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 Mar 11

by Tony Medley

Unknown (10/10): Following his phenomenal 2008 hit Taken, Liam Neeson once again appears as the protagonist in a clever, non-stop, fast-paced, high tension, action film released early in the year. Aided by strong performances by Diane Kruger and January Jones, Neeson finds himself in an equally thrilling but far more complex mystery that makes perfect sense when everything is finally revealed.

The Adjustment Bureau (10/10):  Written, produced, and directed by George Nolfi, this metaphysical romantic thriller is more romantic than thrilling, but is a splendid rendition of a short story by Phillip K. Dick. It contains fine performances by the always wonderful Emily Blunt and even by uni-dimensional Matt Damon, who ups his range a skosh, although the politically active Damon and all his Democrat mainstay politicians he included in his film (like James Carville and Terry McAuliffe) must have missed the critical metaphor for today’s politics.

I Am Number 4 (9/10): Considering all the special effects, this is a surprisingly entertaining action-packed romance with terrific pace by director P. J. Caruso and fine performances by Alex Pettyfer as an alien from a far-off planet disguised as a high school student, Timothy Olyphant, his alien mentor, and Dianna Agron, his girlfriend. Unlike the Twilight series that is also aimed primarily at 13-year-old females and has brought vacuity to an even lower level than one would expect, this has appeal for a wide audience, including adults.

The Eagle (7/10): Rosemary Sutcliffe’s 1954 historical novel, The Eagle of the Ninth, speculated that in 117 A.D. the Roman Ninth Legion was wiped out when it invaded Caledonia (Scotland), which resulted in the construction of Hadrian’s Wall, making Caledonia outcast. In 140 Channing Tatum, the son of the ill-fated commander of the Ninth, and his slave, Jamie Bell, sneak into Caledonia by themselves to retrieve the standard of the Ninth, a bronze Eagle, that was taken by the natives who killed Aquila’s father. Tatum and Bell give fine performances as they walk and ride through the wild north looking for the Eagle, encountering various obstacles and natives along the way. Ably directed by Kevin Macdonald from a fine script by Jeremy Brock, production designer Michael Carlin teamed with cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle to film Scotland to look as wild, forbidding, and beautiful as it could have in the 2nd Century A.D.

Sanctum (6/10): The story of a bunch of spelunkers trapped in an underground cave by a horrible storm, loosely based on fact, is made better by being filmed in 3D, although claustrophobics need have no fear. The spelunkers’ journey downward to find a way out is adventuresome, but there's not one character in the film that inspires any sympathy.

Just Go With It (1/10): Abe Burrows’ and I.A.L. Diamond’s 1969 Cactus Flower was made moderately entertaining due to the acting of Walter Matthau and Goldie Hawn, aided by Ingrid Bergman. Unfortunately, that trio wasn’t available for this remake, so Jennifer Anniston squints, Adam Sandler mumbles, and Brooklyn Decker flashes her ample breasts, but they are pale substitutes from what came before.

Of Gods & Men (0/10): This dirge is based on the lives of seven Cistercian monks from 1993 to when they were kidnapped and executed in 1996. Consisting mostly of the seven singing songs and chants in a chapel, the movie is so slow and without pace that it seems as if it includes every chant they made throughout those 3 years, unexpurgated. If Director Xavier Beauvois thought he was filming a musical, even Crosby and Sinatra couldn’t make this worth sitting through. In French.