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
Soul Men (2/10)
by Tony Medley
Run Time 103 Minutes
Why black filmmakers want
to show their race as imbeciles is beyond me. There are some, like Spike
Lee with “Miracle at St. Anna,” and Denzel Washington with “The Great
Debaters,” who portray blacks in a positive light. Hollywood needs more
of the latter and less of this type of belittling obscenity. It
mystifies me why “Amos ‘n Andy” can be banned from the airwaves for half
a century by the NAACP, but a racist film like this that stereotypes
blacks as foul-mouthed, ignorant fools can not only be released, but be
made by and about blacks without a whimper from the NAACP.
Louis (Samuel L. Jackson)
and Floyd (the late Bernie Mac), were backup men in a group featuring
singer Marcus Hooks (John Legend). Hooks left them to go single; they
continued as a duo then broke up after recording one album and haven’t
spoken in decades. When Hooks dies, a show honoring him is planned for
New York and Floyd prevails upon Louis to drive back with him to appear.
This is the story of that journey and how they get along with one
This is supposed to be a
musical comedy, but there is no music in the first hour and every other
word is either the “f” word or “MF-er.” The only black person in the
movie who isn’t a vulgar ignoramus is Cleo (Sharon Leal), who just might
be the daughter of Louis or Floyd, who they visit in the course of their
journey. Humor is juvenile and concentrated on groin and rutting jokes.
Despite marquee stars
Jackson and Mac, maybe the best performance in the film is by Affion
Crockett, who plays Lester, a gangbanger who is Cleo’s boyfriend, but
who beats her. He is appropriately hateful and stupid.
I thought there might be
some good music, as the credits list 12 songs that will be coming out in
a sound track. But the first hour dragged by with nary a tune.
There are some almost
unbelievably amateurish scenes in the film that director Malcolm D. Lee
could have fixed with minimal effort. In one, Cleo is playing the piano.
Her hands are shown on the keys, but she isn’t playing any of the keys
that are heard. In fact, her hands don’t even punch the keys down or
move; they just stay mostly stationary in chord position when what we
hear are individual notes. It shouldn’t have been too much trouble for
Lee to either have her learn a few chords and play them, or cut the
keyboard from the shot by using a different angle.
In a couple of other
scenes, Louis and Floyd are shown on stage, doing dance steps á la The
Pips, who backed up Gladys Knight in the '60s and '70s with highly
choreographed dance steps. But whenever there is a shot of Louis and
Floyd actually dancing, their heads are cut off! All we see are two
headless torsos doing some fast dance steps. Obviously, these are not
shots of Jackson or Mac, but body doubles who can actually dance. It’s
so obvious, it’s laughable. Now that I think about it, those are the
only scenes in this movie that cause any mirth. Unfortunately, we are
laughing at Lee, not with him.
But, to return to the
opening theme of this review, if this movie is OK with the NAACP, what
does it have against the relatively innocuous and far less derogatory
“Amos ‘n Andy,” which featured Tim Moore as Kingfish, one of the best
and most memorable television characters of all time? In fact, Moore’s
performances make what Jackson and Mac do in this film pale as the moon
pales facing the rising sun. While Moore’s standout performances rust
away unseen in a vault, banned by the NAACP, Jackson and Mac’s meager
and disparaging performances are now playing at your local theater with
nary a peep or protest from anyone.
November 3, 2008