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.

The Interview (1/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 112 minutes.

Not for children.

For some reason this is being advertised as “by the people who brought you Neighbors!" Since my rating on Neighbors was 1/10, what I said about that film is equally applicable here. Writer Dan Stolberg (with a story credit to Seth Rogen) and directors Evan Goldberg & Rogen rely on cheap sex jokes, priapism, and foul language as a substitute for humor. However, the writers are different from “Neighbors” and so are the directors, so they must be referring to the producers. However, Rogen starred in both and is a producer. Rogen, of course, is the guy who must count the F-bombs before he agrees to be in a movie. Since he has a writing credit and a producing credit, there was no worry that the movie would have a surfeit of F-bombs.

The idea is that James Franco is a mindless, fatuous, uninformed TV interviewer, Dave Skylark, and Rogen is his slightly more savvy producer, Aaron Rapaport, and they’re hired by the CIA to assassinate the President of North Korea, Kim Jung-Un (Randall Park). Even considering the absurdity, what follows is more ridiculous than funny.

The only possible positive here is Park, who plays the schizophrenic Kim. He gives a nice performance as charming and ingenuous when dealing with Dave, but in real life he’s a horrible, selfish dictator who starves his people.

One thing this proves is that modern Hollywood is abysmally ignorant about satire. When Charlie Chaplin made The Great Dictator (1941) lambasting Hitler, his character was named Adenoid Hynkel, not Adolph Hitler. Only the initials were the same. And Hynkel’s country was not Germany but Tomainia. If Hitler wanted to protest, he’d have to prove that Hynkel was similar to him and Tomainia was similar to Germany, so he didn’t say anything (of course he was also in the middle of a war and planning on invading Russia at the time; the film was released on March 7 and Hitler invaded Russia on June 22).

But Rogen apparently doesn’t understand subtlety, so he uses North Korea and uses the real name of the actual dictator of North Korea for the character to be killed. Naturally kim and North Korea are going to go ballistic. They don’t have the problem that Hitler had with The Great Dictator. They don’t have to “prove” that the film is about them because Rogen doesn’t hide it. Sony and Rogen brought all this on themselves.

Even so, now everyone apparently wants to see this film. If Kim were smart, he’d keep his mouth shut because this movie is a turkey’s turkey and if he’d just keep quiet it would have died a quick death. As it is, all the publicity it’s getting might draw people who haven’t had their eyes opened by sitting through Neighbors to pay their money to see what all the hoopla is about. Are they going to be disappointed!