Criss Angel Mindfreak: The Complete Season Three – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Creator

Criss Angel

Cast

Criss Angel
Banachek
J.D. Sarantakos
Melvin Rossi………Luigi/Shorty

DVD Release Date: January 15,2008
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 462 Minutes on 3 discs

The Show

Magic isn’t for everyone, but it certainly seems like everyone thinks they can do it. David Copperfield knew what it took to make it popular in the late eighties and early nineties. Penn & Teller knew how to tell extremely graphic jokes while performing some of the greatest feats of prestidigitation ever seen by the human eye. The Amazing Jonathan came along and focused on doing a lot more comedy then magic, but the tricks he did were still cool. Then along came Criss Angel that took magic to new heights. He showed up looking like a depressed emo kid and took his act to the streets in Mindfreak.

Angel has taken his act off of the stages like every magician you’ve seen before and put it into the streets, on the docks, and sometimes even on top of hotels. He performs great feats that can amaze you in seconds like little card tricks or making things disappear. Those are fantastic to shock the pants off of any Joe Schmo simply walking by. But it is the grander scale on which he pulls off awesome stuns like escaping from a van full of explosives aimed at the edge of a cliff. Or perhaps it is his levitating atop the Luxor Hotel that is sure to make anyone tighten up on their couch. Angel knows what will blow your mind, but he also knows what will amaze and that is another place he differs from your common everyday magician.

I’ve watched most of the episodes from the first two seasons of Mindfreak and it is evident that not only is there a change in format, but Angel is now focusing more on different things in the series besides magic. Obviously after two full seasons, there is bound to be a question floating in his mind of how he can consistently pull new tricks out of thin air and continue to amaze people, but he needs to find a way. Season three seems to focus a bit more on a storyline instead of mainly on the mystical feats of wonder and while the episodes were still enjoyable; they just weren’t as entertaining.

Perhaps it was seasons one and two spoiling me with all the tricks he pulled off, but that is what myself and other fans have come to expect from this series so it is kind of hard to take when things are altered. Don’t get me wrong here and think that Mindfreak isn’t a “must-see” anymore because it certainly is. Just, I wouldn’t have minded as much if Angel would have wanted to touch on his background and childhood in the first season. Opening up that can of worms in season three makes it seem like things are taking a step backward instead of forward.

The third season of Mindfreak is going to do exactly what the title says it will do to you and freak your mind. You don’t have to be a fan of Criss Angel or even have seen either of the first two seasons to enjoy this one. His tricks will surprise you and the sheer calmness with which he does his stunts will make every inch of your skin tighten up due to sheer nervousness. He does the things that the glamorous and glittery performances of David Copperfield used to do for us all twenty years ago. Only Angel does them on a much smaller scale and without needing fancy pants to pull it off. His style will always interest me because I like the simplicity and devilishness with which he performs his craft. That won’t change, but I can only hope that his shows don’t do so any more either.

Episodes

Disc One:

Luxor Light
Steamroller
Prisoner Transport Escape
Screwed
Motorhead
Animal 2
Quad Drag Escape

Disc Two:

Raging Bull
Car Crash Escape
Sucker 2
Drowned
Naked Jail Escape
Burning Man
Rollercoaster Thru Criss

Disc Three:

Underwater Car Escape
The Loyal
Mentalism
The Kid In Criss
Cement Block
Séance

The Video

The episodes are shown in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and look as good as they did when originally airing on television and possibly even better. All colors are bright and crisp with no noticeable transfer problems.

The Audio

The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and while it could be argued that the stereo sound is all that is needed for this series; I was rather disappointed. Mindfreak has some fantastic music throughout each episode and it would have done it good to have it fill the room instead of just coming through one speaker.

Special Features

Behind The Scenes Of Season Three – Criss Angel and some members of the crew sit down to discuss how it was on the set during season three. They talk about some of the tricks and situations they wanted to include and how they hoped everything went down. This twelve and a half minute feature also features a good bit of backstage looks that give an idea of just how hectic and fast-paced some of the things were done.

Criss’ Celebrity Guests – This feature lasts just under seven minutes and focuses on Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top and the Amazing Jonathan who both guest starred on episodes this season.

Additional Scenes – This is not simply deleted or alternate scenes from the third season, but those are included here. What you’ll get here is twenty-five minutes worth of outtakes, home videos, bloopers, fan questions, and a lot more. A really fun special feature that shows a more relaxed Criss and how much fun he has with all this and his home life.

Text Biography – A simple biography you can read about Criss himself.

The Inside Pulse

While not his best season, Criss Angel still delivers masterful illusions and tricks that are going to have you guessing and bewildered. After I was done watching the set though, I was left a little puzzled so I jumped online and looked up the episode list for the third season and my instincts were correct. My memory clearly was wondering where a few episodes I remember watching on television were, and they weren’t included on the DVDs. This set provides twenty episodes while the entire season three listing for A&E shows twenty-seven. Don’t ask me why they all aren’t on there, but they aren’t. Anyway, it is still a great season to buy if you’re a long time fan or just learning of Angel and his magical ways. Fans of the show may end up a bit disappointed with the slight changes and also with the lack of commentaries for episodes that the first two season sets got. Still, there are some decent enough special features here adding up to just under an hour of extra fun. A word to the wise for those thinking about it, don’t try any of this stuff at home. Being in traction is not fun.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Criss Angel Mindfreak: The Complete Season Three
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

7.5
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

5
THE EXTRAS

5
REPLAY VALUE

6
OVERALL
7
(NOT AN AVERAGE)