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.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal
by Tony Medley
When you have a franchise,
it’s real easy. You just keep making the same film over and over and
over again and people flock to see it. If the first was good, moviegoers
apparently don’t pay much attention to the others, so long as they
resemble the first. Director Steven Spielberg has already made this
movie three times. His first, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) had
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) try to find the fabled Ark of the Covenant
before the Nazis. Since the Ark of the Covenant is like the Holy Grail,
something that has been reputed to exist for millennia, and since the
Nazis really did exist, the story had some sort of basis in fact and
people could willingly believe what was going on.
Spielberg's follow-ups were
smash hits, but on shakier ground as far as the stories were concerned.
This one is ludicrous, so I won’t even try to synopsize the plot. The
scenery is beautiful, the special effects look wonderfully expensive,
and the quips are vintage Harrison Ford. But the plot is so ridiculous
that as it progressed my interest waned, up to the silly ending. Even
so, the hundreds of millions of dollars spent to tell a fatuous story
like this will probably result in close to $1 billion in gross revenue.
In addition to the silly
story, there are far too many frantic, impossible chases, seemingly one
upon the other. Of course there are Steven’s obligatory scenes of lots
of disgusting marauding creatures (this time, ants). Because the story
is so unchallengly low-intellect, this is just two hours of chases and
quips, updated from the first three.
Oh, Indiana’s back. And so
is Karen Allen, who appeared in “Raiders,” as Indiana’s lost love
interest. Then there are Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), apparently a
budding young Indiana, a ditsy professor, Oxley (John Hurt, who gives
his usual exceptional performance), KGB Agent Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett,
the Jeckel and Hyde of actresses. I couldn’t figure out if she was
channeling Lotte Lenya in 1963’s “From Russia With Love” or Greta Garbo in
1939’s “Ninotchka”). Here she leaves me cold, although she does a
workmanlike job of creating a papier mâché character, a cold-blooded
This thing has one chase
after another, each more preposterous than what came before. Hard to
believe for such a frenetic film, but this flunked the watch test
dismally. Even LaBeouf admits, “It’s very ambiguous about what’s going
on.” As Shia indicates, the story turns out to be so ridiculous that
it’s a waste of energy to make any effort to try to figure it out. Just
enjoy the chases and quips and let it go at that. Those who do try to
figure it out will be mightily disappointed when they sit through the
May 20, 2008