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.


Sunshine (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Either Iím getting dumber or movies are getting more obtuse. First it was the new Harry Potter movie where itís impossible to know whatís going on without having read the books. Now itís Sunshine. If there was anyone in our theater who had a clue, they werenít letting on.

In the year 2057, the spaceship Icarus 2 with a crew of 8, is on its way to the sun, which is dying. Itís carrying a huge nuclear bomb that is apparently going to restart it. Unfortunately the film explains virtually nothing to the audience, so itís good youíre reading this before you go see it. The spaceship is constructed with a huge gold shield that serves to deflect the rays of the sun from the ship. Behind the shield is the ship and the bomb. The bomb is huge, the size of Manhattan with a mass equal to the moon. I learned this from the Production Notes, not from the movie. If itís in the movie, I missed it.

There was a previous attempt at this, five years earlier. A similar spaceship, Icarus 1, disappeared without a trace. Icarus 2 finds it. Capa (Cillian Murphy), the only crew member who understands the bomb they are hauling, has to make a decision whether to divert en route to check out Icarus 1 or go forward with the mission. In order to make a movie, he decides to divert, even though time and oxygen are short.

That causes all sorts of problems. Eventually, a monster appears and that exacerbates whatís going on. The crew seemed to know the monster because they refer to him by name. But, like the bomb and other things in the film, the identity of the monster goes unexplained adequately to me or my guest. I asked people coming out of the movie if they knew what was going on and they didnít.

There is a lot of scientific mumbo-jumbo that I donít think anyone could understand, but it is directed with such style by Danny Boyle that it is not possible to not be involved. The script assumes that the audience possesses engineering degrees, because it doesnít explain the machinations the crew goes through with its ship and problems. But I guess itís enough to know that somethingís wrong and they have to repair or die. The special effects are spectacular and take your mind off of questioning what, exactly, is going on. As things get worse and worse and people start dying, the tension mounts.

Even though I was at sea much of the time, this is an entertaining film.

July 30, 2007

 

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