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 Jun 12

by Tony Medley

Battleship (9/10): After suffering through The Avengers (see below), I had despaired the future of the aliens-invade-earth genre. It seemed as if story and character development had been sacrificed for nothing but special effects. Not so here. A no-holds-barred fight to the finish against enormous odds, unlike Avengers this is emotionally involving, containing real people with normal human feelings who can actually die as characters you can care about. They all get caught up in this cataclysmic battle aided by, but not dependent upon, outstanding special effects.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (9/10): Tom Wilkinson's performances are so good that he sometimes goes unnoticed. OK, he was great, so what else is new? Same with Judi Dench. But director John Madden entices outstanding performances out of the entire ensemble cast. Bill Nighy and Celia Imrie are excellent in pivotal roles. The entire concept wouldn't have worked but for Dev Patel's performance as the harried hotel proprietor.  But head and shoulders above them all is Penelope Wilton who is captivating as Nighy's unhappy wife. Adding to the movie's charm is Ben Davis's affectionate cinematography of the picturesque locations in Jaipur and Udaipur, India.

The Intouchables (9/10): Sometimes laugh out loud funny, Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet shine in this positive, feel good comedy based on a true story about a rich, patrician quadriplegic (Cluzet) and his hoodlum caretaker (Sy) that received nine 2012  CÚsar nominations, one of which was won by Sy as Best Actor. In French

Safe (8/10): Impressive stunts, including lots of fine car chases, and constant tension drive this film. Not really a revenge movie Ó la Charles Bronson's Death Wish films, what makes this fun is that the bad guys are really hateful, which makes their comeuppance all the more rewarding.

Dark Shadows (7/10): Unlike the soap opera, which was pretty dark, this is entirely comedic. Unfortunately, there are not any belly laughs because except for Johnny Depp's typical over-the-top performance for his longtime pal, director Tim Burton, as the vampire Barnabas, it just isn't that funny. Unless you're a member of the Dark Shadows cult the main reason for seeing this is for Depp's appealing performance and the charming way he choreographs the use of his hands, Ó la Robert Preston in "The Music Man."

Hysteria (5/10): This is a light-hearted, whimsical romantic comedy based on the fallacious idea that the vibrator was invented to, well, relieve women's tensions, so to speak. Unfortunately, the film is at least 90% fiction; the only truth being that Hugh Dancy's character did invent the vibrator, but he never "percussed" women and never intended his invention to be used for that purpose. Everyone and everything else in the film are fictional.

The Avengers (5/10): It's understandable how this film could have cost almost a quarter of a billion dollars to make. The special effects are incredible and it's got a huge, A-list cast. But, except for the fact that it will probably mint the money, this is little more than 2 hours and 20 minutes of special effects and idiotic fights. As to the story, it's like all the superheroes are trying out at the Improv to see who can give the best one-liner, which kills any possibility of a tense drama. Since it's not particularly funny and it's not tense, what's the point? Oh, yeah, money; well, so much for art. This is pretty much a waste of time unless you love special effects and comic books.

Henning Mankell's Wallender: The Revenge (3/10): As with most of Mankell's Wallender books, this is slow with a lot of talk and thinking, but little pace or action. In Swedish.

 

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