Finished up The Guns of Navarone. Good WWII adventure yarn. I remember watching the movie ages ago on TV, but hadn't remembered any of the story. As usual, the book is better than the movie with its vivid detail, like the descriptions of Steven's gangrenous leg. Yuck!
Next up: Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian. I guess since I don't have time to go watch movies, I've gotta go read the original book to keep up with pop culture, huh?
Pat Morita's recent passing marks the end of an era--he was one of the first Asian actors to really break out of the stereotypes and carve out an (hate to say it, but it's true) honorable niche for themselves. No more Hop Sing characters, or Charlie Chan, or Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Morita played his roles with charm and character and respect, and it was great to see him doing so well.
But when you think about that era, when Ralph Macchio actually got gigs and before Elizabeth Shue became a Vegas hooker, The Karate Kid really got mainstream America to jump on the martial arts train. Martial arts weren't exotic, or just for Asians, or weird--they're a good, wholesome family pastime.
I think martial arts have taken a turn for the better with the relatively recent ascent of the reality fighting genre. Now that the UFC and it's ilk are mainstream, there's a return to the more martial aspects of martial arts, and that's what they're named for, right?