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.
American Hustle (8/10)
Runtime 137 minutes including credits
This is the 21st century version of The Sting (1973),
loosely based on the ABSCAM scandal (1978-81) in which the FBI hired
Melvin Weinberg, a con man with a record, to plan and carry out the
scheme of entrapping government officials accepting bribes.
Here the con is Irving Rosenfield (Christian Bale, in a very good
performance), who is more romantic than con man. Although married to
unstable Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), he gets the hots for Sydney
Prosser (Amy Adams), and who wouldn’t? They come together and start
scamming people until they run into Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper, in an
Oscar®-worthy performance) who turns out to be a really screwed-up FBI
agent, and who arrests them and turns them into his Weinberg. From there
they set out to entrap Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), a New Jersey
politician who works hard for his constituency but is vulnerable to a
sting even though his motives are pure.
story isn’t just about Richie and Sydney and Irving conning their
specific marks, it’s also about the two lovers, Irving and Sydney,
conning each other and the other people with whom they become involved.
Everybody is conning someone for something, like ambition and love. All
through, however, the emphasis is on comedy and lightness.
music is terrific, highlighted by Tom Jones’ Delilah and Paul
McCartney’s Live and Let Die, two of the most popular songs of
the ‘70s. It’s interesting that the rights to the latter is owned not by
McCartney, who wrote it, but by Eon, Barbara Broccoli’s company that
owns James Bond, so Broccoli got involved.
Adams comes as close to appearing topless in every scene as humanly
possible without actually doing it, missing by the skin of her chinny,
chin, chin. She wears the plungiest of necklines throughout the film.
This is the third part of a three-film exposition by director David O.
Russell. The Fighter (2010, which also displayed more of Adams
than previously seen) and Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
preceded. The films are more about people and character development than
story, although the story here is entertaining. Russell gets first rate
performances from his cast, most of whom appeared in at least one of the
two preceding films.
There should be Oscar® nominations galore here. If I had to rate them,
though, I would put Lawrence at the top of the list. She really has the
juiciest part, since she plays a manic personality. Lawrence grabs it
and plays it with gusto. She has developed into an A-list star since
2011’s Winter’s Bone (in which she sparkled in a dramatic role as
a backwoods teenager). When one considers the shortness of her
career, she has shown an incredibly broad range from ‘Bone to
The Hunger Games to Silver Linings Playbook and now this. She
is something special. Not to be outdone by Adams, she appears in
revealing clothes and jiggles her breasts at least as much as Amy, whose
display is more, well, sedate, if that’s possible for a woman whose
shirt is never buttoned. But Adams’ eyes are amazingly communicative of
a wide range of emotions.
the basis is Abscam, the film is about the personal stories of the
people who set up the sting and it is almost entirely fiction, but it is
also probably a lot more entertaining than the truth would have been.
For one thing, relying on the truth would have probably aced Adams and
Lawrence from the film, and that would have been a tragedy.
December 11, 2013