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.  


Thumbnails April 2010

by Tony Medley

Alice in Wonderland (9/10): Very little of Lewis Carroll’s wonderful philosophy and truisms, simply and plainly put (like “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop,” which is my favorite) find their way into director Tim Burton’s tale based on Lewis Carroll’s characters. Although Burton washed out the color of Alice’s wonderland, magical performances, especially by Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Stephen Fry as the voice of the Cheshire Cat, make this highly entertaining, but not for children.

Imax Hubble 3D (8/10): Although most of the film is about repairing the telescope, there are some eye-popping shots of the Universe, including the Virgo Cluster, which is home to over 2,000 galaxies (our galaxy alone is 90,000 light years in diameter).One of the final images of this remarkable film is a picture of the universe in 3D. I can’t even begin to describe it.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (7/10): Noomi Rapace gives a stirring performance as the weird, disadvantaged woman helping Michael Nyqvest investigate a decades-old murder in a dysfunctional family. Rapace plays one of the more unique protagonists one will ever see, tattooed and thoroughly pierced with rings through her nose and ears and other places. There are some scenes of sexual depravity and torture. But the scenes, which are essential to the story, aren’t that graphic and leave lots to the imagination.

The Art of the Steal (5/10): A hatchet job from the get-go, this is about an autocratic, petty, arrogant multimillionaire, Dr. Albert C. Barnes, who amassed the greatest array of Post-Impressionist paintings in the world, including 181 by Renoir, 69 by Cézanne, 59 by Matisse and 46 by Picasso, and established a testamentary trust that basically hid them away in Merion, PA., a suburb of Philadelphia, limiting their viewing to a chosen few. The heavily edited “60 Minutes” style interviews raise the possibility that they have been taken out of context to enforce the bias of the film, which has it backwards, castigating those who tried to free the art so it could be viewed by the masses, and defending Barnes and his selfish trustees.

Green Zone (5/10): Another film that loses its way with a cockeyed premise, Brian Helgeland’s script is based on Rajiv Chandresekaran’s nonfiction book about the ineptitude of the U.S. action in Iraq. Unfortunately, Helgeland, Matt Damon, and director Paul Greengrass convert ineptitude into The Bush Administration intentionally misleading people in believing that there were WMD in Iraq, an idea for which there is zero evidence. Most fair observers can agree that the Administration was inept, if not totally ignorant and lacking in foresight. But to make a major movie that is based on malfeasance instead of misfeasance equals a golden opportunity lost. If you can ignore the political bias, it’s an entertaining film. But that’s tough to do.

The Bounty Hunter (4/10): Exacerbating the lack of chemistry between Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, this romcom thriller is neither romantic nor funny nor thrilling.

Repo Men (0/10): This is a repellent, nauseating, sorry excuse for a movie, full of scenes that show graphic operations, knives slicing into the skin, hands reaching into holes in the skin to pull out living organs, blood dripping, nay, gushing, all over the place. What is Best Actor Oscar®-winning Forest Whitaker doing in a tawdry film like this? It shows either lack of judgment or lack of respect for the award he received.

The Runaways (0/10): The talented Kristen Stewart should have run away from this and so should I.