Iron Man 2 (Paramount) reprises everything people liked about the first Iron Man movie, and then some. So why does it feel like a step down? It’s busier than before, but also less clever, and—since it’s burdened with the need to be bigger—less human. It isn’t bad, just lesser…

Sadly, Party Down: Season Two (Anchor Bay) turned out to be the last gasp for Starz’ funny, involving, little-watched show. Happily, it joins the ranks of shows that never flagged, and never turned out a bad episode. Here, the catering company of strivers and losers living on the fringe of show business continues to take some dark turns, but never at the expense of humor, and without disrespecting its characters, no matter how deluded they are…

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In the run-up to the release of Babies (Universal), a dull documentary that follows a year in the life of four tykes from different parts of the world (and economic strata), it sounded like either the dumbest or most brilliant commercial proposition ever. “Everybody loves babies,” the logic went, “so why wouldn’t they show up to see a movie about them?” Turns out they do, yet they didn’t…

Playing a glorious amalgam of rock-star stereotypes—a cross between Mick Jagger’s vamping, Sting’s dabblings in Eastern philosophy, Bono’s issue-oriented anthem-writing, and the worst in backstage indulgences—Russell Brand did scene-stealing work in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but in a role that’s seemingly more suited to the fringes of a movie than center stage. So it’s a nice (though mild) surprise that Brand’s spin-off vehicle, Get Him To The Greek (Universal), proved to be mostly funny and sweet, with capable work by Jonah Hill as a low-level record-company lackey, and Sean Combs as Hill’s belligerent boss…

Based on the classic Jim Thompson novel about a psychotic small-town deputy in ’50s West Texas, Michael Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me (IFC) draws most of its power from Casey Affleck’s chilling, affectless performance as the monster of the title. It also casts Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson in surprising roles as the victims of his spectacular abuses. But Winterbottom doesn’t have the style or feel for film noir necessary to pull it off.

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