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.


This Means War (1/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 98 minutes.

Not for children.

Back in the day entertaining movies could be made about two men pursuing one woman like, for instance, Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy going after Myrna Loy or Claudette Colbert. They would have interesting stories and good directors and fine scripts and the audiences would believe them. Gable and Tracy were men's men who actually had chemistry between them as well as between them and the woman they pursued.

Today, however, when a movie about two men pursuing one woman is made, what results is drivel like this with two guys, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, going after Reese Witherspoon, who is no stranger to films that lack romantic chemistry. One of the many problems with this is that Pine and Hardy are hardly Gable and Tracy. But the problems don't stop with inept casting. The film has an absurd story (Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg with story credits to Dowling and Marcus Gautesen, although why anybody would want a story credit for this is beyond me; I would think that they'd be fighting to keep their names off of it) that is based on the idea that Pine and Hardy are brutal CIA agents using every spy technique they possess to try to figure out how to win Witherspoon's heart.

What doesn't occur to them is honesty, and that's another huge problem. There isn't an iota of a reason why Witherspoon would be attracted to these two duds. They ply her with dishonesty and playacting, pretending to be things they are not. Apparently, she's dumb enough to fall for it.

She's not helped by having a best friend, Chelsea Handler, who is a foul-talking woman whose advice consists of encouraging Witherspoon to jump in bed with them as fast as possible, and even offers to do it for her, even though she's a mother with a young child. Her only raison d'Ítre appears to be to make crude jokes about sex and male body parts. She's certainly not there to make thoughtful suggestions.

One of the scenes is an inane fight between Pine and Hardy that makes absolutely no sense. It occurs in a restaurant when Reese tries to get away from them by going to the bathroom. When she's gone suddenly they get in a knock-down, drag-out fight in which they look as if they're trying to kill one another. When Witherspoon returns the restaurant is deserted. There's not one person left, including staff. There are no police. Nothing. It's not funny; it's idiotic.

Director McG has tried action comedies before. He directed two Charlie's Angels films which were as bad as this, if not worse if that's possible. Frankly, I'm sick of films that don't have a clue about what's funny and what's not, that substitute crudity for humor, and appear to be thrown together without a thought given to intelligence and verisimilitude.

 

top