Expect a sequel to "Dances with Wolves." Michael Blake reports he's now at work on a book that will return to the ordeal of the Union officer who's adopted by a Sioux tribe. (Blake wrote the "Dances" screenplay, based on his novel.) But will Kevin Costner again sign on to direct and star? It seems unlikely. After his trial by fire in front of and behind the camera, Costner has told one and all, "Never again."

- Let's see. So far Clint Eastwood's cop thriller "The Rookie" has been called to account for its tasteless plane-crash finale (which mirrored a recent real-life disaster in Chicago) and for its outrageous stereotyping of Hispanics as car thieves and color-blind punks. Why haven't we heard from the Equal Rights for Rover coalition? Consider the doggie inequities now being perpetrated by Eastwood and company: In "The Rookie," a couple of junkyard guard dogs are made to sit up and beg at the point of a gun while a pair of barroom canines are unceremoniously gunned down. The difference: the guard dogs are Dobermans while the bouncer bowsers are universally loathed pit bulls.- It's a tenet of successful suspense movies: You don't go to great lengths to develop a sympathetic character, then rub him or her out as indifferently as you might a gnat. "Psycho" and Janet Leigh's shower exit notwithstanding, Hitchcock was a stickler about this. In his interviews with Francois Truffaut, he said audiences felt cheated whenever the good guy met with a fatal "accident." Hence, Hitch's heroes always made it through the final reel.

Obviously Rob Reiner wasn't paying attention. He goes to incredible lengths to make us like Richard Farnsworth's Colorado sheriff in "Misery." Then he fills the lovable old codger with buckshot. Brian DePalma ("The Bonfire of the Vanities") made a similar faux pas with his 1981 thriller, "Blow Out." He angered even his staunchest fans by delivering kooky leading lady Nancy Allen to his lunatic strangler.

A mistake on both counts. Mr. and Ms. Average Filmgoer don't like their emotions toyed with.

- 20th Century Fox was so concerned parents wouldn't see the humor in box-office champ "Home Alone" that it fudged an unrepresentative preview clip to showcase the mortified parents, supporting players at best, in the comedy that asks: What would you do if your Mom and Dad abandoned you on Christmas Eve?