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.
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.
(9/10): Novelist Jo
Nesbø's Norwegian thriller is brought to the screen with superb acting
by Aksel Hennie, one of Norway's most popular actors. At times things
get so bad for Aksel that this almost resembles a horror film, although
that's not what it is. Regardless, the acting is superb. Directed by
Morten Tyldum, this is a first-class thriller with tension-enhancing
music (Trond Bjerknæs and Jeppe Kaas), and Hitchcockian-quality
cinematography (John Andreas Andersen). Like all good thrillers, after
the setup that takes place in the first 15 minutes, the tension
constantly increases. (In Norwegian and Danish).
(8/10): Director Richard
Linklater, whose last film, "Me and Orson Welles,” was one of the three
best films I saw in 2009, has again scored a hit with this dark comedy
based on a true story in Carthage, Texas. Shirley Maclaine, Jack Black,
and Matthew McConaughey give marvelous performances, Black as a lovable
assistant funeral director, MacLaine as a malign, hated resident Black
befriends out of the goodness of his heart, and McConaughey as a good ol'
country boy prosecutor. Much of the story is told by the actual
residents of Carthage in documentary style, cutting back and forth from
the three stars to interviews with the townspeople who knew the real
characters the stars portray.
Engagement (7/10): What's
classy Emily Blunt doing in a smutmeister Judd Apatow movie? Elevating
it, that's what. Blunt is captivating, rapidly becoming the best actress
extant. There are no topless scenes (when Blunt is shown making love,
she's covered up) and only a few f-bombs. Directed by Nicholas Stoller
and written by co-star Jason Segel and Stoller, this is a touching love
story with surprising depth, although I thought it would never end.
Games (7/10): Despite all
the ballyhoo, this is basically a standard thriller set in the future.
Apparently the books are a big hit with teenaged girls, so I was fearing
the film would just be more of the same drivel foisted by the
Twilight films. But this is entertaining and well done, with a
stellar cast. Mostly a film about chase and survival, it takes about an
hour for the games to actually begin. While director Gary Ross keeps the
film moving, why he stretched this thin story out to almost two and a
half hours is mystifying.
Reunion (6/10): This
fourth in a series is an enjoyable modern screwball comedy reminiscent
of Alan Dwan's "Up in Mabel's Room" (1944). Unfortunately, "modern"
means that it's diminished by some disgusting sexual scenes and full
frontal male nudity. But it also contains some laugh out loud scenes.
Binoche finds herself corrupted by the two prostitutes about whom she is
writing an article in this NC-17 rated film highlighted by an enchanting
performance by Anaïs Demoustier as one of the prostitutes. It examines
why some beautiful young women become prostitutes and shatters feminist
images about who is exploiting whom. Although this is not hard core, it
does contain female nudity and fairly specific scenes of sexual
activity. In French and Polish.
Ostensibly a comedy, albeit one with few laughs, this is not a dog movie
in the mold of Marley and Me (2008). Instead, it's about
relationships. In fact, for almost half the movie, the dog is lost and
off screen. The only highlight is the performance of Ayelet Zurer, who
is entrancing as a weird psychic in her short times onscreen. Although
well-intended, this is mostly a bore.