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.
Sherlock Holmes (5/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 128 minutes.
OK for children.
Director Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey, Jr. change
Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic creation, Sherlock Holmes, from an
intellectual hero who dabs in martial arts, to primarily a fighter who
also detects in this intricate tale. Downey, playing the cerebral Holmes
as a cleanliness-impaired action hero, and Jude Law, as Holmes’ good
friend and biographer Dr. Watson, make one yearn fondly for Basil
Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
Actually, Law is probably closer to Doyle’s Dr.
Watson than was the bumbling character created by Bruce. But, just as
Sean Connery was a far cry from the James Bond created by Ian Fleming (I
read all the books before the film “Dr. No” came out 1962 and had always
pictured Bond more like the picture of Fleming on all the paperbacks, a
thin guy, nothing like the husky Connery), Bruce’s characterization of
Watson was so popular with the general public who saw the films, he
became the accepted persona of Dr. Watson and what Doyle actually
created was lost in the shuffle.
But what really turned me off in this film is
seeing Holmes fighting and beating up bad guys. While Doyle’s Sherlock
may have never said, “Elementary, my dear Watson,” (nor does
Downey’s, more’s the pity) he still vanquished
the bad guys much more by outthinking them than by outfighting them. I
also don’t think that Doyle would want him presented as an unshaven,
scruffy lout, like Downey’s
Holmes. Downey’s is not the Sherlock I am used to seeing, and it’s not
the one I want to see, even if Ritchie and Downey turn the fights into
intellectual battles with Sherlock figuring out in his mind how each
blow is to be struck, mapping out the strategy in his mind’s eye, then
going ahead and doing it.
This story, about a mad Lord responsible for lots of deaths, who can
apparently come back from the dead, is so convoluted it just never got
me into the swing of things. Maybe if it had been about two guys named
Sam Hanover and Dr. Wilson instead of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson I
might have been more attuned to it. But the jarring
counter-characterization of a beloved figure like Sherlock Holmes, whose
persona was defined by Rathbone in 14 films and innumerable radio shows,
overwhelmed the plot, which also involves the delectable Rachel McAdams
as a mysterious femme fatale. Although the plot might be pretty good. I
just kept saying to myself, “This guy is not Sherlock Holmes,” and the
re-imaging was an impenetrable impediment that prevented me from
enjoying the film.
However, I was appalled by Connery as James
Bond initially. Now, of course, I think nobody comes close to measuring
up to Sean. Maybe I’ll feel the same way about
after a couple of inevitable sequels…but I doubt it.