Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

Lawrence Bender is in the midst of an impressive career as a Hollywood producer. Bender, a Bronx native and University of Maine Civil Engineering graduate, kicked off his highlight reel career with a string of critical and commercial hits, including Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Inglourious Basterds, Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction. However, An Inconvenient Truth may be Lawrence Bender’s best work to date.

An Inconvenient Truth is a documentary about the present and future consequences of global warming. The film shows in no uncertain terms what our society has done to cause global warming, how we are failing to correct our mistakes and what we must do to reverse our irresponsible and reprehensible treatment of this planet before it is too late. The film is headlined by former Vice President Al Gore. For Vice President Gore, who is featured heavily throughout the film, which follows him on a environmental issues lecture tour, the film is clearly a passion project.

An Inconvenient Truth is engrossing from start to finish and does an outstanding job of clearly informing the audience about the dire circumstances the planet Earth and its inhabitants are facing. It is my favorite Lawrence Bender film, because it is more than just a film. It is a call to action that uses the brutal truth to inspire us to take a long, hard look in the mirror at our mistakes and what we must do to correct them for our sake and the sake of generations to come.

An Inconvenient Truth won Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Best Documentary Feature. It is not the only Oscar-winning film Lawrence Bender has brought to the big screen. Lawrence Bender also produced Academy Award-winning films Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds.

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Legendary Hollywood producer Lawrence Bender has several groundbreaking films to his name, but my personal favorite, and perhaps his most pivotal, is 1992 crime thriller Reservoir Dogs.

Reservoir Dogs is the story of the aftermath of a jewelry store heist gone wrong and what happens to the crew of robbers as a result. While that may sound like a simple premise, Reservoir Dogs is anything but a straightforward tale. Instead, it is chock-full of twists and turns that even if you see them coming, you’ve never seen them executed quite like this before. That is because Reservoir Dogs is the directorial debut of Quentin Tarantino, a fact that is also the reason it’s my favorite Lawrence Bender film and the most important movie he has ever produced.

Before directing Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino broke into Hollywood as a screenwriter. A couple of Tarantino’s most notable writing credits during that time included the films True Romance and Natural Born Killers. However, while Tarantino’s writing opened the door form him, it was his ability to translate his words from page to screen as a director that ultimately led to him becoming a cinematic icon. Still, no one knew what to expect when Tarantino got behind the camera, so for Bender to take a chance on him as a producer took savvy and guts.

Fortunately, it was a gamble that paid off for Bender in a big way, with Reservoir Dogs being only the first of several films that Bender and Tarantino would team up on. While other films that the duo has collaborated on since Reservoir Dogs have arguably been even better, none would have been possible if Bender hadn’t taken a chance on Tarantino and Tarantino hadn’t delivered a masterpiece of a directorial debut.

That being said, for Lawrence Bender, his work with Tarantino has been only one of many highlights throughout a long and illustrious career. Born in 1957 and hailing from The Bronx, in addition to Reservoir Dogs, Bender made a name for himself producing several noteworthy films, including but not limited to Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, The Mexican, An Inconvenient Truth, Inglourious Basterds, Good Will Hunting, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 and Hacksaw Ridge. He earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture for his work on Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting and Inglourious Basterds.

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