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.
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. 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. Also available on Kindle.
X-Men First Class (8/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 130 minutes
OK for children.
Prequels often fall flat,
witness all the Star Wars efforts. This, however, is one of the
best prequels ever filmed. While the previous films starred Patrick
Stewart and Ian McKellen as Charles (Prof. X) and Eric (Magneto),
respectively, and had them as adversaries, this film shows how they came
to be. Instead of Stewart and McKellen this film has youngsters James
McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Charles and Eric before they took their
X – men names, and presents them as working together.
Although I went into the film
expecting something dismal, the quality of the cast indicated that maybe
this was to be a horse of a different color, and it is. This one shows
how the mutants got together and how they came to be adversaries.
Set with a background of the
Cold War at its coldest with the 1962 Cuban missile crisis as the
climax, it's a James Bondian-type adventure – thriller. One could say
that this is James Bond meeting The Dirty Dozen, but I won't
stoop to such an analogy.
Lots of people, like me, don't
get swept up in stories about mystical superhumans with superpowers, and
try to stay away, far away, from films like this. If they stay away from
this one, they will be missing a highly entertaining film, because it is
essentially an adventure film with the metaphysical powers secondary to
The story is that the bad guy,
Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), a mutant himself, wants the Soviets and
Americans to destroy all humans by inciting a nuclear war, so he
manipulates the Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s up to Charles and Eric, who
has a history with Shaw dating from Shaw’s time running a Nazi
extermination camp, to thwart him.
Although the runtime is
daunting, the script is very good and the special effects are
spectacular. Most films based on comic books, like the Spiderman
movies, are not my cup of tea. This one, to the contrary, is a special
blend that is quite to my liking. Directed by Matthew Vaughn with a
script (by four people, including Vaughn, and the story credited to two
other people; so many people involved with the script usually spells
disaster) that makes as much sense as a movie based on comic book
characters can, this held my interest throughout.
Kevin Bacon gives a fine
performance as Sebastian Shaw, the smiling bad guy, against whom both
Charles and Eric unite, as do both Fassbender and McAvoy.
Although X-Men fans
will find this especially interesting because it not only delves into
the hitherto unknown relationship between two people who became known as
Prof. X and Magneto, but it explains lots of things that were just
assumed in the prior films. However, one needn’t be familiar with the
other film to enjoy this, because it stands on its own. In fact, it
might inspire those who haven’t seen the other films to go see them now.
This one is clearly set up for sequels.