The first edition of Complete Idiot's Guide to Bridge
by H. Anthony Medley was the fastest
selling beginning bridge book, going through more than 10 printings.
Second Edition includes some modern advanced bidding systems and
conventions, like Two over One, a system used by many modern
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Also included is a detailed Guide to
Bids and Responses, along with the most detailed, 12-page
Glossary ever published, as well as examples to make learning the game
even easier. Click book to order.
There Will Be Blood (6/10)
by Tony Medley
Well, if there will be, you
have to be patient. This is yet another example of a writer-director
(Paul Thomas Anderson) so in love with his far too long script that he
couldnít cut a sentence or even an adverb when he donned his directorís
hat. In my mindís eye, I can see him sitting in his directorís chair,
constantly saying, ďwhat a great line!Ē
The film is loosely based
on Upton Sinclairís novel, Oil, published in 1927. Sinclair was a
muckraker who founded the California chapter of the American Civil
Liberties Union. As such, he was a man who didnít let facts interfere
with his point of view. As a case in point, after he published Oil,
he wrote Boston in 1928, which was a spirited defense of the
notorious anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, who were convicted of murder.
Sinclairís book argued vociferously for their innocence, despite the
fact that Sinclair later admitted that he had been told in confidence by
Fred Moore, the attorney for Sacco and Vanzetti, that they were guilty
and their alibis phony.
Anderson, whose previous
films have been well-nigh interminable, like Boogie Nights (1997)
at 2 hours 36 minutes and Magnolia (1999) at 3 hours 8 minutes(!) shows
that he still doesnít recognize a stop sign when he sees it by making
this drag on for 2 hours 38 minutes.
To set the stage for what
is a long sit, the film starts out without a word being spoken for about
15 minutes. Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis) is an oil man who finds and
drills for oil. He is tipped by Paul Sunday (Paul Dano) to a large field
owned by Paulís family, so Daniel goes north into the hinterlands and
scams the Sunday family out of their oil. Paulís brother, Eli, (also
played by Dano in an ill-advised ploy by Anderson that is pretty
confusing when the viewer sees him with another name) is a preacher who
is apparently only interested in getting money for his church, although
he turns out to be a petty hypocrite, and immediately enters into
conflict with Daniel.
Danielís son, H.W. (Dillon
Freasier), is his constant companion. But, alas, things go wrong and
Daniel doesnít react rationally or with much compassion, if any.
Throughout, Anderson makes his protagonist, Daniel, a stark-raving
lunatic. Daniel admits later in the film that his life is based on hate,
but itís never explained why, which is a major shortcoming of the film.
This is a character study, a film without a plot. How are we to even
begin to understand the character if we donít know what could have
caused him to be such a maniac?
Day-Lewis gives a spirited
performance, which is worth seeing. Whether itís histrionic or
award-quality has to be up to the viewer. Heís burdened by a strange
script that doesnít really allow the audience to know what makes this
guy tick. The way he acts is without explanation or reason. When Daniel
isnít trying to charm people or being incredibly brutal to them, there
are lots of shots of people getting covered in oil. That about sums up
this film; Daniel being a charming salesman; Daniel being insanely
brutal; people covered in oil.