If you're one of those obsessive types who feel compelled to see every major Oscar-nominated film before the Academy Awards ceremony (March 29 - mark your calendars), some of your catching up can be done merely by trotting down to the corner video store.

There for the renting can be found "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," nominated for cinematography and screenplay adaptation (decide for yourself whether Philip Kaufman's long, arty retelling of the Milan Kundera book got short shrift from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). Also available for your consideration is "Stand and Deliver," which landed one big Oscar nod: best actor for Edward James Olmos, in the role of a math teacher at an East L.A. barrio high school. ("Stand and Deliver" also makes its broadcast television debut before the Oscars - on March 16 as an "American Playhouse" presentation on PBS.)Two other top contenders were released Thursday on home video: "A Fish Called Wanda," nominated for three awards (including best director for Charles Crichton and best supporting actor for Kevin Kline) and "Married to the Mob," which won a supporting-actor nomination for Dean Stockwell. (Jonathan Demme's rollicking mock-gangster pic also stars Michelle Pfeiffer, who landed a nomination for her supporting role in "Dangerous Liaisons.")

Scheduled for home-video release in the week before the awards ceremony is "Big," the body-switch comedy for which Tom Hanks glommed a justly deserved best-actor nodification, and "Gorillas in the Mist," for which Sigourney Weaver is nominated as the gorilla-obsessed Dian Fossey.

VIDEO QUESTION

Q: With rented cassettes such as "Off Limits" and "Shakedown," I sometimes get an unclear picture, sometimes with a blue tint. Is it low-grade film or a low-budget job?

VIDEO QUESTION

Q: With rented cassettes such as "Off Limits" and "Shakedown," I sometimes get an unclear picture, sometimes with a blue tint. Is it low-grade film or a low-budget job?

A: Film-to-tape transfer is a complex task, requiring computerized signal processors and highly trained technicians. Darkly lit movies such as the ones you mentioned are especially troublesome; even "E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial" has come in for a few consumer complaints, although MCA had lavished attention on it. The varying quality of video images is, I'm afraid, an irritating fact of life. - Andy Wickstrom (Knight-Ridder)

NEW VIDEOS

BELLMAN AND TRUE - Run out and borrow, rent or buy this one. It was my favorite video of 1988. It's an unrelentingly tense caper movie that inexorably notches up the tension, yet has at its center a beautiful and moving story of a father and son. Bernard Hill plays a burned-out alcoholic, a computer systems engineer who takes a bribe to deliver a mysterious computer file to a cheeky, new-breed London "villain" (Derek Newark). The engineer and his stepson (Kieran O'Brien) are held prisoner, then when the gang needs a "bellman" to handle the bank's electronics it offers a share of $25 million. Considered only for its ingenious caper, "Bellman and True" would be a worthwhile movie, but the relationship of the father and son is equally important, heightening the sense of value, risk and loss. Highest recommendation. 112 minutes. 1988. Cannon Video. $89.95. Rated R. - Scott Williams (Associated Press)

THE PROFESSIONALS - There may be better westerns, but there are none cooler. When the wife (Claudia Cardinale) of a millionaire rancher (Ralph Bellamy) is kidnapped by a Mexican revolutionary (Jack Palance), he recruits a band of misfits - Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster, Woody Strode and Robert Ryan - to ride into Mexico and bring her back. Written and directed by Richard Brooks, the picture is more style than content, but what style. For a western, it has a remarkably quotable script - it's jammed with attitude. "So what's on your mind besides 90-proof whiskey, 100-proof women and 14-carat gold," Marvin asks Lancaster during their trek through the desert. This is posturing at its purplest and its most sublime, and for fans of Lancaster and Marvin it can't be beaten. 117 minutes. 1966. Rated PG. RCA-Columbia. $69.95. - Hal Hinson (Washington Post)

MICHAEL JORDAN COME FLY WITH ME - It's a measure of Michael Jordan's talent and charisma that he doesn't need four other guys on the basketball court to make him look good. Perhaps that's because there probably aren't four other guys on the planet who can glide through the air, reverse dunk a ball and float back to Earth like Jordan, the University of North Carolina star-turned-Chicago Bulls mainstay. As with all highlight tapes, this one features Jordan doing his thing on a basketball court and there are highly revealing vignettes with his parents. Jordan himself reflects on life and basketball in a surprisingly candid, often touching way. In fact, there's very little for a diehard basketball fan to dislike about the tape, except that it's too short. 44 minutes. CBS/Fox Video. $19.98. - Mike Pearson (Howard News Service)

IRON WARRIOR - Imagine being hit about the head and face with a really big baseball bat. That's the net effect of watching "Iron Warrior," a film of such small intellect that every '50s zombie movie seems superior. Miles O'Keefe, Savina Gersak and Tim Lane star in this story of brothers separated early in life. One becomes a noble warrior. The other becomes a pawn of an evil sorceress. They clash over the affections of an air-headed princess and almost no one lives happily ever after - especially the viewer. Be warned: rubbing salt in a blister is far less painful than this fog of a film. 82 minutes. 1988. Media Home Entertainment. $19.95. - Mike Pearson (Scripps Howard News Service)