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.


Death Race (5/10)

by Tony Medley

Run Time 89 minutes.

One thing you donít have to worry about with Jason Statham, and thatís that he might show emotion. The fact that one of the prime requisites for being an actor is the ability to show differing emotions is of no consequence to Jason. Thatís why he generally limits himself to action movies where he beats the cóp out of people.

In this one, Jensen Ames (Stathan) is framed for murder and sent to a corrupt jail in the future. The plot is that by 2012 prisons are run by corporations for profit, so it has devised a car race where people race to their deaths. Naturally, Jensen eventually finds the people who framed him and the reason they framed him. So all the movie is about is Jensen racing and getting his revenge.

Frankly, movies set in the future generally leave me cold. Oh, I liked 2001 OK, but most movies set in the future bore me silly. In this one, Jensen is sent to the prison where Hennessey (Joan Allen) is warden. Hennessey is described by one of the inmates as the meanest person there. And this prison is for the worst, most violent offenders.

While this is yet another excuse for video game-like special effects, it is not unenjoyable. As in most films like this, the races are virtually incomprehensible. You canít tell who is ahead and who is behind or the way the game is played. The stunts are impossible. There is an overwhelming abundance of noise.

But the film is somehow rewarding because the bad guys are really bad and you are rooting for Jensen to give them the justice they deserve. They each get their just rewards, graphically. Brit writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson obviously realizes that he isnít there to make Hamlet. Heís got a job to do and he does it effectively and competently. There is no memorable dialogue, no scenes that will go down in history, no extraordinary characters. What it does have is conflict and conflict resolution with just enough tension to keep the thing moving. I never felt like I was going to go to sleep, although I did cringe a couple of times at some of the graphic violence, but my watch sure got a workout. . But if video game-like special effects and intellect is your cup of tea, you shouldn't be disappointed.

August 21, 2008

 

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