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. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. Click the Book to read the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.


I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (0/10)

by Tony Medley

            Anyone who thinks this job is easy should sit through one hour 51 minutes of this film without being able to leave. This is an oh, so politically correct diatribe for tolerance that is noteworthy for its intolerance about two straight firemen, Chuck (Adam Sandler) and Larry (Kevin James), who register as homosexual domestic partners to take advantage of a tax break.

Unfortunately, the film makers, director Dennis Dugan, an actor I remember as having played a private eye called Richie Brockleman on Steven Cannellís TV hit, The Rockford Files, in the Ď70s, and writers Barry Fanaro (who was also responsible for 2002ís deplorable Men in Black II) and Alexander Payne (Sideways 2004, and About Schmidt 2002), apparently have collected their meager knowledge about heterosexual men from watching beer commercials.

These are their idiotic stereotypes for straight men. One, Larry, still brooding over his long-dead wife, is a guy who canít cook, canít take care of himself, and is awkward and uncomfortable raising his own children. The other, Chuck, is such a womanizer that he takes on seven at one time, never shaves (at least he always needs a shave), and constantly mumbles. Well, actually the writers had no choice in that because the only way Sandler can communicate is to mumble. It might have been funny the first time or two, but now itís just tedious.

They also create an imbecilic character, Clinton Fitzer (Steve Buscemi, exacerbating his weak performance in Interview), who is some sort of inspector trying to prove that Chuck and Larry are not really gay. Every moment Buscemi is on the screen deteriorates the quality of this film even further, hard as it is to believe that anything could make it worse than it already is.

They apparently donít care a whit what such an example would set for Chuckís two children, one boy and one girl. Two men sleeping together in front of the children of one would set a questionable example. Not to worry, Dugan & Co. take care of this problem by making sure that the little boy is perceived as gay. They also didnít seem to mind that what Chuck and Larry were doing was blatant fraud, another reprehensible example to set for Chuckís children.

I actually was ready to leave after the first minute, which is a pickup basketball game filmed by someone who has never played in a pickup basketball game, played by people, Chuck and Larry, who have probably never played basketball before. For example, if the people you are filming playing the game have played basketball, all youíd have to do is shoot a few minutes of a game and youíd have shots of just about everyone scoring. But in these scenes, thereís always a cut. Someone takes a shot. Then thereís a cut to a shot of a ball going through the basket. If they were real basketball players, theyíd have a continuing shot of someone taking for a shot following the ball going into the basket without a cut. Apparently the actors pretending to be basketball players never made a basket.

Even though itís about two straight guys who pretend to be gay, this is a clumsy homage to political correctness. The accomplished Richard Chamberlain even makes a rare appearance in a cameo at the end.

Well, let me modify that. It is politically correct when it comes to sexual preference, but it demeans women. Case in point is the doctor for Larry and Chuck, Dr. Honey (Chandra West) who is a babe. She is almost instantly minimalized by ending up as one of seven bimbos in Chuckís bed at the same time.

I donít know how the beautiful and talented Jessica Biel could have agreed to appear in something as tawdry as this, but she does, as Chuckís platonic friend, Alex McDonough. In a subplot, Chuck has the hots for her but has to pretend to be gay. When she finds out he isnít, well, gosh gee itís just rollickingly hilariousÖnot!

I never cracked a smile throughout the almost interminable eternity I was forced to sit through this infantile, low class, tasteless film. Pleas for tolerance should be packaged in something less maladroit. This is too dimwitted to even be offensive.

July 16, 2007

 

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