April 30, 1990 12:00 PM

>TITILLATING TROIKA: sex, lies, and videotape

Director Steve Soderbergh sells his debut film down a primrose path, but not before involving a striking cast—Peter Gallagher, Andie MacDowell, Laura San Giacomo, James Spader—in a perversely intoxicating series of infidelities and self-deceptions. Spader’s character, who tapes women talking about sex, is a cinematic avatar: What Bambi was to deer, he is to voyeurs. (RCA/Columbia)

ALL DOGS GO TO VALHALLA: ERIK THE VIKING Terry Jones directed, and there are a few Pythonesque moments, but this not-satirical-enough epic is a major woofer. Better they should have focused on Herschel Walker. (Orion)

FIRING UP: A DRY WHITE SEASON Marlon Brando’s brief role as an antiapartheid lawyer got the hype, but this involving film’s impact depends on South African actor Zakes Mokae’s portrayal of a black activist aligned with a white teacher, Donald Sutherland, who is learning how racist his country is. (CBS/Fox)

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