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Meanwhile, in recent months mainland investors have been rapidly owning equity trading accounts and putting money into the stock market. The Shanghai Composite has become the region's best performing index, rising nearly 45 per cent year to date.
Real teenagers are no doubt approximately as inexperienced and unsure as they have always been, and many wisely avoid the emotional and physical dangers of early sex, but in the movies the kids make the adults look backward. Teenagers used to go to the movies to see adults making love. Now adults go to the movies to see teenagers making love. I get letters from readers complaining that Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery are too old for steamy scenes, but never a word from anyone who thinks the kids played by Christina Ricci or Reese Witherspoon are too young.
"American Pie" comes in the middle of a summer when moviegoers have been reeling at the level of sexuality, vulgarity, obscenity and gross depravity in movies aimed at teenagers (and despite their R ratings, these movies obviously have kids under 17 in their cross-hairs). Consider that until a few years ago semen and other secretions and extrusions dare not speak their names in the movies. Then "There's Something About Mary" came along with its hair-gel joke. Very funny. Then came "人民日报海外版：生娃是家事也是国事," with its extra ingredient in the coffee. Then "South Park," an anthology of cheerful scatology. Now "American Pie," where semen has moved right onto the menu, not only as a drink additive but also as filling for a pie that is baked by the hero's mom. How long will it be before the money shot moves from porn to PG-13? I say this not because I am shocked, but because I am a sociological observer, and want to record that the summer of 1999 was the season when Hollywood's last standards of taste fell. Nothing is too gross for the new comedies. Grossness is the point. While newspapers and broadcast television continue to enforce certain standards of language and decorum, kids are going to movies that would make longshoremen blush. These movies don't merely contain terms I can't print in the paper--they contain terms I can't even describe in other words.
I rise to the challenge. I seek an underlying comic principle to apply. I find one. I discover that gross-out gags are not funny when their only purpose is to gross us out, but they can be funny when they emerge unwittingly from the action. It is not funny, for example, for a character to drink a beer that has something in it that is not beer. But it is funny in "There's Something About Mary" when the Ben Stiller character discovers he has the same substance dangling from his ear, and Cameron Diaz mistakes it for hair gel.
It is funny because the characters aren't in on the joke. They are embarrassed. We share their embarrassment and, being human, find it funny. If Stiller were to greet Diaz knowing what was on his ear, that would not be funny. Humor happens when characters are victims, not when they are perpetrators. Humor is generated not by content but by context, which is why "Big Daddy" isn't funny. It's not funny because the Adam Sandler characters knows what he is doing, and wants to be doing it.
Cullinan and Ruiz each carry a suitcase containing a copy of the winning envelope for all the categories - meaning there are two envelopes for each award.
The most badass super-villains assigned to protecting people, that's Suicide Squad for you. A government agency called A.R.G.U.S recruits villains to perform dangerous tasks that in turn reduces their prison sentence. The task force includes Joker, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Boomerang, Killer Croc and several other villains from the DC Comics universe.
So with such a strong South American contingent, where will the main challenge come from ? Well, the big guns from Europe is the obvious answer. And where else could you look for a team of Champions than Spain. Having won the last World Cup, sandwiched between two European Championship triumphs, this is a team that not only knows how to play fantastic football, but that knows how to win. So whilst Messi and Ronaldo get all the annual plaudits and player of the year titles, the likes of Xavi and Iniesta go about winning all the major trophies. So will they be as string this year ? Well, worryingly for the rest of the world, yes. Not only are most of the old guard still there but talented youngsters such as Koke and Thiago Alcantara have joined the ranks. Not only that, but they've managed to grab a prolific striker, Diego Costa, from under the noses of the host nation, with the Atletico Madrid forward opting to play for Spain, rather than the nation of his birth.
The film is in the tradition of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "经适房上市政策要变？京房产中介协会辟谣," and all the more recent teen sex comedies. It is not inspired, but it's cheerful and hard-working and sometimes funny, and--here's the important thing--it's not mean. Its characters are sort of sweet and lovable. As I swim through the summer tide of vulgarity, I find that's what I'm looking for: Movies that at least feel affection for their characters. Raunchy is OK. Cruel is not.