A ''BIG name'' or even an Oscar winner is no guarantee a film will make a lot of money, or even get a worldwide cinematic release. Proof of this could be found in three recent releases by actors one would assume were included in Hollywood's A-list of top billing stars. Tim Robbins is arguably the hottest young actor at the moment, given the heat generated by The Player 's recent Oscar nominations. That film had a brief run in Hongkong cinemas, but Robbins' latest, Bob Roberts (1992, Columbia Tristar, 100 minutes), is not going to get off the video shelves. Robbins starred in, wrote and directed this satire on the US political system, which comes across as a cross between a circus and a quagmire of corruption. Robbins plays a scheming, ambitious senatorial candidate with his eyes fixed firmly on the White House, a man with a penchant for speeches about ''the man in the street'' and whipping out his guitar to play abominable country tunes. Hollywood is simply too big and unwieldy to make this kind of ''art house'' film, and the production smacks of pretentiousness. Robbins is little more than a clever and cleverly-managed average actor who does not have the charisma or the looks of a Tom Cruise to survive outside the realm of films like Bob Roberts. Faring much better is Joe Pesci, Oscar-winner for GoodFellas, in the lead role of The Public Eye (1993, CIC, 94 minutes) as a paparazzo-style photographer with artistic aspirations. As the Great Bernzini, Pesci is best known for his work snapping victims of mafia hits, suicides and car accidents. But beneath the gruff exterior beats the heart of an artist who longs to capture the sad, seedy side of life and publish it in a book of photographs far removed from coffee table publications featuring pretty faces and imaginative food arrangements. When nightclub owner Barbara Hershey asks for his help fighting the mob, Pesci is dragged into something which may either be the end of him, or his finest moment. The most shocking example of a straight-to-video flop is undoubtedly Man Trouble (1992, First Independent, 99 minutes), which combined the talents of Jack Nicholson, Ellen Barkin and director Bob Rafelson - a magical mix on paper but a real howler on film. Dog trainer Nicholson is called to provide a guard dog for opera singer Barkin, who is nervous after a recent break-in and with a serial killer on the loose. It is supposed to be a comedy but is not funny and, to give the stars their due, they all look suitably embarrassed throughout, almost as if they knew what a bomb this movie was going to be.