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.


Sleuth (6/10)

by Tony Medley

Sleuth was an interesting 1970 play by Anthony Shaffer that was developed into a Joseph L. Mankiewicz  1972 film starring Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier. Hard to go wrong there, although it was 139 minutes long.

Now Kenneth Branagh has taken a turn at it, with a screenplay by Harold Pinter. Branagh even got Michael Caine to return, although this time heís playing mystery writer Andrew Wyke, Olivierís role. Jude Law appears to take over Caineís role as Milo Tindle. One thing in Branaghís favor here is that he has trimmed the running time substantially, down to 86 minutes.

The best thing I liked about this was the cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos, who uses unique camera angles and all sorts of other tricks, like showing Wyke and Tindle drinking by framing their bodies facing each other with their heads out of the frame.

As far as the filmmaking goes, it compares somewhat to Fracture, earlier this year. Unfortunately, itís not nearly as entertaining as that Anthony Hopkins vehicle, which was one of the yearís more charming films.

The script has some witty lines, even having Wyke say ďWhatís it all about?Ē a clever reference to one of Caineís more successful outings. Even so, I found myself squirming a lot and looking at my watch.

Caine gives one of his standard performances, which is not a criticism because he is one of the better actors around. Law is not bad, but heís not Michael Caine. There is something unique about Caine. Law is a pretty good actor, but thereís nothing unique about him. I canít imagine going to a film just to see Jude Law, and I can imagine going to a film just to see Michael Caine. Thereís not much else you can say about this film because to tell the plot is to ruin it for anyone who doesnít know whatís going on.

This is just another good example of why itís not a good idea to try to remake a film that was originally made by people like Mankiewicz, Caine, and Olivier. Itís such a longshot that the remake will be able to live up to the original. . In essence it fails because Michael Caine is no Laurence Olivier and Jude Law is no Michael Caine.

September 18, 2007

 

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