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.


Safe (8/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 95 minutes.

Not for children.

When you pay your money to see a Jason Statham movie, you are paying to see Jason dispatch lots of bad guys single-handed. That's what you get here, in spades.

Mei (newcomer Catherine Chan) is a ten-year old math prodigy who is brutally taken from her family in China to be a tool for the Chinese mafia. Luke Wright (Statham) is a down and out fighter, former NYPD cop, whose family has been murdered and his life destroyed by the Russian mafia. As he's contemplating suicide in the subway, he encounters Mei who is clearly in trouble, and becomes her protector against all the bad people in New York who need her, and that includes just about everyone who lives there. The result is that when the movie ends, it's hard to believe that Jason has left anyone alive in The Big Apple.

The triad boss, Han Jiao (well played by James Hong), is a vicious manipulator who uses Mei with no regard for her welfare. Equally cold and unfeeling is Mei's guardian, Quan Chang (Reggie Lee), who also has no feelings for poor little Mei.

Representing the NYPD is Luke's old boss, NYPD Police Captain Wolf (Robert John Burke), who is just as unsympathetic as Jiao and Chang. What makes this movie so much fun is that the bad guys are really hateful, which makes their comeuppance from Luke all the more desirable.

Statham is more than just an action hero. He shows admirable range here in displaying the depths to which Luke has descended. But as the movie progresses and as Luke gets into the action, the joy of life returns to him as he risks it all to save Mei. This isn't really a revenge movie la Charles Bronson's Death Wish films. In those, Charles was solely out to wreak vengeance. Here, Luke has accepted his fate to have his life ruined by the vicious criminals who killed his family until he meets Mei and realizes that it's up to him to rescue her. That in the process he also gets back at the Russians who killed his family is just icing on the cake.

Ably written and directed by Boaz Yakin, in his first try at an action film, this is almost non stop action. Maybe it's not for everyone, but the tension drives the film and the stunts are impressive, including lots of fine car chases.

April 26, 2012

 

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