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.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (3/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 128 minutes.

OK for children.

I didn't like Robert Downey, Jr.'s first iteration of Sherlock Holmes (2009) and I don't like this one, either, also directed by Guy Ritchie. If possible, I liked this less than the first. As an aside that I did find amusing, the IMDB lists the writers as Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney "and one more credit." When you click on that one more credit, it turns out to be Arthur Conan Doyle. If Sir Arthur had lived to see what they've done to his detective, ma, I doubt if he'd want to be mentioned, even in passing like this.

I don't like the innumerable fights so idiotic they can't even be choreographed, so they are shown with cuts so quick and fast you can't tell what's happening or who's doing what to whom. I don't like all the homosexual innuendos implying that Sherlock has a sexual lust for Dr. Watson (Jude Law again), and that his brother, Mycroft (Stephen Fry), now likes to parade around in the nude. I don't like the non-existent plot, which is limited to the animosity and rivalry between Holmes and Prof. Moriarty (Jared Harris, in a good performance). I don't like the silly stunts that are so physically impossible they defy any credibility whatsoever. I don't like the pseudo-intellectual approach to fighting in which Holmes plots each move in his mind (which we see) before the fight. Then we have to see the fight yet again. It's bad enough to watch these ludicrous machinations once, much less twice. I don't like the elegant, intellectual Holmes of Basil Rathbone being reduced to Downey's dirty, disheveled, unshaven bum. I don't like the clever, intricate plotting devised by Sir Arthur for Holmes to deduce being changed into a James Bondian super-adventure that requires no deduction or clever thinking whatsoever. I don't like the unfunny attempts at repartee between Holmes and Watson, where they unsuccessfully strain to be clever.

I did like seeing Rachel McAdams for five minutes. And I really liked seeing Noomi Rapace, the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, looking beautiful and speaking perfect English. She's what kept me in the theater (that, and my knowledge that I would be able to write this critique).

Since I missed the media screening, there were maybe 12 people in the theater for my 5 p.m. screening on opening night. 11 of them applauded when the film ended. I thought maybe they were applauding that it was finally over, but my friend disabused me of that unkind thought.