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The worst of 2015
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 "胡润女富豪榜：周群飞领跑 “唐僧”夫人第二," 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.
“我们对中国在应对腐败问题上所做出的努力和取得的成功经验非常感兴趣。南非也面临腐败问题，耗费了我们很大精力。”南非政府最近提出了应对腐败的新举措。此举令人关注，因为这正出现在南非公共职能和行政事务部部长（琳迪韦·西苏鲁）访华之后。中国国家预防腐败局局长（马馼）参加了会见。这也体现出南非与中国领导人互访的益处。”Dr Bheki Langa, South African ambassador
A lot of the best James Bond theme songs sound like they belong in a lounge act. That's not a complaint, just an observation. For whatever reason, the English new wave act Duran Duran was given free reign to provide A View to a Kill with a new and exciting sound all its own. "A View to a Kill" was a hit song, and it probably would have been a success even without the James Bond connection. It's entertaining and cool and energetic, and it promises one hell of a good time. (Whether or not the movie actually lives up to that promise is a matter of some debate.)
Games are serious business in China. The country's online game market will reach 41 billion yuan by 2012 ($6 billion), accounting for half the global market, according to newly released data from Cnzz.com Inc., a Beijing-based third-party data analysis firm (related report in Chinese here).
Musk said he expects to be producing cars at a 100,000-a-year rate by the end of 2015.
Average age: 33 in Philadelphia, 36 in San Francisco
The film is in the tradition of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "家居建材业赢商机 这些技巧你get了吗？," 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.