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. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their 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.


Thumbnails August 2010

by Tony Medley

The Girl Who Played With Fire (9/10): Even though this second in the late Stieg Larrsonís trilogy about the indomitable Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is tense and compelling, itís almost essential that the viewer have either read the first book or seen the first film. Director Daniel Alfredson keeps the pace moving as Lisbeth struggles to discover who is trying to kill her. Rapace does an outstanding job of creating a most unusual female protagonist, the bi-sexual, tattooed, antisocial Lisbeth. The subtitles were excellent, never blending in. In Swedish.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (8/10): First time writer-director J Blakeson has created a taut, realistic thriller with several twists that gets more edgy as it moves along, despite the presence of only three characters, highlighted by a magnificent performance by Gemma Arterton (in a big departure from her feisty performance in Prince of Persia), as the often-naked, tied-up kidnapee. Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan are her rough, meticulous kidnappers who end up with more than they bargained for. (Opens August 6).

Winterís Bone (8/10): Directed and co-written by Debra Granik, this rough thriller has courageous Jennifer Lawrence, a 17-year-old Ozark Mountain girl, the materfamilias of her mentally ill mother and her younger brother and sister, confronting dangerous, violent people trying to find her drug-dealing father. Lawrence gives an exceptional performance appearing in almost every scene, stealing them from more seasoned performers. Granik displays a deft touch in presenting the hardscrabble, ramshackle mountain life, helped immeasurably by the gritty cinematography of Michael McDonough.

Knight and Day (7/10): Under the inspired direction of James Mangold, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz give sparkling, star-quality performances and bring what could have been hackneyed material to life, despite its total lack of credibility. The exceptional talent of Peter Sarsgaard is wasted in a role that requires virtually nothing. Paul Dano does a good job as Simon Feck, one of the more appropriately onomatopoeic characterís names one will find in film. While who Tom is and why heís acting this way is presented in a captivating way, it is basically his devil-may-care attitude, sparkling smile in the face of certain destruction, and Diazís performance that make this worthwhile. This is a lot of fun, but leave your brain at home.

Cyrus (7/10): Writer/Directors Jay & Mark Duplass use their mumblecore technique of unblocked scenes, hand-held cameras with jumpy lens changes, and improvised dialogue to create a troubling, entertaining study of the interaction among three relatively dysfunctional people, Marisa Tomei, her new boyfriend John C. Reilly, and her son Jonah Hill, all of whom give rewarding performances.

Inception (7/10: Writer-director Christopher Nolan takes a preposterous but ingenious idea about people sharing dreams and turns it into a tense adventure with quality performances by an A-list cast, headed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page. Be warned, this requires concentration during the lengthy setup.

The Sorcererís Apprentice (6/10): An award-quality performance by Alfred Molina as the bad guy and wondrous special effects showing impossible conjuration are not enough to enliven this humdrum good guy-bad guy time-travel story based on Goetheís 1797 poem.

Twilight Saga: The Eclipse (1/10): I canít imagine anybody other than a 13-year-old girl finding this anything but silly if not retarded.

Grown Ups (1/10): An exercise in ineptitude, this presents five unfunny guys with no chemistry who try to act like they are lifelong friends. The hackneyed easy-to-anticipate tasteless jokes, many age-related at the expense of Rob Schneiderís elderly wife, Joyce Van Patten (director Dennis Duganís former wife in real life), fall flat.

 

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