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.  


Fragments (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 95 minutes.

Not for children.

This is an ensemble cast multi-storyline drama with a time-trick structure in the style of “Babel” (2006) and “Crash” (2004). It takes a shocking incident, murders at a diner, and interweaves five separate story lines therefrom, analyzing how the incident affects the people who survived. Tightly directed by Rowan Woods from a script by Roy Freirich, based on his novel, “Winged Creatures,” it was shot in 26 days, despite more than 240 scenes and over 50 locations, a scenario that seems impossible. But this is a movie that depends on post production. It is extremely well-edited by Meg Reticker.

Even though I was expecting the murders, the first shot made me jump, as did all the subsequent shots. The shots sound unlike any other shots I’ve ever heard in a movie. They are loud, but they have a finality to them that is frightening.

The cast is sensational. Kate Beckinsale plays Carla, the waitress with an infant child. Originally sympathetic, she becomes a more nuanced character as the film progresses. Guy Pearce is the emergency room doctor (Dr. Bruce Laraby) whose wife, Joan (Embeth Davidtz), suffers from migraines (believe me, that’s relevant!).

Then there’s Charlie Archenault (Forest Whitaker), who has been diagnosed with cancer (apparently prostate) and wants to get some money for his daughter, Kathy (Jennifer Hudson) by gambling at the Morongo Casino. Anne Hagen (Dakota Fanning) is an über-religious daughter of Doris Hagen (Jeanne Tripplehorn) whose father was killed while she held his hand hiding under the table. With her under the table is Jimmy Jasperson (Josh Hutcherson) who becomes verbally catatonic after the incident. Anne exerts mystifying influence over Jimmy, whose parents, Bob (Jackie Earle Haley) and Lydia (Robin Weigert), are dysfunctional, which doesn’t help Jimmy much.

A tense drama, it is an old-fashioned, no-nonsense film with no special effects that relies on acting and script. I was never aware of time passing.