From: Gran Torino
Who said it?: Walt Kowalski
The story behind the quote: The quote comes the 2008 drama Gran Torino, which starred and also directed by Clint Eastwood. In the film, Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, an aging Vietnam veteran who lives in a bad neighborhood of Detroit. Many poor Hmong immigrants have moved into the neighborhood as of late and, as such, gang violence has become rather commonplace in Walt’s area.
The quote comes from the early part of the film. One of the gang leaders try to bully Thao, one of the Hmong teens living in the area, to try out for his gain. However, this leads into a major squabble, which spills into Walt’s property. This is when Walt gets his shotgun and delivers the quote. And, despite the gang trying to intimidate Walt, he doesn’t back down.
Geek wisdom: You may be older but that doesn’t mean that the other, younger generation have the right to disrespect you. In fact, it is the younger people that should try to learn from the older generation and try to respect their boundaries. If they don’t, then it’s the older person/s right to demand the respect they deserve.
From: The Empire Strikes Back
Who said it?: Yoda
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from one of the most popular sci-fi geek movie franchises of all time, Star Wars. More specifically, this week’s quote comes from The Empire Strikes Back. While I have already covered a bunch of quotes from Yoda, one of the greatest Jedi Masters from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, that doesn’t mean that I’ve run out of quotes from him! Actually, this quote is closely linked to one of Yoda’s other quotes I’ve covered before. But it is still worthy of getting a separate entry here.
The quote comes from the middle of the film, while Luke Skywalker is training in Dagobah with Yoda in the ways of The Force. R2-D2 alerts Luke that his X-Wing is sinking in the swamp. While Luke thinks it’s impossible to get his ship out now, Yoda tells him that he seems so sure of it when he really shouldn’t…
Geek wisdom: At some point, we are satisfied with what we know and we are so sure of ourselves regarding this knowledge. We stop questioning alternatives and just go with what we know without even seeing if these new methods or if these new discoveries are true. We have to be open to new ideas and give them a try even if they seem like they wouldn’t work.
From: Mad Max: Fury Road
Who said it?: Nux
The story behind the quote: This quote comes from Mad Max: Fury Road. This is the fourth installment of the Mad Max series of films which takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where gangs ravage the wasteland and scavenge for whatever food and fuel is left. In this entry, Mad Max (played this time by Tom Hardy) joins forces with Furiosa (played by Charlize Theron) as the latter tries to rescue a group of girls from a savage gang leader named Immortan Joe.
The quote comes from early in the film. Furiosa steers her tanker into a sandstorm in the hopes of shaking off a group of Immortan Joe’s party. The chasing party drives into the storm as well, leading to some of their deaths. However, one driver, Nux (played by Nicolas Hoult), manages to survive. As he has been trained since birth to treat death as a glorious new phase of life, he utters the quote in glee.
Geek wisdom: Always start out each day with a positive outlook. We do have a tendency to look at the day ahead with gloom because of various circumstances. But you never know. The day ahead may also be one of the best days of your life. Try to think positive and look forward to the day because it just may be one of the most fruitful ones you may experience.
From: Ghostbusters (1984)
Who said it?: Dr. Egon Spengler
The story behind the quote: This quote comes the extremely popular film from 1984, Ghostbusters. The film is the story of three scientists who establish a way of capturing and imprisoning ghosts and turn it into a business. Ghostbusters was a phenomenal success and spawned a sequel, an incredibly successful cartoon and toy line as well as a 2016 remake.
The quote comes early on in the film as the Ghostbusters has just established their paranormal extermination business. After Peter Venkman (played by Bill Murray) checks in with their secretary Janine Melnitz (played by Annie Potts) if they got any calls, brilliant parapsychologist Egon Spengler (played by Harold Ramis) crawls out from under her desk. Janine tries to strike a conversation regarding their likes and dislikes. When going to the topic of hobbies, Egon does mention what he loves to collect…
Geek wisdom: Everybody needs a hobby. It seems boring or even not a worthwhile obsession to others. But whatever hobby you have is your own. If you enjoy something, even if it is collecting spores, molds and fungus, you should do it.
From: The Iron Giant
Who said it?: Hogarth Hughes
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the 1999 animated film, The Iron Giant. This was actually the first film directed by Brad Bird, who would go on and direct two incredibly popular Pixar films, The Incredibles and Ratatouille. The Iron Giant follows a kid named Hogarth Hughes who befriends a giant sentient robot from outer space. Although the film wasn’t a success during its initial release, it has become a cult classic and a personal favorite for a lot of people.
The quote is actually mentioned several times. However, the quote is the most poignant during the final moments of the film. Believing that Hogarth has been killed by the army, The Iron Giant goes ballistic and starts laying waste to the surrounding area. In a last ditch attempt to destroy the giant robot, the army fires a missile at it. However, the missile strike will also destroy the town. Hogarth recovers and rushes to his giant friend and explains to him that he doesn’t have to be a weapon anymore.
Fun Fact: The titular character was voiced by Vin Diesel!
Geek wisdom: We decide who we want to be in the end. You may have a troubled past or not given the chances other people got. However, you can’t keep on blaming past events for your actions. You have to take ownership of your life and be the person you want to be because we ultimately choose who we are in the end.
From: Thank You for Smoking
Who said it?: Nick Naylor
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the dark comedy Thank You for Smoking. The film is based on the book of the same name. Both the book and the movie focuses on Nick Naylor, a suave lobbyist for Big Tobacco, who goes above and beyond the call of duty to perpetrate the notion that smoking can cause lung cancer.
The quote comes from the very end of the film. Naylor (played by Aaron Eckhart) has started his own lobbying firm. He meets up with cellphone manufacturers and tells them what to say when asked if cell phone radiation can cause brain cancer. He then turns to the audience and, in a voice over, delivers the quote.
Geek wisdom: Each and every one of us has a special skill that we can all utilize. Sometimes, however, it will take a lot of hard work to find what your talent is. And sometimes, the talent that you have may even prove to be distasteful to others. That’s not the point. The point is that everyone is going to be good at something; it’s all about finding out what it is and what you do with that talent.
From: White Heat
Who said it?: Arthur “Cody” Jarrett
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the film noir, White Heat. White Heat focuses on Arthur “Cody” Jarrett, a deranged gang leader who loves killing people while staging robberies. The film is considered a classic and has been inducted into the National Film Registry for being culturally and artistically significant.
The quote comes from the closing moments of the film. Cody (played by James Cagney) has been surrounded by the police and climbs to the top of a chemical plant. The police do shoot at Cody but, although he has been shot several times, the criminal refuses to go do. Cody, realizing there is no escape, shoots a tanker full of gas and, just before it explodes, he delivers the quote
Geek wisdom: We all want to be the best. However, we also have to consider the path we take to be the greatest. If it leads to your self destruction, then that path, even if it’s the easiest one, isn’t worth it.
From: As Good As It Gets
Who said it?: Melvin Udall
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from As Good As it Gets. The film stars Jack Nicholson as Melvin Udall, a shut-in, obsessive-compulsive novelist. He, however, becomes involved with Carol Connelly (played by Helen Hunt), a waitress at the restaurant where he eats on a regular basis as well as his gay neighbor, Simon Bishop (played by Greg Kinnear). Because of his involvement with these people, Melvin slowly starts to come out of his shell.
The quote comes near the end of the film. The trio take a trip so that Simon can a loan from his parents. During their trip, Melvin takes Carol out to dinner. In an awkward way of professing his growing feelings for her, Melvin tells her a “compliment” as well as the quote in question.
Geek wisdom: We can’t actually force change on people. We may think we know what’s best for them but forcing them to do so doesn’t usually stick and they will return to their old ways. However, people will change for you on their own free will if you give them the chance. This is when they will try to better themselves in the long run.
From: Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey
Who said it?: Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan and, together, they are Wyld Stallyns
The story behind the quote: This quote comes from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, which is a sequel to the highly successful late 80’s movie, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. In this movie, instead of travelling through time like in Excellent Adventure, Bogus Journey has the duo of Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan touring the afterlife.
The quote comes from the very end of the movie. During their final concert, the Wyld Stallyns give a short speech detailing how they’ve been all over time and even to different spiritual planes. After saying that, both of them deliver the quote.
Geek wisdom: We all like to reminisce about the past and the good ol’ days as well as look to a brighter future and all the places we’ll go. However, we always tend to look at the present. We sometimes feel that the best times are all behind us and we can even postpone our own happiness until we achieve something. We can forget that the past and future don’t really exist; the only time we have is the present. So, make the present the best place you can be in.
From: The Lion King
Who said it?: Timon and Pumbaa
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the animated Disney film, The Lion King. The film is about a young lion cub named Simba, who, after years of self-exile, decides to return to his homeland to assert his birthright as the king of the Pride Lands. The Lion King is one of Disney’s most successful animated films and has actually become the basis for a Broadway musical as well as a couple of animated series, one of them featuring Timon (voiced by Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (voice by Ernie Sabella), the characters that delivered this week’s quote.
The quote comes from the middle of the film. After Simba leaves the Pride Lands, he comes across Timon and Pumbaa, a merekat and a warthog. The duo, feeling sorry for the young lion cub, decide to take him in and teach Simba their own personal motto of having no cares… in a rousing musical number,
Geek wisdom: Like the song says, Hakuna Matata means no worries. There are going to be problems but that doesn’t mean you have to fret over them. You either can do something about it (which means there’s no need to worry about it) or you can’t (which means it’s useless to worry about it).