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 stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

Fading Gigolo (2/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 90 minutes.

Not for children.

If this is not the worst Woody Allen movie I’ve ever seen, it’s not far off, and that’s saying a lot. To give Woody credit, though, he neither wrote nor directed. That ignominy must go to John Turturro, who also stars as the gigolo (let’s be frank; he’s a male prostitute). But Woody has written enough scripts to know that this one is a dog.

Worse, Woody’s acting can sometimes be enormously annoying, but never more so than here where he’s an elderly Jewish man living with a black woman and her four black children. His constant whining voice becomes as bad as fingernails across a blackboard.

Turturro is an old friend who is hard up, so Woody suggests that he pimp for Turturro, arranging paid assignations with people like Sharon Stone, who should know better (and who looks even more beautiful now than when she was younger), Vanessa Paradis (a French international singing star who received a César nomination for Best Actress in 1999’s Girl on the Bridge), who is beautiful but inscrutable, and Sofia Vergara, a gorgeous Hispanic actress probably best known for her role in the TV series Modern Family, who is the third part of the ménage a trois Woody arranges for Turturro with Sharon Stone, wearing a neckline that plunges interminably. Also along for the ride is a policeman in some sort of private police force in a Jewish neighborhood, Liev Schreiber, who has the hots for Vanessa (who wouldn’t?).

Wasted in a small role is Bob Balaban, an actor I generally enjoy. Many will recognize him from his role in Seinfeld as the head of NBC.

What’s hard to believe is that this thing is only 90 minutes long. I’ve rarely looked at my watch more in any film, except maybe Spielberg’s Lincoln, which will stand for a long time as the most boring movie made this century, although this comes close as Woody mutters his way through and Turturro wanders around like he’s in a daze.

My advice to Woody is, stick to movies you write and direct and stay out of them as an actor.

April 15, 2014