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.

Thumbnails Nov 2011

by Tony Medley

Pianomania (9/10): While this is full of excerpts of beautiful classical music by the Masters, this is not about music. It's about the handling and care of the instrument and the talented perfectionists who play it, told through the eyes of Stefan Knϋpfe, the chief technician and master tuner for Steinway & Sons, considered by many to make the best pianos in the world. Winner of prizes, awards, and nominations in seven different European film festivals, this is a fascinating, eye-opening look at what goes on behind the concerts. Opens November 11. In English & German.

Margin Call (9/10): Highlighted by captivating performances by Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, and Simon Baker, the film may be summarized by a telling dialogue between Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons that sets the tone of this thriller about 24 hours in the life of a multibillion dollar investment firm about to go under due to the collapse of the market for mortgage-backed securities in 2008. When Irons demands that they sell everything they have when the market opens, Spacey objects because, he says, they know that what they will be selling is worthless.

Irons: "We are selling to willing buyers at the current fair market price so that we may SURVIVE."

Spacey: "We may never sell to any of those people again."

Irons: "I understand."

Spacey: "Do you."

Irons: "Do YOU?"

The Ides of March (9/10): Despite innumerable annoying ECU's (extreme close-ups) with which Director/Star George Clooney always peppers his films (especially when he's the subject of the ECUs), he ably directs an exceptional cast in award-quality performances in this devastating indictment of the business of running for political office. Watching Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti in this film is capturing acting magic.

The Mighty Macs (7/10): This is a true, heart-warming story of a novice women's basketball coach, Carla Gugino, persevering in the face of enormous odds. Gugino carries the film but the performances of the entire cast shine. With a fine script written and directed by Tim Chambers, and highlighted by the exceptional cinematography of Chuck Cohen, this isn't a basketball movie; it's a film about hanging in there.

Anonymous (4/10): Another disappointing, overly long, convoluted, confusing, fatuous film from the master of the genre, director Roland Emmerich, trying to prove that Shakespeare not only didn't write anything, but that he was illiterate.

The Big Year (2/10): Poor Owen Wilson finds himself in yet another rotten movie. He's joined by Steve Martin and Jack Black, no strangers to the genre, in this uninivolving tale that even beautiful scenery can't redeem.

The Double (2/10): Even though the music is pretty good, despite competent stars like Richard Gere and Topher Grace, burdened by major plotholes, this is hopelessly silly.

The Conquest (1/10): Instead of spending 1200 hours creating wigs for Denis Podaydès, playing 2007 French Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkosy (yes, you read that right), the producers could have better spent the time getting a scriptwriter and director who could produce a political film that was not as mind-numbingly tedious as this. Opens Nov. 11.  In French.

The Son of No One (0/10): This is a revolting, profane, dark, humorless film filled with f-bombs by everyone, which is not surprising given the presence in the cast of Ray Liotta, the king of the F-bomb. Advertised as a "searing police thriller," it's as depressing and cheerless a film as one can get.