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 November 2010
by Tony Medley
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (10/10):
This third film of the Millennium trilogy is brilliantly directed by
Daniel Alfredson. Ulf Ryberg’s screenplay follows the book with some
exceptions, none of which affected the enjoyment of the film. The
exceptional score by Jacob Groth, who composed the scores for all three,
adds immeasurably because this film has less action and more talk than
the other two, due to the fact that the protagonist, Lisbeth Salander
(Noomi Rapace), is either in the hospital or in jail and refusing to
speak for most of the film. Because of the detailed history of what came
before, anyone watching this de novo without knowledge of the first two
books or films will be at sea.
The Social Network (10/10): Although this
leaves the viewer in the dark as to how Facebook turned from a popular
college site into a multibillion dollar company, Jesse Eisenberg, as
founder Mark Zuckerberg, gives such a compelling performance under David
Fincher’s direction, that it’s impossible not to think that this will be
a multiple Oscar®-winner. The only real villain writer Alan Sorkin
paints is of Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), who was the genius who
started Napster (the peer-sharing site that ran afoul of the music
industry), but didn’t make any money out of it. While Sorkin treats
Zuckerberg gently, he’s not so gentle with Parker. This is puzzling
since from what I could piece together, it was Parker who had the
know-how and connections with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to change
Facebook from a non-revenue producer into something that is now worth
$25 billion or more, according to some estimates. In fact, Parker became
its President when it was incorporated in 2004, but was forced to leave
the company when accused of cocaine possession, an incident touched upon
in the film.
RED (9/10): Charming performances by
Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, and Bruce Willis highlight this
tongue-in-cheek comedic thriller about “Retired but Extremely Dangerous”
(ergo, RED) CIA operatives with people out to kill them. Director Robert
Schwentke uses a deft touch to keep the danger palpable, but all the
while I had a smile on my face.
Secretariat (8/10): Although director
Randall Wallace went “Hollywood” in showing the three Triple Crown races
by using phony Hollywood recreations for the Kentucky Derby and the
Belmont Stakes instead of archival films and eschewed a long shot
showing the huge 31-length margin of victory in the Belmont, something I
will never forget, and concentrating on close-ups of a horse running
alone, this is still a compelling story with wonderful performances.
Diane Lane + John Malkovich + Secretariat = 2010’s Triple Crown.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (7/10): This
is more a love story between Carey Mulligan and a miscast Shia La Beouf
than it is an intelligent examination of what happened on Wall Street to
cause Bear Stearns (Keller Zabel Investments in the film, run by Frank
Langella) to be thrown to the wolves and the resulting government
bailouts. While I don’t expect a Hollywood insider like director Oliver
Stone to understand what happened or to lay the blame for the financial
collapse of 2008 at the feet of two Democrats, Rep. Barney Frank
(D-Mass.) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), “mark to market,” and a bunch
of politicians and political appointees in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama
Administrations, I did hope for a more knowledgeable setup than what is
presented here, which is basically incomprehensible. But this is a
movie, and the financial problem is little more than a McGuffin to
introduce interesting characters like Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko and
Josh Brolin’s Bretton James, both of whom give sparkling performances.