Amazing Johnathan: Wrong On Every Level
Paramount // Unrated // $19.99 // August 14, 2007
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 26, 2007
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The Amazing Jonathan is a Vegas magician who you've probably never heard of (well, unless you've gone to Vegas where Jonathan has been the resident headliner at a few different hotels, or maybe have seen one of his Comedy Central specials) who looks kind of like a guy you may see at a roadside bar. Half lowbrow comic, half magician, the performer's over-the-top effort certainly does manages to be "Wrong on Every Level" at least a portion of the time.

Joined by ditzy blonde assistant Psychic Tanya, the show often sees Jonathan failing at trying different tricks in order to get laughs. This did get a few mild chuckles from me, such as during an early bit where Jonathan couldn't guess which card an audience member had picked ("Not only will I cause your card to rise to the top of the deck...I have changed it to the two of hearts.")
The whole bit is fairly funny and the occasional tricks that actually work are pretty entertaining. Even though most of the bits don't work, Jonathan has crafted a surprisingly decent routine out of the gags that don't go over, such as taping up a ripped $20 (which is then a $5 and a $1) behind a "magic sheet." Jonathan's performance may not demonstrate ace magic skills, but the guy has good enough deadpan delivery and timing to make some fairly lowbrow/average jokes work (and occasionally work well.) Psychic Tanya, on the other hand, annoys in the few moments she's on stage.

Overall, I was entertained by the show and thought it was fun, but one of the best comedy or magic (as for the magic part, oddly the more magic-oriented stuff seems to have mostly ended up in the deleted scenes section, while the majority of the silly comedy is what makes up the program) performances I've ever seen? Not really.

This release is unrated, with all the curse words.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Amazing Jonathan: Wrong on Every Level" is presented by Paramount in 1.33:1 full-frame. The presentation remained crisp and clean throughout, with good detail, even in the wide shots. Some slight artifacting was spotted, but the majority of the presentation looked clean and clear. Colors looked bright and well-saturated, with no smearing or other flaws.

SOUND: The presentation is offered up in stereo. Audio quality is fine, with well-recorded dialogue and crowd ambience.

EXTRAS: About 25 minutes of deleted scenes include some additional tricks, some more chat with the audience member who Jonathan is assisted by and some alternate takes of bits. There's some great material in the deleted scenes, and they're certainly worth watching. We also get Jonathan's "Premium Blend" appearance (which ends with a very funny psychic bit) and "Comedy Central Presents" performance. The "Premium Blend" performance is a few minutes, but the "Presents" effort is a full show. Both shows do repeat some of the bits. Finally, we also get previews for other Comedy Central titles.

Final Thoughts: "Amazing Jonathan" wasn't exactly amazing, but this was an entertaining mixture of magic and comedy. The DVD offers a few extras and fine image quality; while fans should consider a purchase, those (like myself) who've never seen the performer before should rent first.



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