Bertolucci's grand desert epic gets stuck in the sand right at the start. Its idling husband-wife leads practically assure us of that: They're headed to Africa -- to nowhere in particular -- to while away a year or two. They aren't tourists, they're travelers. But, are Debra Winger and John Malkovich actors you'd remotely associate with such a grand adventure? Or getting lost in "sensual" overload and the pleasures of the flesh? Winger as the concubine of an Arab traveler? The plot is so strange and absurd -- all to get to the point that the desert makes you crazy -- that we're left with nothing but staring at the dusty landscapes, which, as usual, Bertolucci has quite a knack with. Still, we've seen the lovely desert many times before in the movies, and those films have much better stories attached.