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.
Thumbnails July 2009
I went into this expecting a raunchy,
unfunny, infantile Judd-Apatow-type attempt at comedy. Instead, director
Todd Philips has made a creative, entertaining spoof of four guys having
a bachelor party by going to Las Vegas
where they get more than anyone could have expected. Even though it is
raunchy and there are some scurrilous scenes, it is still funny and very
of Pelham 123 (7/10):
Oh boy, another remake. The first one
in 1974 had Walter Matthau contesting Robert Shaw. This one ups the ante
and has superstars Denzel Washington combating John Travolta. Even
though it’s nothing extraordinary it held me until the climax, you
should pardon the expression, because it ends with a thud. Oh well,
compared with most of the stuff that’s been put out this year, this is
worth a look.
Away We Go
Although it opens with an extended distasteful
scene of oral sex, director Sam Mendes challenges his audience to listen
and think. John Krasinski and Verona Maya Rudolph comprise a mixed-race
unmarried couple expecting a child. The title refers to their
gallivanting all over the continent trying to find a place to settle
down, coming in contact with weird characters, all of whom have lots to
say about relationships and raising children. This should make most men
squirm as it did me. All of the laughter was from the women in the
audience, and there were lots of them. So I squirmed and looked at my
watch a lot. But in the end the dialogue is interesting and
Fabrice Luchini and Roschdy Zem give wonderful
performances as a brilliant middle-aged criminal defense lawyer in
Monaco to defend a famous accused, and
his bodyguard, respectively. They are done in by Louise Bourgoin, a much
younger TV weather girl, who seduces Luchini, driving him crazy.
Bourgoin, a former TV weather girl in real life, earned a César
nomination as best Female Newcomer. Even so, for me she was the weakest
part of the film, hardly the femme fatale, like Ludivine Sagnier, who
can try men’s souls that the role requires. (In French).
This story about an overbearing female
boss (Sandra Bullock) falling for a man who works for her (Ryan
Reynolds) has been made more times than I’d like to count. Renée
Zellweger and Harry Connick, Jr. made it earlier this year, calling it
“New in Town.” But that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining, mainly due
to Reynolds, whose brilliant comedic talent, abetted by an award-quality
performance by Denis O’Hare as the immigrant agent out to get Bullock
deported, carry the first 50 minutes. Alas, when he is supposed to fall
in love with Bullock, there is such a lack of chemistry between the two
that it rapidly degenerates and then sinks in terminal derivativity.
Land of the
Will Ferrelll vehicle was the equivalent of a non sexual succubus,
slowly sucking out my intellect with each succeeding scene. I sat there
in awe at the sheer inanity of it. It only lights up when the T-Rex
makes its periodic appearances.
Whatever Works (0/10):
Woody Allen’s clumsy, unfunny
homage to secular humanism, written in the 1970s for Zero Mostel, is
peopled by not ready for the B-list players and looks as if it was shot
on a 6 figure budget in less than a week. Woody is frank in stating that
the nihilism he extols in this film, do anything you like just so it
makes you happy, is his philosophy of life.