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."
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
Talk To Me (9/10)
by Tony Medley
Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene
(Don Cheadle) was an ex-con who became a wildly popular talk show host
on Washington D.C. radio station WOL after his release from jail in the
1960s. In addition to the story of his rise and demise, this is a more
interesting tale of two dissimilar men, Green and the man who gave him
his opportunity, Dewey Hughes (Chiwetel Elijofor), bonding. The best
film I’ve seen about two men and their relationship with one another was
Becket (1964) with Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole.
Unfortunately, although director Kasi Lemmons does a good job in keeping
the pace going in this film that is about a half hour too long, this is
too superficial to achieve those heights, even though the script was
written by Dewey’s son, Michael Genet, along with Rick Famuyiwa. Even
so, it does touch on the friendship and love that can arise between two
In addition to a talented
job directing, Lemmons gives a shining performance as the secretary of
station manager E.G. Sonderling (Martin Sheen). I had a hard time
tracking that down. Since I didn’t go to a screening, I didn’t receive a
press kit and Lemmons’ role is uncredited. That might be the worst
decision she made because the role requires her to be frustrated and
befuddled by Greene’s bizarre behavior and she pulls it off with some
wonderful facial expressions.
While all the buzz will be
for Cheadle, Elijofor has quietly built a wonderful list of successful
performances in small films, like Kinky Boots (2005) and Dirty
Pretty Things (2002). If Cheadle is deserving for a Best Actor
nomination, Elijofor should get one, too, for Best Supporting Actor.
But that’s not all. As good
as Cheadle and Elijofor are, the person I enjoyed most on the screen was
Petey’s girlfriend, Vernell (Taraji P. Henson). Cheadle is funny and
poignant. Eiljofor is staunch. But Henson’s flamboyant performance
dominates the screen in every scene in which she appears. My only
disappointment was that she isn’t in more scenes. If she doesn’t get a
Best Supporting Actress nomination, there is no justice in Hollywood
(well, we know there’s no justice in Hollywood).
The first half of this film
is a rollicking comedy, that turns dark when Martin Luther King, Jr. is
assassinated in 1968. The film shows Petey as a hero in keeping the
violence in D.C. down, but it’s the beginning of a downward spiral that
comes to a climax with his appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny
Carson, arranged by Dewey.
I didn’t go to the
screening for this. Rather, I chose to watch it on opening night at The
Bridge in Culver City. My friend and I were about the only two white
people in the audience, and the theater was at least 80% occupied. If
white people don’t show much interest in this because they think it’s a
film about blacks for blacks they are making a big mistake. This is a
very entertaining film.
July 15, 2007