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‘American Hustle,’ ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ lead MTV Movie Awards nods
Crime caper "American Hustle" and financial greed tale "The Wolf of Wall Street" each landed eight nominations for the MTV Movie Awards on Thursday, edging out dystopian saga "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and comedy "We're the Millers."
"Hustle" and "Wolf," which each went home from Sunday's Oscars empty handed, will have a shot at redemption at the unbuttoned MTV event that hands out golden, popcorn-shaped trophies in categories like best kiss and best fight scene.
The fan-voted awards will be hosted by comedian Conan O'Brien at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles on April 13 and televised on MTV, a unit of Viacom Inc.
"American Hustle" stars Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, who each picked up nominations in top acting categories while Adams and Christian Bale picked up a nod for best on-screen duo in the film.
Hamilton confident Mercedes can deliver
Lewis Hamilton believes his Mercedes Formula One team can live up to their advance billing as favorites when the season starts in Australia next week.
"I think we're as ready as we can be for Melbourne and I'm more fired up than ever," the 2008 world champion declared on Friday in a preview for the opening race.
"With all the changes within the sport and the hard work that's been going on within the team, I believe this can be our year to really show what we're capable of," added the Briton, who joined Mercedes last year after winning his title with McLaren.
"That's not to take anything away from our opposition, who will be incredibly tough to beat as always, but I feel like I'm equipped with the tools I need to succeed. I can't wait to get started."
Caves found in Patagonia may unlock secrets of how continents formed
Chilean and French scientists have discovered a network of underground caves on a remote island in Patagonia that could provide valuable clues as to how continents were formed.
The group found the system of around 20 limestone caves this week during a research trip to Diego de Almagro island off the far southwest coast of Chile.
Scientists had to abseil and scubadive to get into the caves, some of which are around 50 meters deep (165 feet). They found wall paintings and bone fragments left by the indigenous Kawesqar people that could help date the caves.
"You can make models of areas where the continents broke off and this could be one of those spots," said speleologist Natalia Morata.
The expedition is the latest in a series by the French Centre Terre association, who have found types of rock in the caves normally found in more temperate zones. That could give clues as to how the continents split apart.
Scientists believe continents move due to plate tectonics, and that the map of the Earth would have looked very different millions of years ago.
China’s ‘land kings’ under threat as tightening takes a toll
The days of Chinese developers snatching up premium properties with record-breaking offers are coming to an end as cooling measures bite and sale prices are squeezed, ending the reign of a handful of "land kings" in the world's second-largest economy.
First coined during the stimulus-fuelled 2009 real-estate boom, the Chinese expression is used to describe developers - at the time mostly state-owned companies - willing to pay whatever it took to secure land banks.
A string of records were broken at auctions late last year, when private-sector real-estate companies increased their presence in the market.
But while the cost of land in premier markets, or first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, soared 135 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, property sale prices inched up just 15 percent, according to BNP Paribas.
The already high costs and the prospect of slowing property sales mean the days of records being set at land auctions are coming to a close, analysts say.
Anderson’s whimsical ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ evokes a bygone Europe
Old rich dames, angry henchmen and one very punctilious hotel concierge make up the fantasy world at the center of Wes Anderson's whimsical caper that evokes a bygone era of aristocratic hierarchy and opulence.
"The Grand Budapest Hotel," out in limited U.S. release on Friday, is in part inspired by Anderson's own experiences of living in Europe, the works of Austrian author Stefan Zweig, and paying homage to an era where tradition reigned supreme.
"Each year I spend a pretty good part of the year in Europe for the last 10 years or maybe more, so this is for me a chance to do a story that relates to my own," Anderson said in his soft hybrid accent that masks any hint of a Texas drawl.
"It's related to my own adventure of being abroad, of being a foreigner abroad in a world, and my own sense of discovering new things," he added, reclining on a sofa in a Beverly Hills hotel, in one of his trademark light brown suits.
Texas-native Anderson, 44, has become synonymous with his quirky, dark comedies such as 1998's "Rushmore," 2001's "The Royal Tenenbaums," 2004's "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," and his 2009 adaptation of Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" that have drawn a cult audience.
For his devoted fans, "Grand Budapest Hotel" offers up all of his trademarks - satirical comedy, eccentric characters, an odd-ball love story and visually detailed settings.