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 their stories in their own words.

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


Beautiful Creatures (5/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 124 minutes.

OK for children.

This has a terrific cast, but the people who are well-known are not the ones who give the performances that carry the film. Donít get me wrong, Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, and Viola Davis are fine. But the two stars of the film, Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich, give performances that make this thing worth seeing.

From a novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, this is a gothic mystery about a family of witches and warlocks. It would be mundane but for the magical acting and chemistry between Englert and Ehrenreich as the genre-crossed lovers. Englert and Ehrenrich are unlikely stars, not achieving their status through the normal means. Englert is the daughter of Oscar-winning director Jane Campion (for writing the script for 1993ís The Piano) and Ehrenreich was discovered by Stephen Spielberg at the batmitzvah of a friend of Spielbergís daughter.

While Englert isnít Amy Adams or Naomi Watts in terms of physical beauty, her looks grew on me throughout the film. Ehrenreich has a terrific smile and I thought both of them gave wonderful performances.

Thompson and Irons and Davis are as good as they generally are. Itís just that these kind of silly tales of fantasy are not my cup of tea. Even so, the production design (Richard Sherman) creates the mysterious ambience required. Ably directed by Richard LaGravanese, who also wrote the script, itís not a scary film by any stretch of the imagination. Itís basically a love story between two attractive people facing obstacles normal people donít face. Given that the story is preposterous, itís entertaining enough to keep you awake most of the time.

 

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