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<p>You don't want to defy the rules around here, do you?</p>

You don't want to defy the rules around here, do you?

Six simple rules for commenting on my blog: the sequel

A few guidelines for keeping things civil here at What's Alan Watching?

When I first got the offer to join HitFix, I made sure that I would have the authority to keep enforcing the commenting rules from my old blog, which had gone a long way to making this a very smart, very civil community without a lot of the abuses you tend to see on most internet forums. And for the most part, everyone in the new community has played along.

As I said back in the Blogspot days, most of you are wonderful, smart, funny, and add so much to the discussion that other critics frequently express their envy about the quality of the comments here. It's not an understatement to say you guys are just as important as I am to what makes this place special, and often times more. And I want to continue keeping it that way.

Lately, though, things have been getting testy, and I've had to delete a fair number of comments that have crossed the line in one way or another. And it occurs to me that while I frequently refer to the rules when I punt a comment, I've never actually published a full version of them on this site. And given that I've been at HitFix for almost a year and a half, that's long overdue. So after the jump, here are the six rules you've got to obey in order to keep playing in this particular sandbox, mostly copied over from the original blog, but with a few tweaks to acknowledge some recent offenses.  They're not hard - most of them, in fact, can be loosely translated as "Don't be an asshole" - but the anonymity of the Internet makes it easy to forget to do them.

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<p>The Stone Roses</p>

The Stone Roses

Credit: Pennie Smith

Watch: Stone Roses confirm reunion, schedule two shows

Ian Brown and the boys are back together and making new music

The Stone Roses only had two albums, but the quartet are intact and all back together for the first time since 1995, ready to perform those songs plus some new material.

At a press conference in London today, frontman Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni confirmed they have gotten back together, and are creating new songs. They have slated just two homecoming shows, for Heaton Park on June 29 and 30 in 2012. Tickets for those go up for sale on Friday (Oct. 21) at 9:30 a.m. GMT.

The British troupe has posted video of the press conference at their newly launched website,, which includes the news that the band is plotting a world tour.

Now, the Stone Roses released their mostly perfect self-titled debut album in 1989. "The Second Coming" from 1994 paled in comparison. Fans of Brown's dreamy vocals have endured years of solo albums since then, with just a couple highlights like 2001's "Music of the Spheres" and "Stellify" from 2009's "My Way."

So in conclusion, I'm excited, but not that excited.

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<p>Yoda's duel with Count Dooku was only one of the highlights of the first viewing of 'Attack Of&nbsp;The Clones' by the boys</p>

Yoda's duel with Count Dooku was only one of the highlights of the first viewing of 'Attack Of The Clones' by the boys

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Film Nerd 2.0: Yoda seals the deal for 'Attack Of The Clones' on Blu-ray

The boys fall further in love with the saga as the end is finally in sight

"Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is."  - Yoda

It's hard to believe there are only two more "Star Wars" movies left to watch with the boys.  When that Blu-ray box arrived at the house, setting off the Occupy Dad's Office movement, it seemed like it would take forever to make it through all of the films.  Now we're coming down to the biggest moments in the series, and the boys are already getting ready to start over.

"Dad, in the 'Revenge On The Sith' and the 'Return On The Jedi' movies, we're gonna learn about the truth about Darth Vader, right?"


"So we're going to know if Old Obi-Wan or Darth Vader was telling the truth, right?"


"Okay.  Good."

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<p>Natalie Portman gave a stunning debut performance in Luc Besson's &quot;The Professional.&quot;</p>

Natalie Portman gave a stunning debut performance in Luc Besson's "The Professional."

Credit: Columbia Pictures

The Lists: Top 10 debut performances of all time

Hunter McCracken and Elizabeth Olsen inspire a look at best-ever first-timers

With "The Tree of Life" on DVD and Blu-ray and "Martha Marcy May Marlene" opening in limited release on Friday, it seemed a good time to take stock of the best debut performances the cinema has to offer. Hunter McCracken in the former and Elizabeth Olsen in the latter offer up award-worthy work, stunning in their capacity to inhabit their characters and seek out the truth therein.

The research on this one was taxing, and I don't mind telling you, this list might be different on another day. It's tough to settle on 10 when there are so many sterling debuts to choose from. And believe me, if your favorite isn't on here, I'm sure I considered him or her.

It was heartbreaking to leave off the likes of Eva Marie Saint, Kate Winslet, William Hurt and Melanie Lynskey, as it was to ultimately eschew more recent stunners like Keisha Castle-Hughes, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Anna Paquin and the duo who sparked the idea to assemble the list.

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<p>Britney Spears in &quot;Criminal&quot;</p>

Britney Spears in "Criminal"

Watch: Britney Spears gets steamed up in NSFW 'Criminal' video

Want to see her and her boyfriend go at it? Here's your chance

You know who should be upset about Britney Spears’ steamy new  “Criminal” video? Not anyone who may hate the sight of crappy, abusive boyfriends or blatant product endorsements or  the thought of their little kids watching their idol naked in the shower. No, who should really be upset are the British police. Talk about the gang who can’t shoot straight.  More about that later.

In the clip, which was shot in London last month, Spears lives out the ultimate bad boy fantasy. After being knocked around by her seemingly upscale boyfriend, she gets rescued by a passer by, who just happens to be her real-life boyfriend,  Jason Trawick. He’s a criminal with lots of guns and some really big tattoos, but hey, he’s good in bed (which they discover after knowing each other for two minutes) and he brings her coffee the next morning. What's not to love?  (Let's not even get into the fact that her boyfriend abusing her isn't enough to make her leave, it's her catching him flirting with another woman.... ).

[More after the jump...]

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Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

UPDATED: Adele, Sting, Ke$ha (!!!) contribute to Bob Dylan tribute album

Set benefits Amnesty international

Adele, Sting, Dave Matthews Band and, wait for it, Ke$ha will all cover tunes by Bob Dylan on “Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.”

The set, out Nov. 22, according to Rolling Stone,  also features Patti Smith and My Morning Jacket.  Some of the artists’ contributions we’re already familiar with, such as Adele’s beautiful cover of “To Make You Feel My Love.” 

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Lucas Pittaway (left) and Daniel Henshall in &quot;Snowtown&quot;</p>

Lucas Pittaway (left) and Daniel Henshall in "Snowtown"

Credit: IFC Midnight

Review: The shaking, waking nightmare of 'Snowtown'

Blood and ice in veins of remarkable Australian crime drama

LONDON - Running a close second to “Dogtooth” for the title of Unlikeliest Oscar Nominee Of 2010 was “Animal Kingdom,” a modest, star-challenged Australian crime saga with Greek-tragedy overtones that an enterprising Sony Picture Classics, prioritizing strong reviews over invisible box office, rode all the way to an acting nod for late-blooming breakout Jacki Weaver. Pithy, bleak and shot through with nasty wit, it no doubt flummoxed many a pastel-hearted Academy voter checking it out post-nominations.

Alas, one can only imagine what they’d make of “Snowtown,” a blinding debut feature from Justin Kurzel that similarly negotiates the criminal exploits of a bungalow-dwelling family Down Under – only to make “Animal Kingdom” look positively “Neighbours”-like in comparison. That they’re unlikely to cross paths is probably better for all concerned: Kurzel’s film, tellingly and adventurously adopted in the US by IFC’s Midnight arm, is ingeniously passive-aggressive cinema that places great stock in its own thorniness without ever resorting to idle shock-broking. Less keen on being liked than being felt, it unsparingly lays out the ugly details of its true-crime story for the audience to assimilate themselves; some have found its approach heartless, but I was struck by its subject-countering grace.

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<p>Ryan Gosling in &quot;The Ides of&nbsp;March&quot;</p>

Ryan Gosling in "The Ides of March"

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Oscarweb Round-up: How about cutting the double-dippers a break?

Also: David Fincher on Scarlet Johansson and 'Dragon Tattoo' and a list of underdog actors

Mark Harris cherry picks three areas of the Academy's rulebook that really need some reconsideration. And one of them drives me absolutely nuts, too. The stipulation that an actor can't be nominated for two different films in the same category. Not that I spend a lot of time trying to understand it, but really, I can't figure out what the point of this nonsense is. Is it some kind of bizarre fairness thing? I don't know. But Ryan Gosling gives two of the year's best performances, and by golly, he should be nominated for each if voters see fit! #pissinginthewind [Grantland]

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<p>The video game-playing dudes of &quot;Man Up!&quot;&nbsp;are, from left, Mather Zickel, Dan Fogler and Chris Moynihan.</p>

The video game-playing dudes of "Man Up!" are, from left, Mather Zickel, Dan Fogler and Chris Moynihan.

Credit: ABC

Review: ABC's forgettable 'Man Up!'

The middle chapter of ABC's masculinity trilogy lacks a clear voice or good jokes

I spent most of this summer trying to figure out what was in the water at ABC's comedy development offices that resulted in the network ordering three different sitcoms - "Last Man Standing," which debuted last week, "Man Up!," which debuts tonight at 8:30, and "Work It," which will hopefully debut sometime half past never - about the difficulty of being a man in 21st century America. I wondered who was so convinced this was a topic much on the hearts and minds of comedy viewers, and also why a network that is so heavily aimed at female viewers would bother with three male-centric shows - even if one of them features the men dressing up as women. (To balance that out, "Work It" features a cast of female characters who are too stupid to live, let alone recognize that their new co-workers are really two guys built like defensive backs.)

Mostly, though, I wondered - especially given the lame-to-horrible execution of the three shows - whether there was actual entertainment value and laughter to be found in exploring this topic.

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<p>George Clooney is all smiles this awards season with &quot;The Descendants&quot; and &quot;The Ides of March&quot; both in the mix.</p>

George Clooney is all smiles this awards season with "The Descendants" and "The Ides of March" both in the mix.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Best Actor: Is it George Clooney vs. the field?

Who will take on the 'Descendants' star for Oscar glory?

Looking back at the past decade, there hasn't been many surprises in the race to win the best actor Academy Award.  By the time the New Year came around, most pundits and Academy members pretty much knew who would win taking most of the fun out of this category. And, yes, that's even before the nominations were announced.  Sure, Mickey Rourke gave Sean Penn a good run at it in 2009, but the only real upset you can point to is Adrien Brody in 2003 for "The Pianist."  Will 2012 provide an old fashioned horse race that seems only to be left to the supporting categories these days? It's possible, but someone's going to have to step and be a true challenger for George Clooney acclaimed role in Alexander Payne's "The Descendants."

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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' - 'Game Night Gone Wild'

Things get even uglier between Kyle and Brandi - and Brandi isn't backing down

Ah, the ugliness of game night continues on "The Real Housewives of the 'Maury Povich Show,'" I mean, "The Real Housewives of Beverly HIlls." Truly, as nasty as things have gotten among the wives in the past, Brandi's addition to the fold has somehow pushed the show dangerously close to chair-tossing territory. While this is undoubtedly dramatic, it's also a bit unnerving, like watching beauty queens rip out one another's extensions while using their stilettos to poke holes in their rivals' Spanx. Hopefully someone will brush her extremely long and probably fake hair out of her eyes and apologize before someone loses an eye. 

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<p>The Roots</p>

The Roots

Listen: The Roots announce 'undun' album details as new single drops

Jimmy Fallon's house band tackling a concept album: look out, 'Lulu'

Are The Roots getting dark for the most wonderful time of the year?

The veteran hip-hop troupe and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" house band has lifted the curtain on their latest originals set, "undun," due on Dec. 6 in time for the holiday season. What makes it sound heavy is this: the 10-track set is The Roots' first concept record, based on the apparently fictional character Redford Stephens, "This kid who becomes criminal, but he wasn’t born criminal."

"He’s not the nouveau exotic primitive bug-eyed gunrunner like Tupac’s character Bishop in 'Juice,'" reads a release, with comments from ?uestlove. "He’s actually thoughtful and is neither victim nor hero. Just some kid who begins to order his world in a way that makes the most sense to him at a given moment... Utilizing a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented–postmortem–and attempting to make sense of his former life. As he moves through its pivotal moments he begins to deconstruct all that has led to his (and our own) coming undun.”

Gather 'round, kids. It's a wonderful life.

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