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
Bidsand 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.
Inglorious Basterds (8/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 2 hours 32 minutes.
OK for children, except for some graphic violence.
This is pretty much an old-fashioned World War II
movie, updated by more graphic violence.
The films starts with a brilliantly tense 15-minute
segment as SS Col. Hand Landa (Christoph Waltz, who gives the most
memorable performance in the film) questions dairy farmer Perrier
LaPadite (Denis Menochet) in his little farmhouse in the French
There are some major actors in minor roles; Mike
Myers, as General Ed Fenech, Rod Taylor as Winston Churchill, and Julie
Dreyfus as Francesca Mondino. I admit I didn’t recognize Julie. Another
cameo is by Enzo Castellari, who made the 1978 film “Inglorious
Basterds,” from which the title of this film is borrowed.
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, this has the feel of
an old-fashioned WWII movie from the 1940s. The Yanks who are behind the
lines killing Nazis apparently feel no concern or worry about their
precarious situation. Everything seems just real good with these guys
massacring every Nazi they can find. In real life, which Tarantino
always likes to think he portrays, it wouldn’t be nearly so easy and
they wouldn’t be nearly so devil-may-care.
Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) puts together a squad of
Jewish GIs (including Sgt. Donny Donowitz, played by Eli Roth, who is
better known as the writer, producer, and director of “Cabin Fever” and
“Hostel,” two surprisingly successful horror films). Sgt. Donowitz uses
a Louisville Slugger to dispatch his Nazi victims. They parachute behind
the Nazi lines and kill every Nazi they can find. Not only kill them,
but scalp them, too. Onscreen. Graphically. Well, what did you expect
from director Quentin Tarantino, who knows how to produce gore when he
wants? Actually, Quentin held himself in check pretty well. Although
there are bodies all over the place, and some if it is pretty graphic,
there are a few scenes that force you to avert your eyes, but nothing
that really turns your stomach.
Eventually they are set up by their handlers in
for a big job, where they meet German movie star Bridget von Hammersmark
(Diane Kruger, who grew up in Germany
and lives in Paris). She is
their contact behind the lines, but is she a double agent?
Although Lt. Raine’s story is entertaining it is
relatively light-hearted and clearly unrealistic. A much better, more
intense, and realistic part of the film involves Shosanna (Mélanie
Laurent) as a Jewess operating a theater in Paris,
chillingly pursued by Nazi hero Frederick Zoller (Daniel Brühl). Her
story eventually has her come together with Lt. Raine and his squad to a
This must be pretty good because I didn’t look at
my watch and it’s a long film. But in the end it’s a fantasy, updated by
Tarantino’s chimerical speculation.