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.
by Tony Medley
Writer-director David Mamet
has a problem ending his films. I’ve sat through some, like, for
instance, “The Spanish Prisoner” (1997), that were pretty interesting
until the ending. Then the ending is so weak as to render the entire
In this, he writes of one
of his favorite activities, ju-jitsu. He has done a fine job of making a
sensitive homage to an activity he loves. His protagonist, Mike Terry (Chiwetel
Ejiiofor) is a devoted teacher who has eschewed competitive fights,
opting instead to teach ju-jitsu and its philosophy. He’s married to an
ambitious woman, Sontra (Alice Braga), a Brazilian whose brother appears
to be a gangster. During a rainstorm a woman, Laura Black (Emily
Mortimer), bursts into his gym and causes a problem that shakes up
everyone’s life, which causes Mike to have to consider fighting to get
the money he needs.
Mamet has a way with
dialogue. You can generally tell something’s been written by him even if
you don’t know. I can’t tell whether it’s ineffective acting or just the
dialogue, but it’s never really believable to me. I think the dialogue
in this film is probably closer to the mark than any of his previous
efforts, but it still sounds like guys trying to sound tough. The only
really believable actor is Tim Allen, who plays a movie star, Chet
Frank, who apparently tries to befriend Terry.
The weakest performance is
by Ricky Jay, who plays Marty Brown, a sleazy promoter, although Joe
Mantegna, who plays Jerry Weiss, a promoter who works for Chet Frank,
gives Jay a run for his money. Mantegna’s portrayal corresponds to his
appearance as Spenser in the second TV series about Robert Parker’s
private eye. Mantegna’s inferior performances might be due to material.
Even though there was no singing, his portrayal of Dean Martin in TV’s
“The Rat Pack” (1998), is as good an interpretation of a star as I’ve
seen. Although about over-publicized icons, “The Rat Pack” is a film
This film builds up to a
climax, and then finishes with an ending that lacks credibility, marring
what came before. I came out of this film with the same feeling I had
after watching “The Spanish Prisoner”, to wit, “What a pity.” Still,
this is entertaining until the end.
April 17, 2008