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. Also available on Kindle.

Arthur (1/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 110 minutes.

Not for children.

One of my least-loved movies is the Dudley Moore version of Arthur (1981). Drug-loving Hollywood nominated this despicable film several Oscar® nominations and awarded one to John Gielgud as Best Supporting Actor, even though the film lauded alcoholism as harmless fun.

One way to tell if a film is going to be horrible is if the trailer has such little confidence in the film that it shows all the good lines. The trailer makes it look as if this is going to be a laugh riot. I wondered if they just showed every good line in the movie and that it was going to be horrid. The answer is in. There are far more laughs in the two-minute trailer than there are in the 110 minute movie. In fact, I only smiled once, having already seen all the jokes. Surprisingly, the lines that seem funny in the trailer fall flat in the movie, and it’s not because one is hearing a joke for the second time. The jokes don’t seem to fit into the context of the film.

Directed by rookie Jason Winer, this one substitutes Russell Brand for Moore, Helen Mirren for Gielgud, Greta Gerwig for Liza Minelli, and Jennifer Garner for Jill Eikenberry as the hateful Susan, and a extraordinarily weak anti-alcohol ending for the “alcoholism is a lot of fun” ending of the original. The result is a film that is not even have as many laughs as the hateful original. Brand gives his all, but he can’t live up to Moore’s version. The only cast member who adds much to the film is Mirren, and she’s not called on to do much acting. Her regal presence makes the rest of the inferior cast look even weaker. The look on her face appeared as if she kept asking herself, “What am I doing here with these people and this material?”

Brand is a terrific interview and he’s been the only saving grace in the deplorable films in which he has previously appeared, Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), and Get Him to the Greek (2010), both productions of smutmeister Judd Apatow, in which he played the same character, drug-addled rocker Aldous Snow. In those he was a supporting actor. Here he’s the star and is clearly not up to carrying an entire movie, at least with this weak material. That the material is weak should not be a surprise since the script was written by Peter Baynham, who was responsible for Borat (2006) and Bruño (2009), both of which defined mindless obscenity, substituting vulgarity and shock value for humor.

This is a major disappointment.