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.

OSS 117: Cairo Nest of Spies (2/10)

by Tony Medley

If comedy is hard, satire is harder. Saturday Night Live is the king of satire on Television, but a very low percentage of what SNL puts on the air achieves its purpose. Even then, the comedy is only fresh for a few minutes. Who would want to watch a 90 minute debate between their Presidential impersonators. 5-7 minutes is funny. 90 minutes would be deadly.

So it is with this satire of Sean Connery’s James Bond movies. This thing lasts for 105 minutes and they are excruciating minutes, indeed. Jean Dujardin plays Hubert Bonnisseur de La Bath, alias Agent 117. Dujardin is almost a dead ringer facially for a young Connery. Since the dialogue is in French, it’s difficult to determine the quality of the bon mots. But one of the main problems of this satire is that the Connery Bond films were satires in themselves. There have only been a few Bond films that were any good, and they all were Connery films. The ones that stood out were “From Russia With Love” (1963) and “Goldfinger” (1964). “Dr. No” (1962) was the first of the Bond films made by Connery. Producer Cubby Broccoli was just feeling his way in that one, but I’d rank it #3 on the list. After “Goldfinger,” Connery wanted out, so they reduced his role and substituted spectacular special effects and the scripts and acting became secondary.

So director Michel Hazanavivius is left with trying to poke fun at something that was already poking fun at something. That’s a tough order. The result is pretty silly and totally uninvolving. There was only one scene that I thought exhibited real humor, and it was over in a trice. That’s not much when you’re sitting through almost two hours of a film. Exacerbating the agony, I saw it in The Landmark Theater’s “Living Room,” a screening room with only 30 seats, all of which are supposed to be “comfortable” couches. I found them the antithesis of “comfortable.”

There’s really no coherent story, just Agent 117 confronting a lot of bad buys and beautiful women, always with a smile on his face. This was a waste of two perfectly good hours.

May 25, 2008