that I like stage magic, and that I worked in a magic shop for about 1 year as a sales clerk/trainee magician. Well, I like the work of Penn and Teller, so when I was asked for suggestions for Christmas gifts, I said I'd like a Penn and Teller DVD. The one I received is Off the Deep End, which originally aired on NBC as a 2-hour TV special, and was released as an A&E Channel disk. If you've seen the show, then you know what to expect. Otherwise, Penn and Teller visited several resorts in the Caribbean to pull off a series of illusions and practical jokes on tourists on the beaches. The DVD includes a couple short segments with a few tricks that didn't make it into the show, like the "trained crab" (Teller hiding in the sand with an air tube) and the "moving tan line".

The main tricks were performed underwater, either in the ocean, or in one of the resort aquariums. Some of them definitely did present risks to the women swimmers acting as assistants - in one shot, Penn accidentally pulled the air hose off the helmet of the woman he was trying to cut in half. Fortunately, the camera man was a trained safety diver, and he saw the loose hose and reconnected it to the helmet before the woman could start to panic. On the other hand, one of the practical jokes had Teller cutting the air hose of an "unsuspecting" scuba diving tourist, so that was intentional...

The main set piece was the disappearance of a 65-foot long, 80-ton submarine. I'm not sure I buy their "reveal" (that the sub was air lifted out of the water by 3 cargo helicopters), but I don't have an immediately satisfying alternative suggestion just right now. I liked most of the other tricks, though, and being able to see the reveals for those. The best one was when Teller was put in a straitjacket and a wooden crate, then thrown overboard into shark-infested waters only to be torn into bloody pieces. That was funny. Overall, it's a great DVD, and I highly recommend it to other P&T fans. I'd like to see their other shows, too.

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