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
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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.
The Great Buck Howard (6/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 90 minutes
OK for children
This is a film loosely based on The Amazing Kreskin,
a mentalist, and fashioned out of the autobiographical story of
writer-director Sean McGinly. Buck Howard (John Malkovich) is a has-been
mentalist, existing on his reputation (he appeared on The Tonight Show
With Johnny Carson 61 times) working on the road playing to half-filled
audiences in small towns like Bakersfield,
California. His decline is told through the
eyes of Troy Gable (Colin Hanks, Tom’s son), a law school dropout (like McGinly) who signs on as his assistant, much to the displeasure of his
father (Tom Hanks).
and Buck meet, they find temporary common ground – both are working for
the care, succor and promotion of Buck Howard.Buck considers himself a celebrity even though his fame is long
soon realizes that his job is to shield Buck from the crueler facts of
Malkovich gives an over-the-top performance
(indeed, when does he not?), as Hanks effectively sleep walks his way
through the film as more of an observer. While Malkovich dominates the
film, and with Hanks looking as if he might fall asleep at any moment,
Emily Blunt, who plays Valerie Brennan, a PR person sent to help Buck,
enters the film 2/3 of the way through and saves it from terminal
torpor. Valerie is disappointed that she’s sent to an assignment for an
old man whose career has been effectively over for years, but she
strikes up an electric relationship with Troy.
Blunt is a wonderful talent who has not yet been
given the status to star in a film on her own, which is long overdue.
Not only does she give her always stellar performance, but she looks
more beautiful than she has in the past. In ‘”The Devil Wears Prada”
(2006) she was the frazzled assistant and Anne Hathaway, whose talent is
a teeny fraction of Blunt’s, was the one who was made to look beautiful.
In “Sunshine Cleaners” (2009) she was forced to take a back seat to the
remarkable Amy Adams. Here she is allowed to play a beautiful woman and
it’s a pleasure to see her given the opportunity to shine in a romantic
part. This film would have been a lot better had she been given a much
Interestingly, the film is officially rated at a
run time of 137 minutes, but the version I saw in the theater was only
90 minutes. I don’t think I could have stood for much longer. Although
the acting is good, it needed more Blunt.