The first and second editions of Complete Idiot's Guide to Bridge by H. Anthony Medley comprised the fastest selling beginning bridge book, going through more than 10 printings. This updated Third Edition includes 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 Aug 13

by Tony Medley

Stuck in Love (9/10): Writer/director Josh Boone hits a home run in his first at-bat with this touching, poignant, semi auto biographical tale about a dysfunctional family of writers. The script couldnít be better written and for a film that is basically all talk Boone keeps the pace driving throughout. Adding to the quality of the film is fantastic music. While Greg Kinnear gives his always-terrific performance, Lily Collins, a Liz Taylor lookalike, steals every scene in which she appears.

Blue Jasmine (9/10): Woody Allen just keeps getting better and better, this time from San Francisco and The Hamptons. This highlights Cate Blanchett, the wife of Bernie Madoff-like Alec Baldwin, and how she copes with her fall from grace. A movie about life choices, Allenís script is typically light-hearted and humorous while dealing with a serious subject seriously. The music, for which there is no credit, is captivating and the cast, especially Sally Hawkins and Andrew Dice Clay (in a brilliant casting against type), shines along with Blanchett.

RED 2 (9/10): For an action comedy with a cast that includes Academy award winners Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, along with Academy award nominee John Malkovich and starring the always charming Bruce Willis, who would have dreamed that the film would be stolen by Mary Louise Parker? What it lacks in credibility it more than makes up for in entertainment value.

The Hunt (9/10): Highlighted by incredible acting by Mads Mikkelsson, what is unforgettable about this movie is the acting of the young girl who makes the outrageous allegation against him, Annika Wedderkopp. Itís hard to believe that someone so young could be such an accomplished actress.

This is not an easy movie to watch, but it is thought-provoking and worthwhile. Once the allegation is made you canít tear yourself away from what is unfolding on the screen. In Danish and English.

Lovelace (9/10): Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace? A 21st Century sweetheart equivalent to Doris Day playing a notorious porn star? Questions have to be answered. Will there be nudity? Will there be graphic sex? Will it be titillating? Will it be sexy? Will it be as disastrous to her career as Meg Ryanís descent into softcore porn was to hers? The answers are yes, no, no, somewhat, and no. This is a fascinating film that opens the blinds on how the porn film industry broke into the mainstream, highlighted by Seyfriedís award-quality performance. Opens August 9

Europa Report (7/10): Although overly frought with lots of techno-gab, this is a compelling story of the first journey to Europa, the Jupiter moon most often thought to have the possibility of life. Ecuadorian director SebastiŠn Cordero conquers the challenge of giving pace to a film that is basically a set piece about a crew on a ship on a 22-month trip to a moon. It never seemed slow as the tension mounts. It captures the claustrophobic atmosphere of the space ship and the bleak, frightening landscape of Europa memorably.

White House Down (0/10): Director Roland Emmerich is the master of the cartoon movie, aimed at people willing to suspend belief in the laws of physics. Despite the impressive special effects, even without the silly biased political slant, this movie is so ridiculous with so many laughable scenes, exacerbated by Channing Tatumís wooden acting, that it could almost pass as camp.

Grown Ups 2 (0/10): With the same SNL alumni cast as the original, this film is worse than just being not funny. It is offensive, crude, vulgar, and appeals to the lowest level of taste and refinement. It is replete with disgusting, childish urination and scatalogical gags, which often appear in films of director Dennis Dugan and Adam Sandler. The children in the film use the same gutter language as the adults, and I guess thatís supposed to be funny. Not.