christopher nolan

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

From: Batman, specifically, The Dark Knight

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: The Joker

The story behind the quote: You know a movie is good when you can pull off multiple quotes from it. And you know a character is fantastic when you can use a majority of his quotes! Once again, I’m pulling from The Dark Knight, the second from Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman moves and, once again, the quote comes from The Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger.

The quote comes from the early part of the film as the Joker interrupts a meeting held by Gotham’s criminal underworld. The Clown Prince of Crime berates the mobster from cowering against The Batman and offers to take out The Dark Knight for them. One of the mobsters asks The Joker, if it’s so easy to do, why hasn’t he done it. This is when The Joker delivers the quote.

Geek wisdom: Every person has something they’re good at. It’s all a matter of discovering what that talent is. If you’re really good at a particular skill, that makes you worth something and, hopefully, it’s actually something you enjoy doing. So find whatever that thing may be and actually make is so that you can get paid for that skill.

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“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

From: Batman Begins

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Batman and Rachel Dawes

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the superhero/crime drama movie Batman Begins that was directed by Christopher Nolan. Released in 2005, Batman Begins tells the story of Batman’s first years as Gotham’s Dark Knight as a vigilante crime fighter.

The quote actually comes up twice in the film. The first time it’s mentioned is during the early part of the film. After Bruce Wayne (played by Christian Bale), Batman’s alter ego, puts on a show regarding how carefree he is at a hotel, he bumps into his old flame, Rachel Dawes (played by Katie Holmes). Bruce fumbles through a speech, implying that its all an act. However, Rachel rebuffs him by delivering the quote.

The second time the quote it mentioned near the climax of the film. As the city is under assault by Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins, Batman saves Rachel and a child. Batman is about to jump into the fight again when Rachel stops him, asking him who he really is under the mask. This is when Batman turns to Rachel and delivers the quote.

Geek wisdom: Actions speak louder than words. It’s incredibly easy to say what kind of person you are. However, all the talking and speeches in the world stating what a great person you are is useless unless you can actually back it up.

“Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

From: Batman, specifically, The Dark Knight

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Alfred Pennyworth

The story behind the quote: It seems that I can’t stop getting quotes from Batman media. But this time, it’s from Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler, Alfred.

The quote comes from The Dark Knight, the 2nd film of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies. Bruce Wayne has been investigating a series of violent (and videotaped) actions of the Joker. Bruce has been reviewing the Joker’s actions and is having difficulty understanding why he does the things he does.

Alfred then tells the story about the time he was in Burma. His group was hired to bribe tribal leaders to get their loyalty for the government using valuable stones and gems. During this time, a “bandit” was wrecking havoc in the area and it was assumed that the “bandit” took the stones. One day, Alfred notice a child playing with one of the stones and realized that the bandit took the stones but threw them away. This is when he knew that the bandit didn’t care for money, he just wanted to wreck as much havoc as he can.

Geek wisdom: Like Alfred said, there are going to be people that you cannot reason with, no matter what you do. They will just do whatever they want, forgetting the consequences of their actions. We have to accept the fact that we will not be able to convince them with logic.

At the same time, we cannot let these kind of people run around doing anything they please, especially if it will lead to anarchy. The act of doing nothing about something is going to be the wrong thing to do in these cases. Sometimes, it will be necessary to step in and do something… especially if we believe it’s the right thing to do.

“A single idea from the human mind can build cities”

From: Inception

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: “Dom” Cobb

The story behind the quote: This quote comes from the smash-hit Inception. One of the highest grossing films of all time, Inception tells the story of Dominic “Dom” Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who is a professional criminal who enters the minds of his targets to steal their ideas. However, Dom’s team has been hired to do the opposite; instead of stealing ideas, their job in the film is to actually implant an idea in the target’s mind.

The story goes deeper into that just that. The director of the film, Christopher Nolan, weaves a brilliant tale regarding Dom’s backstory about his life and why he decides to take the job. Inception is a film that is thought provoking and something that should be seen by geeks and people who love movies in general.

Geek wisdom: It’s hard to underestimate the power of an idea. A lot of our modern culture is actually derived from ideas. The airplane came from the idea that people can fly. Even simple conveniences that we take for granted, such as paper, were derived from the idea that we should be able to write on something light and portable.

We all have ideas. No matter how small they are, we have to nurture these ideas into maturity because we can never know how great the idea actually is until we make the idea into reality.