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.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

Thumbnails Dec 12

by Tony Medley

A Royal Affair (9/10): This is a tense, wonderfully entertaining political thriller about a romance in the 18th Century that is taught in Danish schools and has been the subject of 15 books, a ballet, and an opera in Denmark. One of my female friends fell in love with Mads Mikkelsson, and I had the same feeling about Alicia Vikander, so this should appeal to both sexes. They give award-quality performances as the Queen and her revolutionary lover, as does Mikkel Boe Følsgaard as the mad King Christian. The story is brilliantly directed by Nikolaj Arcel, who captures the ambience of the era, highlighted by captivating cinematography by Rasmus Videbæk. Some of the scenes look like beautiful oil paintings and the royal settings and clothes are plush. In Danish.

Anna Karenina (7/10): Unfortunately marred by an avant-garde setting in an old, decaying theater, because director Joe Wright did not want to make another prosaic version of a story that has been filmed many times, this is still an exceptionally well acted and entertaining telling of Tolstoy's famous novel. Keira Knightley and Aaron Taylor-Johnson may not be Greta Garbo and John Gilbert (1927) or Frederic March (1935), but, if anything, they are better. Jude law, almost unrecognizable, gives a fine performance as Anna's cuckolded husband. Too bad that Wright didn't have enough confidence in the story and his talent to tell it straight up.

Skyfall (7/10): Directed by Sam Mendes with a slew of writers, always a bad sign, this new Bond is still filled with a lot of special effects. It tries for a big performance by Oscar®-winner Javier Bardem as the bad guy, but Bardem's performance doesn't live up to past Bond villains. On the positive side, in small roles Albert Finney and Naomie Harris acquit themselves admirably and Adele's theme music is terrific. Darker than all the others, this one is devoid of the bon mots and sexual innuendo that highlight most Bond films. Daniel Craig, the 8th actor to play Bond (if you count Barry Nelson who played James in a 1954 black & white TV version of Casino Royale), still runs like he's got diarrhea, and it is very, very long. Even so, because of all the mindless action most people will probably find it a relatively enjoyable way to kill almost three hours.

Flight (5/10): Although it deals with addiction in an interesting manner, the ending is just too Hollywood, unlike the unhappy ending of Blake Edwards' much more effective Days of Wine and Roses (1962) that really leaves the viewer thinking. Despite fine performances by Denzel Washington and Kelly Reilly Flight is easily forgettable, except for the first half hour comprised entirely of the plane crash, which is grippingly realistic and well done.

Rust and Bone (5/10): The best things about this film are the performances of Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts and the amazing CGI that makes it appear that Cotillard actually had her legs cut off. Containing several scenes of both male and female nudity, it is too violent and without one iota of humor, which a movie this heavy needs to lighten the load and move it along. In French.

What a Man (0/10): I've been railing against unreadable subtitles for years. This film is the worst example I've seen of white on white subtitles that so blend with the background they are completely unreadable. Didn't anybody view the final cut after post production? Since you can't read the subtitles, unless you speak German this film is a complete waste of time. In German.