The Diversity of Lawrence Bender’s Film Production Career

In April 2018, film critic Benjamin Lee of British newspaper The Guardian published an interesting article about the output of filmmakers during the 1990s, a decade that many cinema connoisseurs consider to have been one of the greatest in recent history.

Fans of independent movies will certainly agree with Benjamin Lee that “Reservoir Dogs,” the seminal 1992 Quentin Tarantino movie produced by Lawrence Bender, is a perfect example of what can happen when passion is mixed with a smart business outlook.

Born in 1957, Lawrence Bender thought about entering the field of civil engineering; in fact, this the career he pursued as a student at the University of Maine. While still in college, he became interested in the performing arts, specifically dance, and this new focus led him to become part of a film crew. By 1989, Lawrence Bender was already producing independent films and listening to passionate filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino.

The 1990s were a busy decade for Lawrence Bender; after the success of “Reservoir Dogs” he went on to produce a string of crime dramas that would eventually earn cult status and critical acclaim. At the risk of being pigeonholed as a producer of gritty and quirky crime films, Bender started taking on projects such as “Good Will Hunting,” “Anna and the King” and “A Price Above Rubies.”

In the 21st century, Lawrence Bender has become known as a producer who clearly favors diversity. Aside from producing crime epics directed by Tarantino, Bender is known for the groundbreaking and game-changing documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won an Academy Award in 2006.

Diversity has been key to Bender’s success as a producer; he can get involved with a quirky independent film such as “The Chumscrubber” only to turn around and start working on a historical military drama such as “The Great Raid.” He is certainly not afraid to produce promotional works such as “Goal!” in 2005 and the sequel “Goal II: Living the Dream;” these two films were part of an ambitious and effective public relations campaign for FIFA.

In the end, Bender’s diverse production output has resulted in 29 Oscar nominations and six awards.

The Best John Hughes Movies from the 80’s


Anyone who grew up during the 80’s knows that the movies of that generation invokes certain feelings – coming of age, triumphant emotions and sometimes heartache only to have it come out all right in the end. No one could tell these kinds of stories like John Hughes who was synonymous with 80’s movies. The very best movies revolved around the protagonist who has lived a little, lost a lot, and in the end left the audience pumping his fist in the air. (The Breakfast Club, anyone?) The following is a list of such feel good movies in no particular order, brought to us by the man, who was gone too soon, John Hughes.



Pretty in Pink – tells the story of a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who falls for a popular, rich, yet sensitive boy.



Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – one of the biggest teenage movies, this details the antics of a popular and smart high-school boy who decides to cut class for the whole day and manages to get away with it, while involving his girlfriend and best friend.



The Breakfast Club – takes place in a high school on a Saturday, where five students: the popular girl, the jock, the nerd, the outcast and the burnout serve detention for various reasons.



Weird Science – follows the story of two unpopular boys who use their smarts to create the perfect girl. Not just any girl though – think supermodel meets Frankenstein.



Uncle Buck – a good-natured, messy bachelor, not used to the suburban life of parents, has to look after his nieces and nephew during a family crisis.



Vacation – spotlights the Griswold’s and their cross-country family vacation with a few hiccups along the way to the Disneyesque destination, Wally World.



Christmas Vacation – this time the Griswold’s stay home and the grandparents, in-laws and cousins visit for the holidays.



Some Kind of Wonderful – the classic love triangle between the popular girl who becomes recently single, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks and his best friend who happens to be a tomboy.



Sixteen Candles – details the story of a girl who likes a popular boy in school, suffers one embarrassing moment after another, and her family forgets her 16th birthday making it anything but sweet.



Planes, Trains and Automobiles – follows the story of a man trying to get home for Thanksgiving but is plagued with bad weather, cancelled travel plans and a self-appointed companion for the trip.



So, no matter if you were a sporto, motorhead, geek, slut, blood, wastoid, dweebie, or dickhead, movies from John Hughes in the 80’s were indeed righteous.

Anime: Heroes and Stories Across the Genre


While I normally like sports anime, all genres of Anime has some of the deepest stories that are packaged in a media that reminds most of us of our childhood. However, you quickly find out that there is a depth of story and character development that you just don’t get from your old Loney Toon adventures. In exploring some of the best characters that Anime has to offer I think you will agree that no matter what sub-genre you choose there is something to explore.

Anime creators in horror spend a lot of time trying to scare you and even the heroes can give you the shivers. Alucard of the gender swap anime show “Hellsing” is his enemy’s nightmare made real. If Dracula, Blade, and Superman were in a lab and mixed and matched powers you would come up with this guy. He is a smooth operator who works for the protection of humanity, thank goodness, even it is just so that he can have fun destroying his enemies.


Science Fiction has many awesome heroines. You could go all the way back to the 1980’s to find one of the most beloved in Nausicaa of “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”. She is a hero that gets sucked into a war, not of her making. With her homeland at risk and enemies on all sides you get to see this young warrior develop into a leader who has the heart and soul to save her people from destruction.


If it is a thrilling action movie hero that you are looking for then Afro of “Afro Samurai” is one you have to see. Once you get past the shock of hearing Samuel L. Jackson’s voice and settle down into the story, you find yourself engrossed with the richness of revenge and the idea that maybe winning isn’t everything.


Anime isn’t just one genre in and of itself, it is a broad genre that brings all the elements of your favorite live action films and shows you what you can do with a character and story that isn’t hemmed in with what can be done in the real world.