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.


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (4/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 137 minutes.

OK for children.

When Johnny Depp was first signed by Disney to star as Capt. Jack Sparrow, he intentionally made his performance as outrageous as possible to upset the suits back in Hollywood who were watching the dailies. Upset them he did, but they didnít give him the hook and the film was a enormous monetary success, although I thought it was 2 Ĺ hours of preposterous tedium.

Depp is back for his fourth try at Capt. Jack, and this one, directed by Rob Marshall, is the best Iíve seen, although for me to say that is damning with faint praise since I despised the first three. Also back are Geoffrey Rush as Capt. Jackís nemesis, Hector Barbossa, and Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs. Fortunately, McNally has forsaken his bad impersonation of Robert Newton as Long John Silver, so his performance adds to the film, rather than detracting.

New to the series are PenŤlope Cruz, who replaces Keira Knightley as the female interest (I hesitate to use ďlove interestĒ because Capt. Jack seems asexual, to give him the best of it), Ian McShane as Blackbeard, Astrid BergŤs-Frisbey as a nubile (but not naked; this series eschews nudity, but whatís to hurt to show a mermaidís breasts; arenít they what make them alluring?), and Sam Claflin as Philip Swift, an obstinate missionary.

The story is still nonsensical; they are all searching for the Fountain of Youth, and the dialogue difficult to hear and even harder to comprehend. Deppís drunken Capt. Jack is getting tired and filmmakers should know by now that alcoholism is not something at which they should poke fun in a major motion picture.

Frankly, itís an ordeal to sit through all the jabberwocky thatís paraded in this series. None of it has ever made any sense, yet all the films are far in excess of two hours. If one were to try to concentrate and bring lucidity to any of them, one would leave the screenings exhausted and defeated.

Sometimes films with little intellectual quality at least offer pleasing visual effects. Not this. The 3D is ineffectual. Except for the credits, there is very little third dimension in the film. It looks pretty flat with or without the glasses. But the glasses take away some of the brightness of the film. I watched part of it without the glasses. It didnít make the film any better, but it did brighten up the color and was not blurry.

The best way to view this is on TV where you can quickly turn it off.

 

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