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.


The Green Hornet (4/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 118 minutes.

Not for children.

This is a movie for people who find thinking laborious and just want to turn off their minds and float downstream watching and listening to loud special effects. I must admit that the only superhero comic books I ever read were Superman and the Captain Marvel familyI might have read some Batman, but they didnít capture me and Batman isnít really a superhero anyway, is he?  

The Green Hornet started as a radio show and morphed into a comic book. I did not read The Green Hornet, but my understanding was that he was like the other guys and he had a sidekick, Kato (here played by Jay Chou), who was a martial arts expert. Unfortunately, Chou, a musician, is horribly miscast, and this film does nothing to dispel the rumors of his gayness. The martial arts scenes are quick cuts, so it didnít take any special skills (like those of a former Kato, Bruce Lee) to perform in this film, even if he wasnít doubled. One thingís for sure, heís no Lee.

In this film Seth Rogen plays The Green Hornet, so you know right off the bat that he isnít the same insect from the radio of the comic books. Rogen plays him as less than athletic, kind of an enthusiastic boob. Thrown into the mix is Cameron Diaz, I guess to get some sex involved. But the only sex in this film is that sheís female and rejects advances from both the Hornet and Kato.

There are two good performances, however. Christoph Waltz is back in front of American audiences again after winning an Oscarģ for his stirring performance as a bad Nazi in Inglorious Basterds (2008), once again playing a villain, Chudnofsky, who is the guy who runs all the criminal activities in Hornetís city. And Tom Wilkinson gives a fine, albeit short, performance as the Hornetís dad, James Reid.

But the acting is just a sideline to this loud action film. It is replete with blazing guns and people jumping all over the place killing each other. It is a paean of violence, if that isnít too oxymoronic.

The last half hour is particularly loud and violent, if not annoying (well, I found it annoying; those who are attending just for this sort of thing could enjoy it). There is more depth in just one line (any line) from All About Eve (1950) than in the entire two hours of this film.

The story? Director Michael Gondry doesnít need no stinking story, so I wonít take the two seconds of your time that it would take to relate it. But I will say that it is insubstantial enough to qualify for a superhero film.

One final comment. The MPAA rates this PG-13. Show one female nipple in a film and it automatically gets an R. Show violent fights and death and you get a more family rating. Violence is less important to these people than a nipple. Go figure. If Iím rating this, it gets an R for pervasive violence. But letís face it, without the violence there is no film. It certainly canít survive on humor.

January 11, 2011

 

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