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. Available in all bookstores and on Kindle.  


Thumbnails Apr 12

by Tony Medley

21 Jump Street (8/10): Ice Cube, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill, in that order, make this teen comedy truly funny. In less talented hands, this could have been excruciating, but the pace is well maintained and Tatum's acting as a dunce stays on the right side of a fine line between comedy and stupidity. The funniest parts are when Ice Cube appears as Hill and Tatum's profane, angry boss. The film is filled with F-bombs and scatological jokes, but they are mostly funny. Adding charm are terrific supporting performances by Brie Larson, Rob Riggle (a former combat-hardened marine before he became an actor), and Chris Parnell. This is an entertaining screwball comedy in the old tradition that had me laughing out loud, marred only by the out of character ending.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (7/10): This sweet love story is carried by the wonderful acting of Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor. If you look at a picture of Blunt, you don't see extraordinary beauty. But once you see her in action on the screen, it's hard not to fall head over heels in love, as does McGregor. The story is told at its own pace. The first half hour takes some patience, but then the relationship and chemistry between Blunt and McGregor becomes electric, even if it seems doomed.

Delicacy (Women 10: Men 4): This examination of a woman scarred by early tragedy struggling to get back into life features Audrey Tatou, who does a fine job playing the woman who is inscrutable to her putative, hapless lover, François Damiens. An odd love story with little passion and less pace, it's about feelings, so should appeal to women, while leaving men wondering about the game they're missing. In French and Swedish. Opens April 6.

Wanderlust (5/10): Another fruitless attempt at humor by producer Judd Apatow features gutter language and full frontal male and female nudity. Directed by first timer David Wain, who co-wrote with Ken Marino, the movie clearly makes fun of the nutty people who used to be called flower children. Actually, it seems that Wain is trying to make a movie that supports marital fidelity, but, probably because of Apatow, has to put so much nudity and foul language into it for shock value that he loses his purpose. Wain's experience is TV and this film seems more like a sitcom that stands no chance of being renewed.

The Deep Blue Sea (2/10): While the acting by Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, and Simon Russell Beale is very good and the ambience is appropriately depressing, Director Terence Davies' attempt to translate Terrence Rattigan's 1952 play about a misbegotten love triangle into film leaves out the reasons love sparked among these three people. Even though Rattigan apparently intended his play to be a an exploration of how the idea of love is inexplicable in terms of logic, if one can't understand the basis for the germination of the love that apparently developed, the story is a puzzlement with a fittingly abstruse ending.

Project X (1/10): About a son who abuses his parents' trust by throwing a wild party while they are away, destroying the house, his father's prized car, and forcing the father into bankruptcy, there is a plethora of drinking, drug use, nudity, lots of quick shots of nubile girls' breasts, and sex. Lacking humor and morality, what's truly deplorable is the moral, when, at the end, the father turns to the son and says, with admiration, "I didn't think you had it in you." I wondered if this irresponsible movie would inspire copycat parties by goofy young adults (you should pardon the expression), and news reports are that it has.