Quentin Tarantino burst onto the scene in the early 1990s with the one-two punch of "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction," two instant classics that heralded the arrival of an exciting new filmmaker with seemingly unlimited promise.
Combine those two masterworks with "Jackie Brown," Tarantino's wildly underrated late-'90s gem, as well as the Tony Scott-directed "True Romance" and the Robert Rodriguez-helmed "From Dusk Till Dawn," both written by Tarantino, and people were clearing room for the dude in the pantheon.
Then came the self-indulgent misfires: an uninteresting chapter in the omnibus lark "Four Rooms," the painful acting appearances, the six-year wait between feature films, the uneven "Kill Bill" and the talent-wasting "Grindhouse."
Hopes were raised last year when word emerged that Tarantino was back at work and that production was to begin imminently on his long-gestating World War II caper, "Inglorious Basterds."
Would it harken the return of the ambitious artistic genius who seemed destined to go down in history as one of America's most talented moviemakers?
Or would it be another exhibit to support the argument that Tarantino is paralyzed by his initial success and is hiding behind genre efforts because he's lost his fastball?
Obviously, I was hoping for the former. And if dreams came true, wouldn't that be nice.
But then the trailer to the film, starring Brad Pitt, debuted on the Internet today. You be the judge.