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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

DVDs to give: ‘Criss Angel Mindfreak: Collectors Edition’

FOR THE WEIRDO/releasing 12.15

There are always way too many DVDs coming in than I possibly ever review, but since ’tis the season to be giving, I thought it was worth pointing out some of them to you, in case you’re stuck for gift ideas for the people on your list. (Or even to give as gifts to yourself. My own Christmas shopping does tend to drift into “one for you, one for me” if I don’t consciously tamp down that impluse.)

So herewith the 15-DVD box set Criss Angel: Mindfreak Collector’s Edition. Physically, it’s nice big chunky set that won’t necessarily look like a package of DVDs once it’s wrapped, a good thing if you’re into not letting your giftee guess what’s under the bow before they open it. (Once it’s unwrapped and the plastic shrink wrap is removed, it folds out into a sort of popup book for grownups, which is kinda cool.)
Dunno who Angel is? He’s sorta an extreme David Copperfield or a punk Houdini. He walks on water, levitates things, makes luxury automobiles disappear, cuts himself in half, stuff like that. I’m tempted to call him a 21st-century incarnation of the sideshow geek, except he doesn’t do geekish things like bite the heads off of chickens — he just looks like he might be the kind of guy who’d do that. I very much like that he makes no pretenses to anything supernatural, and is in fact actively contempuous of the notion. And I really love that religious nutters have condemned him as the Antichrist. You can’t buy PR like that.

The box set contains every episode from Season 1 through 5 of Angel’s A&E series Mindfreak, on which he pulls off all those amazing and mindbending illusions, plus six episodes never before released on DVD, commentaries by Angel, and a lot more. Somone you know is gonna love this.



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