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 Sep 13

by Tony Medley

Jobs (8/10): Steve Jobs’ mercurial, irritating character is established at the beginning when he coldly dumps his high school sweetheart after she becomes pregnant, and continues to deny paternity. While the movie barely mentions the Ipod and Iphone, Ashton Kutcher, who looks and walks like he is Jobs’ twin, brilliantly captures Jobs’ drive and vision and allows one to understand why his success was one in a million.

The Frozen Ground (7/10): One of Nicolas Cage’s better films, Vanessa Hudgens gives a sympathetic performance as the lucky survivor of serial killer creepy John Cusack reluctantly helping Cage bring him in, in this tale based on a true story set in Alaska, diminished by annoying, dark cinematography.

Elysium (7/10): This is yet another apocalyptic view of the future, this time mid-22nd-century, 2154. As with others of its ilk, it pictures the future bleakly. Earth is overpopulated, controlled by computers and robots, a dusty, dirty place teeming with people. The film has fine pace, the music by Ryan Amon is especially effective, and Sharlto Copley gives a terrific performance as a real bad guy, but I yearn for the days of yore to see films with character development, sharp dialogue, thought, and no special effects, like “All About Eve” (1950).

My Father and the Man in Black (7/10): Telling the story of Johnny Cash through the eyes of his manager, Saul Holiff, this documentary, produced and narrated by Holiff’s son, whom Holiff psychologically abused, gives a completely new view of the troubled, legendary singer.

Fruitvale Station (7/10): Starting with mobile phone camera film of the actual killing of unarmed Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) at the BART Fruitvale Station in Oakland, the film then flashes back to develop the character of Grant so we know him pretty well when he’s killed once again at the end of the film. First time Writer/director Ryan Coogler doesn’t pull any punches as he paints Grant as a hot-tempered drug dealer. The acting is exceptionally good. While the first hour drags interminably, it is more than made up for by the way Coogler stages the deadly confrontation and an ending that leaves one in tears and with questions about our system of justice.

We’re the Millers (6/10): This is a moderately entertaining screwball comedy that isn’t as funny as it could have been. If only a director like Alan Dwan (“Getting Gertie’s Garter,” 1945, and “Up in Mabel’s Room”, 1944) could have gotten his hands on this material, it coulda been something!

Paranoia (5/10): Stretching one’s credulity throughout, when it comes to the nonsensical climax it completely falls apart. The best thing about it is the music (Junkie XL), that builds the tension this movie needs because the story is so weak.

2 Guns (5/10): This epitomizes how the wise-cracking buddy movie has changed since Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). From the clean, relatively non-violent fun of Robert Redford and Paul Newman, it has now progressed to terribly violent shenanigans of Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington in a film filled with filthy language and F-bombs. Worse are irresponsible scenes in which the stars shoot each other in allegedly non-vulnerable areas of the body as jokes, when any gunshot can tear an artery and be fatal.

The Butler (1/10): Advertised as the true story of a White House butler, Eugene Allen, renamed Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), this is almost entirely fiction. Only this is true: there was a black man who was a butler in The White House from 1957 through 1986; he was married to one woman who died just before the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2008. Everything else in this film is made up. Director Lee Daniels stacks the books against the white race at the outset. In reality Allen did not have his father shot by a white man, who had just raped his mother, in front of him as a child, did not have a son who was a Black Panther or a son who died in Vietnam, and did not get his job as shown. There is little in this film that is factual. It’s just an excuse to tell a racially biased, inflammatory civil rights story. There is not one white person in the film who is pictured sympathetically. Ronald and Nancy Reagan are derided for their kindness in inviting Gene and his wife (Oprah Winfrey) to a State Dinner as guests and not as a waiter. The entire incident in the film, and Gene’s reaction, are totally inconsistent with the true story told in Wil Haygood’s Washington Post article upon which the movie claims to be based.