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 Apr 2016

by Tony Medley

Fastball (10/10): A must-see for any baseball fan, well narrated by Kevin Costner, the film tries to determine who was the fastest pitcher of all time, narrowing it down to Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan, and present day Cincinnati Reds Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman. They were all clocked, even Johnson, and the film analyzes the various clockings and comes up with the fastest. Far be it from me to be a spoiler! I’ve seen lots of baseball clips but there are clips in this film I’ve never seen, including some fine clips of the legendary Johnson and interviews with lots of players.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (9/10): One of the better war/foreign correspondent movies one will see, this shows the free-wheeling life of a free-spirited woman in a Muslim war zone where women are subjugated . Generally underrated as a serious actress, Tina Fey gives another fine performance. Sharing the fun is fellow correspondent Margot Robbie, in a terrific performance, who defines “free-wheeling.” The writers and directors deftly mix comedy with adventure and romance to make this an extremely well-rounded film.

Hello, My Name is Doris (7/10): This is a film that touches on many things in a fast 90 minutes; aging, devoting one’s life to care of a parent, infatuation with a younger person, hording, self-help seminars, fantasy, coming of age, and acceptance. Morally, the movie has one huge flaw that seems to preach that the end justifies the means. I don’t want to spoil the story but without that flaw I would have rated it much higher. That part of the film is like a pebble in my shoe. Sally Field should get an Oscar® nomination for a wonderful performance, along with a nomination for Costume Design to Rebecca Gregg for her amazing wardrobe, which should get equal billing to Sally!

Midnight Special (7/10): Even for science fiction, this is a strange one, a combo sci-fi/chase movie. But it starts with a bang and continues building tension until the end and has a terrific cast including rapidly rising star Joel Edgerton. The ending would appeal to Alain Resnais, who directed the puzzling Last Year at Marienbad (1961). But what do you do with a sci-fi movie? Oh well, it’s finely directed and acted, and it’s entertaining so that’s all that matters.

I Saw the Light (5/10): What a disappointment! I don’t know why people make biopics about musicians and ignore their music (see 2005’s “Walk the Line,”). There’s some music here, but, like  “Walk the Line,” they have an egocentric actor, Hank Williams look-alike Tom Hiddleston, who insisted on using his own voice instead of lip syncing to Williams’ unique voice. But Hiddleston apparently wasn’t up to the yodeling required by Williams’ signature song, “Lovesick Blues” (that Hank didn’t write), so he lip-synced it  to, get this, the voice of Emmet Miller, not Williams! How stupid can you be?

London Has Fallen (5/10): This movie is so inane it is literally laughable; the script can only be accepted as camp. Nobody could write these lines with a straight face.

Miles Ahead (1/10): I’d already been in a number of standard bio pics and I had no interest in making another since I found them full of contrivances and fabrications. You know, “based on a true story.” Writer (with Steven Baigelman)-Director-Star Don Cheadle. So what does Don Cheadle do? He makes a film full of contrivances and fabrications. You know, “based on a true story.” Ignoring famed jazz trumpeter Miles Davis’ music, Cheadle tells of a five year period when Davis was totally unproductive and Don invents a McGuffin, a fictional tape of Davis’ music that was stolen by fictional people. I didn’t know much about Miles Davis before I saw this film. If I am to believe this Hollywood biopic, I now know him as an unlikeable, violent, wife beating, coke-sniffing drug addict gangsta egoist who played the trumpet. I’ve heard that’s not far off the mark (except for the gangsta part), so I guess Don gave us what he wanted. And he apparently didn’t want music.