HANNAH AND HER SISTERS PG-13, 1986, 103 minutes, HBO Video, $89.95.
"Hannah and Her Sisters" is the film Woody Allen had been building up to, and the result is his richest, most soulful comedy yet. It's not knee-slapping funny in the full-bore, lunatic style of "Bananas" or "Take the Money and Run"; it's subtler, more thoughtful, and yet it's not bloodless and suffocating like "Interiors." "Hannah" is a movie about coming to terms. In it, Allen shelves his reservation about existence in an expanding, godless universe; it's Woody on an up day. Its three sisters -- Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest (who won the best supporting actress award for the role) -- are not only Allen's modern variation on Chekhov's siblings; they also represent his three views on women -- his three faces of Eve. It's a beautifully crafted, expansive, celebratory work. With Michael Caine and Max von Sydow. -- Hal Hinson
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS PG-13, 1986, 88 minutes, Warner Home Video, $89.95.
A cruciferous space carnivore makes slaw of a ghetto florist's customers in this Vege-magic adaptation of the monster stage musical, itself an adaptation of Roger Corman's classic cult movie. Rick Moranis, the Keymaster of "Ghostbusters," works a variation on his neighborly nebbish as a flower store nerd who unwittingly raises the killer cabbage -- which looks to be a cross between ornamental cabbage and Dave Butz -- from an adorable pod to Audrey II, named for his bubble-brained, bottle-blond dream girl. Levi Stubbs, one of the Four Tops, is the voice of the hep veggie, with appropriately named costars Ellen Greene as Audrey I and Vincent Gardenia as Mr. Mushnik, owner of the little shop. Steve Martin adds an unforgettable performance as Audrey's sadistic beau, a biker dentist, with Bill Murray in a riotous cameo as a masochistic patient in the mood for a root canal. Muppeteer Frank Oz directs this Busby Berkeley-style black comedy, featuring some snazzy production numbers that are better enjoyed on the big screen. -- Rita Kempley
'ROUND MIDNIGHT R, 1986, 132 minutes, Warner Home Video, $79.95
Bertrand Tavernier's " 'Round Midnight" is a long, bittersweet ballad about the love and redemptive efforts of a Parisian jazz fan (Franc ois Cluzet) toward a once creative bebop saxophonist who is now confronting diminishing health and inspiration. Based on the real-life tragedies of Bud Powell and Lester Young, the story is poignant enough, but it becomes something greater whenever Dale Turner (less acted than embodied by jazz great Dexter Gordon) fills the screen with his shambling frame and muted musings. The jazz score by Herbie Hancock won an Academy Award, even though Gordon's playing is just average, but the blues are also palpable right through the last frame. -- Richard Harrington GIG 1986, 95 minutes, Karl Lorimar, $79.95.
Frank D. Gilroy's "The Gig" didn't get as much attention as " 'Round Midnight" but it is also a fine film about a group of amateur traditional jazz enthusiasts who suddenly find themselves with a paying gig at a Catskills resort. The all-white group (led by Wayne Rogers) does some soul-searching when the last-minute replacement for their dying bass player turns out to be a world-wise black musician (Cleavon Little). Trading between broad humor and pathos, the film says a lot about those who genuinely love music, about subtle levels of racism and about enduring friendships. -- Richard Harrington L'ELISIR D'AMORE
Pioneer Artists LaserDisc, 132 minutes, $49.95
This production of Gaetano Donizetti's slender (almost content-free) little romantic comedy is about as unpretentious as anything the Metropolitan Opera has done in living memory. The opera's simple, graceful melodies are handled beautifully by Judith Blegen and Luciano Pavarotti, who also shows a fine comic flair.
The recording was made from the live telecast of March 2, 1981, when Pavarotti was in better vocal shape than recently. This uncut recording includes nearly two minutes of applause after he finishes "Una furtiva lagrima," but his singing is almost worth it.
Nicola Rescigno conducts stylishly and with a keen awareness that in bel canto opera his main job is to support the voices. Sesto Bruscantini is very smooth as Dr. Dulcamara the snake oil peddler (who arrives in a balloon). He is not as funny as Franc ois Loup was in the Washington Opera's production a few years ago, but one can be (and he is) very good without reaching those heights. -- Joseph McLellan