by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

In professional sports, there are three athletes who are two sport players: Bo Jackson, football and baseball; Dion Sanders, football and baseball; and Shaquille O'Neal, basketball and hip-hop. Perhaps their only difference is that Bo and Dion seem to do well at their second calling, unlike O'Neal.

Upon listening to his debut release, <I>Shaq Diesel<P>, the Shaq-attack should be confined to a basketball court, not to the annals of current hip-hop.

Every song seems to be about how well he can play basketball. "All you jealous punks can't stop my dunks," O'Neal repeats this line in his first single, "I Know I Got Skillz," as if to reaffirm his already widely touted talents. In fact some of the lyrics read more like a self-help manual than a hip-hop record.

<I>Shaq Diesel<P> is regenerated, self-serving, and out and out ridiculous. Even his press pack talks about how well he can play basketball. Shaq: We know and we don't care.

The only bright spot on the entire album is the producing. While the rapper may be little more than a 7-foot-1-inch athlete patting himself on the back, the producing is surprisingly fresh at times. Even the intro to "I Know I Got Skills," seems fresh and new, although it sneakily resembles Dr. Dre.

The others on the album, most notably Ali from A Tribe Called Quest, Def Jef and Erick Sermon, seem to shine through O'Neal's pedantic rhymes, filling the void with well-produced, almost polished sounds.

The album, if we didn't have to listen to O'Neal, would certainly hold some merit. Perhaps Stewart Smalley would be proud of O'Neal's self-assuredness. And if you listen closely you can hear O'Neal whisper, "I'm good enough, strong enough, and gosh-darn it, I can dunk a basketball."

Moving from one hardcore style to another, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince have released, <I>Code Red<P>, the fifth collaboration. Coming on the heels of the platinum album, <I>Homebase<P>, this again proves to be a light dance mix.

Dance, dance, dance -- that must be all they do in Bellaire California, because the new release from Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (of Bellaire) is all that. Visions of Danny Terrio and <I>Dance Fever<P> bounce throughout the room while listening.

Sure, there are the standard messages about gangs and drugs and how they're bad, and how we need to just "shake the room," and what not. But please! This must be the album for those who missed the Nancy Reagan anti-drug program the first time!

But for those not looking for anything more than a good beat, Jazzy Jeff cuts it up as usual. This album is the Fresh Prince at his usual absurdity. Just this time, instead of poking fun at those things that bother most young people, he recommends that we all just party.

The producing is well done and polished, but most of the songs sound the same. If you're in the mood for some mindless dance fever, this is the album for you.






by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

UH President Jason Fuller says he will be busy next semester staying on the backs of state and national representatives.

While Pell Grants and other forms of financial aid are under attack and UH is in danger of receiving severe financial cuts in the next legislative session, Fuller said he will do his best to invite legislators to campus so they are aware of the issues and will fight for UH in the next session.

Internal university issues that Fuller says he will work on range from tuition payment and registration to facilitating renovations in Lynn Eusan Park.

Fuller says he hopes to make it possible for students to pay tuition by credit card. He also said that talk of raising graduate level tuition should be heeded and fought against.






by Yonca Poyraz-Dogan

Daily Cougar Staff

Want to take courses from UH’s six-figure stars? Graduate students might have a better chance than undergraduates to get into the classes offered by prominent UH faculty.

Only two of the 10 highest paid faculty members offered undergraduate courses in the fall of 1992 and in the spring of 1993.

However, the classroom is not always the center of activity. Some of the highest paid faculty have administrative duties while others concentrate in research and teaching graduate students.

A recent New York Times article emphasized the "disappearance of the academic superstar," and pointed out university administrators’ efforts to attract distinguished professors "out of their ivory towers."

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Glenn Aumann said many prominent faculty members teach at a different level.

"They are educating the next group of either faculty members or high-level scientists and technicians," he said.

Aumann said when professors become visible to the public, they also become less approachable.

Ching Paul Chu, who has won more than 20 awards both nationally and internationally, taught Physics 1311 this semester and will teach Physics 2312 next semester to undergraduates. He used to teach one undergraduate course a year but said a follow-up course will give him the opportunity to see how students improve.

"I requested to teach undergraduates. I share some of my stories with them. Young people like to see well-established professors in class," Chu said. "We share excitement."

Aumann said other physics professors at UH can teach that level of physics as well as Chu, but Chu is the only one who has expertise in superconductivity so his devotion to research can be justified.

"I don’t think Paul Chu would even say that he can teach undergraduate physics courses better than someone else in the physics department," he said. "So what do we gain other than having those students know that a world-reknown person taught them?"

After becoming a chairman of the Chemical Engineering Department in 1975, Dan Luss stopped teaching undergraduates. However, Luss, whose 30-page resume is filled with accomplishments, plans to start teaching an undergraduate chemical reactor design course next semester.

"I’ll have a much better feeling about the level of the class. I expose to students, they expose to me. Students feel more relaxed about coming to see me," Luss said.

Allan J. Jacobson, who was educated in Oxford, formed the Solid State Chemistry Laboratory for UH in 1991. He said his emphasis is on research but likes to teach. He has 14 researchers in his group including five graduates and two undergraduates. He sometimes has high school students working on research projects in summer.

"I expect to teach undergraduates in the future. When I give a successful graduate or undergraduate course I hope students will develop an interest in my subject," Jacobson said.

In fall 1992 and in spring 1993, about 59 percent of lower division courses are taught by tenured professors, according to Planning and Budget Office.

Aumann said the remaining classes are taught by either teaching assistants or visiting lecturers.

Aumann added that UH has many outstanding faculty members other than the ones who receive the highest salaries. "We compete with the industry (to hire prominent faculty members). We should consider what these people are worth with their expertise. That’s not to say other faculty members aren’t outstanding," he said.

Daniell Stern, Cullen Distinguished Professor of English, said aspiring poets and novelists are at every university and undergraduates are exposed to outstanding professors.

Stern, author of nine novels, two plays and two collections of award wining short stories, said his creative writing classes are being filled as soon as they are announced.

"I found students quite talented and enthusiastic. They had a great hunger," Stern added.

Allen Warner, associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Education said outstanding faculty members are role models for students, and undergraduates should be given the opportunity to interact with them.

"The university is hiring them to do what they do best. They bring honor and prestige to the institution. Names are more attractive to graduate students," Warner said.

Warner said the interaction doesn’t need to be necessarily in classroom. Speeches, seminars and laboratory work can provide exposure to distinguished faculty, he said.






by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

With health care proposals flying left and right in Congress, it seems every angle is covered -- except that of college students.

Graduate students, especially, may find themselves in a tenuous position because of their demographic grouping: most are too old to be covered by their parents or guardians insurance unless they are teaching assistants or graduate assistants.

There are 7,809 UH graduate students as of fall '92, comprising 23 percent of the student population. Of those, between 1,000 to 1,100 are teaching assistants or graduate assistants.

Those graduate students who do receive a graduate assistantship are eligible for health benefits, but the remaining 6,700 cannot be covered on anything more comprehensive than the student health plan, which provides minimum coverage.

"I was not a T.A. last year and I just had the student health plan. I'm glad I didn't get sick. It is much better if you're a T.A.," said Laura Vorachek, an English graduate student and a T.A.

Although grants and student loans cover most of the cost for tuition, room and board, they do not provide health care.

"If you have subsidies for low income employees (as suggested by Clinton's plan), it is likely for (the university) to broaden the coverage and tend to give them the same coverage as the graduate assistants and teaching assistants," said Thomas DeGregori, a professor of economics who supports Clinton's plan.

The shift from the current health care system to whichever national plan is adopted would be ineffectual, for the most part, for the T.A.'s who are currently eligible for insurance, said Carol Parmer, director of UH Human Relations.

The current system places all Texas state employees who work at least 20 hours a week eligible for insurance.

Parmer said the UH office of Human Relations has yet to look over Clinton's proposed plan.

In fact, neither the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board nor the Texas Department of Health and Human Services has reviewed the proposal.






by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

Because UH has the lowest intercollegiate athlete graduation rate in the nation, a bill was proposed to the Students' Association Monday demanding the success rate be pulled up to the average of Division IA schools.

According to UH records, the athletic graduation rate is 14 percent, while the average rate of Division 1A is 53 percent.

If passed and approved by UH President James Pickering, the bill will require the university to withdraw 1 percent of its athletic funding for every 1 percent below the average Division IA graduation rate if the Athletic Department doesn't raise the rates in two years.

The bill also asks that student service fees be withdrawn from athletics and reallocated to "student success" programs if the rates do not rise.

Wheeler said the bill demands administrative and financial "accountability." He said he made the time limit two years because the "line had to be drawn somewhere."

While $1.2 million of student service fees are given to national merit scholarships that support athletes, Speaker of the Senate Coy Wheeler, who authored the bill, said students should not have to be "embarrassed" by the athlete's graduation rates.

Minority athlete graduation rates are lower than the standard with 3 percent of African American athletes and no Hispanics graduating.

Wheeler said the failure rate cannot be blamed only on the athletes but on the "system."

If the bill passes in SA it will have to be approved by UH President James Pickering.

Wheeler said the president responded positively to the bill saying he is "open for dialogue."

When Carr began his job as athletic director he promised to raise graduation and retention rates among athletes. Carr could not be reached for comment.

While the problem with passing the bill through university administration may be the two-year time restraint, SA President Jason Fuller says he sees no problem with it.

"The two-year limit will give them a great deal of incentive," said Fuller.

When the bill was introduced to the Senate floor it met a loud round of applause.

The legislation will be reviewed by the University Administration and Finance Committee.






by Tiffany Vaughner

News Reporter

Some needy Houston children will have a brighter Christmas this year, thanks to the UH Mexican American Students Organization.

MASO held its first toy drive last week to benefit the children of Ripley House. The toy drive was the brainchild of MASO member Marco Delgado. He and treasurer Tuan Nguyen said their intention was to give back something to the community.

The partnership with Ripley House, a community service center, grew out of the organizations commitment to the Hispanic community.

"This semester we started a project where we would have a dinner for needy families there and it was through that dinner and the contacts made by our president Ramiro Martinez that we started the collaboration with Ripley house," Nguyen said.

There were contribution boxes set up by The Challenger Program, Campus Activities, Mexican American Engineering Students and the Writers and Artist Group at UH. Nguyen said the Bilingual Education Student Organization was their largest contributor.

Nguyen and Delgado said that the drive went well and they hoped that through the success of this drive that students will see that MASO is an organization that reaches out to all the community.

"I think it's been going pretty good. We really appreciate everyone who contributed. Even though this is our first year, it's gone well but hopefully in the coming years we'll have a better response. We hope to get the whole UH community involved because this is really a good cause." Delgado said.

MASO members collected 80 to 100 toys and will deliver them to Ripley House on Dec. 10.

"One can only imagine the awful feeling of a child not receiving something on Christmas day," Delgado said.






by Stori Carpenter

News Reporter

Corporate ladder climbers met their "dirty" future replacements during a recent visit to the University of Houston.

Two managers from Spaghetti Warehouse visited a hospitality marketing class at the Conrad N. Hilton College to hear students' marketing suggestions about opening more restaurants in suburban areas.

Many of the students currently work at a restaurant and know how the business operates.

"They have lots of fresh ideas and their feedback can offer insight in developing our expansion plans," said Bill Brune, an owner and general manager of the restaurant.

As part of the students' curriculum, community business leaders present students with a current marketing situation, Professor Allen Reich said.

The students study the situation by reviewing the company's goals and compile an extensive marketing plan.

Last fall, the restaurant adopted the Dirt Cup, a children's dessert developed by the students.

The desert was designed to catch a child's attention. It is made of chocolate pudding, mixed with Oreo cookie crumbs and topped off with a gummy worm, he said.

The Dirt Cup was recently added to the children's menu worldwide.

"Parents think it's funny looking, but the kids love it," Brune said.

The process of adopting a new idea takes about two or three months.

When Brune or manager Steve Coleman takes note of an interesting idea during a student's presentation, a proposal is sent to the corporate office in Dallas. If executives approve an idea, the new concept is put into practice.

This year's presentations offered ideas specifically designed for the suburban-area restaurants.

"We wanted some ideas about drawing in business employees during the lunch hour and families during the nighttime," he said.

The program was started in the fall of 1992, and has had great success for both the students and the companies.

"The benefits are two-fold. Students receive experience in the research and compilation of a formal marketing proposal and the company has the opportunity to incorporate new ideas," Reich said.

Brune said Spaghetti Warehouse does not sponsor this program with any other university; it is a unique program in conjunction with UH students and the restaurant.

"Don't think other universities, like Rice, haven't approached us, but we wanted to remain loyal to UH," he said.

Some of the ideas favored by the visitors included having a lunch buffet for the business crowd and colorful place mats and desserts placed in collectible trolley cars for the children.

Senior HRM major Josh David said he learned how difficult it can be to expand a company into new markets.

"In the real world, it takes organization skills and extensive research and planning. You can't just throw out an idea and hope it works," he said.

Reich said students don't usually get the chance to make a presentation to someone who is a major player for a corporation.

"This prepares them for what to expect in the future," he said.







by Debbie Callier

Contributing Writer

Grassy pampas. Lonely, passionate tangos. Patagonian plain. The Argentina of Eva Peron and of high inflation is the destination for two University of Houston students.

Summer vacation -- contrasted with the cold fronts soon to grip the United States -- is a week away for Argentine students Virginia Busso and Gabriela Grundy, interns at the College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Many things stand out as being different in Argentina than in America, Busso and Grundy said. For instance, the discos don't open until 2 a.m. "We are used to going out at night at 1 or 2 in the morning and staying until 8 in morning."

Argentines live at night on the weekends. Dinner starts at 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. and restaurants stay open until 2 a.m. Monday mornings are particularly hard.

When Americans see them eating at Argentine hours they always warn the girls. "People say it's bad for us." However, Americans their age -- 20 and 21 -- have worse habits such as more fat and alcohol.

"Here, everywhere you go, everyone is drinking," Busso said. "As soon as they arrive at a party people get a beer." In Argentina there is no drinking age, so it is not forbidden fruit.

They may not have to wait for a beer, but they do have to wait to drive until they are 18.

Grundy said young people live at home longer also -- until they marry. She lives with her parents in Buenos Aires. However, Busso's family lives in Santa Fe, a couple hundred miles away from their school.

"We (Argentinians) are much more traditional in every sense," Grundy said. "Men say they are not 'machistas,' but they are. They are still thinking you have to stay at home. It is starting to change, but men do not like to compete with women at work. To women drivers they say, 'Go wash the dishes!' "

Busso said men are usually not rude. In fact, they are very polite, like the Argentine UH students who cheered with them at the televised soccer match between Argentina and Australia. "We are fanatical about soccer." Of course, Argentina won, they said.

When they meet Americans, sometimes they slip up. "When we greet each other, we give a kiss," Grundy said. "Last night, a guy was waiting for us and I forgot I was here, so I went and gave him a kiss. He sat like so -- paralyzed." She was mortified. "We always say, 'Hello' with a kiss, or 'Ciao' with a kiss. Giving a hand to someone seems so cold, like a businessman."

While Americans don't comment on their accents, Spanish-speaking people do. Grundy said, "We have Guatemalan friends who always tell us, 'Oh, how lovely you talk in Spanish,' because we talk different from them."

Argentina is Latin with a strong European flavor. Busso's heritage is Italian on both sides of her family, Grundy's is English and German.

Many Europeans immigrated during the beef boom of the 1880s, when Argentina was the major exporter of beef to Europe. Argentina is still famous for its beef. "We eat a lot of it," they said.

When the young women go home for summer, they will find plenty awaits them. Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world, the ice cream cone portion of the South American continent. It has beaches and glaciers, sub-tropics and deserts, Alpine-like villages and the southern-most town in the world–on Tierra del Fuego.

It also has two families looking forward to their daughters' return.







by Debbie Callier

Contributing Writer

The Houston Rockets have been enjoying a dream season and so has their owner.

"Everybody who follows sports avidly at one time fantasizes about owning a team," said Rockets owner Les Alexander.

"It's a boyhood dream, right? Something you think you could do if you could amass enough money," Alexander said.

So he did that, speculating on stocks, bonds and currencies -- a risky and nerve-wracking business, but Alexander had a talent for it.

He got serious about finding his dream team five or six years ago when he tried to buy the New Jersey Nets.

"When that fell through, I thought the price of teams would jump too fast, and I would miss it, but in fact, some stayed steady," he said.

When the opportunity arose to buy the Rockets, Alexander jumped on it.

"Buying a team is like buying any big purchase in the business world," he said, "but knowing what to do afterward is different because there's no handbook."

Alexander learned how hard life as an NBA owner can be. In a cost-cutting measure, Alexander fired Hall-of-Famer and fan-favorite Calvin Murphy.

Murphy was later re-hired after a large public outcry.

Overall, Alexander has done well as an owner. He is the proud owner of a team that tied an NBA record for most consecutive victories to start the season.

The Houston Rockets started the season 15-0 before losing to Atlanta. The Rockets were 16-1 going into Tuesday's game against Charlotte at the Summit.

Besides going to the office and paying his players' hefty salaries, Alexander said he shines his players' shoes.

He was joking, but he does care about the people who work for him, not just his record-setting ball players.

He cares about the people with less visible jobs, such as clipping articles for the bulging scrapbook or answering the incessantly ringing phone.

What he is trying to do is be a fair boss who doesn't mess with a winning combination.

He tries to get excellent people on the business side and to let the coaches and ball players do what they do without interfering.

Alexander made sure the winning combination would remain in Houston by signing Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich to a contract extension that runs through 1997.

"Coaches and ball players are very dedicated and motivated," Alexander said. "If you have the right coach and players, as we do now, they'll work hard as the possible can."

Alexander is also hard working and dedicated.

"You have to have an inner confidence," he said, "confidence that when you make a decision it's the right decision."

Alexander has owned an investment firm for 22 years, and the Rockets for three months.

"In the old business it was just decisions about investing," he said. "It wasn't decisions about people and organizations, as it is now."

In theses first three months, he has made some decisions he called obvious but not popular.

Bosses listen to advisors and make the best decisions they can -- hire or fire, build or don't build -- but in the end they have to take responsibility for their choices, he said.

There is plenty of stress, but he doesn't show it at the games.

Courtside, at the Summit, he looks relaxed like a happy fan with great seats instead of a man focused on a huge investment.

"If you're not going to be calm and have fun at the game, when are you going to have fun?" he said.

All around him fans are vocal and possessive of their team.

"Everything you do is subject to public scrutiny," he said.

"I thought my other business was a lot of pressure because of the ups and downs, but this can be as tense or tenser," he said. "Sometimes you just can't be yourself. Sometimes people don't understand what you're trying to do."

When the public perceives you wrong, he said, and doesn't understand what you're trying to do, it could ruin everything you are trying to build, such as a secure future for a winning team.

Striking a balance between his inner vision and the outer image is Alexander's challenge.

It's the same one a basketball player faces on the court when he focuses on the game and ignores the cheers and jeers.

It seems like a pretty wonderful problem to have.







by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Quarterback Jimmy Klingler removed all speculation about his future at the University of Houston, announcing his intentions to forego his senior year and enter the NFL draft.

Head coach Kim Helton sat alongside Klingler at the Tuesday press conference in full support of his starting quarterback.

"I'm in total agreement with any football player that has a chance to play pro ball (early)," Helton said. "You can always come back to school.

"If Jimmy didn't have the talent to play in the National Football League, I would say to him and his mom, 'Jimmy, this is a bad decision.' I'm not of the selfish nature when it comes to my athletes."

With his mother, father and wife, Tracey, in attendance, Klingler, 21, made the move to follow in his brother David's footsteps. David Klingler entered the NFL draft after his senior season in 1991 and is now the starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals.

"It took a lot of thought and preparation," Jimmy said of his decision to leave. "I talked to a lot of people and it's what's best for me and my family.

"I talked with my wife about it. We have a baby on the way. Leaving now, I'll be able to support this baby."

With the poor crop of quarterbacks entering the draft next spring, the question facing Klingler is not if he will go in the draft but where.

Klingler said he has made a verbal commitment with sports agent extraordinaire Leigh Steinberg, who also represents the elder Klingler, Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon and San Francisco signal caller Steve Young. Klingler said he is optimistic about his chances.

After completing a dismal 1-6-1 season as a starter and missing three games to injuries, Klingler said it's now up to him to prove himself during the NFL combines and private workouts for pro scouts.

A good showing could help Klingler's marketability.

"I'm going to be fine with whatever happens in the draft," said Klingler, a 6-3, 200-pound Stratford High School product. "Maybe I don't work out in the NFL -- then I'm going back to school and get my degree."

Helton said he would like to have Klingler back for another season but admitted the timing could not have been more perfect.

"It helps us for him to do it as quickly as possible because it lets (potential recruits) know who they will be competing (for a starting job)."

The announcement leaves Chuck Clements as Houston's only healthy quarterback.

Clay Helton is recovering from a surgically repaired dislocated shoulder, making him unavailable for spring practice, and Chandler Evans will be transferring to a Division II school in the spring.

Klingler had his best year in 1992 when he completed 60.1 percent of his passes for 3,818 yards and 32 touchdowns with 18 interceptions.

His 303 completions in 504 attempts set an NCAA record for a sophomore as did his average of 2.9 touchdown passes per game.

Injuries and a change from John Jenkins' Run-and-Shoot offense contributed to Klingler's dip in big statistics this year.

He finished 117-of-230 for 1,291 yards, seven touchdowns and nine interceptions.






by Sheryl Gibbs

Contributing Writer

The lights dimmed and the crowd began to chant, "Zombie, Zombie, Zombie," as sweat-covered bodies took over the floor and began thrashing around to the demon-like voice of the dreadlocked figure on the stage.

The figure on the stage was Rob Zombie who was, of course, accompanied by his band, White Zombie. The group packed the house Thursday night at Rockefeller's West.

White Zombie opened with the riveting power of songs from the band's album, <I>La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One<P>. Zombie lashed into "Welcome to Planet M.F.," then continued with the powerful song, "Black Sunshine."

Zombie proceeded to sing several songs off of the band's upcoming album, while the bodies in the crowd kept slamming one another creating an enormous mosh pit which encompassed the entire first level of Rockefeller's.

Throughout the concert Zombie made references as to how big everything is in Texas, although he added, "except for this room." This fact was apparent as the people upstairs watched the bodies being carried over the heads of the people in the pit on the floor. A barrier of concert security blocked the stage from would-be stage divers.

The band's tight rhythm and underlying beat was held together by the hard-hitting bass riffs of the female bassist, Sean Yseult.

"We started off with just the four of us and now there is a million," said Zombie. According to MTV, White Zombie owes all of their recent success to MTV's <I>Beavis and Butt-head<P>. MTV claims that without their video clip shown on the popular show, White Zombie would not be nearly as successful as they are today. Although White Zombie's new song appears on the recently released, <I>Beavis and Butt-head Experience<P>, lead singer Rob Zombie told the crowd that the band's success should be attributed to the fans, not to Beavis and Butt-head.

The band came out for an encore and hammered into the recent hit single and popular video, "Thunder Kiss '65."

Then just when the audience thought the concert had drawn to a close, Zombie took the crowd by surprise and asked, "What do you wanna hear?

"Do you wanna hear some Rush?" The crowd went wild. "Or how about some Journey?" Boos from the audience arose immediately.

Then he said, "This is for all of you old fucks in the audience and can remember." Zombie proceeded to take the audience down memory lane and told stories about waking up in other people's puke or your own.

After the story Zombie said, "Here's some Sabbath." The band then lashed out and ended the concert with its rendition of Black Sabbath's "Children of the Grave."






Video Feast

by Glenn R. Wilson

I have never really been a big fan of musicals. Usually they are too happy, too goofy or just too long!

Still, in my ever-growing desire to be fair to all types of films, I have decided to make musicals the focus of this week's film festival.

However, I will restrict myself to films featuring a particular group of performers and songwriters. This particular group happens to be one of my favorites: The Beatles.

Thus, this week's festival, is called simply enough: "The Beatles: What Went Wrong?"

With the Beatles leading the first wave of the British rock invasion to wash onto our shores, it was decided that every effort should be taken to market these four young men from Liverpool as the heirs to Elvis Presley's vacated throne.

It seems the King was too busy making movies to make any new albums and his absence left a vacuum that others were more than eager to fill.

In this sense, it's rather ironic that the Beatles eventually took a shot at the movies as well, albeit with more success at first than Mr. Presley.

The initial film venture for the Fab Four was a little ditty called <I>A Hard Days Night<P>, which, not entirely coincidentally, is also this week's first film.

<I>Night<P> is by far the best of all the films the Beatles ever made. It details the band's adventures upon finding success on our shores and features some classic songs.

John, Paul, George and Ringo display a brilliant, and often biting, flair for sarcastic humor throughout this entertaining film.

A note for trivia buffs: Singer Phil Collins made his screen debut in this film, but you probably won't spot him because he's one of hundreds of extras who chase the boys through a train station.

Next up is <I>Help!<P>. This was their follow-up to <I>A Hard Days Night<P> and although not as funny as its predecessor, it's still funnier than most films made at this time passing as comedies.

The plot concerns the hunt for a magical ring owned by Ringo, but it doesn't serve much of a purpose except to create different situations for the band to sing some songs.

Without a doubt though, the best feature of both of these movies is the soundtracks.

For the next two films I have decided to choose a couple that don't exactly star the Beatles themselves. The first of these is Eric Idle's loving parody on the history of the band entitled <I>The Rutles: All you Need is Cash<P>.

Idle, formerly of Monty Python, and Neil Innes put together what proves to be a hilarious satire on the Beatles and the phenomenon they created. And just to show that he has a sense of humor, George Harrison even makes a cameo.

Last, and appropriately so, I present <I>Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band<P>. This is a Beatles film in name only, as it is their songs being bastardized by much less talented performers.

In reality, it is another perfect example of '70s tackiness at its worst, and further proof that some decades do not deserve a comeback!

The film stars Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees as the title band. Together, these guys form a sort of Four Horsemen of a Disco Apocalypse!

Overall, this is a <I>bad<P> movie. But where else can you see George Burns do a soft-shoe while singing "Fixing A Hole."

If there is a bright spot to this cheesy film, it's Steve Martin in his screen debut singing "Maxwell's Silver Hammer," in no way reminiscent of Paul McCartney. Unfortunately, this scene is only about 10 minutes long.

If you just can't bring yourself to relive the '70s in this fashion, then you might consider <I>Yellow Submarine<P> or <I>Magical Mystery Tour<P> as substitutes. Although I warn you, they're not much better.

Wilson is a post baccalaureate history and government student.

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