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.

Prince Avalanche (1/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 94 minutes.

OK for children.

I haven’t seen a more bilious movie since Lars and the Real Girl (2007). When the film ended I said to the person sitting next to me, “How do they get money to make things like this?” The reply was that they might have made it for a tax loss. My response was that they knew what they were doing because this looked like a real loser.

This is about two spookily weird people, Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, who are working in a burned out forest to paint road lines. Set in 1988, I don’t know how they painted road lines then, but now it’s all done by machine. It would be hard for me to believe that as recently as 1988 they were painted individually by people who camped out every night to do the work, which is what Rudd and Hirsch do.

Written and directed by David Gordon Green, the entire film is about these two guys and their conversations. After acquiring the rights to an Icelandic film, Either Way, Green says, “As much as I wanted to do a remake, I wanted it to feel unique, to have a personal fingerprint. I began scribbling down ideas, and these characters were really a dialogue between two versions of myself. The way I argue with or play devil’s advocate with myself. So I wrote these characters very intimately, from my own perspective.”

Frankly, this doesn’t say much for him because both of these guys are strange, to give them the best of it. Watching these two psychologically challenged people relate to one another is almost less entertaining than Ryan Gosling having a full-fledged relationship with a blown-up doll in Lars’.

Isolated as they are in the woods with little or no contact with humanity, the cinematography (Tim Orr) is pretty good with many beautiful shots of the backwoods.

This is a long way from director Louis Malle’s and writers Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory’s My Dinner with Andre (1981), which is the definitive film about a dialogue between two men. The big differences are that ‘Andre is interesting (captivating, actually), and not the least bit boring.

July 23, 2013