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.

Thumbnails Sep 15

by Tony Medley

The Gift (10/10): This is the best crafted thriller I’ve seen in years, with scenes that make you jump out of your skin, even a terrific homage to one of Hitchcock’s most famous scenes. Kudos to writer/director/co-star Joel Edgerton, and to Rebecca Hall for her terrific performance.

Southpaw (9/10): I loathe boxing, which has no place in a civilized society, and I generally loathe boxing movies, like Rocky (1976), and all its iterations which lionize this barbaric anachronism. This one is different. Unfortunately, director Antoine Fuqua ends the film with what, for me, was a thud of a clichéd Hollywood ending. Why make a movie like this and then chicken out? Cui bono?

No Escape (8/10): This is a terrific, heart-stopping film if you don’t let the gratuitous Anti-American political message ruin it for you, which it came perilously close to doing for me. As Samuel Goldwyn said, if you want to send a message, use Western Union.

Cop Car (8/10): With lots of homages to noirs past, I liked the film when it started; I liked it as it progressed; and I really liked the ending.

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation (8/10): This fifth installment could be the best of the series. The stunts (Tom Cruise did them all himself with no CGI, believe it or not) are terrific. Lalo Schifrin’s theme music is still wonderful.

Phoenix (7/10): Highlighted by Nina Hoss’s sparkling performance, the cinematography and production design are outstanding, realistically capturing what Germany looked like immediately after the end of the WWII, and what her people were like; the story a metaphor for how German citizens related to their government. Not for everybody, but worth the sit despite the lack of pace. In German and English.

Some Kind of Beautiful (6/10): For about 80 minutes I was enjoying this. The acting by Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, and Jessica Alba was very good, the locations atmospheric, the dialogue pretty good. Then it started to drag. The hackeneyed ending was delayed and delayed. When it finally came it was no surprise but a great relief. Too bad.

Hitman: Agent 47 (5/10): This is little more than a violent video game made into a movie with a ludicrous story to try to justify all the mayhem. For every person killed (in the hundreds) there is at least one plot hole, so I stopped counting.

Fantastic Four (5/10): Because of the birthing story (how they all got to be the Fantastic Four), the first part of this film is pretty interesting. Alas, the last half hour, which is almost totally special effects warfare, left me cold.

Ricki and the Flash (4/10): This clicks every politically correct button known to today’s Hollywood, diversity, equity, homophobia, inclusion, multiculturalism, pluralism, racism, sexism, sexual orientation, and stereotypes. Despite the clichéd story of a dysfunctional family, the only part of this film worth seeing is the music. The rest is silly and soporific.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (3/10): What to make of this? This one is so bad I can’t help but think that perhaps it’s intended as camp, a satire of the Bond satires. Alas, that is too convoluted to be credible. I think they were serious. Alicia Vikander, the best actress on earth, shouldn’t be slumming in drivel like this. The film ends with what is clearly a message that a sequel is coming. God forbid!

Pixels (2/10): This is too adult for children and too childish for adults. Worse, it’s yet another film in which a gorgeous woman, Michelle Monaghan (a Lt. Colonel, no less), finds Adam Sandler attractive. Only in Hollywood.

Vacation (0/10): Some films are horrible but often have one or two things in them that are tolerable. Not this.