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
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 February 2010
by Tony Medley
Leap Year (7/10): Given terrific material,
any competent actor can give a good performance. It takes more talent to
work with something as trite and bromidic as this and still be
spellbinding than it does to be outstanding with Shakespeare. This is
worth the price of admission just to watch Amy Adams try to turn this
sow’s ear material into a silk purse. She doesn’t succeed, but what a
Youth in revolt (7/10): Michael Cera gives a
captivating performance in this coming-of-age comedy of adolescent
rebellion and obsession with sex. Cera plays a double role. Not only is
he a teenager of divorced, self-centered, and disaffected parents
yearning to have his first sexual experience, he is also his evil,
mustachioed, cigarette-smoking alter ego, Francois, urging him on.
Portia Doubleday, who would get any man’s hormones jumping, is the girl
of his desires. Influenced by Francois, Cera becomes one of the more
complicated protagonists one will find on screen. He does some really
deplorable things, but, due mostly is his phlegmatic attitude, Cera
still makes him sympathetic and funny.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2/10
for adults; 8/10 for children): This has real actors with the
chipmunks added in post production. For adults, it is a squirmer. But I
attended with a six year old who was beside himself with joy throughout
the entire movie. A major problem for me was that much of the chipmunks’
dialogue was incomprehensible. The silver lining is another
scintillating performance by David Cross (who brightened up “Year One”)
as the devious agent sponsoring female chipmunks competing with Alvin
and his brothers.
North Face (7/10): Extreme filmmaking at its
most extreme, this fact-based film about an attempt to conquer the north
face of the Eiger by two Germans before WWII is exhausting (and cold;
bring your parka). The camerawork and direction are phenomenal. The
cameramen actually hung from ropes thousands of feet in the air on the
Eiger to take the realistic shots. Unfortunately, the subtitles blend in
with the background, so they are often difficult to read, and the
heights are in meters, which diminishes their effect on Americans. In
The Book of Eli (4/10): This is a bleak,
unforgiving parable set in the future. Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman
are the antagonists in an apocalyptic, desolate, war-ravaged American
desert fighting over a book, The Bible, Denzell feels can save mankind.
Despite good performances, this is so extraordinarily dark (it’s filmed
in muted colors, often almost black and white without much white) it is
It’s Complicated (2/10): Writer-director
Nancy Meyers must have her Ph.D. in cliché. In this she uses a popup
sprinkler as a phallic symbol and shows women to be blathering idiots
who, when they all get together to talk, can only jabber and giggle
about sex and their private parts. The problem, other than the inept
writing and direction and demeaning characterization of women, is that
the entire cast is woefully miscast. About all Meryl Streep does is
laugh, but laughing is not comedy. Comedy is making other people
laugh, and, in that, Streep fails. Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin are
similarly at sea in their roles. The one person in the cast who knows
how to portray comedy in film is John Krasinski as Streep’s
son-in-law-to-be. Only when he is on screen does the movie come alive.
Alas, his appearances are limited and his comedy is not nearly enough.