Picks and Pans Review: New This Week on Video

updated 10/17/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/17/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>TOP JOKER: MICHAEL KEATON (BEETLEJUICE)

Say what you will about the movie—it spins out of control so often you'll probably get nasty—it's hard to fault Keaton's comic brilliance as a pasty-faced, green-haired zombie with rotting teeth who hawks exorcisms to dead people. He gets rid of the living. Keaton will stop at nothing for a laugh. He'll put a merry-go-round on his head, sprout bat wings from his ears, even proposition a leggy but headless women in hell. Trouble is Keaton's role isn't nearly big enough. But when the man is on, it's showtime. (Warner)

NO-FUN CROWN: ALAN ALDA (A NEW LIFE) Alda just doesn't get it. Writing, directing and starring in a comedy about middle-aged folks divorcing is no treat if you repeat and belabor every tired joke on the subject. (Paramount)

DRAMA QUEEN: MAGGIE SMITH (THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARN) A great stage-and-screen actress takes the title role of a spinster piano teacher looking for love in the wrong places and scores with the skill of a sorceress. (Cannon),

DRAMA KING: BARNARD HUGHES (DA) Hughes's Da comes back to haunt and harangue the son (Martin Sheen), who has returned to Ireland for his old man's funeral. There hasn't been a livelier performance in ages. (Virgin)

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