GUN IS SO INSULTINGLY HILARIOUS

by Glenn R. Wilson Jr.

Daily Cougar Staff

The secret to the success that Zucker, Abraham and Zucker have had with their zany, often cornball, comedies is the respect that they <I>don't<P> have for Hollywood.

<I>The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult<P> is a perfect example of this honorable disrespect. The film opens with a beautifully done parody of the now famous Train-Station-Steps scene from <I>The Untouchables<P>. A scene that is itself borrowed from Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 film <I>Battleship Potemkin!<P>

However, neither of these films featured Lt. Frank Drebin, Detective Sergeant Police Squad! And it's a good thing too, because it's doubtful either would have been taken quite as seriously as they were.

As for any big fan of the T.V. series on which the <I>Naked Gun<P> films were based, they''ve been pretty satisfied with the big screen versions. The first film was, and still is, the best of the bunch. The second film was funny enough, but most of its gags were stolen directly from the T.V. show. <I>The Naked Gun 33 1/3<P> is a different story though.

Whereas the previous films borrowed liberally from the series, <I>33 1/3<P> tends to rely more on original material. And successfully so. Of course, as with all the ZAZ movies there are so many jokes packed into 90 minutes that you tend to forgive the clunkers because the next one is always funnier.

Leslie Nielsen returns to the role that made him famous, Frank Drebin. After a successful career as a dramatic actor, it took being cast as the stupidest cop on Earth to finally deliver fame and fortune to Nielsen.

In the film, Drebin has decided to retire from Police Squad and dedicate his life to Jane (Priscilla Presley) and their dreams of having an entire family of white-haired, big-nosed children.

Unfortunately, crime doesn't retire as well and Drebin is forced back into action in order to help nab a mad bomber (Fred Ward) working for the same terrorists who tried to kill the Queen in the first film.

The whole gang returns for this one as well. George Kennedy is back as Ed, and O.J. Simpson returns as Nordberg. However, commenting on their performances would be a moot point, so let's just say they're funny and leave it at that.

Priscilla Presley is back in the relatively thankless role of Jane Spencer-Drebin, although she does get a chance to have fun with a <I>Thelma and Louise<P> parody.

The best supporting roles belong to the cameos. Ranging from distinguished actors such as James Earl Jones to singing superstars like Weird Al Yankovic, this eclectic bunch receives kudos for being good sports. Especially Raquel Welch and Pia Zadora. (Yes! She's still acting!)

David Zucker, who directed the first two films, decided to step aside for this one and play writer/producer only. Peter Segal does a steady job in relief and the film is none the worse for the absence of a Zucker director.

With these films the script is always the most important ingredient. Pat Proft, a veteran ZAZ collaborator, and Robert Locash provide the assistance to David Zucker on this one and the three of them turn in a very funny movie from beginning to end.

It's difficult to compare this movie to other movies because its basic purpose is to make fun of other movies, so just compare it to other films like it. Classics such as <I>Airplane!<P> and <I>Top Secret!<P> proved that ZAZ were masters of movies with exclamation points in the titles. <I>The Naked Gun 33 1/3<P> should take its rightful place alongside these other films as an example of film making with a total lack of respect for film making.

 

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FESTIVAL DELIVERS FINE FOOD, NEW OUTLOOKS

by Kelley Caughlin

News Reporter

The food, the decor, the mixtures of aromas … this could only lead to one thing – the International Food Festival held Wednesday afternoon at the University Center.

The International Students' Organization holds the food extravaganza every semester, and sometimes even twice a semester, said ISO president, Mazin Kahn. "The turnout was good this year (students) but not as many international organizations participated," said Kahn.

This year's theme for the festival was 'Global Expression of Peace'. Each booth had their own idea of what peace meant to them. Other booths focused on the decorations and outside appearance.

These booths were then judged, by a committee selected by ISO, on their food, appearance, presentation and hospitality.

The Muslim Students Association was voted first place in the festival. The dome-like ceiling covering their booth – called the mosque – was held up by five symbolic pillars. "Each pillar represents the Muslim beliefs," said Amad Shaikh, the general secretary of the Muslim organization. The pillars, representing the unity of God, prayers, fasting, Islamic charity and pilgrimage, were arrangeed so the public could see them.

Also featured on the booth was a verse from the Koran, 'peace upon those who follow the guidance'. The phrase means peace is in your heart, said Shaikh.

The booth was covered in a green cloth and served many traditional foods like baklava, samosa, pokara and tabuli.

The organization made $350 and will donate the money to Kashmir, a country in northern India where many Muslims are suffering.

Coming in second was the Indian Students Association. Decked out in the traditional colors of orange, white and green, the Indian association has been active in the food festival since 1984. Dolls, jewelry and ornaments were displayed along the booth to center attention, said Reggie Abraham, the president of the Indian association.

To expand on the peace theme, Abraham pinned up a poster of Ghandi to represent his organization. The money earned will go toward scholarships for the next year, said Abraham.

The final place went to the Chinese Student Organization. This organization has been active for 20 years said senior Amy Shek.

The Chinese have been raising their money for an annual banquet held on April 30.

Many of the organizations participated for the pure fun of it, said Joe Reyna, a senior in the Mexican American Student Organization called MASO. "We learn about the other organizations that participate on campus. It makes it more interesting to come out here," said Reyna.

Reyna said that he enjoys his international organization because he can learn more about his Chicano background and heritage. His group also participates in volunteer work off campus and in Hispanic politics.

Overall, the festival is here to give exposure to the different organizations on campus, said Khan. "It helps make the money flow that is needed to keep the groups running."

"Attendance from the groups was not as high this year; maybe it was due to exams or other programs. But, as usual, everybody participated whole-heartedly for which I am extremely grateful," said Khan.

 

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OB MOVE UNPOPULAR

by Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

Many students in Oberholtzer Hall (located on the south side of campus) feel the possible move of the Honors College to that dorm is unnecessary and would only cause problems for students and waste the university's money.

In a meeting with OB residents Tuesday, Elwyn Lee, vice president of student affairs, said the administration proposed the move because it needed a place to house the Exxon Education Foundation and one of UH's new programs, the UH Scholars Community. Three hundred students will start the program in September. Exxon has already donated $500,000 and an additional $1.5 million will be raised from private companies and philanthropy.

The Honors College would be moved into rooms on the second and third floor of OB. The dorm houses approximately 34 students. If the move takes place, about eight to 10 students will have to find new housing.

If the proposal is adopted the university might suffer a loss of revenues from programs cut out as a result of the move. According to the proposal the university may lose as much as $575,000 to summer guest losses and $31,600 to annual ballroom and sleeping-quarters rentals. Lee said these figures are "worst case scenarios" and "depend on the extent to which non-Honors events (can) be held in the multi-purpose programming space in OB (ballroom, rooms 3A and 3B)."

Angela Lashbrook, an senior Spanish major, said when she was looking at honors programs at different colleges she noticed that many had their honors programs in the same building as the honors students' dorm. She thought the move could benefit some students but said she understood why others may not think so.

Other students did not agree.

Scott Mermelstein, a freshman mathematics major, said he didn't think the move would come to anything because OB is "out of the main area of buildings where classes are held."

Barbara Slover, a sophomore anthropology major echoed the thoughts of Mermelstein and said she thought empty office space in the UC or the UC Satellite would be a better place to move the Exxon program instead of displacing the college. She also said she felt the move would leave out some students in OB and further alienate others.

"I don't think they should move (the Honors College) unless they have something to offer all students," Slover said.

Louis Cottrell, a sophomore civil engineering/ applied music major, said, "I really don't think it's a good move. I know I like it here and I don't think it's much of a building to house a bunch of offices."

Ted Estess, dean of the Honors College, said the possibility of moving to OB and having a "living/learning center" has been talked about for four or five years. He said he is aware that some students are unhappy about the move but, he said, there are some students who are very excited about it. He also said faculty members are excited about the move as well.

A referendum considering the question of Honors representation passed Thursday. The Honors College will now have a Senator on the Students Association, making a total of 34 senators.

 

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SPRING BREAK FUN FOR A FEW BUCKS

by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

After crawling out of the bed you have vegetated in for over half of spring break – cultivating bedsores – you decide it's time to find something else to do. However, you have very little money because you were recently fired from the local gas-and-sip for sleeping on the job.

Lack of funds is not a problem, especially in a city as large as Houston. Having fun in Houston on $5 a day is far from impossible.

The primary concern being sustenance, there are free meals to be had, and they are far from sparse. Mondays through Friday's, Crush bar on Augusta off Westheimer, offers the best free happy-hour buffet in town. The buffet has everything from pizza to Caesar salad. Drinks can be purchased for as little as $1.50. The buffet lasts until about 8:30.

If the '80s music does not appease you at Crush bar, there's always jazz at Cody's, 3400 Montrose. It specializes in buffalo wings but also has fried vegetables and chips. Drinks here are a little more expensive, so just get a soft drink for $1. Cody's buffet ends at 7:30 and is only on Thursdays and Fridays. Just remember not to park in the Kroger's parking lot, because your car will be towed.

Another free buffet is at La Strada on Westheimer, next to #'s. If you can handle the pretentious attitude this buffet is okay. It has cheeses and pizza. At all these buffets, valet parking is available, but parking can be had without paying a valet. You can easily walk a block for free food, no matter how hungry you are.

If buffets don't appeal to you, there's always Wendy's value meals for $1. You can pick this up on the way to the beach. Galveston has a lot to do for free, if you don't mind the traffic or the crowds. You can tan, play volleyball, fish or swim on the beach. The seawall is great for biking, walking or roller blading. You can browse at the shops on the Strand which includes everything from clothing stores to bookstores.

On Thursdays, all the Houston museums are free. They include the Contemporary Arts Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. Both located on Bissonnet, near Hermann Park. They are open until 9 p.m. The Museum of Natural Science is free on Thursday afternoons and is open from 9 to 6. The Menil Collection is free everyday and is located on Sul Ross, off Montrose.

Hermann Park is also a perfect place to go for a picnic. It is also a good place to play any sport with friends. Near the park, is the zoo which has recently opened its Wortham World of Primates. The zoo is open from 10 to 6 and costs $2.50.

Another place to enjoy nature is at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center at 4501 Woodway. It is free and open from 8:30 to 6. This sanctuary offers five miles of trails, tours and has hands-on exhibits.

If you don't win the lottery, you could go to the Gulf Greyhound Park. It is open evenings Tuesday through Sunday. If watching skinny dogs run around a track so you can win a buck is entertaining to you,then this is the perfect place. It is off I-45 South, at the La Marque exit.

 

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IT'S IN THE CRUUZ GENES

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

The pride shows in his eyes as he watches his son roam the center field grass at Cameron Field.

Although still a month from his 20th birthday, his son attends Rice University and starts on the Owls' baseball team.

Jose Cruz has many reasons to be proud of Jose Jr.

"I'm proud of him," the father said. "But not just because he is playing baseball; because he is my son."

The father played baseball. He was an all-star left fielder for the Houston Astros for 13 years.

"Cheo," as he was affectionately known to teammates and fans, is one of the most beloved players in Astros history. Many fans can still remember Astros public address announcer J. Fred Duckett bellowing the name "Cruuuuuz" every time Cheo stepped to the plate.

Rice's P.A. announcer uses no special voice inflection to announce his son's name, but the fans cheer just the same.

Jose Jr. is in his second year at Rice. He was named national co-freshman of the year by Baseball America and Southwest Conference newcomer of the year last season.

This year, Cruz is a legitimate candidate for All-America and SWC player of the year honors.

"I don't really play for awards," he said.

He is hitting .440 with 38 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a SWC-best eight home runs this season.

"Pure luck," Cruz said of the whirlwind beginning to his college playing career.

Genealogy may have more to do with Cruz's ability than luck. Not many children have a major league ballplayer for a father.

"I never really looked at it like that," Cruz said. "He's just my dad."

His dad attends all of Cruz's games. He helped his son in the decision to attend Rice.

"Rice is close to our house and we can see him every night," the elder Cruz said. "Plus the school is pretty good, too."

Rice's academic reputation had a lot to do with the Cruzes' decision. Unlike some student-athletes, Cruz is as good a student as he is an athlete.

His high school grade point average was as outstanding as his batting average. He graduated with a 3.21 GPA.

"He's a good student," Cruz said.

He is also a good ballplayer. So good that he is already being touted as not just a pro prospect, but a "Show-prospect". He has major-league potential.

"He's gonna play in the big leagues," said Rice head coach and former major-leaguer Wayne Graham. "He could be a first-rounder. All things being equal, he should make it."

Cruz could be drafted after his junior season. He is still not sure whether he will leave a year early.

"Maybe I'll go next year," he said. "Maybe there's a future for me in it. I don't know. Maybe I can make it into a business for myself. Anything can happen."

Current big league stars Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds both followed in their fathers' (Ken Sr. and Bobby, respectively) major-league footsteps.

Both are also considered to be as good or better players than their fathers.

Cruz doesn't think he will ever be as good a player as his father.

"I doubt it," he said. "I don't feel I'm ready yet."

Just being compared to his father is an accomplishment in itself.

"I think the comparison is good, but I'm better than him," the elder Cruz said with a chuckle. "But really, I think he has a good chance to be better than me. He's already better than I was at that age."

Cruz said his son possesses better power than he did. And the younger Cruz's power comes from both sides of the plate. His speed and his ability to switch hit only adds to Cruz's arsenal of baseball weapons.

Cruz Jr. and his Rice teammates will bring their arsenals to Cougar Field for a 2 p.m. game against Houston today and a noon doubleheader Saturday. The three-game series is both teams' first SWC series of the season.

"That's what he loves to do, play ball," Cruz said. "He's happy."

And the father is proud.

 

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SNAPPER PREGNANT WITH SARCASM

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

A young woman, presumably intoxicated and clutching a bottle of liquor, saunters clumsily toward an automobile parked near the Shieling Hotel.

Moments later, a portly middle-aged man, placing emphasis on his virility and wielding his power, takes advantage of the woman sexually.

Querying no one, only herself, she poses the rhetorical question of "who was that man." That this scenario is shown in the context of a comedy is a testament to a writer's and director's ability to produce a satirical, implicitly feminist, refreshingly non-didactic work.

<I>The Snapper<P>, a comedy infused with sharp wit and jolted by several electrojabs of futureshock, is director Stephen Frears' humorous take on a serious subject–unplanned pregnancy.

The screenplay, adapted from Roddy Doyle's novel – the second part of The Barrytown trilogy of novels set in Dublin, Ireland – represents the second Doyle novel to be adapted for the silver screen, the first being the much-heralded <I>The Commitments<P>. In a working class milieu of Dublin – which, in the claustrophobic settings, resembles a circa 1984 United States – a fiercely chthonic Irish variation on the socially conscious Greek chorus spouts vitriol and contemplates the implications of Sharon Curley's (Tina Kellegher) pregnancy.

Her father Dessie (Colm Meaney) and mother Kay (Ruth McCabe) are initially jolted by Sharon's revelation that she is expecting a snapper, which is Irish vernacular for infant. Doyle inverts two equations in his screenplay, in which the Rabbittes of his literary trilogy become the Curleys on film. First, instead of the father being crude and not understanding, it is the mother who is, by turns, cold. Also, instead of chastising the woman impregnated, the critique offered is of the society that tries to impose order and values on the woman.

Sharon opts to get "pissed" (read 'punch drunk' stateside) with the other three members of a quartet of friends, only one of whom remains close to her after it is discovered the rude, crude and socially unacceptable George Burgess (Pat Laffan) – the father of one of her drinking pals – impregnated her.

The further along Sharon gets, the more her father understands her predicament. He and others find it implausible she conceived after a rendezvous in a hotel with a Spanish sailor, as she contends. The father explodes into a paroxysm of anger when confronted with the realization his daughter might have had sex with Burgess. His rage is understandable given the initially blasé attitude of Burgess.

The Curley family is not insulated from the raggedy edge of the real. However, the film is not explicitly critical of a society in which a woman is impinged upon by structures of oppression. The so-called community finds Sharon repulsive.

The humor of the film is tinged with sarcasm and laced with witticisms. An elder gent listens to Sharon's father boast about the size of the baby – seven pounds, 12 ounces. And the man then adds that's a good size for a turkey. The family, upon hearing the weight of the snapper, begins to chant and hop around, disregarding what the neighbors say.

The film follows a young woman from her role as object of scorn to her role as mother, never making her appear to be a victim. Burgess appears to be the loser. She attempts to divorce herself from the family and those who scoff at her by renting a flat. These efforts to break away prove to be futile.

Her brother Craig (Eanna Macliam) has just returned from military service, and the contrast between himself and his 20-year-old sister is sharply drawn. He is faced with the responsibility of re-integrating himself into society and the Curley household. Even as he regurgitates into the kitchen sink, his father jokingly imploring him to clean the dishes, there is the sense that he will be a casualty instead of his sister. A friend even taunts him, saying his gun does not discharge bullets.

The performances, especially Meaney's and Kellegher's, are first-rate. Doyle's script is brilliant as is Frears' direction, which is even better than his work on such films as <I>The Grifters<P>.

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