Monday, January 29, 2007

Fly balls ...

• Apparently the oldest person in the world, 115-year-old Emiliano Mercado Del Toro of Puerto Rico, has passed away. Say, you never notice how often the designated oldest person in the world dies? Boy, that's not a title I'd want. Seems to have a curse on it.

• There's been much talk about which athlete, Tiger Woods or Roger Federer, had the more dominating performance this past weekend. Tiger won his seventh PGA tour event in a row, the second-longest streak in history, while Federer won the Australian Open while not losing a single set, the first time that's happened at a Grand Slam event in 27 years. But my vote is for the other 2007 Aussie Open champion, Serena Williams, who came into the tournament unseeded and out of shape and proceeded to mow through the field, including a devastating 6-1, 6-2 defeat of the current No. 1 player, Maria Sharapova. It was Williams' first Grand Slam victory in two years, and easily her most inspirational. If this is any indication of what's to follow for the rest of the year, Serena may be the women's tennis equivalent of Helen Mirren - where the other players may be better suited staying home than showing up for the abuse.

• Speaking of Dame Helen, the above scenario is exactly what happened last night at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Mirren picked up yet another best actress (or "female actor," as the SAGs accurately call the category) for her superb work as Elizabeth II in The Queen. That was no surprise, obviously. What was a bit shocking was that Mirren was the only nominee in her category to show up. Meryl Streep had an excuse - a previously scheduled event where she was giving an environmental award to, ironically enough, Prince Charles - but whither Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench or Kate Winslet. Expect most or all of them to appear at the Academy Awards to watch Dame Helen take home the big one (after all, it is the Academy Awards), but their absence last night is just further proof at how complete Mirren's triumph has been this Oscar season. Indeed, in an era of Oscar locks (Jamie Foxx, Charlize Theron, Steven Spielberg), Mirren is the lockiest lock of them all.

• If you haven't seen the trailers for 300, the latest movie to use green-screen effects to bring one of Frank Miller's graphic novel creations to full life - what the hell's your problem? If these clips are any indication, this will be the first true blockbuster of 2007 and will put Sin City to shame - and I adore Sin City. Go here and prepare to be dazzled. God, I'm praying for a new trailer during the Super Bowl.

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