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.
The International (8/10)
by Tony Medley
Clive Owen, who should have been chosen to
play James Bond, should thank his lucky stars he wasn’t. Instead of
participating in the generally disappointing films that are mere shadows
of the ‘60s originals, Owen can pick and choose and actually act in good
films. This is one of them.
Directed by Tom Tykwer, Louis Salinger (Owen)
is an Interpol agent tracking down the evil deeds of a major
international bank. Although the film is fiction, it is inspired by the
downfall of the Bank of Credit and Commercial International that ran a
pervasive money laundering operation, as well as trafficking in arms and
other acts of terrorism. It finally crashed burned as investigators in
got on its case.
Salinger is on the case of this bank with his
partner, Manhattan Assistant DA Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts). Owen
carries the film, and he does it very well. I couldn’t figure out why
Watts was even
in the film. I didn’t see that she added anything except beauty, and
she’s got that in spades. But other than that her character adds exactly
nothing to the story, except to give Louis someone with whom to
This is an action-packed
thriller with locations in New
York City, Istanbul,
Salinger and Whitman are on to something and want to bring the bank
down. Alas, nobody else agrees with them. The reason why the bank is
such a bad actor is a biting indictment on society as it exists today.
So it’s kind of a chase film with them after the bank and just about
everyone else trying to thwart them. This is a high paced, fun film.
Screenwriter Eric Warren Singer has penned
some good lines, like, “If here’s no way out, the best way is to find
one further in,” and “Sometimes a man can meet his destiny on the road
he chose to avoid it.”
In addition to the fine performance of Owen,
Armin Mueller-Stahl, who was a relatively soft-spoken bad guy, Semyon,
in “Eastern Promises” (2007), portrays another memorable bad guy with
The most exciting part of the film is also the
most disappointing for me, the shootout at the Guggenheim. It is simply
preposterous, and a letdown for a film that has built up a great deal of
verisimilitude up to that point. It’s a fun shootout, but so ridiculous
that it weakens the film.
Despite that and the puzzling presence of
Watts, this is
an enjoyable, film, thanks mainly to Owen.