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
tournament players, Roman Key Card Blackwood, New Minor
Forcing, Reverse Drury, Forcing No Trump, and others.
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.
Body of Lies (8/10)
by Tony Medley
Run Time: 128 minutes.
Like most films directed by
Ridley Scott, this is an action-packed, high tension, well paced
thriller starring two of the best actors extant, Russell Crowe and
Leonardo DiCaprio, with a screenplay by William Monahan, who wrote “the
Departed,” based on the novel by Washington Post columnist David
DiCaprio plays CIA
operative Roger Ferris, who is trying to lure a terrorist leader, Al-Saleem
(Alon Aboutboul), out of hiding to capture him. Roger is being run by
his superior, Ed Hoffman (Crowe), who communicates with Roger mostly via
As usual with a Scott film,
the cinematography (Alexander Witt) and production design (Arthur Max),
and editing (Pietro Scalia) are nothing short of spectacular. They
combine to keep the tension rising despite the more-than-two-hour run
In order to fulfill Roger’s
Machiavellian plan, he needs to work closely with Jordanian General
Intelligence Chief, Hani Salaam (Mark Strong), who tells him at their
first meeting, “I have one rule. Never lie to me.” Well, guess what?
Poor Roger really gets put
through the mill in this film, which contains grizzly scenes of torture,
not for the faint of heart. But DiCaprio, Crowe, and Strong contribute
wonderful performances. DiCaprio claims to have learned how to speak
Farsi for the role. Far be it from me to doubt this. It sounds
authentic, but what would I know? All he’d have to do is talk like they
used to talk on “Your Show of Shows with Sid Caesar,” and it would sound
like Farsi to me. He also claimed to have worked months to perfect his
accent for “Blood Diamond,” and that I believe because that performance
ranks with the best.
Weakened by a too-long
running time and a Hollywood ending straight out of a John Ford western,
this is also burdened by an almost totally uninvolving love interest
between Roger and a Jordanian-Iranian nurse, Aisha (Golshifteh Farahani).
I guess they had to have her as a plot device, but the romance
negatively affects the building tension and pace of the film.
Still, all in all, this is
an interesting film that is high energy. It would take a rare person,
indeed, to fall asleep.
October 8, 2008