Customer Reviews


22 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A master showman's finest hours
How does he do it?

There is a bit in Derren Brown's book where he makes a point often made by magicians, illusionists, mentalists - call them what you will: you don't really WANT to know how it's done. Usually the trick is so simple and straightforward that it's profoundly disappointing to know the secret. The real trick, of course, is the breathtaking...
Published on 13 Oct 2008 by Dr. George L. Sik

versus
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awesome shows, Lame DVD Release. A missed opportunity.
First of all, the positives. These shows are awesome. For those unacquainted, Derren Brown is an illusionist, often misconceived as a psychological trickster. He uses a fusion of various techniques, including psychology which is what he's best known for. What sets him apart from others in his field is the openness with which he admits that he's nothing but a scam artist,...
Published on 5 Feb 2009 by Matt Black


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A master showman's finest hours, 13 Oct 2008
By 
Dr. George L. Sik (Epsom, Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] (DVD)
How does he do it?

There is a bit in Derren Brown's book where he makes a point often made by magicians, illusionists, mentalists - call them what you will: you don't really WANT to know how it's done. Usually the trick is so simple and straightforward that it's profoundly disappointing to know the secret. The real trick, of course, is the breathtaking showmanship with which it is executed.

All the same, I really WOULD like to know how he did these! These are some of his most audaciously-executed one-offs and fans have been waiting for them to come out on DVD for some time. His Russian Roulette stunt got the whole country talking. Some people seemed genuinely surprised that there was any element of trickery involved at all ('What, so he was never in any real danger of blowing his own head off? Aw!') but whatever your perspective, it plays brilliantly with your expectations and creates real tension.

As for The Seance, despite the fact that he TOLD everyone it was trickery and nothing supernatural was going on, it became one of Channel 4's most complained-about programmes because loads of people thought he was meddling with dark forces. This reveals just how convincing his stunts are.

I was once asked, in my capacity as a psychologist, to be in the audience of one of his other specials, The Gathering, but it wasn't one of his classics. How I wish I'd been in one of these four instead! Mesmerising stuff!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awesome shows, Lame DVD Release. A missed opportunity., 5 Feb 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] (DVD)
First of all, the positives. These shows are awesome. For those unacquainted, Derren Brown is an illusionist, often misconceived as a psychological trickster. He uses a fusion of various techniques, including psychology which is what he's best known for. What sets him apart from others in his field is the openness with which he admits that he's nothing but a scam artist, though an exceptionally clever one at that.

What we have here are four of the 'specials' he made for Channel 4, in order of transmission: Russian Roulette, The Seance, The Heist and The System. The specials showcase Brown's unique artistry brilliantly. What's wonderful about Brown is that his illusions are as much about the human condition, and the ways in which we're programmed to behave and think, as it is about magic or showmanship. As such, what you have here are four incredibly insightful shows that make you wonder as much as they'll have you picking your jaw up from the floor. Derren Brown is a true pioneer in the field of progressive illusionary art.

Sadly, these DVDs are a missed opportunity. This being a review for the product not the shows, a review would be amiss were it not to mention that Channel 4 have put out a wholly minimal product here, with absolutely no extras whatsoever. Also missing is Brown's special entitled 'Messiah', far superior to 'The System' and notably absent from this set (presumably because it's inclusion would have meant the set would run from two to three DVDs). Inside the box are two cases; each with a single DVD and no inside artwork or information. Given the extent to which Derren goes to ensure his shows are packed with mind-boggling footage and spurious explanations, these DVDs are a disappointment and feel like a real missed opportunity to release something amazing.

Suffice to say, they're a must-buy for any Derren fan, but having these in your collection would have been a whole lost sweeter if a little more care and effort had been made by those responsible.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-boggling, thought-provoking, original TV, 24 Jun 2009
By 
Sam Woodward (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] (DVD)
Derren's TV series & live shows have always been thought-provoking mind-boggling entertainment but for me, his best material has been his one-off specials. At one hour each, these give him more of a chance to show off his talents & offer some insights into the techniques he uses.

RUSSIAN ROULETTE - The controversial stunt which really got Derren noticed. A member of the public loaded one bullet into a gun with 6 chambers. Derren then pointed the gun at his head & pulled the trigger.

There are still some mysteries about this stunt, although much came to light in the inevitable media storm that followed. Nevertheless, it's still an engaging programme which stands up to repeat viewing, as most of it is taken up with Derren testing the potential candidates for loading the gun & in doing so, explaining a little about his techniques.

SEANCE - For many years, this was the most complained about TV show ever in the UK - moreso than Derren possibly blowing his own head off live... Derren takes 12 students to a creepy, abandoned building & demonstrates the tricks used by various Victorian mediums, such as spirit cabinets & ouija boards, explaining the tricks behind each one. The show culminates in a hair-raising seance.

Watching this again, I'm struck by the extent of its genius. The students know who Derren is & know it must be a trick but as you can see from the clip above, the atmosphere & the way the event is structured means they still fall for it hook, line & sinker. Fantastic stuff.

THE HEIST - Derren conducts a motivational seminar - with a twist. Unknown to the participants, he is trying to persuade them to take part in what they think is a genuine armed robbery. This dramatic show gives us much to ponder on the dangers of asking others to take responsibility for our lives & how easy we really are to manipulate.

THE SYSTEM - Derren has created a foolproof system for predicting the winner of horse races. He tips off a single mother about 5 winning horses in a row before getting her to bet every penny she can get hold of on a final race. But is there really a perfect system?

The System is an atmospheric ride but one which I feel doesn't stand up to being re-watched quite as well as the other programmes in this collection. Its inclusion meant that the other special 'Messiah' was passed over for this collection. While Messiah has more replay value, I must grudgingly admit that The System fits better theamatically with the rest of this collection. Although Messiah hasn't yet been released on DVD, it's available for download on iTunes.

Sadly there are no extra features included but it could be argued that any commentaries in which Derren explains his tricks would be no doubt fascinating to us but from his point of view, would perhaps give too much away. And these specials are of sufficient quality to not need additional bells & whistles to sell them. After all, how often does TV entertain, confound & provoke as much thought as this?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Great shows but little else., 18 Oct 2009
This review is from: Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] (DVD)
Having purchased this DVD, I'd have to reiterate what a previous reviewer has mentioned - the complete lack of extras. I missed all of these shows when they were first broadcast so to have a DVD box set containing four of Derren Brown's most famous shows is great. However, had I not missed them first time round, I would probably not have purchased this set as they add nothing to those original broadcasts. They are great shows, managing to be both thought-provoking and entertaining so I cannot fault the actual programmes, but this DVD box set is minimalist in the extreme. Having said that, I will probably make up for that by watching it over and over again as they are the kind of programmes that entertain but also give you a lot to take with you when you finally switch the DVD off.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Tricks of YOUR Mind ;), 19 Aug 2009
By 
AME88 (North East, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] (DVD)
the thing that makes me give this 4 and not 5 stars, is the fact they used the original version of Russian Roulette (which was my only real reason of me buying the set lol). I have on a battered old VHS, the Russian Roulette on a re-run that C4 showed soon after where Derren Introduced it saying it can't have been fake etc etc. It's only a few extra minutes, but they used the original live version that was first seen :(

Everything else is tip tip though :)

No special features though unfortunately, but I don't really mind about that, I got my Russian Roulette from it hehe.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Derren Brown video, 3 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] (DVD)
He is just great. How he does some things are amazing. Here though we do get to see behind the scenes as well. Very good
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A lasting memento of my friend, 17 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this as my friend appeared throughout the Russian Roulette show. He was the second to last contestant left. Sadly he was killed just over 2.5 years ago now, and to have this in memorium is just priceless. We had a memorial for friends recently as he died in New Zealand, and my friends mother kindly brought along my friend's pictures from 'behind the scenes' at the event, with them all spending time together. It helps to know I can see him on this if I want to.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 28 April 2013
By 
Linda and Jon (Belper, Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] (DVD)
Love watching anything Derren Brown, it's just bizarre to watch how he plays people. Very clever, I'd be terrified to meet him though!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars genius, 8 Jan 2013
This review is from: Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] (DVD)
This dvd is fantastic. I don't know hoe derran does what he does but the man is an absolute genius. Hes amazing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Glued to my Seat by Hypnosis., 29 Dec 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this for my teenage daughter for Christmas but we all watched it as a family.

There were four 'set ups' on two DVDs and given that they were all equally entertaining, the product was very good value for money.

The Seance was outstanding entertainment. I was also able to explain to my daughter what was happening with the oija board before Derren did which made me feel like a clever dad! I found Derren Brown's hypnosis skills throughout the DVD to be phenomenal - he just touched people and they went into a hypnotic state.

We all enjoyed The Robbery too and it shows that many of us can be pushed to do illegal things. The preamble to the big robbery was the group of subjects going in to a newsagents and pinching sweets. It was hilarious. In the 'Robbery' Brown also replicated the famous Authority experiment whereby subjects think they are delivering an increasingly massive electric shock to another human being. I found this to be an important education for my daughter.

My family were fascinated by Derren's horse racing and gambling trick - but I'd seen this programme before, still clever though.

Derren Brown is always entertaining, often comes up with a surprise ending and I feel comfortable that he has behaved ethically towards his subjects.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD]
Derren Brown: The Specials [DVD] by Derren Brown (DVD - 2008)
£12.00
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews