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. This updated 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.  

Race to Witch Mountain (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 98 minutes.

OK for children.

Disney has returned to something that has worked in the past, the “Witch Mountain” movies. They have pulled out all stops in this one by hiring the popular Dwayne Johnson (The Actor Formerly Known As “The Rock”) as the protagonist and added Annasophia Robb, who started out shining in 2005’s “Because of Winn-Dixie,” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” as the teenaged alien, Sara. She’s joined by her alien brother, Seth (Alexander Ludwig) as the pair out to save their planet and ours. There is a McGuffin they need to find and return to their planet, and they need to get their spacecraft back from the government. It crashed when they landed.

Sara and Seth have super powers; she has telepathy and telekinesis powers, meaning she can read minds and move objects with her mind; he can change the density of his body, so can move through walls and stop moving vehicles with his body. There is a super alien monster villain out to kill Sara and Seth to keep them from bringing the McGuffin back to save the planet. On top of that, a government agent, Henry Burke (Ciarán Hinds) is chasing them to he can dissect them to find out what makes them tick. Seth and Sara get into the cab of Jack Bruno (Johnson) and the chase is on. It lasts for the rest of the movie.

All the actors give good performances, but I guess when Johnson dumped his “The Rock” persona, he also stopped raising his eyebrow. Big mistake. He’s a good actor with a lot of charisma, but not raising that eyebrow is as big a mistake as the makers of the James Bond films made when they didn’t have James identify himself as “Bond, James Bond,” in the last film. Some things are so iconic they shouldn’t be dropped.

The entire movie is the chase with all the bells and whistles you might expect, including cameos by Lake Eissinmann and Kim Richards, who played the roles of Seth and Sara in the originals, and an iconic '68 Mustang driven by Jack Bruno at the end of the film. This is a fun movie, due in large part to Johnson’s charm and charisma, but Disney was wise to cut it off at 98 minutes. More would have been too much.