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WAR: “Heroes are something we create, something we need. It's a way for us to understand what is almost incomprehensible."

Movie Quote from: Flags of Our Fathers (2006) – James Bradley (Thomas McCarthy)

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War is hell.  Ordinary people are put into extraordinary circumstances, ones where survival is uncertain and traditional morality and ethics have no place.  Within these extreme conditions, people make heroic and horrific choices within the same sequence of events.  One scene in Clint Eastwood’s film, Flags of Our Fathers, sums up the complexity of choices that are made in the swirling circumstances of war.  In a brief minute of film, we see why individuals engaged in extreme warfare don’t feel worthy of the heroic person we portray them to be. 

CHARACTER: "All those years he suffered, those were the best years of his life because they made him who he was."

Movie quote from: Little Miss Sunshine (2006) - Frank (Steve Carell)

sunshine 2Little Miss Sunshine is a story about the challenges facing an everyday dysfunctional family trying to collectively accomplish something of meaning.  The story is funny and the characters are all too familiar.  It is within this cauldron of love and anxiety that real human character is formed.

GRACE: “In this world, you must be oh-so-smart or oh-so-pleasant. For years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.”

Movie quote from: Harvey (1950) – Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) 

harveyElwood P. Dowd is a kind soul, gracious in every way to every person he meets.  In a world of people chasing social status, professional recognition, and/or financial gain, Elwood (James Stewart) is the only one unruffled by the trappings of image and personal gain.  But Elwood P. Dowd isn’t perfect. His constant companion is a six-foot invisible rabbit.  The 1950 film Harvey won the hearts of moviegoers and provides a compelling example of the great wisdom of living a considerate life. 

PEACE:"I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason."

earthIn the 1951 movie, 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', the alien Klaatu comes to our planet with an important message. Ironically, he cannot deliver his vital warning because we assume the worst of new or uncertain things. Klaatu is arrested, confined, and eventually shot, all driven by our fear and suspicion of his motives. Although this movie is over 55 years old, it contains truths that would be valuable for us to consider today.

The 5 Wisest Quotes from Anyone in a Batman Movie

batmanBatman movies should have a truckload of inspirational quotes.  The story is based on the constructive response of a wealthy man consumed with revenge over the senseless murder of his parents.  However, with the exception of the brilliant Batman Begins, most movies featuring the Caped Crusader lean more to action than deep thoughts.  We had to stretch it a bit to get five quotes, but in honor of The Dark Knight release, here are the five wisest quotes from anyone in a Batman movie.      

MARRIAGE: “We both said, ‘I do!’ and we haven’t agreed on a single thing since.”

Movie quote from: So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993) - Stuart Mackenzie (Mike Myers)

axeWhat is it about marriage that causes ‘deeply passionate relationships’ to slide into ‘taking each other for granted on a daily basis’?  Why does a sense of permanence make it less likely a couple will stay together?  Although the craggy old Scottish father in So I Married an Axe Murderer is joking when he says the quote above, this is the reality for many a modern marriage.  Fortunately, a bland marriage can be rejuvenated by adopting a novel perspective for what a lifelong relationship really can be.

REALITY: She's television generation. The only reality she knows comes to her through the television set."

Movie quote from: Network (1976) - Max Schumacher (William Holden)

networkReality television is an oxymoron, but we're living in oxymoronic times.  People spend far too much of their day in front of a screen, watching other people's lives.  Singers, entrepreneurs, dancers, adventurers, builders, cooks, nannies, and people trying to lose weight, we like to watch them all.  However, when people are surveyed to identify the key elements of what makes a great day, watching television is never one of the choices. 

HOPE: "As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd what happens in a world without children's voices."

childrenMovie quote from: Children of Men (2006) - Miriam (Pam Ferris)

Sometimes the most effective way to examine the importance of something is to imagine what it would be like if it didn't exist.  In the riveting film, Children of Men, the world has lost its capacity to bear children.  Along with it, it has lost its capacity to hope.  The loss of these two fundamental elements of our existence, children and hope, is ingrained throughout the images and architecture of this film.  The movie is a grim reminder of that old Joni Mitchell lyric, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." 

TOP TEN Guilty Pleasure Movie Quotes of 2006

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Our final Top Ten of 2006 is our Guilty Pleasures list.  These are quotes that aren't necessarily inspirational or funny, we just like them.  Screenwriters can capture a sensation or define an observation in a way that resonates far beyond the experience of the movie.  These are the quotes that creep into our daily commentary.  Sometimes we even cite the source.

LAUGHTER: "If you can't laugh at yourself, life's gonna seem a whole lot longer than you like."

Movie quote from: Garden State (2004) - Sam (Natalie Portman)

gardenIn the 2004 film Garden State, Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) is an emotionally numb burnout whose life experiences have caused him to completely withdraw from family and friends.  Fortunately for him, he meets Sam (Natalie Portman), a woman whose abundant vitality lights the way for his own return to life.  The story of 'Large' is far too common.  We're taking ourselves too seriously.

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