Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. Click the Book to read the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.

Bratz: The Movie (0/10)

by Tony Medley

I’ve gone to movies about teenaged girls before with extremely low expectation. Mean Girls (2004) and Legally Blonde (2001) come to mind. I came out of both thoroughly enchanted.

Producer Avi Arad decided to make a film based on the popular chic fashion dolls BRATZ™. He got Sean McNamara to direct and Susan Estelle Jansen to write (there are also “story by” credits, which indicates some problems with the script. Believe me, those problems are evident.

Unable to come up with an original story, they have given a new name to derivitivity by stealing with impunity from both Mean Girls and Legally Blonde. Unfortunately, while both of the latter were overflowing with talent (Mean Girls was written by Tina Fey, directed by Mark Waters, and starred Rachel McAdams, Lindsay Lohan, and Fey; Legally Blonde starred Oscar®-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and Luke Wilson), this has a bunch of basically unknowns who, off their performances here, are likely to remain so; although, to be fair, the material with which they were forced to work was dismal. They auditioned 5,000 girls to portray the politically correct, ethnically diverse, fashion dolls (the dolls themselves have been controversial because they present blatantly sexual clothes like navel-bearing tops and very short skirts to very little, impressionable girls). To make the movie palatable to parents, these types of clothes have been modified or eliminated.

Apparently the dress-up dolls have names. Four of them, Yasmin (Nathalia Ramos), Jade (Janel Parrish), Sasha (Logan Browning) and Cloe (Skyler Shaye) appear in this film. We are told at the outset that they have been BFF (Best Friends Forever; a sappy appellation that is a true indication of what’s to come).

Because they are entering Carry Nation High School, the film tells how their new environment affects them and their friendship. The witch in the broth is student body president Meredith Baxter Dimly (Chelsea Staub), who is a direct steal of Witherspoon’s character in Legally Blonde in that she constantly carries a silly little dog with her everywhere she goes.

High school must be very different from my time if we are to believe this movie. Dimly is Student Body President when the girls arrive. She is still Student Body President two years later. When I was in high school the Student Body President was always a senior. Dimly is aided and abetted by her father, Principal Berkman (Jon Voight), who is, well, the Principal of the school. What follows is predictable, if not entertaining or funny.

Sure, this is intended as a satire about frivolous girls on the cusp of being teenagers, but satires require talent. There is no hint of talent in this movie, except for the beautiful color and some of the music. But it is a targeted audience they are after, ergo the sound track and commercial tie-ins with Skechers shoes and MTV.

Unless you’re in the target, a little girl between the ages of 6 and 10, if this isn’t the most mind-numbingly idiotic movie made this century, it gives others something to shoot at.

July 30, 2007