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March 12, 1995|CHARLES SOLOMON

IF YOU'RE TALKING TO ME, YOUR CAREER MUST BE IN TROUBLE: Movies, Mayhem and Malice by Joe Queenan (Hyperion: $12.95; 267 pp.). A well-known writer for Movieline, Rolling Stone and other journals, Queenan states, "even though these stories were written in a spirit of complete and utter malice, they were written in a spirit of cheerful, life-affirming malice." His deliciously sarcastic articles deride some of Hollywood's more dubious offerings and talents. He dismisses "Yentl" as "eastern Europe, circa 1904, the way Hollywood circa 1983 imagined it: more songs, fewer pogroms," and asserts, "A country that confers the official designation 'heartthrob' on ungainly, plain-looking women such as Madonna or short, smiley Scientologists such as Tom Cruise is plainly having trouble beneath the national loin cloth and needs all the help it can get." If Queenan eats lunch in this town again, it will be with filmgoers, rather than filmmakers.

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